For those of you who aren’t familiar with this natural dye, henna is a kind of plant. Its leaves have been dried, ground, and used as a dye for the skin and hair for thousands of years in India and the Middle East. In its purest form, henna for hair will usually leave a rich, reddish brown color.Henna Hair Dye Henna hair dye or henna hair color penetrates the hair shaft and permanently stains it, but the color can degrade with frequent washing and may need touchups.
Is Henna Hair Dye Commercially Available?
In western countries like the United States, a little snooping might be in order. Since this particular kind of hair coloring product is plant-derived and mostly chemical free, usually, your best bet would be to check out health food and beauty supply stores.
They’re also readily available online. If you’re looking for pre-mixed concoctions, there’s a good chance that you might also find one or two brands of henna hair color in supermarkets as well.
Does Henna Come in Other Colors?
Pure henna, made from the henna plant with the scientific name Lawsonia inermis, is called “red henna,” and may leave a rich, red-brown color. If mixed with other plant derivatives, you can get all kinds of different shades while still keeping your dye job completely natural. If your henna hair dye also has indigo -which is sometimes also called “black henna”- in it for example, you can get shades ranging from rich dark brown, to jet black.
Other natural substances that henna hair color can have, or which you can try mixing into your own personal henna mix are cassia (“neutral henna”), tea, coffee, paprika, turmeric, lemon juice, and a lot of others.
Of course, your natural hair color will have a big impact on how your henna hair color job will ultimately look; if you’re very dark-haired and want to go blonde, for example, you’ll really need to get your hair chemically lightened first.
Hair dyes made from plant products can’t lighten hair very much. Other than that, if you’re open minded, willing to experiment a bit, and won’t mind snooping around the internet for recipes for henna hair color mixes, you can get just about any color imaginable; from blond, to red, to deepest black.
Some Warnings When Buying Henna
Indigo and cassia may be all-natural ingredients, but be careful about “fake” henna products and some of the other additives that some pre-mixed henna hair dyes might have. For example, some products touted as “black henna” might not be from the indigo plant, but can contain a jet black dye called para-phenylenediamine, or PPD.
This synthetic substance stains fast and deep, but it can also cause severe allergic reactions that can make a person permanently sensitive to certain dyes and chemicals.
There are also some mixes that might contain adulterants like silver nitrate, nickel, and carmine, which can all cause allergic reactions or heavy metal poisoning. While such mixes are considered illegal by the United States FDA, it’s still a really good idea to watch out, because not all henna products will have accurate or even truthful labeling.
What Are The Benefits of Using Henna?
Fakes and impure mixtures aside, henna is an all-natural product, and even though most hair dying products tend to damage hair, the opposite is actually true for henna. Henna for hair will usually leave your hair feeling thicker and smoother and henna hair dye can actually help relieve conditions like dandruff, head lice, and ringworm.
Henna hair color will usually also make your hair stronger and less prone to breakage. So, if you want to try something else for your hair coloring regimen, henna’s a really great way to go.