Posted on May 23 2017
Let's be honest, red hair will always be in. In a sea of brunettes and blondes, why not turn heads with vibrantly red hair? You can look studious, playful, mysterious, or alluring. Your hair will catch the sun, and people will stop you asking if it's natural because they love your look. Red hair can be absolutely stunning, but most people shy away from the challenge because it can be so hard to find a beautiful, natural looking shade.
The secret is henna. That's right: it's the stuff used to make beautiful temporary tattoos, but henna has been used for centuries to dye everything from silk to hair. Unlike hair dye, henna is 100% natural, so you won't be putting any harsh chemicals onto the delicate hair shaft. It also coats the hair shaft rather than sinking in, so it naturally locks in moisture and your hair's natural proteins: if you're trying to grow your hair out, this will help make it easier to maintain. Quality henna also doesn't fade out brassy like most red hair-dyes, either. In fact, once you reach the depth of color you like, you'll find you may only have to ever touch up the roots: henna holds its color.
That said, there are tricks to choosing and using henna. Just like hair dye, not all henna is created equal. Read on to discover the top 5 tips when choosing henna for that natural, luscious redhead look.
- Henna needs to be as fresh as possible. The older henna is, the less true to its color it will be. With so many shades available, you want to be secure knowing what you bought is the color you actually want. This means you should not buy the henna you see in boxes at the store. You have no idea how long its been there, and it most likely hasn't been properly stored. Your safest bet is to order online from a reputable distributor.
- Now that you're looking online, where do you even begin? You want henna that is 100% from the henna plant: lawsonia inermis. Cheaper hennas can be cut with chemicals, fillers, and even regular hair dye. Such fillers can dry your hair, alter the color, and effect fade-out. When looking for 100% henna, you also want to guarantee that the product is free of pesticides. Henna is a wonderful, natural product to use, but it is from a plant, so you want to make sure the plant wasn't treated.
- Be aware that one color does not fit all. If any website tries to tell you that with this one product, you will get this one color...they're lying. Henna coats the hair shaft, it doesn't sink in. This means it's coating whatever color is underneath, and it will be influenced by that. Darker shades of hair will produce darker reds, and lighter colors will take the red more easily. That doesn't mean you can't influence the color with other natural mix-ins such as lemon juice to lighten or indigo to darken, but you should be aware that henna doesn't look exactly the same on any two people. That's a god thing! It makes your hair as individual as you, and thus it looks far more natural because it clearly isn't from a box. To figure out what shades of henna will look like on you, use a henna hair color chart.
- That said, you can influence the look of henna by how long you let it sit on your hair. People who just want the lightest touch of red will leave it on their hair for as short as thirty minutes for a slight coating. Others will leave it on for up to four hours or even overnight to achieve the deepest shades (though henna does naturally stop processing over some hours, so it won't perpetually deepen your hair). By changing the amount of time you leave the henna, you can fine tune just how rich you want the color to be, but be warned: it's better to leave the henna on for a shorter time when you first start because, as with all hair coloring, it's easier to darken your hair than it is to lighten it. If you want a richer color, you can simply apply more henna over what you've already dyed.
- The henna will lighten in the first 3-5 days. Once you wash the henna off in the shower, what you see won't be the final result. For the next 3-5 days, a little bit more will come off in each shower as the excess washes off. It's not a drastic change, and it isn't fading in its brilliance. It will be just a slightly lighter shade of red, and then the color will hold. It gives you the benefit of lightening your hair if you made it too dark, or giving you a taste of a darker shade if you decide you want to deepen it.
Henna is a beautiful way to dye your hair. Not only is it 100% natural and very easy to use, but your hair will be silky and gleaming. With these five tips, you're well on your way to selecting the best henna for your hair. With comments, questions, and concerns, please contact us here, and don't forget to check out our other hair care products for radiant hair!