This is a very healthy way to get red and other reddish color variations, without the damaging effects of synthetic products, providing that you use body art quality henna, your hair will love you for this because unlike its synthetic counterparts henna will keep your hair soft, shiny, easy to manage and give you gorgeous colors!
1-cup henna (body art quality)
1-cup lemon/orange juice/grapefruit juice (chamomile tea is also an option)
1/2 cup to 1 cup filtered water (try to avoid chlorinated water)
In a mixing bowl that you can afford to be stained red, mix henna and lemon juice. Any of the acidic juices listed above can work just as well. Add 1/2-cup water pouring on the mixture until it has a yogurt like consistency. Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and leave for 12 hours.
After 12 hours at 75F or 24 C the henna is ready to be used. In preparation you need old towels or rags, protection for the floor around you and also plastic gloves to do the application. Use the same precautions as dying your hair; protect your neck and clothes as far as possible before you begin. Apply a light coat of Vaseline along the hairline and forehead to protect these areas from being stained.
Part your clean and dried hair in four parts. Put on your gloves, your hands will be stained if you do not do this. Apply the henna using your fingers beginning at the hair roots, working your way through the four sections till all the hair is covered. Work henna paste all the way to the ends of the hair for each section.
When all the hair is evenly covered, your hair should be generously coated with henna, pile the hair on top of your head–fasten it with a clip and put on a plastic cap–some persons use a saran wrap, a plastic cap is easier to maneuver if you are doing this alone. Over the plastic cap tie a towel or a bandana over the cap for added heat. This will prevent the henna from drying out too quickly and keep the heat trapped on your head.
For deeper, richer color stay under the plastic cap for a minimum of two hours. The longer the henna is in the hair the deeper and richer the color and the more it will stain your hair. Also, if you go under an overhead dryer for 30 minutes this will hasten the coloring process and does wonders for your final hair color.
Rinse out the henna paste from your hair with room temperature water and conditioner. Do not use shampoo at this stage.
The final, glorious color will be revealed the older the dye stays on your hair.
Please note: For longer hair 2 cups henna to 2 cups lemon/orange.
Tip: Before using any hair color, do a skin test to check for any allergic reactions.