Henna has lasted for over 5000 years in human history, but how long does it stay on our hair? And is there a proven way how to make henna last longer, so we can squeeze more joy out of our gorgeously coloured locks?
If you’re reading this, then it’s your lucky day because we have an assortment of tips and tricks in our back pocket that you can use to enrich your shade and dazzle the people around you with long-lasting colour.
Is henna dye permanent?
Yes, henna hair dye is permanent. This is due to how it reacts with your hair follicles. Henna dye works because it contains a natural pigment called Lawsone, which is similar to the keratin in carrots. The pigment work itself into the strands of your hair by binding to the cuticle, adding a protective layer of colour and shine.
So, how long does henna dye last?
Henna hair dye will begin to fade between 4 to 6 weeks after the initial application, however, it can stick around up to a few months. And this all depends on how long you leave the henna in when you dye it and the natural quality and type of your hair.
How to make henna hair dye last longer
If you’re love-struck with your new shade and don’t want to let go, there are ways to extend its life on your tresses. Great news if you use henna hair dye to cover up greys and don’t want to spend as long touching up the roots!
Factors that alter the lifespan of henna hair dye:
- How you mix henna hair colours and how long you leave the paste to rest
- Additional liquids e.g., lemon juice you put in the mixture
- How long you leave the mixture on your hair during application
- Products used directly after application
- How frequently you wash your hair
- The quality of henna hair dye you select
Our expert’s top 7 tips and tricks for long-lasting colour with henna
1. Quality dye and healthy hair
Generally speaking, higher quality henna dyes such as Henne henna hair dye will last much longer than others. Pair a good henna dye with healthy locks and you get a winning combination as healthier, stronger hair will retain the colour better than thinning or sun-damaged hair.
2. Leave it in longer than recommended
Unlike chemical hair dyes, you don’t need to worry about the formula frying your hair or for how long you leave it in. Henna works like a conditioner, strengthening and softening your tresses.
The longer you leave it in, the deeper it will permeate, and this results in a darker shade and longer-lasting colour. Because of this, you may want to leave the mixture soaking into your locks as long as safely possible.
3. Let the henna paste sit for longer
For maximum longevity, use the henna paste as soon as it has been mixed. Leaving it lying around for more than 8 hours will reduce its effectiveness.
4. Apply on clean hair
To achieve the best results, apply henna dye on clean hair and, if you can, apply it right after washing and drying.
5. Wait to wash your hair after dying
Another secret to maintaining your chosen colour is holding off washing your hair after application for at least 2-3 days. This will ensure the dye has fully penetrated your hair cuticles.
6. Avoid hair-damaging tools and products
This shouldn’t be surprising. Hair tools that damage your hair with heat or strain will damage your hair and cause the colour to fade.
Using sulphate-free or hypoallergenic hair care products will keep it nourished and healthy. And a hydrating hair mask will help to lock in the colour and shine.
7. Limit sun and chlorine exposure
If you’re the outdoorsy type, you might want to consider this: prolonged exposure to UV rays and chlorine may lighten your hair. Because of this, protecting your hair when swimming or out and about is a great way of maintaining your new colour.
The opposite now: how to remove henna from hair
Okay, you’re bored of your current look and want to change the colour early or simply go back to your natural shade. Where do we start?
First things first, if you’re not intending to keep the results of your henna dye adventure for very long, you can apply less than the recommendation for a subtler look. A twist on your hair colour, rather than an extreme change.
However, if you’re really unhappy with the outcome it is possible to make it fade away faster. This would involve oiling your hair, leaving it in and then using a clarifying shampoo. You could also try a home remedy of soaking your locks in alcohol or lemon juice. Luckily henna fades out quite naturally.
So how long does henna last on hair? It’s up to you! That’s the beauty of this natural, plant-based dye, while it doesn’t fade as easily as other hair dyes you can apply less to reduce the colour’s lifespan or follow our tips to enhance your hue and shine. Whichever you prefer, stay healthy and stay vibrant.