Pros & Cons of Using Henna in Hair

Weighing the pros and cons of henna hair dye is easier once you know all the facts.

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Not all ladies know the details or differences about how henna hair dyes and chemical dyes work, but maybe you've heard that henna is a more natural option. There are many benefits to choosing henna over harsher chemical-based dyes, but the biggest bonus is that henna conditions your hair and contributes to its health when you use it, while the unpronounceable additives in drug store chemical dyes can actually damage your hair.

Pro: Henna is All-Natural

Henna dye is plant-based, so it doesn't damage your hair like chemical hair dyes, and doesn't have that gross, pungent ammonia smell either --- although it does have its own distinct odor. Because it's all-natural, it actually has the opposite effect of chemical dye: it helps condition hair while dying it, which makes it a guilt-free alternative that, also unlike chemical dye, you can use as frequently as you want. It's also available in a wide range of colors.

Con: Henna is Time-Consuming

One of the biggest perks of dying your hair with chemical dye is that it's a no-fuss process: it only takes an hour from cracking into the box to rinsing dye out in the shower. This is not true of henna hair dyes, which generally require mixing, followed by a waiting period of at least 1 to 3 hours to let the dye cure before you can apply it. From there, you apply henna as you would a chemical dye, but it's altogether a bit of a messier system.

Pro: Henna Color Lasts Longer

Depending on the color you want to dye your tresses, henna can be a much better choice, especially for red or auburn-toned hair. In general, red chemical hair dyes have a tendency to wash out very quickly and become brassy, while red henna dyes retain red color longer. No matter the color, henna shines over chemical dye in its ability to wash out more slowly and in a more natural-looking way than chemical dyes so that your roots don't stand out between colorings.

Con: Henna is Harder to Find

The biggest strike against henna hair dye is that it's not nearly as easy to access as chemical dyes, which are available at most drug stores and grocery stores. The best selection of henna hair dyes are usually at natural food stores or specialty salons and chain beauty product stores in malls. Of course, a quick internet search can make ordering henna online an easy task. Another con is that, depending on the brand, henna can be more expensive than chemical dye.

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