Light Mountain "Red" Henna Review

UPDATED: Jan 2024 

With springtime being here, I decided to embrace the season and add more color into my life. Instead of purchasing boxed dye, I decided to try henna.

But first off: What Is Henna? According to the Henna Coloring Lab, henna is "a flowering plant" and the leaves from this plant "contain a natural and very effective coloring pigment: Lawsone." Henna has a natural red/orange dye and must be crushed into a powder where the Lawsone can be better released. Once water and air is met with the powder and mixed, the henna mix can be used on skin (tattoos) or on hair permanently.

Some of the benefits of henna include:

  • 100% all natural alternative to hair dyes full of chemicals 
  • Strengthens hair
  • Thickens hair
  • Hair growth promotion 
  • Promotes a healthy scalp
This isn't my first time trying henna; I tried the Light Mountain brand's "Light Brown" henna color last year. While I did feel like my hair was a lot stronger, the color was minimal. The only downside to henna in comparison to commercial hair dyes is that there color doesn't show as much.

So I decided to get like Aaliyah and try again this year with a new color; red. I decided to go back with the Light Mountain brand because it's 100% natural henna, the quality is great, and they're conveniently sold at my local Whole Foods for about $10.

Here's a bit of info about the Light Mountain Henna:

Size: 4oz, 4x2x4.2 inches
Includes: Instructions, plastic gloves, and a plastic cap

I wanted a tint of red, but knowing how henna works, I knew there would be a very light tint in my dark brown hair. Last year when I was first started researching henna, I found out about natural henna boosters since henna is known to give a light color. When I tried the Light Brown last spring, I used cinnamon and green tea, but there was a minimal amount of color.

I had hoped my experience with the red henna would be different especially since I got multiple boosters. After doing research on blogs, forums, and on YouTube, I purchased dried hibiscus flowers (they're also called "Jamaica" in some international stores and international food aisles at grocery stores), cherry pomegranate juice, beets, and lemon juice. Lastly, I added in about 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil for extra moisture.

The cherry pomegranate juice was an alternative for hibiscus tea since I couldn't find any at the market. Here's a run down of what I did:

1. Prep: I sliced up the beets and boiled them in water with hibiscus flowers. They boiled for about 15 minutes and they cured for 4 hours. I got this idea from DuchessGabrielle's YouTube video on Red Raj Henna.

2. Mix: After the beets/hibiscus potion cured, I warmed it up a bit more, took the juice and poured it into a glass bowl to stir with the henna. The warm beet/hibiscus juice was an alternative for the boiled distilled water the instructions called for. While adding in the beet/hibiscus mix, I also added in a some lemon juice and cherry/pomegranate juice. I did not make exact measurements (perhaps that may have been an issue).

Stirring the mix together created a medium consistency, most likely because of the liquids I used. Usually henna is a bit thicker from videos I've seen and from my first experience using henna.

3. Cure: The instructions stated to allow the let the henna mix sit and cure from 45 minutes to 4 hours. Since I was really excited about doing this, I allowed it to sit for 48 hours. In doing research, some people have stated that allowing it to cure longer allows the color to become richer.

4. Henna Application: Referring back to the instructions before applying the henna, I washed my hair using Shea Moisture African Water Mint & Ginger Detox & Refresh Hair & Scalp Gentle Shampoo. After drying my hair, I added the henna in by hand with the gloves provided in the box.

Be sure to wear an old shirt because it will get messy! This time around it was messier because the henna was a bit more liquid in comparison to my first time doing it. The henna had more of a copper tone when I added it in my hair.

5. Rinse & Review: Instead of waiting for a few hours to let the henna sit, I placed a plastic bag on and slept with it sitting overnight.

I did this because number one, I was mad tired and two, I wanted to get as much color in as possible. I was a bit nervous because I was concerned about not waking up with my hair falling out, ha! Before doing this, I did a quick Google research on a few hair forums to confirm whether this was a good idea and plenty of people stated that they commonly allowed their henna to sit in their hair overnight.

However, it was so messy. I had red juice dripping between my scarf on to my pillow. I then woke up extra early excited to see the color. Rinsed it out and unfortunately saw no color.

I proceeded to deep condition my hair with Shea Moisture African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner for 2 hours, did a the LOCO method, and the African Banding Method.

6. The Aftermath: After a few days, a very faint, light hint of red appeared in my hair, and there was even a copper highlight I noticed in the front of my hair and in the back.

My hair was a bit dry, most likely because of the lemon juice (lemon being acidic and it was probably also the cause for the highlight) but it was strong. A few days it bounced back to its original moisture once I used Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow, & Restore Styling Lotion and Mammoth Hair Oil.

While henna is cool for treatments, in my experiences it doesn't add much color to my hair. I think because my hair is dark brown, the color wont show as much. I do think the lemon juice helped with the highlights more than any of the extra ingredient I used and it's funny because I did think about naturally lightening my hair before adding in the henna.

In the future, I may just use LM's Neutral henna for a strengthening treatment or I'll just go to an East Indian store to grab some (some people claim that henna from health stores isn't as potent as the henna from Indian stores). For my next color experiment, I'll be trying out the Shea Moisture-Rich Hair Color System. Stay tuned for that!

Hopefully I covered as many details as possible because it was like studying for an exam trying to get as much info as possible.

Here are more resources if you want to henna your hair:

How Liquids Affect Your Henna Recipe

An incredibly detailed guide to dying your hair red with henna

Have you ever tried henna? Was it a success? Share your experience below!



  1. I have heard some great things about Henna as a hair colour alternative!

    Britt |

  2. I can't wait to see your shea moisture post. I'll be looking out for that one.

  3. Great post! Shame it didn't add as much colour as you thought it would :(

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. I didn't realize there was so much involved to henna! I agree with Sweet Brown! Lol