If you’ve been reading my posts, you may remember me mentioning using henna to colour my hair. It’s origins lie in Africa and India where it has been used to dye skin, hair, fingernails, and fabrics for hundreds of years. Traditionally, it has been used as a powder, ground from the flowers of the henna tree.
While dyeing your hair with powdered henna can be an arduous task (believe me), liquid henna is as easy using a regular hair colour, with a few exceptions. Here are the pros and cons in comparison to hair dye:
- It’s healthy. Henna does not harm your hair, as it coats the shaft with colour.
- It acts as a conditioner. It smooths the hair shaft as it adds colour.
- It thickens your hair. As henna coats the shaft it thickens each strand, making it fuller.
- It is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. Henna contains no harmful chemicals.
- It is available in a variety of colours and locations. Henna is available in tones from blonde to black and is available in most health food and some grocery/department stores.
- It’s easy to remove. Toning down a new henna colour is as easy as putting a conditioner mask on your hair for an hour and rinsing out
- You can’t leave it on too long. Actually, the longer you leave it, the deeper the colour and the more conditioned your hair is.
- It requires no mixing. Because of this you can apply the product right out of the box. Any remaining liquid can be kept for your next use.
Because of this, it is the ideal hair colour for long and/or fine hair. Regular colouring with henna is good for your hair, conditioning it with every use. The more you henna, the nicer your hair!
- Grey hair is more resistant. As henna is more gentle than regular hair dye and only coats the hair shaft (hair dye changes the colour of the hair matrix), it takes more than one application to cover grey completely.
- Other hair products, like hair dye and perms, are not as effective. As it coats the hair, henna can block the absorption of the chemicals used in other permanent hair treatments.
- It takes longer. While hair dye MUST be removed in less than half an hour, depending on the type, you need to leave henna on for at least an hour.
- Powdered henna is hard to rinse out. As powdered henna must be mixed with water and applied, it’s like putting mud in your hair. Rinsing it out takes a very long time. However, this is not a problem with liquid henna.
I’ve developed a workaround for the resistant grey problem. Since I don’t need the full bottle when I colour, I save about 1/3 of it and re-apply to my roots a few days later. This second application is usually enough to keep the grey away.
If you are interested in trying liquid henna, there are a couple of brands I would recommend:
The most popular brand out there is Colora Henna. The powdered version has been available in stores for decades and they came out with liquid versions (called henna creme) soon after. You can buy it in virtually any health food store, online from a supplier or direct from the manufacturer. It usually retails for under $10 in Canada. Here’s their website:
The other type I’ve used is Surya Brasil. I’ve only found it in a few select health food stores but I know it is available online on multiple sites. It retails for about $17 locally but is closer to $14 online at the manufacturer:
Regardless of the brand, both products leave your hair with a rich, shiny tone and feel. Personally, I love using it as it makes my hair feel great and doesn’t damage it. That’s why I call it my friend 😀