How Long To Keep Henna On The Hair & The Right Way To Apply
Learn how to apply this natural dye and the time needed for it to color your hair.
If you are planning to color your hair without the risk of chemicals, henna is your best bet. In this article, we teach you how to color your hair with henna. It is an all-natural dye derived from a tree. You can use it alone or with other herbs to color the hair (1).
Henna gives your hair a reddish-brown tinge. If applied properly, it can do miracles for your hair without any risk of side effects. Scroll down to know more!
In This Article
How Henna Colors Your Hair
The dyeing property of henna is due to the presence of laws one, a colorant (2). This naturally-occurring chemical reacts with your hair’s keratin protein to leave a strong stain that tends to last until the skin or hair is shed.
Let’s now find out the ideal time to keep henna on your hair in the next section.
How Long Should You Leave Henna On Your Hair?
The ideal time for keeping henna on your hair depends on the final result you are aiming for. For highlights, you may leave the henna on your hair for 1-3 hours, depending on the intensity of the color you want. If you are looking for a deep, rich color or want to cover gray hair, keep the henna on your hair for 3-4 hours.
The time is taken for henna takes to stain your hair also depends on the mixture’s strength and how you prepare it. For best results, mix henna with lukewarm water and let the thick paste sit, covered, for a few hours before using it.
Note: Do not keep henna on your hair beyond 5 hours to prevent dryness and scalp sensitization.
Are there any other effects of leaving henna on your hair for a long time? Find out below.
What Happens If You Leave Henna On Your Hair For Longer?
The longer you leave the henna paste on your hair, the more the lawsone molecules migrate into keratin to produce rich and saturated color. Generally, 5 hours are considered sufficient for maximum absorption of henna.
However, herbal hair dyes tend to rehydrate themselves by absorbing moisture from the hair. Thus, if you keep the henna mix on your hair for an unnecessarily long period, it may dry out your scalp and hair, leading to irritation.
Note: Test the henna paste on a small patch of your hair to find how it responds to the dye.
Wondering how long your henna hair color can last before your next application? Check out our answer in the following section.
How Often Should You Reapply Henna?
You can reapply henna every 3-4 weeks for full coverage. Typically, henna stains last until your strands fall off or your hair grows out. Therefore, the frequency of application depends on how fast your hair grows, especially if you are using henna to cover gray hair. You may also reapply henna on the same day after your first application as it is devoid of chemicals.
However, you need to apply henna on your hair correctly to get the best results. Read on to know the right way to do it.
How To Apply Henna On Your Hair The Right Way
- Shampoo and dry your hair before using henna. Do not condition your hair as the conditioner coats the hair and can block the henna from entering the hair shaft.
- If you want highlights, apply the mixture directly to the areas that you wish to highlight.
- For greater coverage, section your hair in layers and apply the henna paste.
- Tie your hair into a tight bun after covering all the layers.
- Wear a shower cap to avoid spillage. This will also keep the mixture warm and activate the dye faster.
- Wait for a few hours, depending on the results you want.
- Wash your hair with room temperature water or use a conditioner to rinse the dried paste.
- Reapply henna whenever the roots need a touch-up.
Infographic: Things To Keep In Mind While Applying Henna To Your Hair
Henna is a natural dye with numerous advantages, including dandruff reduction, scalp nourishment, and hair conditioning. However, you should be mindful of certain things if you want to get the most out of it. Check out the infographic below for some excellent tips on applying henna to your hair.
Henna is the best way to color your hair naturally without using products with harmful chemicals. However, you need to let the henna mixture sit for a few hours before applying it for effective results. The time you leave the henna on your hair also impacts the result. For example, leaving it on for 1-3 hours is good for getting highlights and 3-4 hours for getting rich color. However, henna exposure for more than 5 hours may dry out your hair and scalp and weaken the strands. You can color your hair with henna every 3-4 weeks. If you are applying it for the first time, do a patch test first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you leave the henna on your hair overnight?
No, it is not a good idea to leave the henna on your hair overnight, as it can dry out your hair and scalp.
Can I shampoo my hair after applying henna?
No. Do not use a shampoo within 48 hours after applying henna. However, you can opt for color-safe shampoos if it gets hard to rinse the dried paste.
Is henna healthier than hair dye?
Yes. According to anecdotal evidence, henna is healthier than regular hair dye since it contains no chemicals and may be replete with nourishing compounds.
Does adding coffee to henna make it darker?
Possibly not. According to anecdotal evidence, coffee does not impart any color but may merely add a strong aroma to your henna dye.
Does henna cause hair thinning?
There is a lack of scientific evidence suggesting that the use of henna may lead to hair thinning.
Does applying henna cause gray hair?
There is a lack of scientific evidence suggesting that the use of henna may lead to graying of hair.
Can I mix henna with coconut oil?
Yes. Adding a few spoonfuls of coconut oil to your henna can help moisturize your dry hair. Coconut oil will not hinder the dye uptake.
- The lawsone molecules in henna react with hair’s keratin protein and leave a strong stain that lasts until the skin or hair is shed.
- The longer you leave the henna paste on your hair, the more the molecules migrate into keratin to produce rich and saturated color.
- The frequency of henna application depends on how fast your hair grows, especially if you are using henna to cover gray hair.
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