How to make black henna paste

Updated April 17, 2017

Henna is an ancient, non-permanent tattoo method using the powder of the Henna plant that is found in Africa, South Africa and Australia. The powder is formed into a paste and then applied by various methods to create a tattoo that lasts up to a month. Henna is completely safe and natural. Natural black henna does not exist. The making of black henna requires using a substance that is dangerous to the skin. This article will show you how to make black henna paste using natural substances.

Pour the fresh henna powder into a small bowl. Make a well in the centre of the fresh henna powder and pour in the lemon juice. Stir the henna powder and lemon juice together until there are no lumps of powder remaining. Continue stirring until the henna paste is about as thick as mashed potatoes and dark green.

Add a small amount of black food colouring to darken up the paste and stir again until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with cling film and press down until the wrap touched the paste and press out air bubbles.

Place the bowl under a heat lamp for twelve hours. Remove from under the heat lamp and take off the cling film. Measure out 1.5 teaspoons of sugar and 1.5 teaspoons of henna oil and add to the bowl mixing until it is smooth and silky.

Cover the paste with cling film again pressing it against the paste to remove air pockets and place the bowl under the heat lamp for another twelve hours.

Stir the henna paste. It should be creamy like yoghurt and smooth. If too thick add lemon juice by 1/4 teaspoonfuls until consistency is achieved then fill the applicator bottle.

Fill applicator bottle.


You can add food colouring to Henna Paste. If you are getting a Henna tattoo smell the paste. It should smell like cut grass or hay if it is fresh. Store henna powder sealed tightly away from light, air and moisture in the freezer. This article shows you how to make enough henna paste to do 75 small henna tattoos. Start mixing the henna paste 24 hours before you plan to use it. Leave the henna paste under the heat for the full time as it draws out the colours so it can stain the skin deeply.


Do not use black henna paste! It is made by using a black dye known as PPD and is not approved by the FDA and is toxic to the skin. Henna needs an acid to bring out the natural dye in the leaves. Do not use water as lemon is very acidic and works perfectly.

Things You'll Need

  • Henna Powder; Fresh, 1/4 Cup
  • Lemon Juice
  • Small Bowl (glass or plastic, metal can make it react)
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Sugar
  • Henna Oil
  • Plastic Baggie
  • Applicator Bottle
  • Black Food Coloring
  • Cling Film
  • Heat Lamp, 4,196 degrees C
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author