Can Henna Lighten Hair?

In a word: no. Henna can darken hair or maintain your current color, but it is not a lightener. Unlike conventional box dyes, henna hair color doesn't change the structure of your hair. Chemical-based dyes penetrate the second layer of a hair strand, called the cortex, altering its molecular structure. Henna hair dye does not enter the cortex, which is one reason it's a healthier alternative to conventional hair colors.

Should You Bleach your Hair?

Bleaching your hair at home could cause breakage or turn your hair orange instead of lightening it. Damage from home bleaching can even be irreversible. Although professionally applied bleach is far less disaster-prone, bleaching is still a chemical process that damages hair by using chemicals to alter its internal structure. Under certain circumstances, your hair may even need to be bleached twice to remove your existing color and achieve the desired shade.

Other Ways to Lighten Hair

So, how can you lighten your hair safely? Even all-natural, DIY methods can be hard on hair. We're providing this info so you can weigh your options and decide what's best for you.

Honey: When mixed with water, raw honey releases a natural peroxide that can lighten hair. However, raw honey is the only type of honey that contains glucose oxidase, the active enzyme that enables this process.

Lemon juice: Although many aspiring blondes have lightened their hair successfully with this citrus juice, it's very acidic and can dry out hair. Use a deep-conditioning hair mask if you choose this old-school hair lightener.

Peroxide: Some beauty DIYers swipe streaks of hydrogen peroxide onto their hair for at-home highlights. Although relatively harmless when used properly and in small amounts, peroxide can cause dermatitis, hair loss, and even scalp burns when applied incorrectly.

Ammonia: This harsh ingredient can be found in many popular conventional boxed dyes. Ammonia opens the hair cuticle and makes it more porous so the pigment can be lifted and new color applied. This process weakens hair and can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, throat, and scalp. 

Whether using natural options or chemical-based hair colors and bleaches, use caution -- and plenty of conditioner -- when lightening your hair.

Blonde Henna

If you just want to brighten blonde or light hair while helping to diminish the appearance of grays, cassia obovata is an excellent option. Known erroneously as blonde henna or neutral henna, this Ayurvedic herb enhances lighter hair colors naturally. Mix cassia powder with water for use as a mask, or add it to your henna paste when coloring your hair. Or add a few drops of cassia oil to your shampoo for its aromatherapy effects and hair-boosting power.

Count on The Henna Guys for vegan, cruelty-free, all-natural products for the skin and hair. From henna hair colors to face creams and beard washes, we have everything you need to look and feel your best naturally.

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