do you have to let the henna sit overnight for dye release?

Is ther a faster way to get dye release from the henna than letting it sit overnight? I thought I read somewhere that there is but I don't recall. Just trying to confirm because if I have to let it sit overnight I need to get to the store tonight before they close to get it (smile). Otherwise, I can wait til morning. I am going to try the black this time. Normally I do the regular red henna


If you're using a henna product that comes in red or black, it should come with instructions that you should follow, and it's likely not just henna that's in it.

You only have to let henna (pure henna) sit overnight if you are mixing it with something acidic.

Shorter dye release times happen if:

a) The liquid is pH neutral, like water, or not very acidic, like green tea, or ...

b) The temperature where you are is pretty warm to hot, like 85 to 100 degrees, or ...

c) The liquid you mix it with is warm to hot


If you were using pure henna, you could mix it with warm water for instant dye release, but the color may or may not be as rich, or as permanent. If you use something less acidic than lemon juice (like green tea or apple juice) you will probably start seeing dye release in a few hours (4-6, depending on the temperature where the paste is sitting).

Just to drop in my two cents. Depending on the tea's temp and the temp of your house, you could get dye release in as little as an hour. I cool my tea with a frozen water bottle, just to bring the temp down very quickly (after letting it brew for at least an hour - 3 packets for every cup of water). Its cool to cold to the touch, but my house is pretty warm, even with the AC running (its probably around 75 degrees at the coolest during the day) and I get dye release in an hour. And its solid dye release, I get good, strong color that lasts.


I've only ever had to wait 2 hours when it was in the middle of winter and blistering cold.



So if you use tea and you keep it at a fairly warm temp, start checking for dye release at about an hour. Just try not to mix it with tea thats very warm to hot - you'll get near instant to instant dye release and very rapid dye demise! let me make sure I understand...are you saying that I should mix the henna with warm (not hot) tea instead of lemon juice or some other acidic liquid? If so, will any tea work (herbal or regular)? and I can just leave it out...don't need to put it someplace warm like in the sunlight or anything...right?

If so, I would mix the henna with warm tea as the instructions state instead of the acidic liquid, watch for the dye release aftere about an hour, once the dye is released apply the henna per instructions. Am I correct?

I appreciate the help.

You dont HAVE to do tea, its just a recommendation. You can try apple juice (typical dye release time for that is 6 - 8 hours, roughly).

If you do tea, it needs to be an acidic tea. Chamomile, green, black, zinger, a citrus based one, hibiscus, etc. The last time I used mango passionfruit and it worked wonderfully.


The warmest I would mix it is just slightly warmer than your own body temp. You can do a little warmer than that, but I personally dont like to because it makes me nervous - which is also why I chill the tea. I'm just paranoid about that is all.


Just leave it at room temp, it'll dye release just fine. If your house is chilly (60 - 65 degrees), you can leave it under a desk lamp, but just keep an eye on it. Or near the window, but out of direct sunlight if its during the day.


And yes. If you're using a BAQ, non-premixed henna (I think you use Ancient Sunrise, right?), you can use tea. Just mix it normally with tea as your liquid instead of lemon juice and apply as normal. Same with apple juice if you want to do apple juice instead. Also, if you're shooting for black and are doing a second step of indigo, remember to wait to mix the indigo with JUST water (distilled is recommended) until after you have washed the henna (no conditioner) out of your hair. Otherwise the indigo will have demised and wont dye your hair.


If you're using a premixed henna, follow their instructions, not ours. Ours wont work with a premixed.

Ok I think I may have misunderstood you or visa vera (smile)...I was looking to get instructions on a faster dye release process other than the 6-8 hour/overnight thing.  I use Ancient Sunrise Red and typically let it sit over night. I was hoping to be able to find a process that could get me a dye release in an hour or two so I could still do the black henna tomorrow. The black AS Brand is BAQ and has a two step process so the henna DOES need to be dye released prior to applying the indigo...again...I want to get the henna part done in a couple of hours instead of have to wait over night.  If there is no such way to do that...that is fine. I just need clarification on that. I understood your last response to say that I could get this fast dye release by using tea.

Thanks for you help...look forward to the clarification

There was no misunderstanding on my part, hon. You asked questions, I answered them. I think you confused yourself a little here. I gave you instructions on how to get a faster dye release, or at least I thought I did in the last paragraph of my last post. The bold text was just to point out to any one who might be reading this, yourself included, that if you use a premixed brand you need to follow THEIR instructions to get the best results.


But because you use Ancient Sunrise, which is's brand - the host site of this forum's brand - you can use whatever acidic liquid you want. The instructions remain the same, its just the liquid you use and the time it takes to dye release that you switch out. If you swap lemon juice for a strong brewed, acidic tea, you also swap out the overnight dye release time for 1 - 4 hours. Everything else remains exactly the same.


Do you HAVE to use tea? No, but if you want a faster dye release with a strong, permanent stain - as opposed to the weaker, possibly less permanent stain you would get with just plain water - then tea is your easiest option.

Yep... you did answer the question. I think when you responded with the other info about not having to use tea and used the apple juice as an example…stating the 6-8 hour dye release time that is what threw me off (smile) because I already knew that apple juice, lemon, etc would require a longer dye release time since that is what I currently do. My question was just basically if warm tea was the best option for the fast dye release and if so what kind? So, cool…use warm acidic tea (such as the ones you stated) and I will get the faster dye release…roughly an hour or so. I appreciate you and your help.You guys are always so very helpful.  I’m excited to see what the black will look like when I am done.

Take Care

I'd thrown it in there cause I didnt know you knew about apple juice. Sorry about that!


Let us know how it goes. :)