There are two types of henna dye. Natural henna is a vegetable based powder used to colour and strengthen hair while neutral henna is a vegetable based powder from India that strengthen hair but doesn’t dye it (or only slightly). There are several shades of natural henna which can create hues from copper to red. If mixed with other plant based powders, a natural henna can create even more shades. Dyeing your hair might be fun and exciting but there are a few pieces of advice should you consider?
1) Ask for professional advice
Depending on the colour of your hair, henna dyes won’t have the same results. For example, blonde hair can take a copper or reddish colouring. This is why it is best to ask for professional advice from a hair dresser when you try your first henna dye.
Similarly, you should make a clay mask for your scalp before applying the henna dyes so that your hair is prepared for the dyeing process.
If you decide to colour your hair yourself make sure you choose a completely natural and organic henna dye. Some dyes that are labelled “natural” contain metallic salts which can irritate the scalp and damage your hair.
2) How to apply the henna
You should mix the powdered henna with warm (not boiling) water. If needed you can add other natural colourants as well. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together as a metal whisk can alter the henna’s quality by oxidising it
Next apply the mixture onto damp, clean and wrung out hair so that your entire head of hair is covered. Now you can cover your hair with a sheet of cling film so as to prevent the dye from drying out. Leave the dye in your hair for 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on your desired results.
Thoroughly rinse your hair without using shampoo as the colour will continue to fix itself over the next two to three days. You should also try to avoid applying an oily substances like coconut oil, oily based masks or Shea butter before using a henna dye. You also should not add these oily mixtures to the mixture as it could alter the pigments of the dye. However you can add aloe vera if you would like.
For light coloured hair, it is recommended that you leave a neutral henna on your hair for a maximum of 30 minutes.
3) How often should you dye your hair with henna?
Hair dressers recommend not to overload your hair with too many layers of henna dye over a short period of time. Although it is a natural product , you shouldn’t over use it and try and dye your hair every week. Dyeing your hair once every two months should be enough or every month if your you have white hair.
4) Be careful of the amount of indigo so you don’t get green hair
Choose a neutral or natural pure henna which contains no other plant with a blue pigment. Brown, red or copper dyes contain a percentage of indigo but if you give you hair highlights and decolour your hair which has received blue pigments, your hair can turn a greenish colour.
5) Advice for white hair
If the percentage of your white hair is more than 30%, you should dye your hair with henna in two stages. After the first stage you should leave a 15 to 20 minute break and then use an other colour with a longer break depending on the desired result.