henna hair dye

Henna Hair Dye: How Does It Work?

A safe alternative to chemical dyes? Yes, please. 

We’re always looking for the next best thing in healthy hair care, so when we heard about henna hair dye, we were immediately intrigued. For years celebrities and everyday folks alike have been using henna to dye their hair, so why is it just now coming to light? Maybe it’s because we’re neck deep in one of the biggest healthy beauty crazes ever or maybe it was just about time, either way we’re on board and excited to learn more. We have a hunch that you’ll be too, so keep reading to learn about the what and why of henna hair dye, which might just be your newest hair obsession.

What is the Henna Hair Dye Craze?

Henna Hair Dye Red Hair

1. Okay, so what is henna hair dye?

Henna hair dye is a natural hair dye alternative for people who want to color their hair without the subsequent damage associated with the traditional coloring processes. Without all the chemicals, think of this dye as a hair safety measure that can still deliver beautiful results.

2. What is henna hair dye made of?

Henna is actually a plant. When this plant is dried out its leaves are red and can dye your hair a reddish/orange color. Despite what some companies say, the only 100% henna hair dye is the variety that comes in a red-orange hue. All other colors, known as henna compounds, are likely made with the addition of other plant dyes or salts. While those dyes may still be all natural, they’re not actually entirely henna, so be sure to ask for a list of ingredients if you want to be in the know.

3. Who is henna hair dye ideal for?

Everybody! No matter what your hair texture, length or color; henna is right for you if you’re in the market to spruce up your locks with a new hue. However, keep in mind that 1) henna hair dye doesn’t lighten hair, and 2) just because you get a certain color of henna doesn’t guarantee your hair will look exactly like that because it all depends on the original hair color that you’re applying the product to. That said, it’s always best to do a strand test to determine which henna hair dye to opt for.

4. How does henna hair dye work?

Unlike chemical hair dyes, henna dyes only cover the cuticle of the hair without penetrating the core of your strands. Essentially this means that you’re glossing your locks without causing any internal damage to the powerhouse of your hair (think: protein and moisture storage), which allows it to stay healthy and strong, instead of prone to breakage which is typical of traditional chemical dyes.

5. Is there anything else I need to know about henna hair dye?

If you’re prone to dry hair, it’s best to pre-treat your locks with coconut oil or argan oil, use some hair oil like the Suave Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Oil Treatment for just the added boost of moisture your hair needs.

Lastly, think of it like this: when you get a henna tattoo, it stains your skin for a few weeks in a totally gorgeous fashion. Similarly, henna hair dye has some serious staining power so be sure to cover any surfaces that you’re not looking to affect–that includes your forehead, hands and neck, too.

Looking to color your hair but don’t know where to start? Check out our quiz find the right hair dye color for your lifestyle.






Sign up to our newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks from the experts at All Things Hair.


All Things Hair on Instagram