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How to use henna

What happens when you mix the finest Persian henna, Fair Trade organic cocoa butter (100% traceable back to the source) and inspiration from the ancient Chinese tradition of carrying tea? Great results. No s**t.

Lush Henna is a natural, organic hair dye that works like a varnish over your natural hair colour to coat every strand in glorious colour. Using a herbal hair dye like henna has multiple benefits: every shade is completely unique to you; emerging roots look subtle compared to synthetic dye alternatives; and your hair gains an additional protective layer, boosting condition and shine. What’s more, it’s a fun activity for a night in at home and with these instructions it’s easy to apply too.​

Which shade will you choose?

If you choose Rouge, you might want to pop the fire brigade on speed dial; fiery red henna and brightening fresh organic lemon juice creates smoking hot reds and dazzling shine.​

Indigo herb and ground coffee mingle with red henna in Brun for above the shoulder smoulder of rich, chocolate colours.​

Marron mixes dark coffee with fresh, organic lemon juice to evoke autumnal warmth in all seasons with shining, chestnut shades.​

In Noir, indigo herb takes centre stage for gloss in deep, dark midnight shades. A touch of red henna promotes shine (but won’t bring out any red tones).​

How to henna:

Get your caca together!

You will need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Bain-marie or a heatproof bowl in a saucepan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Newspapers on the floor
  • Clips to section your hair
  • Dark coloured towels and clothing
  • Cling film/shower cap (optional). Protective balm, like Ultrabland or Ultrabalm.
  • Colouring brush to apply henna (or just use gloved hands)

Strand test:

To make sure you are completely happy with the results, always complete a strand test (this is particularly important if you have chemically treated your hair in any way). The colour will continue to develop for up to 24 hours after application.​

Add boiling water to a small amount of henna in a heatproof bowl and use rubber gloves to apply to a section of hair about half an inch wide. Leave for up to three hours, shampoo and rinse out. If you are satisfied with the colour after 24 hours, apply the henna to the rest of the hair.​

ps.) If over 40% of your hair is grey, remember to include some in your strand test. After using henna, grey hairs sparkle brighter than dark ones, so expect vibrant results.​

How to use:

(It’s as easy as 1,2,3,4)​

  1. Smooth a protective balm like Ultrabalm around the hairline - or beard line - to ensure your skin is not accidentally tinted.
  2. Break your henna block into chunks and place into a bain-marie or heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Cover the henna with boiling water and stir until the mixture resembles melted chocolate. The hotter the henna, the better the results.
  3. Wearing some rubber gloves, apply the henna evenly to clean, dry hair. For best results, work from the roots to the tips, starting from the back of the hair and moving towards the front. During the application, ensure the henna stays comfortably hot in a bain-marie or saucepan.
  4. Leave on for up to three hours before rinsing off your henna with shampoo. The colour will continue to develop for up to 24 hours (and up to 48 hours if you’re using Brun or Noir).
How to use henna

Lush Cosmetics: Mark's Master Class: Lizzie's Colour

Good to know:

  • Henna hair colour is safe to use as often as you like. Try multiple applications to build intense colour. 
  • Wrapping your hair in cling film or a shower cap and keeping it warm will give redder results; a long, steamy bath is ideal! Alternatively, leaving hair unwrapped creates darker shades.​
  • On grey hair, the colours will appear lighter and more vibrant. If you're looking for a more subtle shade, it may be best to layer up  multiple henna applications. Start with rouge before layering other colours on top. It's recommended to do a strand test on a hidden section of hair each time to test the colour before going all out. 

Ready to turn some heads? If you’d like to see others’ results using henna or share your own, check out the hashtag #LushHenna on Instagram and Twitter.

Comments (91)


about 9 months ago

I've been using caca rouge on my (naturally light brown) hair for about a year now. I loved the colour at first, but the last 2 applications have definitely given a darker colour than the first few. It's now got to the stage where my hair is darker (albeit auburn) than my natural shade and it's draining against my skin tone. I LOVE being a redhead and as a vegan, it's difficult to find suitable hair dyes, especially in the red range - but I think it's time to grow the henna out and go back to either highlights or a commercial, sfv red dye if I can find one. So long, henna. You were great while you lasted.


about 9 months ago

Apparently Superdrug's own brand hair dye is vegan!

about 10 months ago

I use the marron henna all the time, but what can I add to it to make my hair a bit more brown colour? I don't really want to use the brun. All ideas appreciated...

Katz Whiskerz

about 1 year ago

I know this is a long comment... Many years ago before Lush even existed (back in the 1980s), I used to buy natural henna powder from a fabulous 'hippy' store in Bournemouth at the Lansdowne end of Old Christchurch Road - not really that far from Lush's first store in nearby Poole. It was a bit of a palaver to use, but gave great results once you got used to how much to use, how long to leave it on for, how heat would help (clingfilm and/or foil - I have some photos to prove it somewhere!), and what protection to use on your hands / skin whilst doing so - I remember me and a sister having very red hands for weeks after our first attempt! I no longer live in Bournemouth... I'm now thinking about a henna boost to my colour, having recently had a haircut that takes what was roughly bad-condition shoulder length hair to a short pixie style which has removed a lot of sun-bleached/damaged hair and left it in great condition overall but with a few greys showing through. Oddly, a lot of people have asked if I've had a colour done alongside the cut as it's generally looking darker now. I'm just placing my first order for a bar shampoo to try to reduce my plastic usage... I appreciate my hair will take a little while to adjust to that I'd like to have another 'boost' in say 6-8 weeks (the haircut was my New Year gift to myself!) and a henna colour looks like something I would go for Does anyone have any hints re other products I might like to consider with that? Please bear in mind I have a lot of sensitivity to perfumes / fragrances, but I like a slightly punk / spikey look!!! Looking forward to suggestions


about 1 year ago

Hi, Can this be used as an eyebrow tint? I have very fair brows so get them tinted at the beauticians but hate how full of chemicals the tint is. Has anybody tried it? If so, what was your experience?


about 1 year ago

Who on his/her right mind would call a product "caca"?? Didn't you check before naming the product the meaning in other languages?


about 4 months ago



about 1 year ago

Because I am lazy! and have natural red hair that I just want to boost a bit from time to time I often make up 1-2 squares of the henna rouge block as per instructions and mix it in equal quantities with jasmine and henna fluff ease conditioner then apply this to the hair and leave for 20-60 minutes Gives a nice boost but not too much, and gives the lovely gloss to the hair


about 1 year ago

First off a warning to anyone considering using Lush Henna - it does NOT wash out and does not fade. The colour will continue to darken after use, so please be aware of that - DO A STRAND TEST. Henna is a PERMANENT DYE !!! It is VERY hard to remove it - you can only lighten it. Lush Henna - used as instructed - all over hair will make your hair ORANGE! not red - see the pic of the guy on this post.. the orange bits - that is the colour. I have used Lush henna to create a beautiful golden colour. NOTE - I have red hair that faded in the sun to blond.. I wanted my red back. To do this I crumbled a FEW bits of the henna into hot water. Applied it to DRY hair for no more than 5 mins.. then washed out. This is the way I now use LUSH - AFTER making the mistake of using it all over, and starting to go orange - I panicked, managed to fade the colour with oil and vodka (yes - google it) and now - thankfully - my hair is perfect. BUT BE WARNED - this is POWERFUL stuff - it does NOT fade in 6-12 weeks the colour will get less intense.. but only marginally.. BE WARNED!!! PLEASE!


about 1 year ago

Would definitely recommend using Lush Henna - I will say though that if you are thinking of using it, make sure you're ready to commit to that colour as it's difficult to dye over henna with chemical dyes, in most cases you either have to have it stripped (which damages the hair) or just cut it off. I had light blonde hair when I first Henna'd my hair 6 months ago, using a mixture of marron and noir and it's still a mousy brown colour that I've tried dying over with dark boxed dyes, but the boxed dyes fade almost immediately because the henna varnishes the hair and prevents the dye from getting into the hair follicle
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