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How Long Does Henna Hair Dye Last?

by Gabbi

When you color your hair at a salon, chances are the stylist is using a permanent or semi-permanent color. Other popular color formulas include demi-permanent or temporary. Henna hair dye is often an underrated or unexplored hair color formula.

Henna is considered a natural alternative to modern hair colors. It’s a pigmented product that colors the hair darker the longer you let it develop. But how does henna hair dye compares to traditional color regarding longevity or integrity?

How long does henna hair dye last? Henna can last for about 4-6 weeks. After 6 weeks is when you’ll notice the color saturation start to fade. While the color may disappear, the henna hair dye may cling onto your strands longer than expected. 

Henna hair dye has its pros and cons, just like any beauty service. It may be unlikely for any mishaps to occur if you know the origin of your henna and correctly apply it to the strands. You’ll also want to maintain the hue like any other color service and care for your hair properly to avoid damage.

It’s crucial to remember that henna hair dye can be challenging to remove if you plan to lighten your strands, but henna may be an excellent option for those interested in achieving or maintaining a dark, red, or brown hair color.

What Is Henna?

Coloring hair with a natural henna.
Process of coloring hair with natural henna.

You may be familiar with henna paste because it’s commonly used to create intricate body art and has massive significance in South Asian and Middle Eastern cultures.

It’s a versatile ingredient that can also be used to dye your hair.

According to Healthline, “Henna is derived from the leaves of the henna plant, Lawsonia inermis. The powdered form is typically made into a paste and applied to the hair and skin.” 

Henna has been used traditionally and commercially for years. You can buy henna hair dye or make it from scratch. 

If you’re interested in dyeing your hair at home with henna, here’s a great tutorial from Caty Culp explaining the process from beginning to end.

Pros Of Henna Hair Dye 

Why do some people gravitate towards henna hair color? While it may not be a popular service in a hair salon, henna can offer multiple benefits for those who color hair at home. Henna is said to revitalize your scalp and strands. 

Other benefits include offering gray coverage, acting as a natural alternative to traditional hair colors, and more. Henna is quite pigmented and may even outlast salon color. 


Henna is considered a natural hair dye in comparison to the traditional color. It’s derived from a plant and used to create a powder that can then be formulated into a paste to color the hair. It’s rich in pigment and full of antioxidants.

Dr. Khushboo Garodia and Healthline state, “Henna has antifungal properties, which make it beneficial for those with dandruff and hair-fall related issues, as well as other microbial problems.”

Henna is a plant and not a mixture of chemicals you usually find in hair color.

Scalp Care

Henna can potentially offer a positive effect on your scalp. We’ve briefly mentioned the antimicrobial properties of henna and how it can impact specific scalp concerns. It may also reduce dandruff and minimize oil production at the roots.

Healthline states, “According to Ayurveda, henna is also a cooling agent that may provide headache relief and dry up excess oil on the scalp.” Henna may also provide other health benefits that can directly impact your strands. 

Improve Hair’s Appearance 

Henna is packed with essential antioxidants your hair needs to remain healthy and resilient. Another reason why many individuals opt for henna hair dye is to achieve enhanced and natural results. You may notice your hair’s appearance improve.

Vitamin E is one of the many antioxidants found in henna that’s essential for hair health. Henna has the potential to increase your hair’s softness and shine while also providing a rich hair color.

So your strands may look and feel revitalized after using henna hair dye. 

Gray Coverage

Henna paste will provide intense saturation and pigmentation when used as a hair dye. This will be ideal for those looking to conceal gray hair. Whether you’re already gray or want to prevent premature graying, henna hair dye can come in handy. 

Henna also contains tannins, antioxidants that can combat harsh environmental factors. Also, tannins can combat premature graying so you can enjoy vivid hair color for a little longer.

Cons Of Henna Hair Dye

Henna hair dye can also be quite intimidating. It also has its downsides like any other beauty service. For example, henna hair dye is a big commitment, and it’s crucial to conduct in-depth research before you color your hair with it on a whim. 

Henna can produce unwanted effects like dryness, breakage, and staining. While its pigmentation can fade away, henna is a permanent dye that can stay in your strands longer than expected. 

Challenging To Eliminate 

Once henna is applied to the hair, it will stay until it’s grown out fully. You may notice that the initial pigmentation will fade, but henna is permanent, so it’s crucial to understand everything about henna before using it to color your hair.

Unlike traditional color, henna can’t be lightened or bleached out. It may be possible with a henna-safe bleach, but your hair might get damaged. Henna is a big commitment and will only darken your hair color. 

Can Fade Quickly

While henna is considered a permanent color, its initial pigment mimics that of a semi-permanent formula. Henna pigment can last for 4-6 weeks on average. After 6 weeks, the hair dye can slowly start to fade away.

However, you may be able to adjust your hair routine or change a few habits to prolong the lifespan of your henna hair color. Once the color fades, the henna will still be present, but it can be challenging to eliminate completely.

Potential Hair Loss Or Breakage

While henna can improve your scalp’s health, it may also impact your hair’s integrity. Therefore, choosing a henna paste or hair dye that displays all components and ingredients is crucial. Low-quality henna can lead to breakage or hair loss. 

Also, the more you apply henna, the more it’s prone to dryness, or it may become unmanageable. While henna is a natural hair dye alternative, it can still cause an allergic reaction within some individuals.

There are various hennas dyes on the market that can impact your hair differently. 

Bleeding Or Staining 

We’ve mentioned how henna can provide rich, bold, and intense pigment. It may be great to achieve an opaque and vivid finish, but it’s important to watch where and how much dye you apply. Henna hair color may be prone to bleeding or staining.

It’s possible that henna can stain your scalp after a color application. In addition, henna can stain the skin, clothes, and other surfaces. Henna hair dye may also bleed or feel particularly runny, depending on its formulation. 

How Long Does Henna Last?

You may be wondering, how long will henna hair dye last in my hair? We’ve briefly touched on the lifespan of henna hair color. Multiple factors like henna hair dye, your hair’s characteristics, and hair regimen can all affect henna’s longevity. 

Henna’s initial pigmentation can last around 4-6 weeks. Once this time has passed, you may notice the color will fade. It will also be tempting to recolor your hair, but it can affect your hair’s integrity. 

How Often Can You Apply Henna Hair Dye?

It may not be wise to frequently apply henna hair dye, especially if it’s a low-quality formula. However, waiting at least 4-6 weeks might be safe before using another application of henna hair dye.

Even with traditional color, frequent coloring can lower your hair’s integrity. Henna can also dry out the hair or alter its texture, so it’s essential to proceed with caution during reapplication.

Or, you may apply more frequently at the roots to conceal grays, new growth, or lines of demarcation. 

Can You Bleach Out Henna?

Once henna is applied to the hair, it stays in the strands until it fully grows out. The initial color may fade, but henna will remain deep within the cuticle, making it challenging to eliminate with bleach. 

It may be possible to get rid of henna with a henna-safe bleach. It’s essential to remember that henna will only color the hair darker, making it difficult to lighten. 

Bleaching henna can cause breakage, affect your porosity, and ruin the hair’s integrity. So, the best way to get rid of henna is to wait for it to grow out. 

How To Care For Henna Dyed Hair

You can prolong the lifespan of henna hair dye, just like how you would with traditional salon color. You may want to adjust a few habits in your hair care routine, like prioritizing hair hydration or washing with a cooler water temperature. 

A hairdresser may also share some advice on how to preserve your hair’s integrity while having henna-dyed strands. Simple changes may be able to keep that initial pigment you receive from henna hair color. 

Keep Strands Hydrated 

Henna can be quite drying for the hair. This may be beneficial for oily scalps looking to control sebum production. Henna hair dye can also over-strip the hair of vital nutrients it needs, especially with frequent applications, so try to prioritize hydration.

Hydrating masks will ensure your strands are moisturized, soft, and manageable. Also, hydration is necessary for overall hair health, whether it’s color-treated or virgin hair. 

Leave Your Freshly Colored Hair Alone

Once you rinse henna hair dye from the strands, leaving your hair alone for at least 24 hours is crucial. 

Salia Sukumaran, ambassador of India’s health ministry and Healthline, states, “After applying a henna hair mask and washing it off, it’s best to leave the hair alone for 24 hours…this helps the color deepen and beneficial properties to integrate.”

Once this initial period has passed, you may proceed to shampoo, condition, and hydrate. 

Henna Safety Tips 

Hair color, in general, can significantly affect the overall health of your hair, including henna hair dye. It’s essential to conduct as much research on your chosen hair dye to ensure you keep yourself and your hair safe.

Henna can be beneficial to the hair, but you must use a high-quality dye, have a healthy hair care routine, and apply your color correctly.

Pick A High-Quality Paste

You’ll want to pick a high-quality henna hair paste that displays all its ingredients. Most henna colors will add a deep red, orange, or brown hue to the strands. This step is crucial because “fake” henna dyes exist on the market. 

For example, black henna is considered to be an artificial dye that won’t provide the same benefits and outcomes as natural henna. This is necessary to know if you want to eliminate henna from your strands.

High-quality hennas may not cause adverse reactions, but it never hurts to double-check.

Patch Test 

Another way to keep your hair safe is by conducting a patch test. While henna may be a natural alternative, it’s still possible to have an allergic reaction. A patch test will ensure you won’t react negatively to henna and can safely apply it.

One way to conduct a patch test is by applying a small amount of henna to the forearm or the back of the ear. Wait at least 24 hours to see if a reaction has occurred. 

Test Strand 

A test strand is also a beneficial safety precaution when using henna dye, especially if you color your strands frequently with henna. Take a small, unseen section of hair, apply your henna dye, and let it process.

This will allow you to see how the hair will react to henna and if your hair is strong enough to withstand henna hair color. 

When To Contact A Hairstylist 

A hairstylist may advise how to care for your hair if you have henna dye. Also, a hairstylist may help you grow out or bleach your hair if you’re looking to get rid of this natural dye.  

Whenever you feel doubtful about henna hair color, it can be beneficial to contact a professional in the hair industry. 

Is Henna Hair Dye Healthier Than Traditional Hair Dye? 

Most people opt for henna because it’s a natural alternative to regular salon color. However, does natural automatically mean better? It may not be wise to recolor your hair with chemical-based formulas, but what about natural dyes?

The saying too much of a good thing isn’t such a good thing can also apply to henna dye. Henna isn’t necessarily bad or good; it can affect all hair types differently.

Henna may be a beneficial option for dark or graying hair colors. In addition, it may be healthier if you want to keep your henna-colored hair without altering your strands. It’s excellent for porous hair, but it may also change your hair texture.

You may prefer a traditional color if you like lightening and darkening your hair. However, henna and traditional color can keep your hair healthy as long as it’s applied correctly and you have a regimen to preserve the hair’s integrity.


Once you apply henna to the hair, it stays until it fully grows out. However, you may notice its initial pigment starts to fade 4-6 weeks after the application. Here is when you decide if you want to reapply or wait to grow out the henna. 

Henna can only color the hair darker, and it can be challenging to bleach it out. It’s also a big hair color commitment, so it’s crucial to conduct extensive research. 

You can keep your hair safe by conducting a patch test, test strand, or consulting with a hairdresser. 

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