No Poo And Henna

No Poo and Henna go together wonderfully.

Henna is a natural product, normally used by brunettes and redheads, with so many great No Poo properties that I thought it would be interesting to investigate a little further.

Henna is a common ingredient in No Poo recipes; recipes that aim to cleanse hair without the use of traditional shampoos. As a natural and sustainable ingredient, henna can be used both on hair and the body without damaging the environment. Henna adds a lustrous color to your hair whilst improving its health overall.

Henna is a very versatile product that isn’t only used as temporary hand and body art. It is also so much more than just a hair colorant.

Continue reading to find out all the wonderful things that Henna can do for your hair.

No Poo And Henna

Henna use is a long-standing part of No Poo.

No Poo only uses natural ingredients to keep hair healthy, nourished, and shiny without using man-made chemicals such as sulfates and silicons.

Henna is made from the leaves of the Henna tree; Lawsonia inermis (source 1). These leaves are then crushed into a powder and packaged.

You may find that some henna brands try to suggest that their henna will add color to your hair that is not the usual red-brown. This will have been achieved by the use of additives.

Only pure henna should be used to avoid any unwanted side effects.

Coloring your hair whilst you are following a No Poo hair regime is generally not possible, unless you use henna. This is because most hair dyes contain chemicals and sulfates not permitted by the No Poo movement.

By comparison, Henna is considered a natural ingredient so can be used as a hair dye, leaving your hair with a reddish-brown hue.

No Poo and hair dye are not normally good bedfellows, but Henna is different.

Below is a list of reasons why Henna is good for your No Poo hair:

  • Natural Product: Using henna does not go against the No Poo ethos. Instead, it fulfils all of the No Poo product ideals.
  • Ease of Use: Henna can come ready-made, or as a powder for you to mix yourself. If possible, use 100% pure henna powder.
  • Availability: Henna is used for much more than just hair, thus it is available almost everywhere. Always buy Henna from a reputable store/dealer.
  • Beneficial For Hair: Henna does not simply just color, instead, it also helps boost hair health through moisturising abilities, scalp improvement, and ongoing protection of each strand of hair.

When using henna try to only use red henna, rather than black henna. This is because black henna can contain chemicals that some people may have an allergic reaction to.

Remember to carry out a patch test if you are using any new product, to ensure that your skin will not become irritated through its use.

Benefits Of Henna For Hair

Along with enhancing your natural color (or completely changing it), henna is beneficial to your hair for a number of other reasons.

Before dashing out to purchase your Henna powder, make sure that you always use the purest and best quality of henna that you can find. This is important since it will help your hair to get the best out of the henna and keep your hair in great condition

Below is a list of key benefits Henna has on your hair:

1. Natural Color

Henna brings out the natural highs and lowlights in your hair without using man-made chemicals.

As it is a reddish-brown dye it is suitable for darker-haired individuals.

It can be used by fair-haired people, but the resulting color may look quite unnatural.

2. Adds Color

Traditional hair-dyes strip color whereas henna adds color.

Henna penetrates to the core of each hair too, so is less prone to fading over time.

3. Thickens Hair

Bleaching agents in traditional dye can thin hair.

Henna coats each strand and can make hair feel thicker.

4. Nourishing

Henna has properties similar to adding protein to your hair, so not only will your hair look good, it will be healthier too.

Henna keeps in moisture so is a great way to keep your hair looking in great condition.

5. Cleansing

Henna has a mild cleansing action so keeps hair and scalp clean and is often used as a moisturizing wash in its own right.

6. Protecting

As Henna coats hair it acts as a protective layer so that pollutants cannot enter the hair shaft.

7. Dandruff

Dandruff may be reduced after using henna.

8. Head-Lice

Henna has been reported as repelling head-lice.

9. Covers Grays

If you want to hide your gray hair, henna is a good choice!

10. Repeats

Henna can be used as often as you like.

Traditional dyes are damaging over time and should be used with care.

Disadvantages Of Henna For Hair

Henna has many advantages but as with everything, some people find that it just isn’t for them.

Below is a table listing the potential problems that using henna can cause:

StainingHenna is a colorant and can stain skin,
so using gloves, wearing old clothes,
and dabbing a little vaseline around
the hairline are recommended. After
dying it can run for a while, so dark
towels and protecting bedding should
be considered
Patch TestAlthough unlikely with red henna, it
is wise to do a patch test prior to use
to check that your skin is not sensitive
to the product
This can be used but patch test as
above, as black henna can contain
chemicals that irritate the skin. Black
henna should be avoided if possible
Continued use of henna can darken
your overall hair color
AdditivesMany henna products contain
additives. Always use 100% pure
henna for hair care
DryingOverusing henna can lead to dry hair
Hair LossLeaving a henna mask on too long,
or too often can lead to hair loss in
some individuals
Temporary curl loosening can be a
side-effect of henna
SpotsIf henna gets onto your skin and is
not removed quickly enough it can
block the pores and end up
increasing the likelihood of an outbreak
Disadvantages Of Henna For Hair

Finally, it is not advisable to use metal bowls to mix henna in as the henna may react with the metal. Although this is unlikely, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Best Henna For Natural Hair

Natural hair that has not been treated or previously dyed can benefit from henna.

Henna can also be used on relaxed hair and is suitable for most hair types.

Body art quality henna only should be used.

One of the most popular products for natural hair is ‘The Henna Guys, Pure Henna’.

Rinsing Out Henna On No Poo Hair

It’s generally agreed that ridding hair of a henna color is incredibly difficult.

Henna stains and coats the hair, meaning that it can be notoriously difficult to rinse out if you change your mind.

If you wish to remove the coloring, one suggestion I found encouraged the user to use an overnight hair mask made of different oils, then shampoo out the following day.

Others have said that henna can be removed by soaking the hair in vodka for 15 minutes! I have not personally tried this, so proceed with caution. Ultimately, there is no one agreed-upon successful method.

If you just need to remove the excess henna, then once your henna treatment time has elapsed you have a few options:

  • Shower: Shower off the Henna residue.
  • Bath: Pour a deep bath and lie back. Allow your hair to spread and the excess henna to soak into the tub water.
  • Shampoo / Conditioner: You can use either a No Poo shampoo followed by No Poo conditioner, or just a No Poo conditioner to remove the excess henna.

When you wash the henna out make sure that you do not use a clarifying shampoo, soapnuts, or baking soda, as all of these will strip the color and reduce the benefits of using the henna (source 1).

What Is The Henna Rinse?

The henna rinse is a conditioning rinse that is simple (but time-consuming) to make. It is said to strengthen and deeply moisturize your hair.

When doing a henna rinse, remember that you should always wear gloves to avoid staining your skin.

Henna Rinse Recipe

A popular recipe for a henna rinse is as follows:


  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 100gms henna powder per 12 inches of hair
  • Distilled water


  1. Using a plastic bowl combine the lemon juice with the powder until a thick paste is formed.
  2. Put paste into a sealable container that you can use in the shower.
  3. Add the same volume of distilled water as henna paste.
  4. Close container and shake to combine.
  5. Leave for a minimum of 8 hours.
  6. Start pouring henna rinse from scalp downwards and use your fingers to fully coat all hair strands.
  7. Put on a shower cap and wait for 20 minutes.
  8. Rinse out with warm water and run conditioner through your hair.

Choosing the right henna is the most important factor for DIY home henna use.

Always use a 100% henna powder and one that is certified as BAQ – Body Art Quality.


It is possible to be a follower of No Poo And Henna user.

Henna is a plant-based product that has been used for hair care and body painting for many many years.

Henna can be a beneficial part of your hair care regime, as long as certain care is taken to reduce the likelihood of unintended staining.

Related Questions 

Does Henna Have Poop In It

Henna consists solely of leaves from a henna tree. It contains no other ingredients. Black henna is henna with paraphenylenediamine (PPD) added and can cause significant damage to your skin.

Katrina Stewardson

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I've been obsessed for almost ever with discovering the best natural hair methods for my own hair. For years I longed for one website to tell me everything I needed to know about the amazing No Poo Method movement. I just couldn't find one though, so I decided to create it myself! I dearly hope this website will save all you lovely ladies (and gents!) from wasting hours scrolling the internet looking for natural hair-related information like I did.

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