Benefits Of Henna For Afro Hair

Benefits Of Henna For Afro Hair

One of the most common questions we’re asked as an organic hair dye brand, is ‘Is Henna ok for Afro hair’? 

And the answer is not only ‘yes, it is ok’, but actually it’s far better for natural hair then chemical alternatives, for lots of reasons.

It is important though, to apply your Henna the right way, and care for your hair around it to make sure you get the best colour result, the longest possible effects and a shine like you’ve never had.

What is Henna

Henna comes from the dried leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant.  They’re picked and crushed, then mixed with ingredients like yogurt, lemon juice or water to create a long-lasting stain.

Henna can be used to dye eyebrows, create body art and freckles, colour beards and stain the hair.

It’s been around for thousands of years and is widely regarded as extremely safe, although everyone should do a patch test for allergies and a strand test for results before dying their hair with Henna

Benefits of henna for afro hair

It doesn’t affect the structure of the hair

Box dyes, like those you get in a chemist work by changing the molecular structure of the hair.  No matter what hair type you have, this can lead to harmful effects like breaking and dryness.

But afro hair, especially 4c and above is much more brittle.  Box dyes can break the curl pattern, snap the hair and result in a loss of colour long-term.

Henna works by staining the hair and supports the hair’s keratin structures to enhance strength.  It’s important to know that as it increases volume and bounce, it can temporarily loosen curls, but adding a quarter of amla to your henna mix will prevent this.   

It Improves Scalp Health

Those with afro hair often have scalp challenges like dryness, sore patches from wigs and areas of irritation from weaves putting stress on the root of the hair.

Healthy afro hair is directly related to scalp health. Blood flow to the scalp feeds the hair and is the ‘living’ part of the hair, so it’s vital to care for it well.

Henna is anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, which means it works with the scalp to reduce issues like dandruff and soothe areas of soreness.  If you know you have scalp damage though, it is important to consider the liquid you mix your Henna with. 

Our guide to acids that work with Henna should help you pick something that won’t make the problem worse.

Longer, Stronger Hair

Anecdotally, there is a lot of regard for Henna to increase hair growth. Henna binds to keratin and patches gaps along the shaft permanently.

As a result, using henna hair dye for afro hair can result in bigger hair and additional thickness, reduce hair fall and strengthen the hair leading to better and healthier growth over time.

Regular use once a month boosts hair density, and makes it appear much fuller.

Naturally Conditioning

If you want the benefits of the conditioning effects of Henna, without the colour, you can try Cassia, which is colourless Henna.  It supports afro hair with shine, nourishing and strength without chemicals.

Alternatively, you can use Henna as much as once a week as a kind of scalp and hair treatment.  The colour is more intensive the longer it’s on, so half an hour will add just a highlight but a world of shine and strength.

Vibrant hair colour

It’s important to know that Henna can’t lighten hair, so if you want a blond, you will need bleach.  If you’ve previously bleached your hair, it’s also not a good idea to put Henna over it. 

However, Henna can add bright, vibrant, and varied colours to even dark hair.  If you want very dark results, you can also add indigo, which is loved for taking afro hair to blue-black without drying.

Colors Greys Naturally

For natural coverage, you need a colour that is quite opaque but also multi-tonal. 

Henna will vary depending on the colour your hair is to start, so always do a strand test, but the result will be beautifully multi-tonal.

You do need to apply multiple times for depth of colour if your hair is very light, so always do a strand test.

Tames Curls to Make them Manageable

Henna is renowned for helping those with frizz or a lack of manageability in their afro hair get them under control 

Some people find the process initially makes the hair feel a little dry – this is just the result of the colour stain and using a hair oil whilst the hair is wet post colour will resolve it.  

For advice about protecting your 4c curls, naturally click here >

For advice from our colouring experts click here 

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