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Red Hair

So, we have already seen a brown variant using Henna. This time around, it a red color we’re looking for! Want to know how to prepare it?

We have already seen how you can use Henna for dyeing your hair brown. We will be doing a detailed post on how to pick your henna, if you are going with powder and other factors that play a key role in your results. But for now, we’re going to look at how to get a Red dye for your hair, that’s natural from Henna.

We’re looking to get a red shade, more like Burgundy. So, let’s take a look at how to do that.

Red Hair


Henna Paste / Powder
Rose Water – 1 Tbsp. (Optional)
Vinegar – 1 Tbsp.
Beetroot Juice – 1 – 2 Beetroots
Milk / Yogurt – as needed


In a mixing bowl, add the Henna Powder.

Extract juice from 1 – 2 Beetroots (depends on your hair length too). Add that to the Henna Powder.

Add Rosewater, followed by Vinegar.

Now add water, milk or yogurt – whatever you have chosen to make the paste.

Add the liquids slowly, to get a paste that resembles the consistency of Yogurt.

Mix well to remove any lumps and till you get a uniform paste.

Wrap and set aside till the dye begins to release (depending on the Henna, it will take an hour or two).

Tips to Tweak the Recipe

Rosewater is optional, and for those who don’t like the smell of Henna or want to add some aroma to the recipe.

You can add Essential Oils, but some essential oils will alter the results. So, I have not included essential oil in this recipe. Basically, it either alters the shade, or prevents dyeing, or makes the shade a tad darker or lighter, etc. If you’ve tried it and it worked for you, please share your results with us. I will also share the ones that worked in the post that we would be adding to discuss the dos and don’ts for Henna Hair Dye soon.

Beetroot gives a nice reddish hue to the recipe. It also adds a nice tint when going out in sun!

Vinegar or Lemon Juice works, I have used Vinegar here. Some do not prefer lemon Juice so I have used Vinegar. You can substitute with Lemon Juice, or use half and half.

You can add a spoon of ground sugar to leave your hair shiny and soft after wash! Just add it to the powders while preparing the paste.

Dye Release – How to Monitor?

Like mentioned in our previous post, while you can use it right after mixing, waiting for the dye release means you can leave it for lesser time on your hair! You can wait for an hour or two, but make sure the temperature of the room isn’t more than 32°C for best results. It is best left in room temperature.

After an hour or two, remove the wrap and gently remove the top layer with a spatula. If the layer below looks a tad lighter, you are all set!

There’s also some water / liquid atop, which is another sign to know dye release has begun.

Now, drop a small dollop on a paper towel and see if it gets stained an orange-red. If yes, you are done!

Why Use Lemon Juice / Vinegar?

Using acidic Vinegar or Lemon Juice gives a nice bright finish when you apply Henna. Sometimes, it is still not on the redder side, so I add a bit of Indigo Leaf Powder like 5 – 15% to get a darker red color.


I suggest you always test a small patch before apply the paste to your hair fully, so you don’t have to do complete rework if the color turns out wrong. I pick a few strands, apply and wait to see how the color turns out and then apply on hair. I do this every time I prepare the paste. This is because, Henna is a natural ingredient and the results will vary depending on the leaves used – sometimes lighter, sometimes darker. So, check, each and every time.

Shelf Life

Henna lasts for 3 – 4 days, though if you add Indigo Leaf it will last a day or two. You can freeze instead of refrigerating if you want it to last longer. Frozen Henna stays good for a few months when frozen and the quality remains the same! Just keep it wrapped to prevent drying.

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