Is Henna Worth it? The Pros & Cons of Henna Hair Dye

Is Henna Worth it? The Pros & Cons of Henna Hair Dye

Henna is one of the oldest, most reliable hair dyes used for countless reasons. It makes your hair healthy; it helps fight signs of aging, it naturally conditions your hair, it helps cleanse your scalp, and the list goes on.

Henna is also considered a safe alternative to traditional dyes since it's a plant-based ingredient with plenty of hair benefits. But have you ever thought of its cons?

Why is henna still less popular than conventional dye?

I mean, considering the drawbacks, they should immediately turn to natural alternatives. But still, henna roughly covers 10% of the hair dye market.

So, the idea of just dyeing your hair remains an idea because people don’t know the advantages and disadvantages of henna hair dye. Only knowing the drawbacks will help you look for solutions.

Quick Summary


  • It is a natural hair dye
  • Regulate Oil Secretion
  • Helps reduce Premature Graying
  • Repairs Hair Damage
  • Promotes hair growth
  • It combats dandruff


  • Difficult to remove
  • The dyeing process is a bit messy
  • It may alter your curly hair
  • It cannot be used to lighten hair
  • It can leave a stain on your skin

What is henna hair dye? 

Henna hair dye is a natural hair coloring product derived from the leaves of the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis). Henna has been used for centuries as a traditional dye in various cultures, particularly in Asian and African countries. The leaves of the henna plant are dried, ground into a powder, and then mixed with water or other liquids to create a paste.

Natural henna powder is a quick colorant, staining everything it touches. The main thing here is the Lawsone molecule that goes deep into the hair cuticle and binds itself within. This is the same compound responsible for the amazing benefits of henna for hair.

The Advantages of using Henna Hair Dye

the advantages of henna hair dye

It is a natural hair dye

One of the main perks of using henna hair dye is that it is completely natural. Henna is derived from plant-based ingredients, offering maximum benefit in its purest form. There are no preservatives, chemicals, or any other toxin material – So you’ll have freedom of mind that you’re using a natural product.

It conditions your Hair 

Henna is known to have conditioning benefits for the hair. It can help improve hair texture, making it smoother and shinier. The paste also acts as a natural deep conditioner, helping to moisturize and strengthen the hair.

Traditional and Cultural Significance

Henna has been used for centuries in various cultures for body art and hair coloring. It carries cultural and traditional significance, making it a popular choice for those who appreciate natural and time-tested methods

Regulate Oil Secretions

Both the excessive and insufficient use of anything can have its drawback. Our natural oil secretion tends to break its formulation because of the environmental dust and the harsh we products. Henna is a natural conditioner that can help regulate hair oil secretion levels, offering a much balanced and enriched hair texture.

Helps improve Premature Graying

Henna is an organic herbal ingredient that contains a brown-reddish coloring compound. This natural compound is a wonderful dyeing agent for covering grey and to help you fight signs of aging like a champ. Mixing henna with other herbal powders like indigo, Katha, and amla can offer exciting new shades.

Repair Hair Damage

Henna comprises a wealth of natural ingredients including proteins, minerals, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. All of these hair-fortifying elements have vastly augmented to improve overall hair health. Using henna can cleanse your scalp and rectify split-ends, offering a more robust hair experience.

Promotes Hair Growth

Henna is loaded with powerful ingredients like phenolics and tannish; both of which can stimulate hair follicles. This can combat hair fall and maintain a healthy mane hair. Plus, the high nutrient content works as a driving fuel for new hair

It combats dandruff

If you’re suffering from an itchy scalp and would like to get rid of dandruff, then henna is your go-to hair remedy. Henna is bestowed with some amazing antifungal traits which is a natural solution for treating many microbial disorders such as dandruff and itchy scalp.

And that's a wrap on some of the many benefits of henna hair dye. We could've included more in the list. But since the post is more about the disadvantages, we'll jump straight to it.

The Disadvantages of Using Henna Hair Dye

the disadvantages of henna hair dye

Difficult to remove

Henna is a permanent hair dye so it’s difficult to remove once you dye your hair. Because henna particle stimulates deep into your hair follicles, you have to wait for a while before you use another shade. We wouldn’t recommend you to use hair detergents or dye remover products as they are completely the opposite of why you’re using henna in the first place.

However, it's not all bad news and there are plenty of DIY methods that you can follow to lighten the henna stain. For this you can check: How to lighten dyed hair at home.

Availability and Quality

The quality of henna products can vary, and some commercially available henna products may contain additives or impurities. It's important to choose a reputable and high-quality product for the best results.

The dyeing process is a bit messy

Dyeing your hair, in general, is messy. But it can be even more thanks to the thin texture of henna. One of the application requirements of henna hair dye is to make the paste thin, like batter. Although this is mandatory for your hair, but it's not for your floor or your skin, or any other surrounding place.

If you’re not careful with your henna application, then you may leave a lot of stains. To tackle this, all you can do is follow some precautionary measures.

  • Henna Application is preferred in the washroom, you can easily clean the stain there
  • Use petroleum jelly on your hairline to protect your skin
  • Change into a dress you can throw away later 
  • Use gloves and a napkin during the mixing/application process
  • Use a shower cap to protect your hair

Read More: How to mix henna paste at home

Note: A henna stain on your floor or skin can be easily removed. But it might take 2-3 washes if you apply it on any cloth.

It can alter your curly hair

There are some reports that henna can alter your natural curl pattern. Because it is a natural conditioner, we can expect it to behave like this. However, it depends on a lot of different factors like how many times you use henna hair dye, how tight curls you have in your hair, how many times you condition your hair, etc.

We, at The Henna Guys, did our own testing and used henna on 2 candidates with curly hair. For the first week, there was a very slight change in the hair curls. After the second week, they went back to their original shape. So, we believe it won’t be a problem for curly hair.

Cannot be used to lighten hair

There’s a very popular myth that henna can also lighten your hair. The truth is the complete opposite, henna cannot lighten your hair; it can darken it after the first application. If you’ve used a darker shade on the first application, then you have to wait for the color to fade out. With henna, you can only go from lighter to a darker henna shade.

It can result in uneven coloring

Henna coloring can be uneven if you’ve recently shifted from the chemical-based dye. Your hair cortex is already in contrast with the hair bleaching and will take some time for the henna particles to enter your hair. So, the first application results might not be what you’ll expect. To get the best results, it is recommended to follow the application 2-3 times.

The color change will be a hassle 

There are times when we excitedly get a new hair color but don’t like it after a while. Normally, you re-dye your hair to a different color. With henna, it can be a hassle. 

Henna dye goes deep into the cuticle and locks itself in. It becomes very hard to open the cuticle again for new hair color. Sit tight with patience while you try to scrap off the old henna color and correct it. 

Henna scent lingers for days 

Natural henna has a leaf-like scent. It tends to stay in your hair strands days after the coloring. While some people may enjoy it, others find the henna scent to be annoying. An easy way to get rid of the henna smell is by using a fragrant, sulfate-free conditioner. Otherwise, you can make your own hair perfume at home.    

The big question: Does henna damage your hair? 

Considering all these disadvantages of henna hair dye, can we say it eventually damages hair? Absolutely not! 

Henna is the only natural hair dye safe from toxic man-made ingredients. The herb is full of powerful nutrients that boost hair health. It is no way near the long-term damage caused by conventional hair dyes. In contrast, it heals it! So, the next time you wish to choose a hair dye that is damage-free in all aspects, choose organic henna powder.  

Also Read: How to do henna freckles?

Tips for Safe Henna Hair Dye Experience

  • Choose High-Quality Henna: Select a reputable brand that offers pure, high-quality henna powder. Check for any additional ingredients and ensure the product is free from harmful additives.
  • Perform a Patch Test: Before applying henna to your entire head, perform a patch test on a small section of skin to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivities.
  • Prep Your Hair: Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo before applying henna to remove any styling products, oils, or residues. Henna tends to adhere better to clean hair.
  • Gather Supplies: Have all your supplies ready, including a mixing bowl, applicator brush, plastic wrap or a shower cap, old towels or clothing to prevent staining, and gloves to protect your hands.

Mixing the Henna Paste: Mix henna powder with an acidic liquid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for several hours or overnight to release the dye. The consistency should be similar to yogurt or pudding.


And that’s pretty much it.

As a general rule of thumb, the pros we’ve mentioned weigh over the cons. So, at last, henna is safe to use and is the best hair coloring agent you can ever use. Not only does it color your hair, but also makes it stronger, durable, and a lot brighter

Using henna is packed with some amazing benefits that you should definitely try. Hopefully, the list hasn’t scared you to not use this plant-based natural ingredient.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of henna?

Henna is likely safe to be applied to your skin and hair. In rare conditions, henna can cause redness and itching. That's why we always recommend you to perform a patch test before application.

Does henna increase white hair?

Henna packs reddish-brown color elements that can perfectly cover your hair gray. Natural products are non-toxic and cannot harm your hair.

Should you shampoo after henna?

It is recommended that you don't shampoo your hair after you’re done with the henna application. You can use a conditioner if you're allergic to the earthly smell, but make sure that you won't repeat this every day. To get a better result, it is recommended that you wait at least 3 days before using shampoo.

What are the side effects of fake henna?

Fake henna, containing additives like PPD, can cause allergic reactions to your skin such as chemical burns and sometimes scarring.

Does henna have negative effects?

While pure henna is generally safe, potential negative effects include allergic reactions, dryness for some hair types, and the irreversibility of the color. Using pure henna and following instructions carefully can help minimize the negative effects

Is henna safe for skin?

Pure henna is generally safe for the skin, but allergic reactions may occur. Avoid "black henna" and perform a patch test before widespread application, especially if you have sensitive skin.


Worth reading. Very educative

Fatima Bah

I have been suffering from Covid hair fall and have since been babying my hair. That said as my hair is falling out, my grey is coming in, would it be safe to use henna on my hair? Do I need to wait until it stops falling out? It should be said too that my hair was colored using boxed dye.


I’m a medium brunette who has been dying her hair darker for the past year. Now I’ve got more grey and cant keep up. How long after I dye my hair can I apply Henna ? I’m thinking I should dye my hair once more in a medium brown, closer to my natural color prior to starting the henna.
thanks for your help !

rochelle fontana

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