written by Lancer Forney-McMahon
Booth Renter and Independently run hairstylist at Emerson Salon, Lancer has been asked many questions about henna and there are many variances that make coloring hair with henna unique. Here is some great information that can help inform you about whether henna is a good choice for you and your hair, as well as what to expect from henna, how to prepare for your henna appointments, and how to take care of your hair post-henna treatment at home.
To book with Lancer in Seattle- request an appointment at yourhairguy.com/newguest
What Henna Color Can and Cannot Do:
Henna deposits pigment onto the hair. It cannot lighten hair. Henna is often permanent and difficult to color over.
Henna dyes do not contain chemicals that are required to change the color of dark hair.
Henna is natural, and individual results vary, based on one’s hair color.
When henna is applied on black or dark brown hair, the result will be within the auburn to burgundy range, with red highlights that will be visible in the sunlight.
On light hair, henna might look perfect, or it might come out intense orange or red, since henna doesn't fade very much on light or fine hair.
What Is In Henna Color and How Does It Work?
Blonde, Brown, Auburn, Mahogany, and other shades of henna colorants contain amla, indigo, walnut, rhubarb, and lawsonia.
Henna can be enhanced by adding other natural ingredients such as chamomile, beet powder, paprika, coffee, and indigo.
Henna works by depositing natural pigments that coat the hair and also provides shine to the hair.
This coating is what conditions your hair and makes it shiny, but is also why it’s difficult to remove.
Natural Henna is 100% naturally grown & chemical free. The hues produced by henna are natural and vibrant.
Henna treatments enhance volume and sooth the scalp, and it also reduces dandruff.
Henna's benefits are cumulative; with repeated applications over the years, henna improves the hair's texture.
Since henna is natural, it conditions and colors your hair in a natural and safe manner.
Henna naturally conditions, strengthens, removes excess oil, protects hair from sun damage, and leaves hair silky and soft.
First Time Henna Users:
Everyone’s hair is different, and getting rid of unwanted henna color is rarely an option.
I always recommend doing a strand test before a first time henna service, because natural dyes also affected by your natural color, as well as any other colors you have on your hair.
Henna can only be grown out or cut out of the hair, because it is a permanent stain. it can be color shifted or enhanced only with another henna product, since it coats the outer hair shaft which affects the penetration of traditional chemical colors.
Your results may vary and it may take up to 3-4 applications for your hair to recognize henna.
If you don’t see your desired color right away, wait 48-72 hours to see your results.
Henna stains hair red-orange, but the stain is translucent and will combine with your natural color.
Repeated henna applications will result in a deeper color.
Henna can become less translucent over time from repeated applications, by applying a deeper henna mixture, or from mixing henna with indigo.
Sometimes an additional henna application is needed for the optimal results, especially on gray hair.
Gray hair tends to be stubborn and can be difficult to cover with henna because henna is so natural, and nature takes its time.
Henna will dye white hair a natural red or a deep red.
Henna will dye blonde hair red, which can translate as intense orange.
Henna on red hair will make the hair a deeper red.
Post-Henna Service (At Home Care Instructions):
Please shampoo your hair between 24-48 hours of application to lock in your color.
If you have deep red, wine red, mahogany, or burgundy henna on your hair, you should then wash your hair for 3 consecutive days to help lessen the pigment bleeding.
Red clay is used in these henna colors, which tends to make the color bleed.
Tips to Lessen Color Bleeding:
Avoid using any white linens during the bleed stage post-red henna coloring.
Make sure your hair is dry before dressing, and avoid light colored clothing.
Please avoid piling your hair on top of your head while washing your hair. Always rinse from roots to tips and consider washing sections separately.
Rinsing with cold cool water is very important to help seal the hair cuticle, lessening dyes escaping.
Using conditioner when rinsing henna helps lessen color bleeding.