Everything You Need to Know Before You Dye Your Hair with Henna

share on PinterestLiudmila Chernetska / Getty Images We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a little commission. here ’ s our process. Henna is long-familiar for its use in the attention-getting body artwork of South Asia and the Middle East, besides known as mehndi.

Did you know it can besides give you glistening, richly-colored locks ? Henna, known as mendhikā in Sanskrit, is frequently used to dye hair. It can besides provide a mince shininess and enhance brown and auburn tones. At the lapp clock time, there are some downsides to using this plant-based powderize on your tresses. Let ’ s dive into the pros and cons of using henna to dye your hair. Whether it ’ s a tried-and-true skin care regimen, how frequently you wash your haircloth, or the cosmetics you ’ rhenium curious about, beauty is personal. That ’ second why we rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to contribution their tips on everything from the way intersection application varies to the best sail dissemble for your individual needs. We only recommend something we truly love, so if you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, know that it ’ south been thoroughly researched by our team.

What is it?

Henna is derived from the leaves of the henna plant, Lawsonia inermis. The powdered kind is typically made into a glue and applied to the hair or clamber. traditional recipes for henna dye involve making henna powder by drying the leaves, then mixing it in with tannic liquids, like tea or coffee, to enhance its staining likely. Henna contains lawsone, a atom that bonds to proteins to dye hair’s-breadth, skin, and fabrics. It ’ s besides an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent. thus why does this apparently inoffensive establish induce such a stir when it comes to dyeing hair ? Let ’ s take a look at some disadvantages of henna.

Disadvantages of henna for hair

While henna offers enough of benefits, it besides comes with a host of disadvantages. Some are merely cosmetic, while others are more dangerous .


  • color may bleed initially
  • color may fade or become dull over time
  • can only darken hair, not lighten it
  • requires an involved application process
  • may dry out hair
  • difficult to remove
  • can’t be bleached
  • stains skin and clothes
  • color may be affected by heat styling
  • not recommended for salt and pepper hair
  • can cause hair damage
  • may contain unhealthy additives
  • may cause allergic reaction
  • may cause hair loss
  • may result in loss of hair texture

Difficult to change the color

once you dye your hair with henna, it ’ second difficult to make changes. In cosmopolitan, you ’ re pretty much left with what you ’ ve got. Henna “ will stay profoundly in the cuticle and make it highly difficult for your hairdresser to open the carapace again and change the tinge, ” says Monica Davis, a professional hair’s-breadth stylist and the founder of My Straightener .

Lightening isn’t easy

When it comes to lightening your hair after using henna, continue with caution. You *can* bleach hair’s-breadth that ’ s been colored with pure henna. Before you do, be doubly certain you ’ re using 100 percentage henna powder or paste. Because many henna dyes have additives, that ’ s easier said than done. You ’ ll besides need to wait for the henna to start fading naturally. otherwise, the bleach process will open the epidermis of the hair’s-breadth and deepen the red-orange or blackish hue. YouTuber Courtney Violetta explored bleaching her henna-dyed hair in this DIY video recording. The process is reasonably involved and requires a distribute of products. ultimately, Violetta ’ s hair didn ’ triiodothyronine lighten angstrom much as she thought it would. She besides noted that her hair strands became “ stretchable, ” dry, and brittle. In the end, she posted this video explaining why she stopped using henna wholly .

by and large speaking, your best bet to get rid of henna dye is to let your hair grow out .

Best for dark hair

“ Henna in its pure form works best on benighted hair, ” says Salila Sukumaran, an ambassador of India ’ s health ministry and the founder of health travel consultancy Ayurgamaya. On salt and pepper hair, henna “ leaves a brilliantly orange shininess, ” Sukumaran notes. If you ’ ra hope to cover up grey, the better option is to use a eminent quality chemical dye .

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May cause hair fall out

many people besides complain of hair falling out after henna applications .

“ Henna entirely can ’ t lawsuit hair loss, but low quality or improperly applied henna may lead to dry hair and scalp and causal agent intense haircloth loss, ” Davis explains .

May have potential health side effects

As an Ayurvedic practitioner, Sukumaran says overuse of henna may cause imbalances. “ Henna is highly cool and if a Kapha body-type individual… leaves on the mask for longer than a couple of hours, they are likely to fall disgusted, ” she says. According to Ayurveda, leaving henna on the hair and scalp overnight may cause :

  • mucus buildup
  • coughs and colds
  • neck and shoulder aches

In addition, leaving henna on excessively farseeing makes hair dry and brittle .

May react with metal

If you ’ re surfing the web looking for information on dyeing your hair with henna, you ’ ll likely come across warnings not to use it with metal bowl. This may particularly be true when it comes to iron or aluminum. While Davis notes that most modern commercial henna dyes are protected from oxidation and don ’ t react with metallic containers, it ’ second difficult to determine whether this is the case with the henna you ’ ra using .

While there ’ s no scientific testify to confirm whether henna reacts with alloy, it ’ sulfur safe to use a glass or ceramic roll .

Advantages of henna for hair

While that ’ s a pretty drawn-out cons list, there are hush plenty of advantages to dyeing hair with henna .


  • can be done at home
  • may be cheaper than other boxed dyes
  • can be left on longer to deepen color
  • is permanent
  • lasts longer than chemical dyes
  • provides a safe alternative to chemical dyes, especially for pregnant people
  • seals the cuticle of the hair
  • softens hair
  • improves shine and strength
  • helps prevent dandruff
  • reduces oiliness of the scalp
  • helps prevent premature graying
  • may prevent hair loss
  • helps combat lice

Hair appearance

If you know which products to use, henna can add fall, luster, and military capability to your hair. “ Due to the high assiduity of tannins, henna is identical effective against premature haircloth graying, ” Davis says. If you ’ ra committed to the color, henna may besides offer the most durable hue. “ Henna can provide a rich auburn coloring material that will potentially stay on your haircloth much longer than any chemical salon dye, ” Sukumaran explains .

Hair health

On top of that, henna offers both nutrients and protection for the hair and scalp. “ It ’ s rich with antioxidants, proteins, and has an antifungal effect, ” Davis says. “ All three are very helpful for scalp that are prone to dandruff. ” It can besides give your hair a major dose of vitamin E, a natural haircloth softener .

Other potential health benefits

Sukumaran notes that henna may have Ayurvedic health benefits adenine well. According to Ayurveda, henna is besides a cooling agent that may provide concern easing and dry up excess oil on the scalp .

Cultural context

In India, henna “ symbolizes divine abiding love between couples, ” Sukumaran says.

This is why henna is traditionally used in indian wedding rituals .

Does henna ‘ruin’ hair?

A lot of buzz around the internet might suggest that henna will ruin your haircloth. Sukumaran shares a cautionary narrative about a regular user of henna who decided to bleach her burgundy-toned hair, and the hairdresser didn ’ t consumption a henna-safe bleaching agent.

According to Sukumaran, the chemical reaction between the henna and bleach caused the customer ’ s hair to “ fume. ” Although the stylist washed the bleach away immediately, the damage was done. The top is that, tied if the hair cheat becomes damaged, it will grow back equally hanker as there ’ s no price to the root. While this floor is anecdotal, it ’ mho still authoritative to be aware of the mighty effects some chemical and herb combinations can have. Some henna users, including YouTuber ife360TV Naturally, find that their hair’s-breadth appears damaged after repeated henna applications, including changes to texture and hair decrease out .

Some henna mixtures may react adversely to bleach or chemical dye. Always let your hair colorist know if you ’ ve applied henna to your hair’s-breadth, and always do a piece examination and strand screen to determine how any dye will interact with your body .

What to know before you dye your hair

With the cons number above, you may be quick to skip using henna on your hair’s-breadth. Before you toss it out wholly, it ’ south important to understand why these downsides might happen and how to avoid them. Whether henna works on your hair’s-breadth or not depends on respective factors, including :

  • hair porosity
  • hair texture
  • whether you use conditioning agents
  • frequency of application
  • duration of application
  • allergies
  • product quality
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Hair porosity and texture

Everyone has unlike experiences when using henna. This is because everyone has a unique haircloth porosity that influences how easily their hair takes the henna dye and what happens to their hair after it ’ second dye .

Henna works best on highly porous hair, or hair’s-breadth that ’ s particularly absorbent. Low-porosity hair might not take the dye angstrom well.

Those with curly hair’s-breadth may experience that their curls aren ’ thymine as fast or bouncing after using henna .

This happens when the lawsone molecules in henna cling to the hair strand, creating a sheath of color that changes hair porosity. This besides weighs down the hair’s-breadth, potentially unravel curls. The more frequent the henna application, the thick the coat of lawsone molecules on the hair strands. While this may result in deeper tinge, it can besides have a flatten effect. “ Regular practice of henna can mess with curly heads, ” Sukumaran says. “ Henna tends to develop a application on the hair shaft, which makes the haircloth strand straight. If you have wavy or unaffixed curls, you may find your curl radiation pattern shifts with regular consumption. ”

Preventing dryness

additionally, henna can dry out the haircloth. “ Normal high quality henna makes dry and crisp hair even drier and frizzier, ” Davis says. Davis adds that this effect can be countered by adding moisturizers to your spread. YouTuber Vyala Bloom agrees. Bloom offers tips for addressing the loss of curls, including adding a hibiscus tea rinse to your hair’s-breadth worry routine and avoiding protein-rich conditioners, like egg masks .

Application frequency and duration

As previously mentioned, applying henna to the haircloth over and complete again causes the protein molecules to build up on the hair diaphysis. This can cause the hair to become heavier, less porous, and lose its natural curl up .

Sukumaran suggests leaving henna on your haircloth for under an hour if you have curls or waves .

As person with a head entire of crinkled hair’s-breadth, she notices her own lock products don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate oeuvre arsenic well after a prolong henna application. “ Leaving henna on for longer will change haircloth texture to smoother and straighter, ” she says .


As with most ingredients and products, there ’ s a possibility of being allergic to henna. This can cause aggravation and inflammation on the scalp. additionally, there are some henna imposters out there. Black henna is an artificial dye made of paraphenylenediamine, sometimes called PDD. PDD oxidizes into an indigo or blackish color when it interacts with air, creating a “ black ” stain. however, it can cause irritation to the scalp, including :

  • contact dermatitis
  • burning sensation
  • redness
  • swelling
  • itching
  • flaking
  • scarring
  • blisters (in severe cases)
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many hairdressers develop contact dermatitis or allergies after extended exposure to this dye. Some, like Davis, consider total darkness henna applications to be insecure and don ’ thyroxine offer it in their salons .

Always do a patch test to rule out the hypothesis of allergies before you apply henna to the hair’s-breadth. Avoid black henna, which is made with the synthetic component paraphenylenediamine ( PDD ) .

Product quality

In summation to imposters, many henna powders, pastes, and mixes include insecure additives, like :

  • silver nitrate
  • carmine
  • pyrogallol
  • disperse orange dye
  • chromium

These additives have been found to cause :

  • allergic reactions
  • chronic inflammatory reactions
  • late-onset allergic reactions to hairdressing products and textile dyes

What to use

commercially, you have lots of choices when it comes to henna. ready-made pastes are wide available, but it ’ randomness significant to make sure the intersection you choose is high gear quality. Davis worries about the miss of quality control in henna products. “ Dishonest manufacturers may merely sell contaminated products or add chemicals to reduce production costs, ” she says. She avoids henna wholly with her clients. If you choose to use it, she advises finding a merchandise that ’ south :

  • free of PDD
  • free of pesticides
  • free of additives
  • safe for the skin

Godrej Nupur Henna is one popular option used by Bloom. Sukumaran recommends it, because it ’ sulfur desegregate with Ayurvedically beneficial herb many henna users besides recommend lavish products or henna dyes from The Henna Guys. In India, Shahnaz Husain products are well-loved and wide used. The mark offers many Ayurvedic skin care and hair care products created using merely plant-based ingredients and herb. The company besides includes recipes to create pastes and masks. Shahnaz Husain products include :

  • henna powder
  • indigo henna powder
  • henna hair treatment powder that can be used as a hair mask

Forest Essentials offers an intensive Hair Repair Masque made from banana pulp, fenugreek, hibiscus, and other herb to help combat the sobriety that henna can cause. traditional recipes for a henna dye may include tea or coffee to enhance its staining potential. If you ’ re using arrant henna, you may besides want to add ingredients, like :

  • coconut oil
  • amla powder
  • hibiscus flower powder
  • bhringraj powder

Plain henna powderize can serve as a nucleotide to create a customs glue, but henna powder doesn ’ thymine mix easily with liquids and may be unmanageable to use .

If you ’ re going the DIY route, make sure to follow your recipe for henna dye close, including guard precautions .


Post-dyeing hair care is just adenine essential as homework. here are the best practices :

  1. Rinse the henna thoroughly with water.
  2. Leave your hair alone for 24 hours.
  3. Shampoo and condition after the waiting period.
  4. Treat the hair with a moisturizing mask.

“ After applying a Henna hair disguise and washing it off, it ’ s best to leave the hair alone for 24 hours, ” Sukumaran says. “ This helps the color to deepen and the beneficial properties to integrate. ” She suggests waiting until the day after to shampoo and discipline to get optimum results. Davis besides recommends treating your hair with a good conditioning and moisturizing mask.

The verdict: Is henna bad for your hair?

Like any smasher discussion, it ’ s authoritative to know how your hair and skin will react if you dye your hair’s-breadth with henna. Knowing what ’ mho in your henna dye will greatly increase your chances of ending up with a gorgeous head of healthy, richly-colored hair. Be sure to do your inquiry into the safety of available products and follow up with aftercare. Always do a strand and patch test first to see how your hair’s-breadth and clamber will react.

Nandita Godbole is an Atlanta-based, Indian-origin food writer and writer of several cookbooks, including her latest, “ Seven Pots of Tea : An Ayurvedic Approach to Sips & Nosh. ” Find her books at venues where all right cookbooks are showcased, and follow her at @ currycravings on any social media platform of your option .

source : https://shayski.com
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