These are the basic instructions for red henna, and also the step 1 instructions for black and brown shades. Here are some other blogs you may find helpful:

Related Blogs: How to Apply HennaAll About Indigo - Achieving Brown & Black Colors, Neutral Henna - Get Strong & Glossy Without the Color, How to Remove Henna Naturally

Red Henna

Start with your Morrocco Method henna powder. These mixing instructions will be used for all henna kits that include red henna. Our Henna Hair Dye Kit may be helpful as well if this is your first time! You’ll need approximately:

100g for short hair

200g is enough for collar-length straight hair

300g for shoulder length straight hair

500g for hair that is waist length

If you’ve got tight curls, use more than the recommended amount to compensate for the actual length of your hair. These are approximate amounts and depending on the thickness of your hair you may need more or less than the recommended amounts. It’s better to mix too much than not enough. Extra mix can be frozen** and used for touch ups on roots, or if you realize you missed a spot. An easy way is to freeze henna into an ice tray and store the cubes in a bag once frozen, then when it's time for a touch up you can take out a couple of cubes and get to work as soon as they thaw.

We recommend mixing in a glass/crockery bowls with a wooden spoon. If you mix it in plastic, you may as well dedicate the vessel because it’s going to get stained. Stainless steel bowls and utensils will not harm your mix if that’s all you have available. Henna should be mixed with enough liquid for the consistency to be thick and spreadable—think thick Greek yogurt. Go slow. You can always add more liquid, but it’s hard to correct in the opposite direction unless you add more henna powder.

**This only applies to red henna. A mix with indigo would only dye your hair with reddish tones after being in the freezer, as the indigo molecules oxidize much faster than the lawsone molecules that give henna its coppery red color. If you are adamant about saving your henna/indigo mix, plan on adding fresh indigo to it to get the color you want.

 

DO mix with:

Room temperature or cold liquids. Warm liquids, or worse, hot liquids can cause uneven dye release in your mix, which can lead to uneven results in your final hair color.

Fruit Acids—Citric acid is cheap and with only 1tsp per 100g of henna, a small bag will last well over a year for most people. Stir citric acid into distilled water or herbal tea (mixture should be slightly sour) before adding to your henna powder.

Fruit Juice—Super convenient and cost effective. You can use it full strength or dilute orange or lemon juice with distilled water down to where it tastes like a mild lemonade. Apple juice is the gentlest of the fruit juices on your hair, and thanks to an enzyme in apples, it will hasten your dye release. If you’re using apple juice, check on your mix at 4-6 hours depending on how warm your mixing area is.

Apple Cider Vinegar—Apple Cider Vinegar is a gentle vinegar that contains the acid you need to release your henna dye.  It's also great for your hair!

Amla—Can be used to tone down the red in your henna resulting in cooler reds, browns, and blacks. Add 25g of Amla powder per 100g of henna. Stir the powders together. Stir in distilled water until reaching the desired consistency. No additional acid is needed as Amla is acidic enough on its own to cause the dye to release.

If the earthy smell of henna is something you’d rather live without, ginger powder neutralizes most of the scent, and cardamom adds a spicy sweet scent. Mix 1TB of powdered spices per 100g of henna after the dye has released, right before you put it on your hair.

 

DO NOT mix with:

Hot Liquids—As mentioned above, room temperature or cool liquids work best. Liquids that are too hot can damage the molecular structure of the henna and lead to unpredictable results.

Tap Water (if you can avoid it)—It’s not the end of the world if this is all you have available, but in hard-water areas, the minerals in the tap water can cause your hair not to take the dye as well. Distilled water is the preference because it creates the most consistent results.

Coffee—Some people think mixing their henna with coffee will change the color of the henna. It will not. Remember that what goes ON your body goes IN your body and caffeinated henna mixes are a good way to give yourself a headache or make you jittery. If you're sensitive to caffeine, stick to fruit acids, juices, or amla.

White Vinegar—Technically, it’s acidic enough to use, but it’s quite the smell to endure for hours. There are effective and far more pleasant-smelling things to mix with your henna powder.

Oil—Using more than a couple teaspoons per henna packet will inhibit dye uptake in your hair. If you want to do an oil treatment – do it the week prior, or the week following your henna hair dye.

Once your henna is thoroughly mixed (no lumps hiding dried powder) cover it loosely with plastic wrap (or a shower cap) and let it rest until dye release is achieved.

 

 Timing is everything

Time your red henna dye release to get the best color possible. Base your time on the temperature where your henna mix is resting (inside vs. outside).

Hot day 100-104F or 37-60C
Use within 1-3 hrs after mixing

Warm day 80F or 26C
Use within 8-12 hrs after mixing

Cool day 65F or 18C
Use within 12-24hrs after mixing

Cold or refrigerated 40F or 4C
Use within 48hrs-1 week after mixing

Frozen after dye release 24F or -4 C
Use immediately once thawed, or keep refrigerated for up to 72 hours
Do not refreeze


Test your mix for dye release by smearing a spot on an inconspicuous place (I usually put a dime-sized glob on my palm) and let it sit for 5 minutes. When you wash it off, if the skin is orange, your dye has released, and you are ready to apply.