How to dye white hair roots

Updated February 21, 2017

White or grey hair may only be visible at the roots, but you still feel its appearance mars your attractiveness. Hair turns grey when the melanin contained in the hair follicles stops producing pigment. Rather than dying all of your hair, you can apply natural henna dye just at the roots. Henna is derived from the leaves of the flowering plant, Lawsonia Inermis, and has been used as a dye since the Bronze Age. Henna is a non-toxic alternative to commercial hair dyes, because it doesn't contain harsh chemicals such as peroxide and ammonia, yet will still adequately cover your white or grey roots.

Buy powdered henna at a health food or beauty supply shop in the colour that you wish to dye your white or grey roots.

Shampoo your hair and allow it to dry thoroughly without applying any styling products.

Mix the powdered henna with strong brewed coffee instead of hot water in a bowl until it becomes a paste. The coffee will help to eliminate any red tones that can appear with henna dye. Beat an egg in another bowl, add to the henna and mix well. Add more coffee or a little hot water until the henna develops a smooth, pudding-like texture.

Put on a pair of plastic gloves and wrap a towel around your shoulders. Part your hair with a wide-toothed comb and apply the henna to your hair roots using a hair-colouring brush. Keep parting your hair every 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) and applying the henna to all your roots along the hairline and temples, making sure you don't miss any roots underneath the bottom layers of your hair.

Cover your hair with a shower cap, and leave the henna in your hair for six hours. Remove the shower cap once or twice during the six hours to spritz your hair with hot water, then put the cap back on.

Shampoo the henna out of your hair until the water runs clear and there is no remaining henna on your scalp.


Before using the henna, do a colour test on a strand of your hair to see if you like the colour.


If you recently used commercial hair dye, wait two weeks before applying henna dye.

Never use metallic items when working with henna.

Discard any unused henna.

Things You'll Need

  • Powdered henna
  • Coffee
  • 2 Bowls
  • 1 Egg
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Brush for applying henna dye
  • Protective plastic gloves
  • Towel
  • Shower cap
  • Leave-in hair conditioner
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