Henna hair dye is the natural and cheaper alternative to traditional bleaching, dyeing and chalking appointments that we have all put our locks through. However, although it may look great, just how long does it last? And what is the upkeep of dying with henna like?
Henna is a type of permanent hair dye, coloring the hair in a rich saturation for approximately four to six weeks before fading slightly. This is a result that is much like a lot of traditional hair dyes, but unlike those most commonly used, henna can be laid over the top to build upon tone and vibrancy.
Hair products derived from and containing henna are a result of ground up ‘Lawsonia inermis’, a dry plant that can be made into an array of tones suitable for different hair colors.
Choosing The Right Color
Deciding on the correct shade of henna is imperative to the dying process and can ultimately influence how long the color will last. Rather than coating the hair in harsh chemicals like traditional box or salon dyes would, henna is painted over the hair follicles, creating a finished look that combines both your natural hair color and the henna dye.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend going for a color that is one to two shades lighter than the final look you hope to achieve. For example, rather than a blonde person going to black, perhaps dark brown would be better suited. This is to prevent any anxiety-inducing events where you remove the towel, only to reveal an irreversible dark color. Whilst it is possible to go darker with multiple applications, you generally cannot go lighter (initially).
If you are concerned about how the color will turn out, try the strand test; simply take a strand of hair (preferably in the back behind the neck) and dye it with the color to see if you are ready to commit to your full head or not.
How Do I Apply It?
Warning: applying henna to your hair can be messy! Ensure that you have lots of towels nearby and please, please, please wear gloves!
Here are some handy in-depth guides to applying your henna hair dye:
How To Maintain Henna Hair Color
A few tips and tricks to extend the longevity of your henna color include:
- At Lush, they recommend applying ultrabalm prior to the henna mixture to avoid staining the skin. It also provides a smooth surface for the henna to better cling and set on top of the hair follicles.
- Henna takes a while to set, approximately one to six hours depending on your hair’s natural color and thickness. After this, many women will reapply the dye every 2-3 months.
- Do not immediately wash it out! After the initial rinsing of the dye, wait at least 48 hours before washing your hair again to allow the color to completely penetrate the hair shaft.
What Henna Should I buy?
There are hundreds, if not thousands of brands that make and sell a wide variety of henna hair dyes. The ones most well-known and positively reviewed are:
To Sum It Up
All in all, if you are thinking of delving into the wondrous world of henna hair dying, make sure to have an open mind and be ready for the possibility of making mistakes the first time around. The amount of time that henna stays in your hair can be entirely up to you and the way you treat it, so be patient and see what works for your individual hair type.
Thankfully this appealing new beauty trend is great for the environment, your hair and your wallet, so why not give it a crack and see how it goes – but don’t forget to always wear gloves!