Henna hair coloring: pros, cons and important nuances


If you like experiments, rich bright colors and do not want to damage your hair using classic dyes, try henna dyeing. With the help of a simple natural dye, you can get a variety of shades of hair, from bright red to deep black. It all depends on your desire and what you mix henna with.

How does natural dye work?

The powder, called henna, comes from the plant Lawsonia inermis, a flowering shrub that grows in northern Africa, Asia, and northern Australia. When exposed to high temperatures, the leaves of the plant produce a lot of pigment, so they are ground into a powder and used to give curls a more saturated color.

Interestingly, henna is naturally orange-red in color. When applied to the skin, it gradually darkens and after a few days it turns into a darker shade — reddish brown.

But when applied to the hair, it turns bright red, which after a few days becomes deeper, muted.

Did you know?

Henna interacts with hair differently than other dyes. While traditional dyes lift the cuticle to penetrate the hair shaft, henna completely covers the shaft and slowly sinks into it.

At the same time, henna is a permanent dye; it is almost impossible to remove it from the hair shaft.

Pros and cons of henna staining

Pros and cons of henna staining

Henna for hair has many benefits, which is why it is so popular among fans of natural beauty products.


  • Reduces frizz and adds shine to strands.
  • Gives lightness and volume to hair.
  • Gives the strands a really bright shade.
  • Very affordable to purchase.

But there are also significant disadvantages that you should be aware of in advance.


  • After dyeing with henna, the hair should not be lightened.
  • Coloring with ordinary paints after henna will give unpredictable results.
  • The palette of paints based on henna is limited.
  • The staining process takes much longer than usual.
  • Henna stains everything — hair, skin, floors, all surfaces in the bathroom. Therefore, it should be handled with extreme caution.


One of the undoubted advantages of henna is that it does not contain ammonia — the same one that intensively destroys hair in the composition of hair dyes. But it can also damage the hair itself with frequent use, since it has the ability to dry curls.

Who is henna suitable for?

To get perfect results after the procedure, it is not enough just to have a desire. You also need to consider whether the coloring is right for you.

Henna works especially well in the following cases:

Natural strands in a palette of shades from 4 to 7

Natural strands in a palette of shades from 4 to 7

Henna works best on hair that has not been dyed before. In this case, the starting hair color also matters. If you look at the professional palette, the best results will be on strands that go under numbers from 4 (light brown) to 7 (light blond). On hair within the specified palette, the color will turn out to be a complex orange-red, but it will look natural.

But on very light strands, henna can look too intense. And if you purchased brown henna, it may give a greenish tint.

White hair

Unlike some chemical dyes, henna also dyes gray hair well. At the same time, it can create the effect of complex staining.

For example, if a woman has dark hair with gray streaks, after dyeing with henna, dark hair can get a beautiful red tint, and gray strands a shade of bright copper, which will look amazing.

Natural red hair

Henna is also great for natural red hair. For example, if they are a little faded in the sun or simply become less bright with age.

Of course, redheads can use regular hair dye to add color, but henna is unique in that it gives natural strands a richer shade and a lot of shine, and additionally strengthens them.

Did you know?

In ancient times, henna was applied to the skin of the face and body to prevent burns on a sensitive area, get rid of a headache or even stomach pain. And with its help, fungal infections were eliminated and wounds were treated.

How long does henna dye last?

Henna is a permanent hair dye, so after dyeing it will remain inside the hair shafts for a long time. However, over time, the color of the dyed strands will fade, and the roots will continue to grow, so after 6-8 weeks, the next dyeing will still be required. But it is worth noting that in comparison with traditional paint, henna is brighter and more resistant.

How to dye your hair with henna?

How to dye your hair with henna?

Applying dye to hair differs little from classic dyeing, but henna still has its own nuances.

You will need:

  • Henna powder.
  • Solvent. It can be warm water with the addition of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, or honey. Some henna manufacturers recommend using strongly brewed tea or coffee as a diluent.
  • Essential oil. The aroma of your favorite ether can drown out the specific smell of the dye.
  • Dishes for breeding dye. Important: not metal!
  • Brush for hair coloring.
  • Reusable rubber gloves, since disposable ones often tear in the process.
  • Vaseline or oily cream.
  • Non-metal hair clips.

Preliminary preparation

Henna works best if it is allowed to infuse well. To do this, dilute the powder with a solvent in a special bowl and stir until the mixture acquires a pasty consistency. Cover the container with cling film and place it for 8-9 hours in a place where it will not interfere with anyone.

Henna staining master class

  • Put on clothes you don’t mind and a pair of gloves. In the bathroom, cover surfaces that henna can get on with polyethylene. Remember: this dye colors everything.
  • Check the readiness of the mixture you created the day before. It should become creamier in texture and smell like spinach.
  • Cover the hairline, ears, and areas behind them with a thick layer of cream or petroleum jelly.
  • Divide your hair with a comb with a thin long handle into 5-6 sections. Leave one for work, fix the rest with clips.
  • Apply paint, starting from the roots and evenly distributing it along the entire length. Treat all hair in this way.
  • Rub the rest of the product into the roots of the hair to make the color rich and vibrant.
  • Leave the dye on your hair for 1-2 hours, covering it with a shower cap. Remember: the longer it stays on the strands, the brighter the hair will end up.
  • Rinse off any residue with running water. To protect colored strands, do not use shampoo, but rinse your hair with cool water.
  • Let your hair dry on its own.


What is the difference between Iranian and Indian henna? Indian henna has a smaller grinding, and therefore it is better diluted with a thinner, acquiring a uniform consistency. It makes it a little easier to dye your hair.

Color Maintenance Tips

Color Maintenance Tips

Henna coloring is by nature persistent and intense. But still, some nuances in hair care can help keep bright colors for a long time.

  • When you wash your hair, use warm water and a sulfate-free shampoo.
  • To avoid color fading, wear a hat when out in the sun.
  • Avoid swimming in chlorinated water or use a pool cap.
  • Tint your hair roots every 6-8 weeks.

Be beautiful!


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