Things I wish I would have known about henna before I used it to dye my hair…
When I was first looking for a good cruelty free and vegan hair dye, tons and tons of people suggested that I try using henna. It’s a natural plant-based dye, has an affordable price tag, and was totally animal friendly. I read over and over again about how great it is for your hair, how it comes in a variety of shades if you buy the boxed variety, that the henna dye will combine with your hair color, and that it’s not 100% permanent.
Everything that I read made it seem like a great option. Natural, animal friendly, and great for my hair? I’m on board! So I picked up a box of henna and gave it a shot. I used Light Mountain Henna because it’s one I’ve seen in stores for as long as I can remember and it came in a variety of shades. I bought Medium Brown, which is actually my natural hair color. At first, I liked the henna. It wasn’t too difficult to make and apply (just very time consuming and I smelled like a barn for a few hours), it did seem to make my hair softer, and at first the color was great. It looked natural and I was happy with it.
So what changed? Why am I now wishing that people had told me more about henna? Because dying my hair with henna was probably the worst hair disaster I’ve ever had. This is coming from a girl who once ended up with algae green hair after a dying accident. So, trust me, when I say that it’s bad now I mean it.
Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Henna before I dyed my hair with it :
- Despite all the henna color having washed out within 2 weeks, the henna itself is very, very permanent. I am now stuck with a dark red tint to my hair no matter what I do. I have never naturally had any red in my hair. As a brunette, the sun brings out gold tones in my hair. Even after the color fades, the henna itself is stuck in your hair until you grow it out.
- You can’t use normal color removers on henna. You can only use fruit based color removers or you run the risk of your hair breaking off completely. This is a very tedious process on its own and is even more so using fruit based color removers. I found a blog where the person used them to remove the henna from her hair. It was a 2 month process to get the henna stripped from their hair.
- You can’t use most chemical dyes after henna. You run the risk of your hair breaking off. I saw on a forum where a girl described this happening to her friend and said that it was literally like watching her friends hair melt off her head. Horrifying! Thankfully, Light Mountain is completely plant-based, so this isn’t a risk with that brand. If you use henna that isn’t 100% plant-based, you’re stuck using henna only, dealing with roots as your hair grows out, or chopping off all your hair in order to continue.
- Chemical dyes have a hell of a time sticking over henna. Apparently henna completely closes your hair shaft. So if you are lucky enough to have used a 100% plant-based henna and are able to dye over it, it’s going to fade incredibly fast. I now have to dye my hair every 1-2 weeks with dark brown dye or else it fades to a bright auburn. Now I have nothing against this color but, when I want my hair to be dark golden brown, that’s the color that I want. I don’t want this red business going on.
- You are taking a gamble on the end color. Apparently I’m extremely lucky that my hair has taken on a red tint as it typically will take on a green tint for most people. A green tint! Even yesterday, I dyed my hair with one shade different from what I normally do. I used dark brown instead of dark golden brown. My hair is currently black with random orange streaks. It’s absolutely terrible and, apparently (according to what I am reading and my friend who does hair), absolutely because of the henna that’s in my hair that kept the dye from absorbing correctly and evenly.
These are all things that I didn’t read on any website or blog about dying your hair with henna. I really really wish that I had.What I’ve learned is that it’s just a different type of girl who uses henna than what I am. While it may be great for some people, if you want any options for the future of your hair color you should avoid it at all costs. Also, there aren’t nearly enough warnings about the negative and incredibly long-term effects that henna can have on your hair. These are important to know!
In order to correct all the issues that I’ve had with my hair because of using henna, I’ve spent way more money than if I had actually paid to get it done at a salon. Now, I may even have to find a salon with fruit color removed and go through the process of getting the henna color stripped from my hair. I don’t even want to know what that is going to run me. All from a $7.00 box of dye.
So what are the options if you want to have animal friendly hair color??
- Paul Mitchell Professionals offers vegan hair color.
- Aveda offers vegan hair color.
- The shades of Revlon ColorSilk are vegan (I talked to rep on the phone about it), but only the conditioner in the regular dye is vegan.
Have you used henna on your hair? What were your results?
Edited on February 29, 2012 – Check out this post from Snowflake Says… on How To Do A Henna Strand Test. It’s something I wish would have been available to me before I used henna.
Images : WeHeartIt