What’s the Deal with Henna in Home Hair Dyes?

BeautyHair CareWhat’s the Deal with Henna in Home Hair Dyes?

What’s the Deal with Henna in Home Hair Dyes?

Hair cutting shears, combs, henna hair dye and professional cosmetics

With so many brands entering the natural home hair colour market, it can be hard to know which range of colours to choose, why certain ingredients are used, and the benefits and efficacy of each. At the same time, many of us are becoming increasingly aware of ingredients used in cosmetic and beauty products and are actively looking for brands that share our health and lifestyle concerns.

Enter henna as an ingredient in home hair colouring products. There’s some stigma surrounding henna from adverse reactions and complaints caused by henna tattoos specifically—unfortunately, this has created a reluctance toward using hair products containing henna. But we think you should reconsider.

Our brand new Tints of Nature Henna Cream offers a healthier way to dye your hair at home without the long-term commitment. It’s made with natural henna and plant extracts, and with absolutely no PPD’s/PTD’s or ammonia. So grab a cuppa, get comfy and get the lowdown on henna home hair colouring!

So what is henna?

Henna is a botanical plant known as lawsonia inermis which grows in the tropical climates of Africa, northern Australia, and southern Asia. Red, white and pretty in bloom, the plant produces a small, fragrant flower—but when being used for cosmetic purposes, henna is harvested before the plant blooms.

The plant’s leaves contain a pigment called lawsone, which is ground up and mixed with water or lemon juice to create a thick red/brown paste. This paste binds to protein in our skin, which causes the staining used for henna tattoos and religious body art. Traditionally, the henna plant has also been used for many centuries for hair colouring; in fact, studies have shown that the henna plant was used to dye Ancient Egyptian wigs and beards for both men and women alike!

Before and after using hair dye with henna

Before and after using hair dye with henna

Why does it get a bad rap?

Over time, ‘other ingredients’ have been added to produce more colours and/or to make the stain last longer. These extra ingredients, especially those used to create black, are usually in the form of p-phenylenediamine (PPD)—a common ingredient found in hair dyes which can cause dangerous reactions if skin tests are not performed.

If you’ve ever had a black or coloured henna tattoo and experienced a reaction, it was likely cause by an allergy to the mixed PPD ingredients. That said, anyone can develop a reaction to absolutely anything, even the most natural of products or ingredients, so it’s possible to react to natural henna (in either a tattoo or hair dye) that hasn’t been mixed with any harsh ingredients. That’s why it’s important to carry out a skin sensitivity test before any and every skin and/or hair colour application.

Henna in Hair Dye

The US Food & Drug Administration has actually approved the use of henna only for hair dye. However, the way henna is used in hair dyes today varies—boxed henna dyes are often perceived as being 100% natural but to achieve colours other than red or brown, henna must be mixed with other herbs or dyes, which may be synthetic or use PPD.

Tints of Nature & Henna 

At Tints of Nature, we believe that natural ingredients are better for you and your hair, so we prefer to use kind and gentle, natural and organic ingredients. We only use synthetic ingredients if we cannot find a suitable natural alternative. Our naturally nourishing semi-permanent range is made with 95% naturally derived and 15 certified organic ingredients, and does not contain PPD or PTD. So you’ll discover henna’s natural benefits, including its ability to smooth and condition, encourage natural shine, fortify your roots, reduce scalp irritation, and strengthen your hair!

Henna home hair colours can come in two variations—powder or cream. The cream variations, such as our Tints of Nature Henna Cream, often come ready-to-use with no mixing required! Powder henna hair dyes, on the other hand, usually require further preparation.

How does it work?

We combine henna with mild synthetic dyes to create our range of colours. They’re designed to naturally enhance your hair colour and not drastically change your hair’s colour pigments—perfect for naturally enhancing your hair colour or for those who are new to the home hair colouring experience! And with up to 80% grey coverage, Tints of Nature Henna Cream can cover those pesky, unwanted grey hairs in no time—40 minutes to be precise! But note that you can’t achieve a lighter shade with our Henna Cream, as our formula contains zero peroxide.

The colour will wash out from your hair within approximately 6-12 washes.


Ultimately, you should always check the ingredients of any product you intend to use on your hair, scalp or skin and ensure you carry out the necessary skin and strand tests before application, hair colour or otherwise. But when used for its natural properties and benefits without harsh ingredients, henna can be a nourishing and loving addition to any home hair dye.

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