Thursday, July 2, 2009


The Truth About Henna

Ever since I expressed my love for red highlights, many of my divas have asked me if I've ever used Henna or considered using it to color my hair. I don't really know much about Henna, other than that it can be used to make one heck of a temporary tattoo. Thus, I didn't have enough information on it to consider adding it to my repertoire…until now.

In the article titled "The Coloring Book," featured in the July 2009 issue of Hype Hair magazine, hair stylists attempt to dispel some of the myths surrounding Henna, and its effect as a hair coloring treatment:

"Like any other kind of dye, henna has both pros and cons. While henna dyes can be great because they are significantly less damaging than chemical dyes, henna is also fundamentally unpredictable. Henna is great for achieving rich, natural-looking dark hues. But contrary to popular belief, you cannot remove it with shampoos or rinses. Henna is often publicized as a semi-permanent color, or an all-natural process that 'deposits' color on the hair. However, these statements are a bit misleading. The main ingredient in henna dye is lawsone, also known as henno tannic acid. This primary ingredient binds to the keratin in the hair, and to put it simply, once applied, it's not coming out anytime soon. Moreover, because henna dyes are natural they tend to change color over the course of time.

Henna dyes used for hair coloring are usually combined with other plant dyes like indigo, turmeric and senna. Such dyes have been known to significantly fade with repeated shampooing and conditioning, leaving a brassy or even burnt orangey look that doesn't easily go away.

Henna can be unpredictable, unsuspecting consumers can get into more than they bargained for with such a product. Henna is still a viable color alternative. Experimenting with your hair is fine, just be prepared to face the consequences. When looking for alternatives to traditional coloring it's best to seek professional advice."

So, it seems that henna isn't as temporary as some perceive it to be. I don't think it would be a great option for me, as the application process appears to be a little messier than that of box kits. Plus, I only color my bangs, and I prefer a reddish blond hue to a dark red. Yet, for those of you who do use henna or were considering using it, at least now you have the info you need to make an informed decision.


avant-gardiste said...

Thanks for posting! While perusing the Long Hair Care Forum, ladies were discussing henna, and I absolutely had no idea what it did for the hair. I thought it was primarily and only used for the skin. I just assumed it was some sort of natural straightener lol.=P

DPrincess28 said...

Yeah, I hear you. Now, I do know that you can use henna in a different form as a deep conditioning treatment. I see packets for it at Sally's and the package claims that it won't alter the color of your hair. However, I've been skeptical of that, which is why I just stay away from it.

CurlyKye said...

Just to add to your post.

Most henna products that are commercially/massed produced are not NATURAL/PURE henna. Pure henna only comes in one color.

A lot of women on have done the henna treatments with pure henna. A great thread to read before taking the plunge (this is what I read to make my decision to make henna a part of my hair regimen, I only do it one every 1-2 months)...

Also, if anyone wants to do research, is a great resource to start with. Great research and information. Plus a huge forum to read and ask questions.

HTH :)

Janelle said...

Thanks for this information. I stumbled on this looking through your site for information on coloring. I generally use a semi-permanent, but I notice it leaves my hair almost immediately. So I figure I maybe missing something. Anyway I have consider Henna, the research has only shown the pros thus far, so I am grateful to read a few cons. The cons to me out weigh the pros. Not to say I won't try it in the future, but for now it isn't for me.