Have you been contemplating coloring your hair naturally without damaging it? If yes, then henna must be one of your top options. However, if you have put that thought on pause because of the advantages and disadvantages of using henna for hair, then don’t worry we have you covered.
Sometimes figuring out the right choice to make when it comes to hair dyeing can be a daunting task. Especially, when there are a plethora of options available on the market. On one hand, there are different types of commercial hair dyes. On the other hand, there is a natural alternative in the form of henna that contains no harsh chemicals. To make things simpler, let’s go into detail and explore the pros and cons of henna before you make the best decision for your hair.
What is Henna?
Henna is derived from a flowering plant called Lawsonia Inermis, also known as the henna tree. The leaves contain a natural coloring pigment that produces an orange or reddish dye. When this is applied to the skin, it leaves behind a stain that is similar to turmeric and beetroot. The stain deepens and darkens within a few days and can remain on the skin and hair for several weeks.
For years, people in ancient times have relied on henna as a dyeing agent to color their hair. It is traditionally used during the festival season and wedding ceremonies in various parts of the world like Egypt, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, and parts of Africa. The intricate hand-drawn henna designs are admired on the hands and feet of brides. Henna is also used to create temporary body art and tattoos.
Advantages of Henna for the Hair
1. Natural Hair Dye with No Harsh Chemicals
Unlike commercial hair dyes, henna is all-natural and does not contain any harmful chemicals that can irritate the scalp and hair follicles. There are no unpleasant odors, preservatives, or artificial colors. Henna in its pure form is a safe and healthy choice to make for your hair.
2. Strengthens and Revitalizes Damaged Hair
Henna does not strip the color off of your natural hair. It gently binds with the keratin and provides a protective coat to strengthen each hair strand. It helps in repairing damage caused by chemical treatments and results in strong hair that is less prone to breakage.
3. Nourishes and Makes Hair Lustrous
It provides necessary nutrients and hydrates your hair shaft by retaining moisture content. This in turn helps to prevent hair loss and ensures softer, frizz-free, and healthier hair.
4. Medicinal Properties Helps in Controlling Dandruff
The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of henna eliminate various scalp problems like dandruff, acne, psoriasis, and flaking. Thereby improving the overall health of your scalp and hair.
5. Balances pH and Oil Production
Henna helps in managing the oil production from the sebaceous glands. It also restores the pH balance of your scalp by maintaining a healthy acid-alkaline level. This helps in boosting the health of your scalp and promoting hair growth.
Disadvantages of Henna for the Hair
1. Tedious and Messy Process
Be prepared, applying henna to your hair can be an extremely tiresome, messy, and time-consuming process. When the henna powder is mixed in water, it turns into a muddy paste which can make it difficult for you to get an even coating. This is one of the main reasons why most people shy away from using henna.
2. Can Stain the Skin During Application
Henna has a thick, dripping consistency and can end up staining your hands, fingers, fingernails, forehead, and clothes. It is recommended that you ask a friend or your partner to help you with this process to get an even coat.
If you are doing it yourself, then make sure you apply petroleum jelly or some moisturizer on your forehead and parts of the skin around the hair to prevent staining. Remember, the color cannot be washed off and can remain on your skin for a few days.
Use rubber gloves to protect your hands from staining and wear old clothes during the application.
3. Takes a Long Time to Set
Unlike other hair dyes, henna takes anywhere between 2 – 4 hours to show effective results. It depends on the intensity that you’re trying to achieve. Some people leave the dye on for half a day to get the desired color. You can leave your hair covered in a shower cap or use a plastic wrap around the hair to get an intense color and to be comfortable during the wait after the application.
4. Unpredictable Results
When you’re using 100% natural henna powder, the results can vary every time from light orange to deep red. It can also depend on the color of your natural hair, hence it requires a lot of experimentation. The color usually deepens over a few days. You can achieve a darker shade by treating your hair with henna multiple times.
5. Cannot Do Color Correction Immediately
If you are not happy with the resulting color, then do not color-correct your hair with commercial hair dyes as it can result in damaging your hair. Henna acts as a coating to hair strands, so it becomes difficult for commercial dyes to penetrate through the colored hair. You will need to wait for the color to fade or let your hair grow so you can cut off the colored parts.
Are There Any Side Effects of Using Henna?
Although the pure form of henna is safe for adults to use on their skin and hair, let us also take into consideration the side effects that it can cause in some rare cases.
For some people, henna can cause inflammation of the skin, redness of the eyes, burning sensation, itchiness, and blisters. If you are allergic to henna, then it is recommended that you always try using a small amount of it on your skin before full application.
Always check the ingredients to make sure that you buy 100% natural henna hair dye. Certain henna brands contain metallic salts in their composition which can cause damage. Metallic salts can cause a bad chemical reaction when used with commercial hair dyes and must not be combined with them.
Can Henna Damage Your Hair?
This is a common worry for most people when they want to try new products on their hair. As mentioned earlier, henna in its natural form is the safest for the skin and hair but always watch out for products that contain metallic salts, additives, preservatives, or chemicals.
Most importantly, always avoid black henna with PPD. Black henna is the only type of henna that you need to stay away from as it contains a toxic chemical called Paraphenylenediamine (PPD). Some manufacturers usually mix henna with PPD to achieve a black or darker shade that is permanent. This chemical can cause serious skin reactions when applied to the scalp or skin. It has been banned in most countries because of its harmful side effects. Hence, always read the product labels before buying your hair dyes.
In these kinds of cases when you go to your parlor after coloring your hair with black henna, your stylist may find it difficult to use commercial hair dyes on your hair. Instead, they use harsh chemicals to get rid of the previous color to give you the desired hair color. This can result in permanently damaging your cuticle, making your hair thin and brittle.
Hence, always avoid henna products that include multiple chemicals or have a long list of artificial ingredients in them.
Now that we know the products that we need to stay away from, let us find out which are the best henna brands available in the market.
What are the Best Henna Brands to Buy?
This herbal hair color brand will give you gorgeous red shiny hair and can be used by both men and women.
- It contains 100% pure henna powder with no preservatives, chemicals, parabens, PPD, metallic salts, or fragrances.
- The high-quality organic henna leaves are crushed and triple sifted to make a smooth paste.
- Be it for hair coloring or full gray coverage, Silk & Stone guarantees great results. It also nourishes and revitalizes dull damaged hair.
- Additionally, it uses all-natural and pure plant-based ingredients such as indigo, amla, and other herbs so you can experiment with the darker shades.
Get beautiful and healthy orange to red hair color with the Henna Guys.
- This popular hair dye brand uses all-natural ingredients with no harmful additives.
- It is a vegan and cruelty-free product that ensures 100% gray coverage.
- The powder is triple cloth sifted ensuring an extremely fine and smooth powder that is easy to use.
- The Henna Guys hair dye comes in 6 different sizes and it offers 11 different shades for you to choose from.
Whether it’s deep red, rich brown, shiny black, or attractive auburn, this Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner will give you just the look that you desire.
- It is a certified organic brand that only uses botanical ingredients. There are no chemicals, parabens, PPD, ammonia, peroxide, and metallic salts.
- The creamy and smooth consistency ensures a non-messy paste.
- You can experiment with a wide range of interesting shades like bright red, medium brown, auburn, warm chestnut, deep black, and more. It only uses natural ingredients like indigo leaf powder or amla fruit powder for darker colors.
Last but not the least, this brand also includes 100% natural henna powder and is known for its superior quality.
- It effectively colors and nourishes your hair making it look beautifully smooth.
- There are no toxic chemicals or any additional ingredients, it’s just pure henna (100% Lawsonia Inermis Linn).
- Zenia Henna Paste also offers various color options. All the ingredients that are used are made from natural herbs that are rich, potent, and freshly harvested.
All of the above-mentioned products come with an application kit that includes a pair of gloves, a shower cap, and easy-to-follow instructions to get the best results. Even though these products contain pure henna powder, it is recommended that you always do a hair strand or skin test for your safety.
Well, there you go. You know almost everything important that you need to know about henna. If you are allergic to chemical hair dyes, then henna is the safest natural alternative. Henna not only colors your hair but also helps in conditioning and rejuvenating it.
If you are a first-timer, then there is no harm in coloring your hair with henna since you are already aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of using henna for hair by now. However, if you don’t love your henna-colored hair, it is recommended to wait it out rather than rushing to a parlor to get it artificially colored. Don’t worry your natural hair will always grow back, henna will never damage the roots of your hair.