Natural Dyes & Hair: The Art & Science of Hair Coloring

by Ms Maushumi Thakurta of MrilQ Cosmeceuticals


Coloring hair with Henna or Lawsonia inermis – Part 2

The LEAVES of Henna Plant (Lawsonia Inermis) contains natural pigments or Dyes which colors your hair.

A few points to be noted about Henna when used as a HAIR COLOR

1) Henna when used alone (without the combination of Indigo or Jatamansi) CAN NEVER color the hair black. “Black Henna”  widely available in the market (sometimes  in powder form too) contains a chemical called PPD (Paraphenylenediamine) which can cause severe allergies in scalp, face and body as it is a strong synthetic chemical.

2) Pure Natural dyes not only COLOUR the hair, but they also exfoliate the scalp and nourish the hair follicles. Pure natural hair dyes can control dandruff & reduce hair fall.

3) Repeated and frequent application of Natural Hair Dyes will result in achieving YOUR DESIRED COLOR.

4) Henna pigment (copper color in black hair base) works the best when it is hydrogen rich. The natural pH of our scalp is around 5. So Henna should be either bought PRE MIXED with AMLA , or mixed with lemon , vinegar or apple juice to make the henna HYDROGEN RICH  & hydrate the scalp. This will help maintain the scalp pH and healthy hair.

(Check my earlier blog on coloring with henna for  the best HYDROGEN rich Henna and proper mixing guidelines)

5) Best water for mixing henna is RAIN WATER. You can collect it and store it.

6) Herbs rich in Antioxidants like Bhringraj (Eclipta alba), Indian pennyworth (Centella asiatica), Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) helps to “Antiage” the hair improving on the strength, color , quality and volume of the hair. This is readily available in Henna & Hair  by MrilQ.


Q ) Should I use curd/yogurt to mix my henna?

Curd or Yogurt has a pH of around 4 (acidic side).. It can be mixed with Henna to maintain the hydration of the scalp . If your AIM is to color your hair well, DO NOT mix curd or yogurt as the proteins in the Yogurt will hinder with the DYE UPTAKE.

MrilQ ‘Mix & Fix” Binder is the best medium for mixing Henna, which helps in the color uptake and makes it LONG STAYING.


Q ) Should I use Coffee powder or beet root juice to mix my Henna?

Coffee : with a pH of around 5.2 can be used to make the Henna paste hydrogen rich but coffee does not stain the Keratin in hair. So adding coffee powder to Henna is not going to help in darkening the color of henna.

The hair might temporarily look darker, but it will be washed off with one wash as Coffee Stain cannot color Keratin of hair.

Beet Root: Just like Coffee, beet juice DOES NOT color the keratin of the Hair. Even if the hair might temporarily look darker, it will be washed off with a single wash as beet juice cannot bind to the keratin of the hair. Beet juice has a tendency to make the hair dry. So oil your hair well if you are using beet juice.


Q ) Should I mix my Henna with Egg?

Mixing egg with henna once a month makes a protein rich hair treatment, but it hampers with the color uptake. So if you want to color your hair, do not mix your Henna with egg. 

Eggs can be separately used with okra & oil to make a protein rich hair pack.


Q ) Do I need to mix oil with my Henna Mix?

Pure Henna with herbs that make it HYDROGEN RICH is a good conditioner for the hair as well as maintains the scalp pH. This would ensure the natural sebum production from the scalp keeping the scalp environment balanced.

Oil in henna would hamper with the dye intake by the Keratin of the hair. Oil can be applied on hair after washing off the Henna Mix from hair with water, before shampooing.

Henna takes two to three days to sit on the hair and impart its color.

Repeated application of Henna with MrilQ Mix & Fix binder would impart a copper brown tinge   ( to black hair base with about 25% of Grey hair)


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