If dyeing your hair with chemicals is something you’re trying to avoid, then you might want to consider using henna instead. Henna is a natural way to dye your hair, without inflicting any serious damage to your hair.
Here we’re going to discuss what is henna, how to use it when dyeing your hair, and also the pros and cons of it.
What is henna?
Henna is made of a plant that grows in warmer areas and certain environments. It’s used for temporary tattoos, to dye nails, hair and certain kind of fabrics.
Henna is one of the oldest ways of dyeing hair, reaching back to ancient Egypt and beyond.
Is henna safe?
It’s safe to dye your hair with natural henna. Black henna on the other hand could end up giving your scalp an allergic reaction.
There’s a low chance of that happening, but due to the added chemicals that black henna contains, your skin could react badly to it.
Types of henna
There’s three main kinds of henna: natural henna, neutral henna and black henna. They different from each other quite a lot, so let’s take a look.
- Natural henna
The natural henna only stains with rich red brown shades. Neutral and black henna do contain natural henna, but they contain other chemicals, or are made of completely different plants.
- Neutral henna
Neutral henna doesn’t contain pigments that can change hair colours.
- Black henna
The black henna is made of a plant named indigo. It can also contain other dyes and chenicals to achieve the black tone. The black henna stains skin and hair very quickly, but due to the other chemicals it known to cause allergic reactions quite often.
The allergic reactions can cause permanent scarring if the henna mixture is left in contact with the skin for more than 2-3 days.
How to dye hair with henna
Henna for hair is sold as blocks, or then already powdered box dyes that you can buy from online and also from shops near you.
- Henna powder
- Acid mix (like lemon juice)
- Vaseline (optional)
- A bowl
- Plastic wrap
Preparations before using henna
Before you do anything, you should consider securing your skin from being stained by henna. Take some Vaseline and apply it onto your skin along the hair line, and onto the tips of your ears.
The thin Vaseline coat will prevent from letting the henna pigment staining your skin.
Mix the henna dye
Mix the henna powder and the lemon juice together in the bowl, until you can see that the henna doesn’t have any clumps left in it. Put on a good tight pair of gloves and you’re ready to apply it to your hair.
Applying the henna
Section your hair into 4 parts and grab a good handful of the henna mixture. Start brushing it trough your hair by using your fingers, spreading it from the roots to the ends of the hair.
Once you finish applying it, take a good amount of plastic wrap and wrap it around your head, to keep the heat within the henna and also to prevent staining any clothes or furniture while you’re letting the henna set.
Letting the henna set
The henna takes a LONG time to set, 12 hours being the average time period when the pigment manages to stick to the hair. Because your hair will be secured by the plastic wrap, you can just go to sleep and let the henna take effect overnight.
Washing your hair
Getting henna out of your hair can prove to be tricky. Do not use a shampoo as it will start washing the fresh dye out. Rinse your hair with cold water and use a conditioner, repeat it 2-3 times until you can’t feel nor see any residue left in your hair.
You should wait about 3 days before using a shampoo to wash your hair.
How long does henna hair dye last?
Henna dye can stay in your hair for about 4-6 weeks at most. It’s a semi permanent hair dye that will wash out of your hair depending on how often do you wash your hair. You should try using colder water to wash and rinse your hair, because it helps to keep the dye in for a longer time.