Vegan Henna

Yes. That’s right. Vegan Henna.

When I was young, our family used to always make a trip to Bombay, India for Chinese New Year, to visit family and go on the yearly pilgrimage to visit Vaishu Devi in Jammu. 

The best part of the trip was the barrage of smells, treats and visits to families.  One of the best treats was applying henna in that stifling heat.  

Traditional henna uses egg and yoghurt.  For those of us who don’t want to use these ingredients, you can still attain nice colour, shine and volume without it. 

The magic of henna is amazing. It’s a cooling mud that is strategically applied to the hair. Of course to have it spread thoroughly you would need someone else to apply it for you and if you aren’t bothered about having your hands turn orange (then brown) then get the gloves off and do it your self! 

 I love the smell of henna. Minty and earthy all at the same time.  

If you have ever researched about henna and find it all too complicated to do.  Fret not. It’s not as difficult as it sounds.  Just make sure your hair is free of any conditioner or styling products otherwise the colour won’t set properly especially if you have grays like me. 

Now if you have a busy lifestyle like myself and 3.5 furries – you have one heck of a busy weekend.  Sometimes – you just have to make time for personal grooming. 

With that said, these are the following things you need: 

– A very hot sunny day where you have absolutely no plans (heat increases the darkening of the henna and a bit of strong sunshine aids the natural process of henna darkening)

– henna powder (brands like Nupur, Karishma or Jaipur are the best) note: leftover powder must be sealed properly and put into a ziplock bag – get the air out otherwise it will oxidise and turn a pale dull green.

– a minty aromatherapy oil like Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Peppermint are brilliant

– a whole lime or half a lemon

– a few cloves (I use 2 cloves)

– instant coffee and a tea bag (the ones you use for a good old fashion cuppa tea)

– 1 stainless steel bowl


One day before application, boil some water and pour into a tea cup. 

Add 2 tablespoons of instant coffee, one tea bag and cloves. 

Stir and let the mix sit for a few hours. 

Next, take the coffee/tea/clove water and pour into your steel bowl. 

Add henna powder in proportion to your hair length.  Short – Medium hair needs about 1/2 to 3/4 of a tea cup of powder. Long hair need about a full tea cup of powder into the steel bowl.

Stir into a nice fluid paste.  Let the mix sit overnight.  The mix should be dark.


Now all you need are two butterfly clips and a wide tooth comb. Part the top part of your head all the way down the middle and section it off. See picture

Now you can henna your hair.  Make sure to start at the back of the head working towards the top and front.  The henna is applied to the bottom layer as well as the underside of the layer that will be lowered. 

Remember – do roots first before the length there will be enough left over for the length. 

You should achieve coverage like the picture below. 

I have a lot of small shots and have tried to cover them but they have a mind of their own 😆

If you have patience and lots of stuff to do around the house – let the henna stay on our head.  That’s the only downside about henna. You need to let it stay for as long as you want.  If you don’t want to wait too long , sit in the sun or use a hair dryer to accelerate the process. 

The longer the time the darker the colour.

When you are ready to wash it off, DO NOT USE SHAMPOO! Shampooing defeats the whole purpose.  Water rinse your hair. Towel dry then air dry then apply an oil. Coconut is the best, olive oil is great too but any oil will do just no cooking oil. 

Leave oil on overnight, shampoo and condition the next day. 



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