What Are the Best Tips for Putting Mehndi on Hair?

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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2019
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Using mehndi on hair is a simple, natural and effective technique to add color to and strengthen hair. It is important to choose the mehndi carefully, as many different products are marketed as mehndi or henna. Correct application ensures that the color will be absorbed properly by the hair. Special tricks can be used to obtain different colors in gray or graying hair by blending the henna in mehndi with indigo or other natural dyes.

Strictly speaking, mehndi is a paste used for skin decoration as a part of many Indian customs. The practice of using this paste, which derives its coloring properties largely from henna, has spread to other areas. As the practice has spread, the term "mehndi" has come into use as a generic label for henna-based dye products.

One important tip when using mehndi on hair is to select the right product for the job. Henna products come in a variety of forms. Some are powdered, some come as a paste, and others are shaped into bricks with the aid of additives like cocoa butter. All keep reasonably well, although fresher products are always better. Some people prefer to use products that are stabilized with cocoa butter because the cocoa butter works as a moisturizer.


It is a good idea to read all of the ingredients before using mehndi on hair. The vague meaning of the term in many western cultures means that some products that do not contain henna or that contain a mixture of natural dyes may be marketed as mehndi. These products can produce lovely results, but careful reading of labels ensures that no hair color surprises arise.

Success in using mehndi on hair often hinges on patience and thoroughness. When applying the mehndi paste, hair that is to be colored should be thoroughly saturated. It is best to work through thicker heads of hair one section at a time, working the product gradually into locks of hair, to ensure even coverage. Having a friend to help with the hard-to-reach bits is often a good idea.

Once the henna paste has been applied, it is crucial to wait patiently. Most people cover the paste with plastic wrap. Ideally, several hours should be allotted when using mehndi on hair. This will allow the dye time to be fully absorbed.

Men or women with gray hair have some additional options when using mehndi on hair. Gray hair is basically neutral, and will take color very easily. Pure henna mehndi tends to turn gray hair to a bright, fiery red. If desired, this look can be modified by mixing other dyes together with the henna in the mehndi paste. Many different shades can be produced in this fashion. Indigo, for example, combines with henna to produce a dark rich, blue-black hair color.


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Post 3

Mehndi on hair can work great if one is going for a ginger color and already has natural red hues.

I don't recommend mehndi for blondes because the hair color will probably turn out to be an unattractive orange color. But mehndi works nice on those with brown and red hair. And the longer it is kept on, the darker the color tends to come out.

I have red hues in my hair and I use mehndi to bring those colors out. I just have to avoid getting it on my skin because mehndi dyes skin too. Washing can be a bit messy and the color does wash out a little every time.

Post 2

@burcinc-- I tried one once but had a mild allergic reaction. I don't recommend the cheap mehndi dyes that are to be mixed with water and applied on the scalp. Although henna itself is all natural and safe, some of these dye products have chemicals and additional ingredients.

If you want to dye your hair with henna, buy pure, fresh henna powder and make the paste with it. The process is the same, just add water. But since pure henna is chemical free, there won't be allergic reactions or side effects.

Post 1

Has anyone used those henna hair color powders sold at Middle Eastern and Indian grocery stores? Are they any good?

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