How to Measure Ancient Sunrise® Plant Dye and Fruit Acid Powders



When using a mix of plant dye powders and fruit acids, it can become tricky to determine how much to use, and how to measure it all out. Using Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair is already more cost-effective than conventional boxed dyes or visits to the salon, but it’s always nice to cut down on waste. While henna and cassia pastes can be frozen for later use, mixes containing indigo cannot. Therefore, it is useful to mix just enough paste, and keep the rest of the powders sealed and dry.

This article will help you determine how much plant powder you’ll need to mix, how to measure powders with teaspoons and tablespoons, and how to determine the right amount of fruit acid powder to dye-release your henna and/or cassia.

 If you are new to using henna for hair, be sure to read the Henna 101 series on this blog.





How much plant dye powder do I need for my hair?

Before mixing, you first need to determine how much total plant dye powder you’ll need in order to create enough paste to dye your hair. This depends on the length and thickness of your hair. Knowing how much powder to use in your mix will become easier after you have used henna for a while.

If you are just starting, if have recently cut your hair, or if you are returning to henna after a long period of hair growth, it is always better to mix more rather than less. Below is a chart that can help you estimate how much you might need. Because each head of hair is unique, this is not exact, and meant to be used as a general guideline. If you end up with henna/cassia paste left over, stick it in the freezer for future touch-ups. Indigo dye will not work once it has been frozen. If there is indigo in your mix, make note of how much was left over, dump the paste, and adjust your measurements next time.




Thin, straight hair

Average hair

Thick or curly hair

1-2” roots



100g or more

Chin length



200g or more

Shoulder length



300g or more

2-3” below shoulder



400g or more

Mid back



500g or more

Waist length



600g or more



Keep in mind that the thickness of the paste will affect how much hair will be covered. You will want to mix your paste to the consistency of whipped sour cream, so that it drops off in a dollop if you hold a spoonful upside-down. If you mix a thicker paste, you will need more powder.

The above chart is also based on a thorough, thick application of paste. Some people choose to apply more sparingly. Keep in mind that doing so will require less paste, but may affect color and coverage.



A whole lot of hair needs a whole lot of paste. This is about 500g of henna for waist-length hair.





How do I measure plant dye powders without a scale?

Henna, cassia, and/or indigo mixes are based on ratios of their gram measurements. All of the plant powders come in 100g packets. If you do not need the entire packet, you can measure out your necessary amount, and seal up the rest of the powder for later use. If you have a kitchen scale, measuring the amount you need is pretty easy. Just determine how much powder in grams you’ll need for your particular mix, and divide. If you do not have a scale, you can convert grams into teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups.

This conversion is different for each powder, because the weight and density of the powders vary. Just as a cup of feathers and a cup of marbles would have different weights, so do henna, cassia, and indigo. Below is a chart with the most common gram amounts and their volume conversions. This is based on US measurements.


tsp = teaspoon

T = tablespoon


3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon  

16 tablespoons = 1 cup










1.5 T; or 1T +1 ½ tsp

Just under 2T

Just under ¼ cup


3/4cup + 2T; or one full packet


1T + 2tsp

Just over 2T

Just under 4T + 1tsp

½ cup + 1tsp

1 cup + 2tsp; or one full packet



2.5T; or

2T + 1.5tsp



or ½ cup + 2T

1 ¼ cup, or one full packet




How much fruit acid do I need?

Ancient Sunrise® offers a variety of fruit acid powders to use in place of a fruit juice or mildly acidic liquid. Just mix the fruit acid powder into your henna/cassia, add distilled water, and let the paste dye-release.


If you use Ancient Sunrise® fruit acid powder, just add water! No fruit juice necessary.


The amount of fruit acid powder you need depends on the amount of henna/cassia you are using, and the type of fruit acid powders. Ancient Sunrise® offers single-use packets of all of the plant powders, which are each pre-measured to contain enough fruit acid powder for 100g henna or cassia. If you need less than that, or if you have ordered a bulk container of a fruit acid, you’ll need to know how to measure the right amount.


Ancient Sunrise® Kristalovino, Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino, and Citric Acid are all very easy. You will need 1tsp per 100g henna/cassia. If you are using indigo, remember that the amount of acid powder you needs is based only on how much henna and/or cassia you are using, not your total amount of plant powder.



Enough for 12.5g henna/cassia

Enough for 25g henna/cassia

Enough for 50g henna/cassia

Enough for 100g henna/cassia

A good pinch;

or 1/8 tsp

¼ tsp

½ tsp

1 tsp



Ancient Sunrise® Copperberry, Ancient Sunrise® Nightfall Rose, and Ancient Sunrise® Amla powder all require 25g per every 100g henna/cassia. Like plant dye powders, they vary by weight. The chart below shows weight-to-volume conversions




Enough for 12.5g henna/cassia


Enough for 25g henna/cassia


Enough for 50g henna/cassia


Enough for 100g henna/cassia

Ancient Sunrise® Copperberry

Just under 1 tsp

½ T, or 1 ½ tsp


2T + ¼ tsp

Ancient Sunrise® Nightfall Rose

Just over 1 tsp

Just under 1T



Ancient Sunrise® Amla


Just over 2 tsp

1 ½ T; or

1T + 1 ½ tsp

2T + 2tsp



Final Notes

If you’re concerned about getting your plant dye measurements perfectly right, don’t worry. A few grams either way will not affect your color very much, especially with larger mixes. If you are only mixing enough for a root touch-up on thin hair, you may have to be just a tad more precise.

Fruit acid powders also have some wiggle-room, but it’s generally better to have a little too much rather than not enough. Ancient Sunrise® Kristalovino and Ancient Sunrise® Malluma Kristalovino are particularly gentle, and therefore quite forgiving if over-measured.

 If all of this made things more confusing instead of clearing things up, not to worry. Ancient Sunrise® offers pre-measured kits for the most common hair colors. Most kits contain enough to cover shoulder-length hair of average thickness.  You can also contact customer service directly and ask them to help you determine the measurements for your mix and hair length. If you are placing an order, ask nicely, and they’ll write your recipe on the packing slip.

 Contact Customer Service via phone, chat, or email if you have any additional questions.