Henna – Light Mountain and Rainbow

I’ve tried many of the natural pre-mixed products–I had most of them available to me when I owned a health food store in the 90’s–but they all seemed to irritate my scalp, and they still do. So, when my hair became salt and pepper, and I started to look washed out, I decided to try henna again. I had used it when my hair was all-over dark, and loved the red highlights. I had no idea what it would do now that the dark was almost gone.

The only brand carried by my local health food store (upstate New York) was Rainbow. I could have ordered Light Mountain, which I had used before, but (typical of myself) I wanted to do it NOW!! I bought light brown, took it home and mixed it. I used some vinegar (recommended to “hold” for the gray), some olive oil (it makes it easier to rinse out), and hot, black coffee made with distilled water–not instant (the sites for henna say this does not help, but I’ve tried it with and without and like the results better with).

I wrapped it in plastic wrap (not exactly “green”, but it works for this), a shower cap, and a towel and let it set for two hours. I washed it with Dr. Woods Lavender and Shea butter castile soap, dried it, and–WOW–it worked!

The color was not quite as deep as my natural color, but the gray was covered and it looked totally natural. The next time (6 weeks later) I got a darker shade of brown to mix with the rest of the light brown. This was two years ago.

Where I now live, the health food store carries Light Mountain–but not for gray hair–, so I just got the dark brown and used the same technique. I have been very happy with the results on my used-to-be dark brown hair. It has reddish highlights, but they are not unnatural, and the constant use has allowed more time between treatments.

I’ve let my hair grow to shoulder length from a short bob, and because of the coating effect, there are no split ends. I’m very pleased with a product which I was originally nervous about trying on my gray. I love Light Mountain, but was equally impressed with Rainbow, which I checked out for purity before I even went to the store (phone calls really help in these cases!)No more irritated scalp, and no more gray!

Editor’s notes

Thank you Janice for such a thorough description of your experience with Light Mountain and Rainbow henna.

Henna sounds like a great alternative for some women. There is a more narrow range of colors available but it sounds like these colors worked well for you and that it did a good job of covering the gray.

Comments for Henna – Light Mountain and Rainbow

Education NEW
by: Anonymous 

It looks like Rainbow has shown wonderful results. Hair color and hair care is a very big issue these days. Nice blog.
, Hair care is a major topic of discussion. In which hair care related tips and products are discussed in so much detail.

WAR (Woman At Risk) for Breast Cancer NEW
by: Anonymous 

Hi everyone and Happy Healthy New year!

I bought Lt Brn and Dk Brown Light Mountain Henna, usually mixing the two for a medium, since that’s a hunt around my area. My gray hair turned a dark green, and after waiting out 1 day in a panic mode, Monday morning I called them. As it turns out, the indigo oxidizes in 24-48 hours. I loved the final color, but oh man, interviewing in green hair was a “little off” for a middle aged Baby Boomer, but I explained it with humor.

I am back to the process 8 weeks later. I only wash my hair every 10 days (a big fiasco) and the color lasted beautifly. I’m so glad I have a chemical dye alternative, but I am still a WAR gal, so I still don’t want to process my hair color too often. Botanicals are still a chemical.

Rainbow dark brown henna NEW
by: Anonymous 

I just tried rainbow Persian brown henna for the first time and it looks amazing! After reading how tos and comments I was not sure I was going to tolerate the effort involved but it was really not so bad. I simply followed the directions boiled water and the henna I added about 6 tbls olive oil and ended up using 2 cups vs the recommended 1 cup of water as it seemed impossibly thick to work with. I left on for 1 hour with plastic shower cap and blew hot air from the blow dryer. My roots were originally pretty grey the lower part of my hsir was still dark brown as I have been having Aveda professional semi perm color every 2-3 months for a while. I had not had color for 3 months thinking that st 50 it was time to just stop . The grey was really making my hair just look tired. I am hooked on this brand and will see how long it lasts. It covered the grey great with done areas lighter than others do it looks really natural. It’s smooth shines and feels really healthy. Not sure if it was the henna or olive oil but I am happy with how healthy it looks!

RE: Light Mountain Turns My Grey Red Any Advice 
by: Anonymous 

Hello, the light mountain cover the grey turned my white and light blonde natural highlights bright brassy orange/red also. My natural color is medium brown with natural blande throughout and now some white hairs. I was told by the rep to not use the cover the grey and just use the regular “light mountain brand” because the first step of the “color the grey” turns the grey/white hairs a yellow color to give it some pigment then when you add the second step it adds red to it which turns it bright red/brassy orange. Also a second rep said the light brown color has the most red in it out of the 3 brown colors so I guess medium brown would be best. I am going to try that next. I have found a way to pull out some of the color of henna but it is dangerous. I got a huge pot of water and brought it to a low boil. I then placed it on a low stand where I could bend down and dip my hair into it as close to the scalp as possible. BE CAREFUL IF YOU TRY THIS AND DO NOT BURN YOURSELF ON THE WATER OR THE HOT PAN!!! This opened my hair shafts and sucked color out. Not all the color came out but some when it was to bright. Then when you pull your hair out wrap in a towel. IT WILL BE HOT!!! DONOT BURN YOURSELF ON THE HAIR OR WATER!!! I added conditioner right away and wrapped in a towel to condition deeply. Then applied another appliication of darker henna. The bad part is once you screw it up and get it to red, even if you cover it with a darker shade that red still wants to show through and the brown has a diffucult time covering over it. It is best to go to dark at first then to red.

response to Fan
by: Janice 

Over the last year, I let my hair go “natural”, just glossing to let it grow out, and doing the final cut. I liked it gray, but it kind of washed me out a bit. So, I used a “gloss” with conditioner and the lightest brown–of Light Mountain, that was just the “Light Brown”. I don’t know about the blonde shades, but it turned out fine, at least for me. I hope this helps.

by: Fan 

I’m thinking about using one of the blond shades. I have light brown hair with grey, which is really white, mostly around the front. Has anyone tried any of the blond shades and wants to respond? I used to use the neutral henna when I was in my twenties and I really like it because it made my hair so shiny & healthy. I’m tired of getting my hair dyed at the salon and having it wash out and change color after a few washes. Please comment

by: Janice 

I’ve been glossing and it seems to be less red when I do that over the silver. But, I’ve never had it develop to a bright red, and my hair is dark, but with a LOT of red in it anyway. Have you contacted anyone at LM or Rainbow? Maybe they would have some suggestions?

Light Mountain Turns My Grey Red Any Advice
by: Anonymous 

I have tried Light Mountain Cover The Grey and the regular product in medium brown with the same results. My hairline in completely grey and the rest of my hair is brown. I have tried adding coffee and cider vinegar but it always turns out bright red. I have also varied time I leave it on from 1-6 hours. I am desperate to find a solution as I have chemical sensitivity to hair color. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

henna works or doesn’t?
by: JaniceC. 

One thing I noticed when I used henna years ago (before my use now), when my heair was still dark with no gray, is that it didn’t really do much to change it. I liked the way my hair felt, though, and it did add a bit of reddish tint to my dark, dark brown hair. I noticed when trying to figure out how to safely color (and now blend) in the gray years later that the reviews for henna are very mixed. It certainly does not work for all hair, that’s for sure.

Light Mountain-dark brown
by: Debbie 

I used Light Mountain on my daughters’long brown hair and we’re very disappointed with the results.I followed all the steps recommended(she waited almost 3 hours before wash it out) and ended up with nothing: no deeper brown color no shiny hair.We also tried Surya(chocolate) and it works great but the color didn’t last more than 4 washes and it’s expensive.So in regards to Light Mountain,I would not recommend it!

What’s up with the COFFEE mix!
by: Judith99co 

I used Rainbow today and I followed their explicit instructions to use coffee as the mix vs plain water and now my hair really STINKS!! Lol…
What I am wondering is why do the other distributors of Henna laugh at this ridiculous addition? I am not too happy with results so far, smell, grays are still there and my hair has no shine what so ever! I normally have healthy Black hair with lots of shine (but I am 5-10% grey) and hoping this will get better…quickly! Will let you know my results in 2 days! I may try Suyra next and give Light Mtn a try… Anyone have a Henna they love and can recommend that covers grey and makes hair silky? Thx

Rainbow worked for me.
by: marc 

In 2002 I had med/dark brown hair & I shaved my head bald & when it grew back in it was all silver, & then i usued dark brown rainbow hena & even added vinegar, eggs, olive oil, yoghurt, & it coated my whole hair brown, all the silver was gone,( when my roommate seen my hair he said what happened to your hair, the silver was soo cool) & the silver was cool. now i just use rainbow blonde & i love the results, it looks & feels great. it work well for me…

a p.s.
by: J anice 

I also still make the henna into a paste using distilled water. Right now, I’m using Rainbow, any good henna would work, I would think. But, I’ve switched back and forth and that was what was in the closet.

henna gloss
by: Janice 

I’ve decided to let my hair revert to gray, but I didn’t like the roots. So, I’ve been “glossing”. I use about a T of henna to about 3/4 cup rinse out conditioner, wrap up my head, let it set about an hour, and rinse. Blends the grays (at least mine) right in so growing out shouldn’t be so traumatice. Oh, and I do add about a T of apple cider vinegar to the mix.

truth about rainbow henna
by: chris 

rainbow henna is not on the skin deep web site. suspect anonymous comment is from a competitor. rainbow is completely organic so can be no more toxic than light mountain which skin deep rates only “1”

Surya, Light Mountain, and Rainbow
by: Rebekah 

I’ve used both LightMountain (Cover the Gray) and Surya, and am about to try Rainbow. I started with Surya, and liked the results, but found as I have gotten more gray hair, it didn’t seem to cover as well. So I got the LIght Mountain CtG…oops.
Followed the instructions to the letter, and it is time consuming! Distilled water, glass bowl, let the mixtures cure for the recommended time. At the end of 5 hours, I had GREEN HAIR! I haven’t used anything but henna on my hair for 8 years, and this was the first time I’ve had green hair. I spent 3 hours the next day with ketchup on my head to neutralize it somewhat – it was left sort of bronzish. Went back to Surya, and started leaving it on for extra time (about 1 hr. 45 min. to 2 hours, and that gives much better coverage. I’m trying Rainbow for 2 reasons: The ingredient list, and it’s half the cost of Surya. But I may be sorry!

Perm user
by: Amazing results 

My hair is very fine so I do not get a perm very often, probably ever two months. My hair was get dull like lack of color and shine so I used the “light moutain- black”, my hair was a dark brown.

I have used a this product before but it was not as successful as this time. After mixing I let it sit for three hours “cure” then apply and let sit for two hours. Yes I know with a perm and this product you have to be very careful but I want great results.

I wash the product out after warming my hair for twenty min with the hair dryer and the results were beyond what I thought, my hair is a deep black color. My hair is not brittle or dry like other products my hair is also extremely shiny!

If you want result without all the process crap use this. The other negative I have to say about this product is time(it takes a hard time to set) and messiness( the product will get all over your sink, floor, shower and your face if not careful. Besides that amazing!

Rainbow v Light Mountain for grey cover
by: Lise 

Ex hairdresser. Like many older women colouring for years concerned about how much chemical we are in contact with. After extensive research I decided to try Rainbow Dark Brown and Light Mountain, Cover the Grey, Dark Brown.

I mixed the Rainbow as directed but was very disappointed with the cover after leaving it on for 4 hours!! Barely a hint of colour on the grey. I left it a week but as my grey regrowth was quite obvious ( it was 7 weeks since I used Herbatint. Great cover but hair like straw)

I did the 2 step recommendation of Light Mountain. I am very pleased with the cover. Not total but blended enough to look natural for a 52 year old woman who is not ready to go grey!!I’ll see how it lasts but first impressions are favourable. The 2 step process, although messy and time consuming is definitely better.

We are so use to quick fixes that I have to rethink my goals. I don’t wash my hair every day so I’m hoping the colour will last. It has to be better than the toxic waste I’ve been basting myself with for years. I just garden while I wait and think of how little harm I’m doing to myself and the environment!!

answer to Liz
by: Anonymous 

Liz, I’ve never tried the Avigal henna, but I’ve read where several places are having problems getting the colors they sell and have had to switch to other hennas. I like Surya, Rainbow, and Light Mountain–but I don’t know how they would compare.

Light Mountain and Avigal Henna?
by: Liz M 

I have used Auburn Avigal henna for years but my color is out of stock. I am thinking of switching to Light Mountain Auburn. Has anyone tried both? if so, I would welcome a comparison from the standpoint of color.

gray roots lighter
by: Janice 

Yes, the overall color is a bit different on the gray until the henna builds up a coat of color. I was salt and pepper when I decided to use it to color the gray several years ago instead of “just for fun”, and I had to use it several times for the color to build. I find that, even now, if I don’t leave it on long enough or go too light, that the gray doesn’t cover as well. I hope this helps.

Rainbow and grey roots
by: Anonymous 

I recently used the Rainbow Henna after years of chemical color. I was pleased with the overall color, however my grey roots turned out much lighter- really a different color. I mixed with the coffee and apple cider vinegar as suggested. Any suggestions on how to fix this issue?

not covering gray
by: Janice 

I’ve had to leave both Rainbow and Lt. Mountain on for up to 4 hours to cover the gray, especially as the gray became predominant. I’m using Surya now (the powder), and it seems to work faster… full coverage may depend on individual hair texture? Adding coffee to the Lt. Mountain and Rainbow helped with the coverage of those two types of henna, at least for me.

Poor coverage
by: Anonymous 

I have tried Light Mountain and Rainbow and I get the same results-the roots (gray) are not covered very well. I use to use Hennalucent which worked great but the no longer make it. Any suggestions?

Liked Light Mountain 
by: Mikaela 

Light mountain bright red was very nice on dark brown hair and you can get it at the health or natural food store.

will use again

long time henna user
by: ellen 

i have been using henna for over 30 years, since i quit ‘dying’ my hair in 1973 (i always thought ‘dye’ was a good description of what commercial dyes did to my hair.). i mostly use rainbow henna (mahogany mixed with light brown on my ‘mousy brown’ hair) and find that it even covers gray, which shows as highlights and is therefore much more natural looking. no one has just one color hair . . . unless they are using commercial products that is. henna is a stain, not a dye.

the previous remark about toxicity is disingenuous at best, as the henna products have lower toxicity (1 in a scale of 1-10) than any other hair product. i guess i may find out one day that henna is bad for me but after 30+ years of use, i doubt it.

btw, i mix the henna with a couple of eggs and hot water and leave it on for 1 hour. i read elsewhere that some women let the paste set in a warm place for 24 hours and then leave the goop in their hair over night. that’s way too much bother! i’ll stick with rainbow, or light mountain if rainbow is not available. rainbow usually is the less expensive choice.

i hope this was useful.

Henna Toxicity
by: Anonymous 

Light Mountain Henna receives a “1” on the Skin Deep web site. That is considered very low in toxicity (the scale is 1-10, 10 being the most toxic). However, if one is extremely sensitive or has an immune deficiency illness, even a “1” could be hazardous.

rainbow henna
by: Anonymous 

look on the Skin Deep web site for toxins in products and see that this product is toxic.
sorry, i used to use it and stopped as i stopped
regualr (clairol etc) hair color products when
i read that they affect the brain… sorry.
i am going grey.
great site you have here though…. keep up the great work.

Fried Hair
by: Jennifer K. 

I had hair to the middle of my back which I have had highlighted every 2 months for the past 5 years. Needless to say, my hair was fried!!! I thought I would try doing things the more natural way and try to get my hair back to a healthy state, (I also started using and eating only organic products)so I did a little research and found that Henna had great results. I went to Whole Foods Market and purchased Rainbow Henna Light Brown and read all the directions. I did have a little gray on the sides so I added apple cider vinegar, coffee, olive oil, egg and yogart. Left it on for 1 hour and WOW..where my blonde highlights were it was now a caramel color and I absolutely loved it and my hair was so shiney. I went to my hair dresser to get all the dead ends cut and she could not beleive how nice the color was(I cut 11 inches). I will surely be using this product again..Oh, and I have 3 friends that liked my results so much that we are doing their hair as well… Thanks Jennifer

Color without irritation, chemicals!
by: Anonymous 

I have used Light Mountain henna several times in a couple of different colors (Auburn twice, Red once) and have been very pleased. While the glow of the red shades can be intense, it is very beautiful and more natural-looking than most other dyes. No more rashes, no hair breakage/loss… I am very happy with Light Mountain!

Make sure that you do a strand test 🙂 because depending on what look you want the timing will need to be different. The longer you leave it on (up to 3 hours) the more intense the result.


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