Henna is great for strengthening hair as well as being capable of bringing hair the world’s most beautiful natural colors. Gorgeous shades of coppers, auburns, reds, cinnamons, brown and burgundies… Radiantly rich colors and a thick head of healthy locks with lustrous volume- what more could a girl want?
Now before you run out and actually henna your hair, there are some things to consider. Have you recently died or permed your hair? Would you plan on perming your hair in the future? If so, you may wish to rethink or hold off! Henna is great for your hair, but doesn’t play well with chemical hair treatments. Unless you want to risk a head of green hair, or goodness knows what else, you really want to wait at least 30 days from your last perm or coloring. Also, once henna is applied to your hair, it is said that the color can remain for up to one whole year!
I even ran a little experiment just for the purpose of having this information to share. Hey, we’re all friend here, right? I can take the risk of a head that looks like ripe lime for the team!
Now until this experiment, I have been dying my hair with henna for well over a year and a half. Prior to that, I was an avid permanent hair dye user, so I know how my hair reacts to permanent dye. Even with naturally dark brown hair and the occasional grays, my hair would take to dye very well- even with very light shades. For my experiment I waited 10 weeks from my last henna application and used my old favorite brand permanent dye in a light “strawberry blonde” color.
The results? As usual, my dark roots took to the dye like a charm, including my iridescent silver hairs. Now, the rest of my hair is another story… The entire rest of my head remained the very same EXACT color it was before it was introduced to the dye! The dye had absolutely no effect, even since it was a good two and a half months since my last use of henna. So from the conclusion of this experiment, we can gather that if you decide you want to go henna, don’t plan on going back for a long time!
Another factor to consider is your desired outcome. Henna, even though it is obviously is a powerful sticking dye, is not capable of actually lightening your hair. Also, if you have lighter colored hair, the highlights in certain shades may be more intense. Sometimes it takes a few tries of different types of henna and herbal additives to achieve the exact shades you’re looking for.
So is it worth it? Well, only each individual person can decide. There are those that try it and curse the names of those that introduce them to it for ages! Yet, there are many such as myself, that swear by it. Even after my experiment, it made me realize how much I don’t miss chemical hair dyes. Yes, as a life long brunette, sometimes it was fun to be a blonde for a little while here and there. However the benefits of not having to trim my hair excessively every month from brittle split ends, the added volume and shine to my hair, and the fact I know I’m taking a safer route for my body and the environment, more than makes up for it. Besides, the whole “cherry chocolate” shade I’ve been using looks pretty good on me!