Gradient Lock: Multiple Applications of Henna

When I first started hennaing, now more than 15 years ago, my hair was very, very damaged. I joked that the strengthening proprieties of henna was the only thing holding my hair together.  It really wasn’t a joke.


One thing that wasn’t as well known back then was that henna darkened with each application. For some, that’s a blessing, for others it’s a curse. Really, it’s just one of the many amazing properties that henna has. If you’re new to herbal hair coloring, or want to learn more about the many properties of henna, check out Coloring Hair Naturally with Henna & Other Herbs.


I took some lovely medium blonde hair and dyed it with our henna. Which type doesn’t matter as they all dye the same when treated the same. Then moved down two inches and dyed the remainder again. Then moved down another two inches and dyed the remainder a third time.  This I repeated for a total of six applications, giving me a beautiful, progressively-dyed lock that really showcased the beauty and darkening properties of henna.

In these pictures you can see the natural blonde color go to a coppery-orange, then through Irish-setter red, and finally to a rich, deep burgundy with red highlights.


Here it is oxidizing in the company of my kitchen herb garden.


I really recommend enlarging the pictures, it shows the color so much better!

One of the other interesting things to note is that I applied each layer after the first by pinching off the bottom section of the hair in a baggie full of henna.


Even though it was sealed, there’s no hard lines. The transition is seamless and beautiful from lighter to darker. This is another great constant property of henna– it is very forgiving when it comes to overlapping applications.


I hope you all enjoyed the pictures! I had fun creating this very special and illustrative lock of hair.


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