If you’re considering using henna hair dye as an all-natural alternative to traditional hair dye you’d use in a professional salon, there are a few things you should know before getting started. The first time I used it, I hadn’t done my research and regretted it!
I’m sharing these tips so that YOU won’t make the same mistakes I did.
Here’s what I think you should know.
1. Is Henna Good For Your Hair?
Henna hair dye is considered a good conditioner for your hair, and as a result can make it stronger, thicker, and shinier. It may help to restore the natural pH balance of your hair and scalp, too!
2. How Long Does Henna Stay in Your Hair?
Henna is a permanent hair dye. The color is most vibrant for the first 4 to 6 weeks, and in my experience it starts to gradually fade after that, but I’m not sure it ever goes away completely.
Keep in mind that if you want to dye your hair later, it may be difficult to go lighter in color. Henna is very hard to lift out of your hair later! (I found this out after the fact– and was disappointed that I couldn’t get my hair highlighted for nearly a year after dying my hair with henna.)
3. It’s Messy to Apply & Can Stain Your Skin
The first time I used henna, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I highly recommend working the henna through your hair in the bathroom– ideally standing in a dry shower, so you can rinse away any mess when you’re done.
When mixed together, henna has the texture of mud and it can feel a little awkward to apply. As a result, there’s usually some that drips on the floor, and down your forehead.
Before you apply the henna dye, protect your skin by using a thick balm or cream to create a barrier. I rub it around my forehead, ears, and neck.
4. Henna Hair Dye Can Take a Long Time to Set
Depending on the vibrancy you want, henna can take 1 to 6 hours to develop.
That’s a long time to have your scalp wrapped in a shower cap. (The shower cap keeps the dye warm, and therefore, more effective, while also preventing drips so you can walk around your house!)
I should note that I can only last 2 hours before my patience gives out, and usually my hair turns out well!
5. Henna Will Not Necessarily Even-Out Your Hair Color
In my experience, if you have roots or highlights when you start the process, you’ll still have roots or highlights when you’re finished. (Henna can cover gray hair, but it’s a slightly extra process.)
I happened to have roots and highlights the first time I used henna (you can see before pictures of my highlights and roots at the top of this post), so you can see how the reddish color varies throughout my hair, where I had more blonde highlights. I was hoping for a more even color, so this aspect was a little disappointing for me. Without the noticeable roots, I think this would be pretty!
6. It Can be Difficult to Change Your Hair Color AFTER using Henna
Some brands of henna dye have metallic salts added to it, and as a result, you cannot use chemical hair dyes over them. (The result is a chemical reaction that causes your hair to smoke!) It’s important to let your hair dresser know that you’ve dyed your hair with henna before you get started, so they are prepared.
In my case, I was able to even out my hair color after using henna using a semi-permanent dye. My stylist had to apply it twice, however, because she said my hair was not receptive to absorbing the color after using the henna. (Normally, my hair takes to dye very quickly!)
It should also be noted that my hair did not lift with bleach easily after using henna, so we had to go a shade darker, rather than lighter. I love getting my hair highlighted, so this something I wish I knew before getting started!
Which Brands of Henna Hair Dye Are Best?
There are always new brands entering the market, but I’ve only tried two brands so far. Most recently, I used Morrocco Method when trying to cover gray hair, and it worked really well! I love that it has no metallic salts added, so I didn’t have to worry about my hair smoking later if I got my hair dyed at a salon.
The very first time I dyed my hair with henna, I used Lush brand. According to their website, they add ingredients like lemon juice and coffee grounds to their henna, but I don’t believe they add metallic salts to their products, either.
I hope these tips prove helpful for anyone interested in trying henna, too!
Reader Feedback: Do you color your hair? Have you ever tried using henna hair dye, or would you like to?