Henna Hair Dye for Gray Hair: Benefits And Ways to Use
There are many ways to use henna hair dye for gray hair and get beautiful-looking tresses. Read on to learn all about the benefits and uses of henna for hair.
Be it due to the natural aging process or a lack of vitamins in the body, gray hair is something most people don’t like. While many people learn how to embrace their grays, others look for ways to hide them.
Although there are many dyes available on the market, most of them are packed with harsh chemicals that may induce hair damage. But don’t fret, as there are many natural options to cover grays — using henna hair dye for gray hair is an effective method to hide white hair and flaunt your locks wherever you go (1). Using henna hair dye not only fights gray hair but also makes hair strong. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of henna for hair and effective ways to use it.
What Is Henna?
Henna is a natural dye derived from the plant Lawsonia inermis. First, the henna leaves are dried and then crushed and smashed into powder form to be used for various purposes.
Henna is known to have been discovered in Egypt around 5400 years ago when Rameses II used to apply it to his hair. According to legendary tales, Cleopatra used to use henna on her nails to enhance their beauty. Today, using henna to darken hair has become a common practice worldwide.
Henna powder is known for its potent medicinal and antimicrobial properties that help fight and prevent skin infections (2). Henna powder, when mixed with any liquid, releases a reddish-brown color that can even stain your clothes.
Now that we have understood what henna is, let us learn how it helps cover gray hair and impart other beneficial effects.
Does Henna Cover Gray Hair Effectively?
Yes, henna, being a natural hair dye helps conceal grays. As mentioned above, it releases a reddish-brown color when mixed with water or any other liquid. When this paste is applied to the hair and left for a few hours, it helps give a reddish-brown tint to the hair. It can also be mixed with other ingredients to produce a significant coloring effect on the hair and offer nourishment (3).
Benefits of Henna Hair Dye for Gray Hair
1. May Help Soothe the Scalp
Henna has cooling properties that may help calm redness. Plus, its antifungal and antimicrobial properties may help treat an itchy scalp and address issues like fungal infections and dandruff (3).
2. Acts as a Hair Conditioner
It is important to condition your hair to provide hydration to the scalp and make hair more manageable. Henna helps seal moisture into the locks, acting as a natural conditioner, helping you to tame frizz and flyaways (4).
3. May Help Restore the Scalp’s pH Levels
Henna leaves are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help nourish the scalp and prevent hair fall by balancing the natural pH levels of the scalp (5). If you wish to dye hair with henna powder just to cover grays, you now have one more reason for it.
4. May Help Reduce Hair Fall
Shedding more light on this, our contributor Gwenda Harmon, a Hair Dresser & Curly Hair Specialist, says, “Using henna as a hair color can reduce excessive shedding and can even address dandruff. Just make sure it is a high-quality product to avoid dryness.”
5. Helps Hide Gray Hair
Those who are reluctant to use chemically laden dyes on hair can resort to using henna to hide white or graying hair. Henna powder helps fight premature graying of hair by improving hair’s natural pigments (1).
After knowing the remarkable benefits of henna for hair, you must be thinking about how to apply henna for gray hair and get gorgeous tresses. Below are some best ways to use henna to get healthy and strong hair.
To use henna to hide gray/white hair, you’ll need a few ingredients. Here’s the list:
3 to 4 tablespoons of henna powder (you can adjust the quantity as per your hair length)
3 to 4 cups of water
A mixing bowl
A hair brush
A pair of hand gloves (optional)
A shower cap
Take water and add henna powder to it — make sure to add it slowly and gradually to avoid forming lumps. Let the henna powder soak in water for 6 to 8 hours. Next day, in the morning, add 6 to 8 drops of lemon juice to it. Mix well to form a smooth paste.
Remember that henna can stain the clothes, which is why it’s advisable to wear an old piece of cloth when applying henna on hair.
Wear an old top or T-shirt and sit in front of the mirror to section your hair properly. To avoid staining your hands, you can also wear hand gloves. Take an applicator brush and start applying henna from the root to the tip, covering all your hair strands.
Once you are done, wear a shower cap and leave it be for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse it off with cool water. Do not use shampoo or conditioner for at least 2 days to let the color settle.
Quick Tip: It's best to use henna on clean hair. Hence, whenever you wish to use henna hair dye for gray hair, make sure to shampoo your hair one day in advance, and then use it.
This is one of the simplest ways to use henna on grays. But there are various other homemade henna hair packs you can use to color your hair and boost hair growth. Let’s take a look at them.
Top 5 DIY Henna Hair Packs to Get Healthy Hair
1. Henna And Indigo Hair Pack
2 tablespoons of henna powder
2 tablespoons of indigo powder
Water (enough to make a smooth paste)
Mix natural henna powder and indigo with enough water to make a fine paste, ensuring there are no lumps. Leave it be for 6 to 8 hours and then use it just like you would use a henna hair dye. Apply it to your hair and rinse it off with cool water after an hour.
Quick Tip: There are 2 ways to use henna and indigo hair pack for gray hair — if you want a subtle reddish-brown tint and save some time, you can mix henna with indigo directly. Or else, if you wish to have black locks, you should first use henna on your hair and then the next day treat it with indigo.
Indigo powder helps cleanse the scalp thoroughly and prevent itchiness. When used along with henna, it helps color hair (8).
2. Henna And Neem Powder Hair Pack
2 to 3 tablespoons of henna powder
1 tablespoon of neem powder
Water (as required)
Mix henna with enough water to make a paste of smooth consistency. To the henna paste, add a tablespoon of neem powder. Stir well and let it soak overnight. Apply this mask all over your hair the next day and rinse it off with lukewarm water after 2 hours.
This henna and neem hair pack works effectively in treating dandruff and a flaky scalp. To cure an itchy scalp and get rid of stubborn dandruff, you need something that has antifungal properties. Why? Because these properties inhibit the growth of fungus that causes dandruff and also strengthen hair follicles. This is where neem comes to your rescue — it exhibits strong antifungal properties that fight dandruff and boost hair health (9).
3. Henna And Black Tea Hair Pack
Black tea leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons of henna powder
Take 2 to 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add a handful of black tea leaves to it and allow it to steep for a minute. Turn off the flame, then allow it to cool. Strain and add henna powder to this concoction. Leave it be for 3 to 4 hours and then apply it to your hair. Rinse the pack off with cool water.
Black tea contains tannins that may help prevent the formation of gray/white hair (10). In a study conducted on mice, Chinese black tea was found to boost hair growth (11). Another study provides evidence that it helps strengthen hair follicles, thereby promoting hair growth (12).
4. Henna And Curd Hair Pack
2 to 3 tablespoons of henna powder
2 teaspoons of curd
Soak the henna powder in water and keep it aside for 6 to 8 hours. Then, add curd to the mixture and stir well. Wet hair and apply this evenly as a hair mask, covering each section, and rinse it off after an hour.
Dry hair can give you a lot of trouble — it makes detangling hair a messy task and also makes hair less manageable. Plus, a dry scalp can cause hair loss due to persistent scratching. Anecdotal evidence suggests that curd, being rich in vitamins, can help replenish dry hair strands and smoothen frizzy hair. When you mix it with henna, it’ll do two things — henna will take care of white hair, whereas curd will help you get smooth and shiny tresses.
5. Henna And Curry Leaves Pack
2 to 3 tablespoons of henna powder
2 teaspoons of curry leaf powder
Mix henna powder with enough water to make a thick paste. Add curry leaf powder to the mixture and stir well. Let it sit for 7 to 8 hours. When you have to use it on hair, add a few drops of coconut oil in it and mix well. Apply it all over your hair and then wash the pack off after an hour.
According to research, curry leaves can help prevent premature graying of hair (13). Coconut oil, on the other hand, is rich in fatty acids that help quench the thirst of dry hair and promote hair growth (14).
These are some of the best ways to use henna hair dye for gray hair. However, if used incorrectly, it is possible it won’t give you the desired results. There are some precautionary measures to keep in mind while applying henna powder, as explained below.
Precautionary Measures to Take When Using Henna Powder for Hair
1. Chemical hair dyes can lead to a skin allergy, which is why people turn to natural hair masks to get a natural black-brown hair color. However, even natural remedies might not suit everybody. Hence, it is crucial to perform a patch test on the elbow to check whether the product is safe for use for you. If you experience any discomfort, don’t use it on your hair.
2. As mentioned above, henna can stain the clothes. So it's best to wear gloves and a shower cap to prevent henna from staining the skin.
3. Henna is cool in nature, which is why, one should not apply it during cold and cough. Also, during winter, make sure to apply it during the daytime to avoid catching a cold.
4. Make sure to apply henna on clean hair, and avoid washing hair for at least 2 days after using henna as a hair dye to get the best results.
5. If you have extremely dry hair, add curd or a few drops of coconut oil to henna paste.
6. Make sure your hair is not oily when applying henna, as it might not give the color you desire.
7. Detangle your hair properly before applying henna.
8. When you shampoo your hair 2 days after using henna, make sure to use a mild, sulfate-free shampoo.
Using henna hair dye for gray hair can help your hair in different ways. Henna colors your hair without getting you exposed to chemical additives and improves the overall appearance of your hair. You can simply mix it with water to make a paste or add other herbs like Centella Asiatica, neem, tulsi, or shikakai in it to improve hair quality. All in all, this natural hair dye can help you get a “happy hair day” every day.
Contributor: Gwenda Harmon, Hair Dresser & Curly Hair Specialist - Click for blog