Henna for grey hair applications can add natural colour to greying hair. Not only does this help you achieve shinier, healthier hair – it can also encourage hair growth.
With over 50 per cent of the population going grey before their 50th birthday, hair dye is more popular than ever. Natural henna provides a great option to dye your hair using only plant-based, organic ingredients. A win for the environment and a win for your head!
The grey hair dilemma: to dye or not to dye?
Grey hair manifests when hair fibres lose their melanin, resulting in a white appearance when mixed with naturally dark-coloured strands. If you have naturally blonde hair, these white hairs may create the illusion of a lightening effect. Generally, grey or white hairs have a coarser texture compared to pigmented ones and are less receptive to dyes as the surface is more difficult to cling to.
Luckily, however, you can use the power of henna to manage greys and master hair colour consistency. This being said, the choice whether to camouflage these strands or rock it au naturelle is a personal one.
Hair is intrinsically linked to our identities, and it can change the way an individual and others perceive them. Sadly, due to unrealistic beauty standards and ageism in our society, grey hair can be viewed negatively and affect a person’s self-esteem. For those with prematurely greying hair (also known as canities), this can be particularly distressing. Hence, why covering up greys can be a powerful confidence booster. Or even a stepping stone between hiding those greys and hair acceptance, after all, self-love can take time.
Does henna cover grey hair?
Henna is a plant-based dye that comes from the Lawsonia inermis, or Henna tree. The red tones from its pigment provide a chemical-free base for natural hair dyes that can be used to colour many hair shades – from grey to red hair.
It’s best used with organic hair products as part of a regular hair care routine. This way, you’ll nourish your hair with products free from additives, chemicals, and any products that could damage your hair or scalp. And you can rest assured no animals were harmed in the making.
Benefits of henna hair dye for grey hair
There are many advantages to using henna dye for grey hair. It’s free from chemicals, avoiding harsh ingredients like PPD and bleach that can be found in chemical hair dyes. You can also mix the colours to choose your own shade, with practically a whole spectrum of natural shades at your disposal.
What colour will it turn greys?
We find that henna can have a magical impact on greying locks as it casts a glossy tincture over them, flattering the wearer with a youthful glow. On smaller sections, it will provide more of a highlights vibe, which can look particularly good on those with grey hairs around the roots – you get a sort of ombre effect.
Many ask what exact colour henna for grey hair will achieve. Well, this may depend on the percentage of grey hairs you have. For example, if you have a larger section of greys, it might come out more warm-toned as the strands may pull a bit more orange or red out of the henna.
On a head with a smaller percentage of greys, the henna will provide a more subtle, highlight-esque look. For those wanting to avoid more orangey, reddish tones make sure to select a more brown-based henna dye product.
So, now we have the colours of the way, what does the dyeing process look like?
DIY: How to use henna for covering up greys
If you’re feeling like a little DIY, then it’s time to learn how to mix henna hair dye for grey hair. Before you start, you’ll need a bowl, a shower cap, some warm water, some gloves and any extras you might want to nourish your scalp. For example, you could try coconut oil to apply before your colour to take extra care of your scalp – just make sure it’s not too greasy, so the mixture will easily infuse into the strands.
Bear in mind that you might need up to 12 hours to mix your henna powder – particularly if you’re using henna and indigo mix for grey hair. These darker tones will need extra time, and the longer you leave them, the deep the shade will be.
Optional extras may include:
- Lemon juice, ideal for blonder shades
- Indigo powder for darker shades
- Natural oils such as avocado or coconut to prep your scalp
- Plant extracts such as cassia and amla for added protection.
When you’re ready, add your henna powder to a bowl. Add just enough water to make a soft paste – too runny and the colour may not be as vibrant. Leave for a number of hours, up to 12 if you want a darker colour.
When you’re ready, divide your dry hair into sections and start to apply with your fingers (wearing gloves) from the hairline downwards. Repeat until your whole head is covered. Pull on a shower cap and wait for up to two hours, depending on how strong you want the colour to be.
Rinse your hair, then dry it. The next day, apply some henna conditioner for extra smoothness.
Considerations with henna grey hair applications
Henna has amazing healing properties that can both take care of your scalp and revitalise your locks. Remember, if you’re using henna to cover grey hair:
- Take a patch test 48 hours before – this will protect you from any unexpected allergies.
- The longer you leave the colour, the deeper it will be – for a beautiful coverage leave the henna on your head for up to 3-4 hours for a deep tone.
- Take care to avoid products with PPD if using black henna – check the ingredients before use.
- Don’t put henna hair dye directly on eyebrows – use a tint instead as it will provide a more natural look.
- Combine with other henna products – henna can also encourage the natural growth of thinning hair, so adding a henna conditioner or hair mask will help the strands maintain a healthier texture that is easier to dye when the next application comes around.
- Remember your shade will depend on your natural colour – consult a colour chart so you have an idea of what the result will look like.
How long will henna cover greys?
Henna for grey hair will only cover the lighter strands for so long – as your hair grows, the greys will start to poke through again. This means that we’ll have to invest in a little maintenance.
To get a long lasting and balanced coverage, you need to be prepared to do more than one application. Remember what we said before: greys are not only a different colour, but they are texturally different too. It might not be as simple as one and done – you may be required to build up the colour with two or three applications.
As annoying as this may sound, the payoff from naturally colouring your locks versus using a box dye is infinite for your health. Another way to make your hair’s new vibrancy last longer is to ditch any shampoos and conditioners laced with additives such as ammonia and parabens for henna alternatives. This way you can banish those pesky greys for as long as possible.
Regain your colour confidence
Whatever your age or whatever state your tresses are in, the path towards a healthy mane and a seamlessly even colouring is within your grasp. Find out more from taking care of your hair health to styling tips on itselixir’s blog today.