Expert Opinion: The Risks and Benefits of Henna

Guest blog post from: “Asha MacLeod is an award winning stylist and owner of Toronto’s Jazma Hair Salon

Henna is actually not a hair dye it only stains the hair. Henna has been around for over 5,000 years and originated in Egypt and the Middle East. Red henna is the original “true” henna.

Henna has been used on hair for as long as I can remember. It gives you a nice stain as long as you are ready to commit to the color.

Henna is excellent for oily hair because it has a drying effect. It coats the hair similarly to how protein filler would. Henna is great for volumizing and giving body to fine hair and drying out excess oil in oily hair.

Certain hair types react differently to Henna. Just because henna is natural doesn’t mean that it cannot harm your hair if used inappropriately. Let’s refer to hair according to Andre Walker’s hair typing chart. For curls types 2-3 it is safe to henna stain your hair fairly often. Hair in this category is often slippery and oily and benefits from the drying properties of henna.

As the hair types become more coily, it is important to lessen your exposure to henna staining. Coily hair types in category 4 need to be cognizant of the fact that henna will dry out your hair. I recommend applying henna no more than twice a year. When you do, be sure to use lots of water-based shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizers to balance the drying effect of the henna.

Remember: Henna is permanent

Before you impulse dye – make sure you want the colour. Know that even though henna is technically a stain, it is fairly permanent. Depending on how porous or dry your hair is henna can remain on your hair forever. So make sure that you want it.

The longer you leave henna in, the better the stain, and the more it will dry out your hair. I would recommend that women with type 4 hair stay away from henna completely. There are other options for staining that are more lubricating.


Remember: Henna is permanent. Before you impulse dye - make sure you want the colour. #bhs Click To Tweet

Have you used Henna in your hair?