10 Things that can Alter the Colour of Henna Hair Dye

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Our organic, natural Henna Hair Dye is as stable as natural colours get, but many things can alter the result of your dye job.

We’ve listed ten key things that can create an unexpected henna colour result – let us know @itspureorganic if you think we should add to this list.

1.     The colour of your natural hair

If your hair is very light or very dark, you’ll need to consider which shade is right for you.  Henna cannot lighten hair, so if you want a significantly lighter result you'll need to be very careful as it isn't safe to put Henna over bleached hair.  There are some lighteners on the market that claim to be chemical free but check the ingredients and ALWAYS do a strand test.   

If your hair is very light, you’ll need to add some red into the colour with a pre-pigment first to ensure an even, deep result

2.     How many times you use Henna

You can use Henna on your hair as often as once a week, so if you want a very intense result, you may want to consider using it more regularly

3.     If you use another colour with it

You can use Cassia for more golden tones and Indigo for a blue-black result. 

4.     If you’ve previously straightened or permed your hair

Contrary to what some professionals say, you can use Henna on your hair if you straighten or perm it, but absolutely not at the same time. Leave at least a two week gap to allow the hair structure to settle down and do the Henna after the treatment, not before.

5.     If you use chemical colours

Chemical colours use agents that roughen the hair shaft to allow the colour to penetrate – this is very difficult to do when you’ve coloured your hair with Henna, so it can leave it dry and more porous. 

It’s best to use a lot of conditioners if your hair is previously coloured and be aware that it will be at least 12 weeks before you can try a synthetic colour change.

6.       Oxidation

Henna always oxidises (gets darker) over time.  At first the colour is bright and deepens during the 48 hours following colouring. You should never panic if your hair's a little bright at first, as it will always darken with time – give it at least 72 hours before trying to darken.

7.       What you mix it with

Very acidic mixes, like lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are popular but will definitely oxidise more over time. Initial colours will be bright copper but will darken more than a PH negative or neutral mix (like distilled water) which will have a more subtle result and less darkening.

8.       Hair Saturation

Lots of people try to treat Henna like a conventional dye and cover the hair root to tip.  This isn’t necessary.  Henna hair dye does not fade, so if you keep over-dyeing the ends, they will get very dark.  Just touch up where necessary with a brush.

9.       The Hardness of your Water

Hard water has more minerals in it ( you can tell if you get a lot of limescale or it smells slightly of sulphur).  These minerals lead to darkening of the Henna dye and an unexpected result. It’s a good idea to pre cleanse before dyeing with a clarifier like our Shikakai powder.

10.   Sun and Heat Exposure

Exposure to lots of sunshine can bleach out the colour causing a fade (which it also does to natural hair).  Contrarily, the heat from over-styling can oxidise the hair further, causing it to get darker and darker.

We always recommend slathering the hair in Shea butter and a scarf in super-hot weather to nourish and protect your colour.  If you go swimming a lot (indoors of out) chlorine can cause your colour to run, so always wear a cap to protect it.

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