How long to leave henna on hair? How long does the whole process of dyeing hair with Henna take?

  • For henna to penetrate and cover the entire hair surface correctly, you must leave it in your hair for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Of course, it also depends on the brand of henna you use. For example, The Henna Guys has to be left in your hair for at least 2 hours. Natural Henna Godrej Nupur Mehndi has to remain in your hair for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Also, your hair has to be completely clean for henna to penetrate deeply.


before applying it

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: Can you use henna on dyed hair? Yes, but you must follow these 3 steps before coloring your hair


I know that most people are looking for “natural,” “organic,” “sustainable,” and “eco-friendly” products right now.

As regards changing the hair color, henna seems to fit pretty well into all those categories.


However, watch out!  Whether you want to color your hair for the first time, or you want to forget about permanent dyes, you need to know this: henna takes time. 

Preparing the mixture and applying it take time.


If you thought that, as it’s natural, henna was just about applying it, having a coffee, reading a few WhatsApp messages, and rinsing, you are wrong. The truth is:

  •  Preparing the mixture and letting it sit takes 8 hours. Yes, you read it right. I was not wrong when I wrote it. Eight hours!  
  • After that time, after applying the henna on your hair, you should leave it in for 2 to 4 hours.


If you have patience, are a very meticulous person, and can spend that time changing your hair color, henna is for you.

Also, you have to choose henna correctly. What do I mean by this? Read on.


Why does the henna you use influence the results you get?

hair color kit

Henna is a natural product that comes from a plant. After grinding it, it is transformed into a powder. To make sure it’s completely natural, you shouldn’t buy any henna cream or henna dye that reads “henna-based.”


If you’re determined to use henna to color your hair, and you’re willing to let it in your hair for two to four hours, you should go for pure henna. And just so you know which one to choose, here are three brands that won’t let you down. Also, here are their corresponding application times.


  • Natural Henna Godrej Nupur Mehndi, developing time of 3 to 4 hours
  • The Henna Guys has a minimum developing time of 2 hours
  • Hannah Natural, between 2 to 4 hours


The application of henna is a long process. It starts with the preparation of the mixture and the developing time in your hair. Do you have enough time?

Then, keep reading, because I’ll tell you:

  • The proper way to prepare henna
  • How to apply henna correctly respecting developing times

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How to prepare henna properly

paint the gray hairs

Now that you know that dyeing your hair with henna won’t take only one hour like permanent or semi-permanent dyes, we’ll start preparing the mixture.

My recommendation is that you do it the night before because you should leave it in for 8 hours.


What do you need to prepare the henna mixture?

  • Henna in powder
  • The juice of one lemon
  • Film paper
  • A plastic or glass container
  • A plastic or wooden spoon



  • Using a plastic container, place the henna powder, add the lemon juice, and mix until it’s homogeneous.
  • Add boiling water and mix again until the consistency is like yogurt.
  • Cover the container with the film wrap and let the henna sit for 8 hours at room temperature.

The next morning, the henna will be ready to apply. Are you ready too?


How to apply henna the right way respecting developing times


For henna to set properly in your hair, the first thing you need to do is to wash it thoroughly. It means that more time will have to be spent on this type of coloring.

Why should you do this?


Because, unlike traditional dyes, your hair must be clean without any oil residue. Yes, even the natural oils that your scalp expels can make it difficult for henna to set.

Once your hair is clean, you can start with the application. What will you need?

  • Henna
  • The juice of one lemon
  • Film wrap
  • A plastic or glass container
  • A plastic or wooden spoon



  • Dry your hair because it’s necessary to apply henna.
  • Using gloves, start applying the henna to your roots. Then, continue in lengths and ends.
  • When you finish covering your hair, gather it and wrap it in film. Then, cover it with a towel to keep it warm.
  • Leave the henna in your hair for 2 to 4 hours. If you want a more intense color, leave it in for 6 hours.


 Here we’ll stop because I’ll give you some additional activities to do during the time that henna is in your hair: 
  • Sudoku, a game of numbers that activates the brain.
  • Solitaire, the cards never fail.
  • Beat records in Candy Crush.
  • Finish the last book of your favorite saga of vampires.
  • Transfer your cell phone photos to an external hard drive.
  • Write an email to your future self, explaining how important patience (such as to dye your hair with henna) is to achieve your goals.


Finally, the time has come to rinse your hair using only warm water until the henna stops falling out. You can wash your hair with your usual shampoo and conditioner.

After so many hours, you finally have your color as a result of a natural product. How does it look?



If you’re going to dye your hair with henna, you should leave it in for two to four hours.

However, remember to prepare the mixture in advance so that it sits eight hours.

Natural hair color is definitely a healthier alternative, but you’ll need to be patient to get the best results.

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