What is henna?
Henna hair dye is made from the same thing as other types of henna dye. Alright, let’s start with the technical side of things. Don’t let your eyes gloss over on me! If you aren’t into the science part, fear not and skip down a paragraph. Now, for you science loving, information hoarding, knowledge seekers: henna is a dye prepared from a plant with the scientific name of Lawsonia inermis. It is the only species in the genus Lawsonia which is pretty fascinating in and of itself. However, that is totally a different topic. Now, the extracts from this plant have been being used to stain all sorts of things for ages!
We are talking not only hair, but nails, skin, leather, fabrics and sometimes even wood! Now that is impressive, if you ask me. Henna is likely most famous for its use in mehndi. Mehndi is body art famous for its use in many cultures weddings and holidays.
The henna extract is often mixed with other natural ingredients to alter the color. One example of this is mixing the henna with indigo to make a pure black hair dye.
Is it safe for hair?
I was pretty worried about this too! Luckily it is a resounding YES. Henna is actually beneficial for your hair. Unlike chemical dyes which alter the actual color of your hair, henna coats your hair. This means that your natural highlights and variances will show through. This is great if you don’t want to also pay for a highlighting treatment. Also, when the henna is applied it works like a protectant over your hair. I looked into this a lot because it sounded too good to be true.
Imagine it almost like a protective sleeve being put around each and every strand of your gorgeous locks. Now with time, this protective barrier is washed away. Though many solve this through repeated applications. There are also some drawbacks to henna and we will get to those here shortly.
What colour choices are there?
This is a tricky question. If you are getting true henna, the color choices are all red in nature. The shade is dependant on the other natural ingredients added to the dye as well as your natural color. If it is true henna, then your hair color will greatly affect the outcome. Which is not something you have to worry about with normal hair dye. Since it is a coating though, it really is just going over the hair you already have and so it will do nothing to lighten dark hair or darken light hair.
It is vital to read the ingredient lists on your henna hair dye to be sure of what you are getting. To reap the benefits of henna, make sure that the only other ingredients included are natural dyes like indigo, and natural ingredients that will lighten or darken the henna itself.
What are the drawbacks of henna hair dye?
Henna is fantastic in a lot of ways! It is a healthy alternative to hair dye. It is friendly to you and to the planet. It actually helps make your hair healthier. And it will fade away naturally in roughly four months. However, like all good things there are some drawbacks to consider.
- It is harder to find a hair stylist that works with true henna
- Getting the exact color you want may be difficult.
- It STAINS everything! You have to be extra careful in application.
- No seriously, it stains everything. Cover your skin in vaseline too!
- It takes longer to apply. You will likely need to set aside 4-6 hours about once a month.
Now, if you are willing to deal with those drawbacks then henna is the perfect alternative for you. It make take a bit of time for you to find your perfect shade. But be prepared to have some of the healthiest hair you have had in ages. Also, we really love the fact that this is an Earth friendly option. It is amazing what we do in the name of beauty. And we don’t mind doing it! But, not at the cost of the planet.
I really hope this article has helped you learn more about henna hair dye. I also really hope that you will drop us a line on which beauty salons in your area are top notch. And which ones are best avoided!