Want to make your hair color more lustrous or cover up gray hair but are afraid of all the chemicals in regular hair dyes? Then switch to henna hair dyes! These cream or powder hair colorants are usually completely natural and can actually nourish your hair and scalp instead of irritating them.
Light Mountain's Natural Hair Color and Conditioner is our favorite, because it's USDA-certified organic, looks vibrant, lasts long, and comes with gloves and a hair cap! Read on to find out which henna hair dyes made the final cut in our 10 best list, and find out what you should keep in mind while shopping with our buying guide.
Denise is a licensed cosmetologist who advises people on certain products they should get. She formally worked at Ulta and is now headed into a salon.
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Henna hair dye is made from the Lawsonia inermis plant, also known as the henna tree or mignonette tree, which is packed with natural chemicals that can strengthen and enhance your hair's vibrancy. With strong antibacterial properties, henna hair dye can also help prevent infection and treat dandruff.
Aside from the nourishing qualities, henna is a great permanent hair dye as well. It can keep your color vibrant from four to six weeks, but keep in mind that it takes a long time to set as well - about one to six hours based on the dye's formula and your desired color vibrancy.
If you're afraid of all the potential damage that synthetic dyes can do to your hair, a shift to henna can be a safer and more natural option!
When choosing a henna hair dye, make sure to consider your desired color shade and try to avoid harmful chemicals! This buying guide will give you some more tips for choosing a product that works wonderfully for you.
Henna hair dyes get their colors either from the henna powder alone or from a blend of henna and other plant-based ingredients. Usually, 100 percent henna powder will add an orange-reddish tone to your hair.
If you're looking for rich, darker shades like a dark reddish-brown, then look for a product combining henna with indigo, a tropical plant that gives a dark blue shade. Based on the percentages of indigo and henna used, a product can have a brown, dark brown, or dark copper shade.
However, keep in mind that the effect of a henna dye changes depending on your base hair color. Red henna will look different on black hair than on blonde hair.
So when choosing, pick a shade that's lighter than your desired color. With henna, you can go darker with more applications, but not lighter. For example, if dark brown is the color you want to achieve, then go for a medium-brown shade!
You may not know it, but different varieties of henna have different processing times, or in other words, they have different amounts of time they must sit in your hair to properly dye it. Factoring this into your decision is important because everyone has different schedules and times they can set aside for hair dyeing.
Indian henna is some of the highest quality henna available. It's generally a fine brown powder and offers the darkest tones you can achieve.
For best results, let Indian henna sit in your hair overnight, or about eight to twelve hours, for full effect. This henna has the added benefit of being easily combined with other herbal powders such as indigo, as well as amla, reetha, and shikakai, which are said to promote hair growth.
From the Rajasthan region of India, Rajasthani henna powder is known to offer rich red tones and darker orange tones. It's one of the best henna powders and can be found certified USDA organic.
In general, this henna takes about four to five hours to process. Some henna artists and experts will leave it longer, up to overnight, to achieve a very dark burgundy shade.
Moroccan henna comes from the Western Sahara region of Morocco. Besides being easily obtained by those living in the US, it's also one of the fastest-acting henna dyes.
It can take as little as two to four hours to completely set, but letting it set longer will result in a more vibrant color. It's recommended for those who are after a reddish-orange color but can be combined with indigo powder to achieve a dark black.
You may see "sifted" or "triple sifted" on the packaging of your henna hair dye. This is not only to ensure that the powder is quality and free of leaves, twigs, or other undesirable debris, but also to prevent the powder from clumping. Smooth, fine henna powder is higher quality and much easier to work with!
Some henna hair dye products might claim to be 100 percent pure but actually contain additives such as synthetic dyes, ammonia, and metallic salts. So take caution before making a purchase!
Ammonia is a chemical that helps the dye penetrate more quickly into your hair strands for more robust color. However, it might damage your hair cuticles and leave your hair strands feeling and looking dry, brittle, and lackluster.
Metallic salts are commonly found in henna hair dyes to help achieve a wider range of colors. But they do not react well with other chemicals like ammonia or synthetic dyes, so changing your hair color to another shade might be difficult. A metallic salt-based dye can also dull hair and lead to hair breakage, so just try your best to stay away!
Not all henna hair dyes are naturally-derived. Many hair dyes, particularly darker shades, contain chemical dyes such as red 40, para-toluene diamine (PTD), and paraphenylenediamine (or PPD).
Those chemical dyes help provide long-lasting and natural-looking color, but they are also potential irritants and allergens. Particularly, PPD is well-known to cause redness and face swelling in some people.
This compound is mainly found in a product called black henna, which combines PPD and henna to create a dark color. To achieve a dark color naturally, try using a combination of henna and indigo.
Henna hair dyes can come in the form of either powder or cream. Each form has its own pros and cons, so consider them before making a purchase!
The powder type of henna is usually more potent since it is not diluted with water or other ingredients. With a powder product, you have the freedom to explore different recipes, so feel free to add other botanical extracts or essential oils as you like!
It's typically also limited on ingredients, sometimes being nothing other than the plant powder itself. However, dealing with powder might be quite messy. You have to measure and mix everything on your own. Also, keep in mind that the henna mixture has a strong staining power, so better cover up your clothes and bathroom sink beforehand!
Henna cream is already pre-mixed, so you can just apply the product to your hair without extra steps. It also usually has a shorter processing time, sometimes only 30 minutes. Furthermore, henna cream is often enriched with nourishing ingredients and can leave your hair feeling soft and moisturized.
The cream types are more expensive than powder ones. And while a powdered product usually contains simple, recognizable ingredients, a cream might be made with added chemicals that you may want to avoid.
Henna is perishable and can lose its potency gradually, so don't just choose a package with tons of henna inside and expect it to last forever. It's important to determine how many uses you can get out of one package, and see if you really need that amount.
For those with thick and curly hair, make sure to overestimate how much you need, since you will need more product than those with regular or thin hair.
In case you only want to dye your hair once or twice, a small package of under four ounces would do the trick. But if you intend to share with your friends or tend to change your hair color frequently, opt for a greater amount, like over 10 ounces.
There are also dyes for specific areas such as eyebrows and beards which won't take as much dye as doing your whole head. So consider the areas to which you want to apply the product as well! Also, make sure to choose a product packed in a resealable bag to preserve the quality of the powder.
Some people assume that henna helps hydrate the hair and scalp, but it's actually not true. Henna is effective in strengthening your hair, but it does not seal in moisture and can actually be quite drying to your hair and scalp if used frequently.
To keep your hair hydrated and silky-smooth, look for emollients in the formula, such as açaí and aloe vera. Hibiscus is another great botanical for aiding hair health. Studies suggest hibiscus can help promote strong, healthy, lustrous hair, help treat dandruff, and prevent dryness and breakage through moisturizing.
Neem oil is another botanical shown to help condition your hair and scalp, even helping to treat lice. It's rich in fatty acids and vitamin E. Amla, or Indian gooseberry, is another common botanical additive paired with henna. It's said to promote hair growth, among other potential benefits.
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This natural henna hair coloring and conditioning kit is the ideal alternative to regular hair dyes and contains henna, gloves, and a hair cover. The product is certified organic by the USDA, cruelty-free, and contains no ammonia or peroxide.
Some reviewers had trouble getting the dye to release into their hair. Meanwhile, others loved that the color was rich and lasted for a very long time. Many reviewers further mentioned that the product helped condition their hair and make it look much healthier.
Imported directly from India, this henna is processed using the traditional cloth sifting method for the finest powder. Plus, the product is 100 percent natural and contains no harsh chemicals or artificial additives for optimal hair care and nourishment.
Some reviewers complained that it doesn't come with instructions, so they recommend watching online tutorials. Meanwhile, many reviewers were pleased that the powder was so fine that it mixed easily into a smooth paste.
Besides the natural henna powder, this hair dye is enriched with nine different botanical herbs including hibiscus and aloe vera to help rejuvenate and promote the health of your scalp and hair strands. It's free from harsh chemicals and uses renowned Rajasthani henna.
Some reviewers were disappointed to see no results on dark black hair. Still, many reviewers were impressed at how healthy and shiny their hair felt after the application. Many others also appreciated that the henna was all-natural and didn't irritate their skin.
Crafted with 100 percent pure henna with no harsh chemicals, this hair dye is also safe to use for henna body art. It can be combined with other Zenia products like indigo to produce different colors, making it extremely versatile.
A few reviewers complained that they had trouble getting the dye to properly release into their hair. On the other hand, many reviewers commented that this henna helped strengthen their damaged hair and left it feeling soft and healthy. Others also mentioned that this product covered their gray hairs and rinsed nicely as well.
This dye is infused with antioxidant-rich botanicals and fruits from Brazil and India, such as chamomile and amla, to help keep your hair and scalp healthy! This easy-to-use cream is hypoallergenic and safe for use on chemically-treated hair. However, it does contain a number of added ingredients, such as chemical solvents.
A few reviewers felt like the product didn't do anything to their hair or they did not achieve the desired shade. Still, many were satisfied with how this henna dye worked. It made their hair look more vibrant and shiny while not irritating their scalp. Some reviewers also mentioned that the cream did a great job of covering their gray hair.
This henna is crafted with a blend of henna and indigo to help bring you a rich brown color. The dye is infused with botanicals amla, false daisy, and neem to help enhance your hair color and leave your hair and scalp deeply nourished. Plus, it can also be used to dye beard hair as well as head hair!
Although a few customers complained that long after dyeing, their hair bled color onto their clothing whenever it rained, most were satisfied with the natural-looking results. Many also appreciated the formula, saying it helped keep their hair healthy and vibrant.
This henna powder is 100 percent pure and certified organic by the USDA. Plus, the henna leaves are handpicked to give you the best quality possible. The powder is also triple sifted, making it easy to mix in water.
A few reviewers didn't see any changes in their hair color, even subtle ones. Meanwhile, many commented that the dye strengthened their hair and was gentle on the scalp as well. Many found that the color was pretty vibrant and lasted for a long time.
This triple sifted henna powder can be used on gray hair and beards. The manufacturer stresses that this dye will give your hair a vibrant red or orange color and that you should mix it with other herbs like indigo for a brown, copper, or black color.
A few reviewers said the dye was too weak for them and left their gray hairs pale. But Most said that the henna dye didn't stain their skin when rinsed out properly. They added that the color they were left with was warm and vibrant.
This henna is 100 percent natural, raw, and contains no harsh chemicals, metallic salts, ammonia, or PPD. Plus, it's produced in an FDA-registered facility, is sustainably sourced, and is fair trade.
Although a few reported itching, many more reviewers said the product was gentle on their scalp and hair. They mentioned that their hair felt glossy and beautiful after application. Some also added that the product was easy to apply as well!
This all-natural, triple sifted Rajasthani henna powder contains no harsh chemicals, no added colors, and is preservative-free. It's triple sifted to give it a smooth, silky texture and make application easy. Plus, its source is disclosed definitely and exactly: Pali District, Marwar Region, Rajasthan, India.
A few got unnatural results on gray hair, but others said it covers them incredibly well. Reviewers love the vibrant color, saying it looks bright and natural. Many liked how shiny, soft, and healthy it made their hair feel.
Some people think henna is messy to deal with, but not really! Just follow our tips and you will see how easy it is!
First and foremost, you need to calculate how much henna you need for your hair. People with thick and curly hair need more powder than those with regular or thin hair.
Besides your hair texture, the length of your hair is another factor to consider as well. For short hair, four and a half tablespoons would suffice, but shoulder-length hair might need about eight tablespoons. But don't stress out too much, since you can always make some more if needed!
For this step, just grab a heat-resistant bowl, put in your henna powder, and mix in warm water until the mixture achieves a pudding-like consistency that is easy enough to spread evenly on your hair.
Try not to make the mixture too watery, since your henna will probably slide off your hair strands. Also, apply the mixture when it's still warm. The paste might harden once it cools down, so re-heat if you find it too tough to deal with.
To achieve the best results, ensure that your hair is clean and thoroughly dry before dyeing! For even distribution, you might want to divide your hair into sections and apply the paste starting from your roots.
Once your hair is thoroughly coated with henna, cover it with a shower cap for about two to three hours. Keeping your hair warm will help release the dye much better. And the more you wait, the darker and richer your color becomes!
However, the curing time varies between products, so check the instructions for more details.
When rinsing out your henna, refrain from using any shampoos or conditioners with sulfates, chlorines or alcohols, since they have strong cleansing properties and can wash away your color.
You should use cold water to help seal in the color tones as well. Usually, the color will develop after 48 hours of application, so be patient if you haven't seen your desired shade yet.
Want to take care of your henna-dyed hair? Check out our articles for some products that will give you the color and conditioning you want without any trouble.
If you're looking for even more information on henna hair dye before you make a purchase, we have you covered! Take a look at Amazon's list of top-selling henna hair dyes.
No. 1: Light Mountain | Natural Hair Color and Conditioner
No. 2: H&C Herbal Ingredients Expert | 100% Natural and Pure Henna Powder
No. 3: Godrej Nupur | Goodness of 9 Herbs
No. 4: Zenia | Pure Natural Henna Powder
No. 5: Surya Brasil | Nature Henna Burgundy Burgundy Cream
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