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How to Use Henna Hair Dye

Henna is our choice of natural hair dye for anyone who wants colour, gloss, and vibrance, without damaging their hair. Lush co-founder Mark Constantine created Lush's bespoke blends after decades of henna hair-dying experience. In 2001, fellow co-founder Helen Ambrosen reinvented them in an easy-to-use cocoa butter brick that gives beautiful results. Twenty years later, HairLab Technician and Colour Specialist, Daisy Evans has reformulated the brick once again. Daisy’s reformulation allows our henna range to offer refreshed shades, more true-to-tone results and a greater overall coverage.

How to apply Lush Henna

First, read our FAQ to check that henna is going to suit your lifestyle and to learn whether you need to apply a layer of Rouge henna first to get your desired colour. Then do a strand test too to check you’re happy with the colour (especially important if you have chemically treated hair) - the shade will continue to develop for up to 24 hours after application. Just add 30ml of boiling water to roughly 10g of henna in a heatproof bowl and gradually stir until you reach the consistency of melted chocolate. Pop on your gloves and apply the henna to a section of hair about half an inch wide (we recommend this strand is from underneath the hair, around the nape of the neck). Leave to develop for two hours, then shampoo, rinse and dry. Your colour will continue to develop for 24 hours.

Having assessed your hair and done your strand test, you’re ready to get cracking.

Here’s exactly what you’ll need:
  • Your chosen henna brick (more than one if your hair is very long and thick).
  • A friend to help out, if possible.
  • A pair of household rubber gloves or trusty marigolds.
  • A bain-marie (or heat-proof bowl in a saucepan)
  • A stirring spoon
  • An easy-to-clean henna station (we recommend your bathroom or kitchen with newspaper on the floor).
  • Clips to section your hair.
  • Dark coloured towels and clothing for you and your friend.
  • Co-Wash, shampoo and conditioner, plus a protective balm, like Ultraplant. 
  • Wide tint brush to apply henna (optional). 
  • Cling film or  Our hair wrap if you’d like a more vibrant result from Vénitien, Rouge or Marron. 

Henna is best applied with a bit of help from a friend, especially if you are changing colour more dramatically but you can do it yourself - just allow extra time.

Step 1. Make sure your hair is clean and free of styling product. Wear dark clothing that you don’t mind getting a bit messy and apply your Ultraplant to the hairline and ears to prevent staining. Clip your hair up, leaving a section down at the back. 

Step 2: Prepare your henna. Each brick is designed to be enough for one head of mid-length to long hair so short crops will need less, and very long hair will need more. Break up your brick and place in your heat-proof bowl. To get the best results when applying to locs, crumble the segments to a fine powder with your hands, ensuring you get the smoothest consistency which aids removing henna when rinsing. 

Step 3: Add some hot water to your saucepan and place your heat-proof bowl over the top, adding a little hot water gradually. Each brick roughly requires about 720ml of water, which should be added slowly during the process until you have a paste that resembles melted chocolate.

Step 4: Check your henna is a comfortable temperature, and apply to the roots of the hair, working from the nape of the neck up to the crown, back and sides. Henna takes longer to adhere to newer hair at the roots than more weathered or porous ends, so this technique enables a more even application and better coverage. Even if you’ve used a brush, you might want to finish with (gloved) hands to really coat the hair. Once you’re done, pile your hair on top of your head. 

Step 5: If you are using Vénitien, Rouge or Marron and want a redder, more vibrant result, wrap your hair in our hair wrap to prevent the mixture from drying out on your hair. This warms the hair and encourages the red colour in the henna to develop more fully. If you’ve used Brun or Noir and want a darker colour, keep the hair exposed to encourage the indigo to oxidise more fully. Taking a steamy bath is a great way to encourage your colour to develop. New henna applications should stay on the head for about two hours.

Step 6: To remove, add a little water to your hair and focus on circular movements around the hairline to initially lift the henna from the skin and hair. Follow this up by rinsing, co-washing, shampooing and conditioning.

You can apply another coat of henna as soon as your hair is dry if this is part of a two-step application, or wait a while. Both henna and indigo will continue to develop over a few days and so your end result may be subtly different from your first rinse away.  

Want to see the process in detail? You’ll find a step by step How To Use video here for how to apply henna and top tips for the best results, or choose your henna brick here.

Further questions? Contact our UK Customer Care team on 01202 930051.

Homepage - How to Use Henna Hair Dye

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