How to Remove Henna from the Hair and Body

How to Remove Henna from the Hair and Body

How to Remove Henna from the Hair and Body

You may have used Henna to dye your hair, colour your eyebrows, create ‘freckles’, or design beautiful body-art for a wedding or event.

When applied correctly, Henna can give beautiful, long-lasting results. However, if it’s not quite right, it can be stressful working out how to rectify the mistake.

The truth is, it’s not easy to remove. Henna is a stain and it’s best benefit is it’s longevity, however there are ways to get it off, without resorting to super-harsh methods.

1.       How to Remove Henna from the Hair

There is no ‘instant’ way to remove Henna from the hair if you’re not happy with the result. It will be at least a week before you see it ease, but the method can start straight away.

Firstly, do NOT be tempted to try and bleach it out.  It won’t work, it may react with the bleach and there’s every chance your hair could be badly damaged. Bleach and henna do NOT go together.

Secondly, read our guide to correcting the most common henna hair mistakes, there may be a simple answer.  

If the Henna result is too bright, it could be worth giving it 72 hours to settle – Henna oxidises (gets darker over time).  It could also be worth going darker, with a blended mix of Henna and Indigo.

Failing that:

·        Wash twice with a clarifier to get the worst of the mix out.

·        Next you need the ‘miracle’ ingredient – vodka! Use a sponge or brush to work vodka into the hair, paying particular attention to the ‘rubbing in’ process. It’s important to make sure every strand is covered.

·        Vodka is effective, as it breaks down the metal salts into much smaller molecules, ready to be removed.

·        Use a very gentle shampoo, twice.  Leave it on the hair both times for at least five minutes to get as much out as possible, then rinse with hot (not boiling) water. 

·        We’re big fans of Odylique’s certified organic ‘Gentle Herb’ shampoo.

·        Treat the hair with a warmed nourishing hair oil mixed with amla.  Massage into the scalp and leave for an hour.

·        Finally, rinse again twice.

·        Repeat every other until the hair is a shade you can live with.


2.       How to Remove Henna from Eyebrows

Removing Henna from the eyebrows means considering two elements – the skin stain and the brow colour.

The good news is that neither will last longer than two weeks, but if your eyebrows have gone a little too dark, you might be very keen to fade it back a little bit.

Firstly, using an old toothbrush and a natural clarifying treatment, gently scrub as much colour from the brows as possible.  Don’t be tempted to use a harsh exfoliant – it’s going to be too much.

Next, apply a mask of shikakai and water to the brows for up to twenty minutes, then remove with warm water and an organic flannel.

Finally, apply a little warm oil to the skin to nourish the brows and help lift the stain.

You can repeat this process two or three times but leave it a day after that to avoid irritation.

Do NOT use strong chemicals near the eye area – the skin is prone to reactivity and it’s way too close to your eyes.


3.       How to Remove Henna Body Art (also works for the face)

1. Soak in a Magnesium or Epsom Salt ‘Sitz’ Bath

Pour about a cupful of Epsom or magnesium salts into a hot (not boiling) bath and soak for about 20 – 30 minutes to release the colour molecules. The good news is, this is also a lovely treat for your whole body.

2. Follow with an Exfoliating scrub

We advise caution with this, but if your skin is undamaged, mixing either olive oil and salt or sugar, and gently rubbing into the skin can help shift the colour fast.

3. Rinse with an old school bar soap

A bar soap with ingredients like tea-tree or oats can help shift the stain that bit quicker, without harming the skin.

Body Oil, Top-to-Toe

For the duration of the time, you’re trying to remove the colour, use body oil twice a day and a rich hand cream after every handwash. It helps increase cell turnover and removes the stain faster.

5. Micellar water

Micellar waters are very effective at bonding with the dyes and lifting them – especially for the face.

Soak your face with plenty of water, then lift the colour off with an organic cloth or cleansing pad.

6. Hit the Pool

It’s not the nicest, but an hour-long swim in a pool with chlorine will take a big swing at your stain. Just be kind afterwards and rub a body oil in top-to-toe.  


Baking soda and lemon juice

Lots of outlets suggest mixing baking soda and lemon juice.  Whilst it almost certainly is effective it can very easily lead to chemical burns. Do. Not. Do. This.

8. Hydrogen peroxide

Yes, people do this. No, it is not a good idea.  It’s a very quick way to badly damage your skin.

For more expert advice on Henna, ask our experts here

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