How to Choose a Henna Powder

Not all henna powders are created equal. Henna is a plant product, and thus degrades over time. Choosing a good powder is essential for a good henna design.


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    Get the freshest powder possible. Check the date, henna is best used within a few months if it hasn't been kept cold. Most store henna sits on shelves for extended periods. If it's been stored in a cold area, like a freezer, and kept away from light, henna can stay potent for years. Many online retailers who are also henna artists keep their henna in cold storage; ask before you buy.
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    Consider color. While all henna stains a reddish-brown color, different regions do produce subtle differences. African hennas are often stringier, which helps making fine lines. Moroccan and Yemeni hennas are know for their stringiness. Many people say African henna is warm red, Persian henna is deeper red, and Indian henna is brownish red. These slight color variations are not set in stone, and are usually not even noticeable. Usually color variations depend on the body's chemistry not on the kind of henna used.
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    Learn to recognize high quality henna. High quality henna has been sifted several times. Cheaper hennas need more sifting which you can usually tell from comparing to other better sifted hennas, or else they can clog applicators.
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    Henna can come in shades of green to greenish-brown. Do research reviews to see your hair type and natural colour and what results you can expect. Also check the expiry date.
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    Look around. India exports the most henna, with a variety of brands from different regions in India. Other countries, like Oman, don't export at all. If you travel, or have a globe trotting friend, get some henna sent back to your home.


  • Look for freshness and color.
  • Buy henna from online retailers who are also henna artists; they use their own henna and can guarantee the quality.
  • Even on your hair, you should use body art quality henna. Hair quality contains less dye, and you may end up with more orange than red in your hair.
  • Stringy henna needs less sugar or honey, smoother hennas should have more.
  • Try several types to find what you like best.


  • Real henna is always red/reddish-brown. Blonde or colorless henna is usually cassia or rhubarb root, black henna is usually indigo, or henna with PPD added.
  • Never buy "black" henna, or anything with added ingredients. Black henna often contains PPD, which is a dangerous chemical that can cause severe allergic reactions.

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Categories: Henna for Hair | Temporary Tattoos