If you want to dye your hair with henna, it can be hard to know where to start since kits come in so many formats. But the best henna hair dyes feature a preparation process that feels comfortable for you and come in a shade that you totally love. Pure henna is known for creating a vibrant red color on locks (due to the lawsone in it, aka the plant’s dye molecule), but if you’re interested in other shades, you can find henna dyes that are mixed with a variety of natural ingredients and herbs (such as indigo) to create different colors. That said, keep in mind that henna can’t lighten hair since it doesn’t contain bleaching ingredients, so not all henna dyes shades will be the best dye for dark hair.
While henna is considered a more natural option since henna hair colors are typically achieved with paraben-, peroxide-, and ammonia-free hair dyes, some picks are also cruelty-free, USDA certified as organic, or even considered to be a vegan hair dye, so keep an eye out for those if they’re a priority for you.
The preparation process for henna hair dye can sometimes be involved and lengthy, so it’s important to read the instructions that are listed by the manufacturer before purchasing a product to ensure you’re willing to follow them. For example, some products require you to mix the henna with substances like water, coffee, or tea to create a thick paste, and then let it sit for several hours before application. If you don’t want to deal with preparing the hair dye though, there are some pre-mixed formulas that are super easy to work with. Some shampoos and conditioners even contain henna, allowing you to gradually add subtle color to your hair.
These five henna hair dyes are ideal for dyeing your hair at home, since they will transform your hair with totally natural ingredients. Amazon reviewers sing their praises, so you know that they’re the real deal.
1. A Fan-Favorite Henna Hair Dye
This henna hair dye from The Henna Guys is wildly popular on Amazon — boasting a 4.1-star rating overall on the site, among 9,000 and growing reviews — with tons of people reporting truly marvelous results. The hair dye comes in a variety of shade options from vibrant burgundy to a natural brown hue, some of which contain other natural ingredients in addition to henna. All of the dyes options are vegan, natural, and both cruelty- and gluten-free.
To use the dye, mix the henna with warm distilled water (and sometimes fresh brewed black coffee or tea, depending on the shade you choose), and stir until you achieve a pudding-like consistency. Leave this mixture out for 8 to 10 hours, then apply it to your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic wrap and wait 3 hours before rinsing it out.
This pick is sold in a one-, two-, or three-pack, depending on how much hair you need to cover.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I followed package directions to mix up the product. It mixed up nice and smooth with no lumps. Application was even and consistent. I purchased this product to cover my gray hairs and it did a great job. I like the fact that it was all natural with no harmful chemicals or additives.”
2. A Budget-Friendly Bag Of USDA-Certified Organic Henna Powder
Transforming your hair can sometimes be rather costly, but with this henna powder from mi nature, it doesn’t have to be. The pure henna comes in a bag with 227 grams of product for just $9 — a steal — and the product is even USDA-certified organic, which can give you peace of mind regarding its quality. This pick is also raw, vegan, pesticide-free, and non-GMO. Plus, it’s processed in an FDA-registered facility in India.
This product needs to be mixed with ingredients like amla powder and lemon juice, and the mixture needs to sit out for at least an hour before use, so follow the instructions on the bag closely to ensure you prepare it properly.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I’ve been around the block with henna, been using it for years for my hair and I must say this is one of the best I’ve ever tried, it mixed up extremely smooth there was no grit. It also applied like a dream with no clumping and I was shocked at how fast I got dye release. Rinsing time was about half of what I would usually spend. Its pretty apparent that (the batch I got at least) was extremely fresh and great quality. I WILL be ordering from this seller again and I hope the quality is consistent. BEYOND PLEASED!”
3. A Henna Hair Dye Kit That Comes In Lighter Shades
This vegan natural henna hair dye from Discovery Naturals is available in a wide range of shades — 13 options to be exact — including a couple of lighter options like “sunshine light blonde” and “strawberry reddish blonde.” The dye won’t lighten your hair, but if you already have really light locks, these colors should show up. Another major plus? This pick comes with everything you need to transform your locks, including gloves, a hair cap, and an instruction sheet. To use the product, simply add water to the henna, mix it up, and you’re ready to apply!
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This is the best henna I have used!!! I am a natural red head and I have hormonal problems, which have cause my once bright red hair to start to fade to a strawberry blonde. Ironically I used this strawberry blonde to add some more red dimension to my fading hair. It worked great, was very easy to put in and wash out compared to what I have previously used and did not turn my hair orange like another brand did! Will keep buying!”
4. A Pre-Mixed Henna Hair Dye Cream
Don’t want to deal with the hassle of mixing henna hair dye? This easy-to-use henna cream from Pride Of India is ready to go straight from the jar. To use, apply the cream over your dry hair (the manufacturer recommends wearing gloves while doing so), allow the paste to dry naturally, and rinse it out thoroughly with water — it’s as simple as that! Avoid using shampoo on the day that you apply the henna.
This product is vegan and cruelty-free. Pride Of India sells a few different colors of powdered henna hair dyes on the same Amazon product page, so take a look at those in case this pick isn’t a perfect match for you.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Great color and long lasting. So much easier to use than powdered henna.”
5. A Henna Shampoo & Conditioner That Bring Out Brown Tones
Containing a blend of luxurious ingredients like pure henna leaves, soap nut, and berberry, this shampoo and conditioner combination from Biotique will leave your tresses feeling amazingly cleansed and conditioned, but with an extra bonus — the product will also gradually add a subtle hint of highlights (thanks to the henna), bringing out rich brown tones in your locks. The product can be used daily, and it should be applied just like any shampoo and conditioner: Apply it to wet hair and work it through your strands from your scalp to the ends. Rinse it out well with water.
This bottle contains 120 grams of product, but Biotique also sells a larger 190 gram bottle for just a bit more if that’s of interest.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Yet another good product from biotique. Makes the hair soft and yes gives little highlights. Happy to use it. Would buy it again.”