Henna for Hair
Do you want to dye your hair without recourse to chemicals? Yes, there’s always semi permanent vegetable dye, but if you want a natural permanent hair dye with a Bronze Age heritage, go for henna.
Not everyone wants to – or indeed can – use chemical dyes. Henna’s a great DIY option. There are upsides and downsides to using henna to dye your hair (as opposed to henna tattoos). It’s messy, and the process can be a tad smelly, although the rich tea-like grassy smell is to many quite delightful – and it won’t last for days.
Many places sell henna that isn’t pure and can actually damage your hair, especially if you’ve used chemical dyes previously. Rumours and scare mongering articles about henna abound, but let me tell you – it’s not remotely as scary as you’d think. On the upside, pure henna makes your hair soft, can help restore condition, is permanent and gives a unique and natural looking colour.
Which henna hair colour?
As the flowers of the henna shrub are natural, you are limited to the number of henna hair colours – although various plants grown in various regions have different levels of dye, and can also alter the shade. You are limited to your hair being red, brown, or black, and various shades of these. Oh, that’s how you want your hair? Excellent!
How to use henna for a red, black or brown hair colour:
- To get red hair, use henna on its own.
- To get black hair, you use henna first, then indigo.
- To get brown hair, you mix the henna and indigo, depending on the shade you want.
- There is no such thing as ‘blonde henna’, regardless of what some sites may claim. Does not happen.
The various shades you can create are numerous and astounding, and you can find a lot of information on henna and how to mix shades here at Henna For Hair and can even order samples.
The shade your hair will turn out depends on your hair type, and what colour it was before you started. Whether you’ve dyed your hair before can also affect it. In general the lighter your hair, the more vibrant the henna colour.
Where to buy henna hair colour online
A word of warning: please, please be careful where you buy your henna. Do not get any henna that claims to be ‘blonde henna’, ‘brown henna’ etc, these contain minerals and will cause your hair to pretty much break if you try to dye or bleach over it! And please don’t buy the henna from Lush, lovely though they are in oh-so-many ways. Lush henna contains no minerals but is also not pure henna.
One excellent place to buy your henna and indigo is at Henna Boy. It sells pure henna and is reasonable for prices and shipping. It is UK based, but US mooks can get their henna at Henna For Hair. Of course, you can buy from Henna For Hair if you’re in the UK, but shipping can be high.
How to apply and remove henna for hair
I won’t go into how to mix and apply henna here. This information can be widely found online and can be adjusted depending on what shade you want. Mookychick does already have an article giving more henna hair tips and how to remove it. One thing I will say though, if you have used pure henna and want to dye over it, as long as you don’t do it too soon after hennaing you should be fine. Red can be hard to cover over, but that’s a risk for any red hair dye. However, if you have used indigo on your hair and use bleach after, it does turn your hair a fetching shade of green, which may or may not be your cup of tea.
What the henna hair dying process looks like – Princess Leia buns notwithstanding
Both these photos came from Henna For Hair dot com