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Is Dyeing Your Hair With Henna Actually Good for You?

By Orgesta Tolaj


24 March 2024

dyeing hair with henna

© Sherise Van Dyk & Vitaliy Lyubezhanin / Unsplash

Henna has been used for centuries for its natural dyeing properties and potential health benefits. With the growing popularity of natural hair care products, many people have turned to it as a safer alternative to traditional hair dyes. But is dyeing your hair with henna really as good for you as some claim? Or is it totally out of the question? Let us find out together!

What Is Henna?

Henna is a plant-based dye. It comes from the leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant, also known as the henna tree. Due to its staining properties, it has been used for centuries in various cultures. This is particularly true for body art and hair coloring. The paste is made by crushing the dried leaves of the henna plant into a fine powder and mixing it with water or other liquids. It is applied to the skin or hair. When applied, it leaves a reddish-brown stain due to the lawsone molecule present in it, which binds to proteins in the skin or hair. It is often used in cultural and religious ceremonies, as well as for temporary body art and hair coloring purposes.

Dyeing hair with henna
© Vitaliy Lyubezhanin / Unsplash

How to Dye Your Hair With Henna

To prepare a henna hair dye for your hair, you can:

  • Mix henna powder with water to form a thick paste.
  • Optionally, enhance the color by adding brewed coffee or tea.
  • Apply the paste to dry hair, covering the scalp and strands thoroughly.
  • Cover with a shower cap and leave on for 4-5 hours or overnight for deeper color.
  • Protect your shoulders and work area with old towels to avoid staining.
  • Rinse off the henna, revealing a rich, natural color.

What Are Some Benefits of Dying Your Hair With Henna?

Henna hair dye offers several advantages:

  1. Convenience: It can be applied at home, eliminating the need for salon visits.
  2. Cost-Effective: Henna dye might be cheaper than other boxed dyes, offering a budget-friendly option for hair coloring.
  3. Color Depth: Leaving henna on longer can deepen the color, providing flexibility in achieving desired shades.
  4. Longevity: This dye is permanent and tends to last longer than chemical dyes, reducing the frequency of touch-ups.
  5. Safe Alternative: Especially for pregnant individuals or those with sensitive skin, henna provides a safe alternative to chemical dyes.
  6. Hair Health Benefits: It seals the hair cuticle, leading to softer hair with improved shine and strength.
  7. Scalp Health: Henna helps prevent dandruff, reduces scalp oiliness, and may contribute to preventing premature graying and hair loss.
  8. Lice Prevention: A study suggests that henna helps combat lice infestations, adding benefits beyond coloration.

Dyeing hair with henna
© Anna Tarazevich / Pexels

What Are the Cons of Using Henna?

Despite its numerous benefits, henna also presents several drawbacks:

  1. Limited Color Change: It is difficult to change the color, as it can only darken hair, not lighten it.
  2. Initial Bleeding: The color may bleed initially after application.
  3. Color Fading: Over time, the color may fade or become dull.
  4. Application Process: Requires an involved application process compared to other hair dyes.
  5. Hair Dryness: May dry out the hair, especially with frequent use.
  6. Difficult Removal: Difficult to remove once applied, as it can’t be bleached.
  7. Staining: It stains the skin and clothes during application.
  8. Heat Sensitivity: Color may be affected by heat styling tools.
  9. Not Suitable for Some Hair Types: Not recommended for salt and pepper hair.
  10. Potential Hair Damage: This can cause hair damage with prolonged use.
  11. Additives: Some products may contain unhealthy additives.
  12. Allergic Reactions: It may cause allergic reactions in some people.
  13. Hair Loss: In rare cases, it may cause hair loss or alter hair texture.

Will you be trying to dye your hair with henna soon?

You might also want to read: The Truth About Natural Deodorants: Are They Better for You?

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!