When most people hear about henna as hair coloring just the thought of putting henna on the hair could cause many to run as far away from the thought as possible. Henna has gotten a bad rap and it isn’t fair. It is natural and very safe, especially if you compare it to everyday chemical hair colors. I have been using henna for years and am here to tell you that it isn’t the scary hair color you may have heard about.
When it comes to henna as a hair color the most common myth is cause by boxed henna products. The myth that henna can dye your hair a variety of colors, like brown, mahgony, aurburn or even black is not true. Henna itself causes an orange, red pigment in your hair. It cannot by itself add a brown, black or a similar color of any kind.
So why do the henna box mixes claim to get your hair non henna capable colors? They do it because henna is not the only ingredient in the box, even when it only boldly calls itself henna. To cause an auburn, black or brown colors they probably added the plant indigo, among others because henna cannot do those colors alone.
The best thing to do is to read the ingredients on the box. If the box has accurate ingredient you will know what plants they are using with henna and whether they are using plants at all to get the color they say you will get. Though, if the ingredients say 100% henna and claim to get you any color besides red, the ingredients are not being truthful because henna cannot add any color pigment other than orange, red.
You can achieve an auburn color with just pure henna and nothing else but you will probably have to start with a brown hair color in the first place. Henna is a translucent color. It is not very likely to achieve an auburn with a starting color of blonde or gray.
Another misconception about henna is that you cannot color over your hair with another dye because your hair will turn a bizarre green color that is permanent and possibly debilitating to your social life. This myth is caused by the lack of pure henna or truth in labeling with some box henna mixes.
A 100% pure henna will not cause your hair to turn an odd color if you try to color over it. Many non pure hennas contain metals that are not listed on the ingredients, which end up reacting with chemical colors causing horrible results. The henna itself does not cause it. Also if your packaged henna is not truthful in the label and contains other plants, like indigo, even if it had a pure form of henna it wont save you from the possible unpleasant result other plants can cause.
The bad news is that it is possible that even if you use 100% pure henna the new chemical color you put over it may only be temporary as henna often does not allow your hair to take a chemical color permanently. But you can be assured if it is pure henna that it will not turn your hair green if you did make the attempt to add another color.