Natural Hair Color
Some people might think you can’t achieve fabulous hair color from using chemical- free, plant-based hair dye but that’s not the case! The truth is, natural hair color can be an excellent option in certain situations. For those looking to color their hair without any chemicals, Henna could be the right option for you!
What is Henna?
Henna is made from the Lawsonia Inermis shrub and has been used for centuries to dye skin, fabrics and of course, hair! Henna hair color may also contain other natural ingredients such as indigo, rhubarb or beetroot depending on what shade you choose. Besides coloring your hair, Henna can also condition and add shine to hair.
Henna is a direct dye, meaning you will not need any sort of activator for it to work. You just mix with water and apply directly to your hair. Once mixed with water, it has a similar consistency to mud (this may alarm you but just think of it as a mud mask for your hair!). Henna has to sit on anywhere from 2-8 hours depending on what you’re trying to achieve so make sure to give yourself plenty of time!
Even though Henna is all natural and a direct dye, it is a permanent hair color so once it’s in the hair it will be there until your hair eventually grows out and gets cut off. This is really important to consider as it can affect your options for hair color later on.
Who should use Henna?
Henna hair color is great for anyone looking to enhance or slightly deepen their natural hair color. Henna comes in brown, black and red shades and can add beautiful warm tones to the hair. It works great at enhancing natural highlights and if done properly, can provide a more natural looking finish than traditional hair color. Henna can blend gray hair, but it will not fully cover them. Remember you need plenty of time to let Henna process, so make sure you’re someone who has a few hours to spare!
*Tip- look for Henna without metallic salts. Metallic salts can make it impossible to use any other hair color until the Henna has grown out. Metallic salts combined with traditional permanent hair color or lighteners can cause a chemical reaction where your hair can actually start to smoke!
Who should not use Henna?
You cannot go lighter with Henna, so if you’re looking to go lighter than your natural hair color it’s not for you. It should also be avoided if you are planning to change your hair color in the salon anytime soon, once Henna is in the hair it can make it harder to color it with other kinds of hair color (make sure to always discuss any at home hair color in detail with your stylist!). Henna does not give 100% gray coverage so if you need full coverage, stick with traditional, permanent hair color.
Other Options for Natural Hair Color
If you have lighter hair and cannot use Henna but still want a chemical free option, look for natural hair color that uses Cassia Angustifolia (also known as Senna) instead. Cassia can tone and help enhance natural or colored blonde hair. Unlike Henna, it isn’t permanent and will fade out of the hair in a couple months.