Henna is a plant cultivated in India, Sri Lanka and North Africa. Their leaves (only leaves) contain the active dye lawsone, a red-orange dye. To make henna dye, leaves are dried, powdered and mixed with oil or water. That red-orange henna is the only natural henna, a natural hair dye. That’s the good news.
Now, the bad news about henna:
- People think that the henna box found in an array of colors is a natural hair color.
- Henna doesn’t come in a range of colors.
- To turn henna into other colors besides it’s natural red-orange shade, other dye plants, chemicals or metallic salts must be mixed with henna.
- Most henna colors are mixed with metallic salts which damage hair shaft and leaves hair brittle, dull and dry.
Are you wondering what are these metallic salts yet?
Most commonly used metallic salt is lead acetate. However, silver nitrate, copper, cobalt, bismuth and iron are also used to modify henna.
If you decide to do regular color, highlights or any other chemical treatments, you should let your hair stylist if you have henna in your hair. Compound henna reacts very unpredictable with peroxide and your hair can turn purple, green, or simply disintegrate. We suggest taking a test strand before any hair treatment. It will save you and your stylist lot of scare and aggravation.