henna powder
Photo by Aivita -- Getty Images

Henna is a beloved pathway to natural hair dye and curly girls love it. Whether using it to condition, loosen, or color your curls, henna is a favorite for many wanting to alter their hair with natural ingredients. Despite the love, there are a few curly girls who do not care for henna as results truly vary. Hayfa.Drac has a question about henna fading in our Curly Q&A section.

Question

Hi, I had natural brown hair till I used natural henna and I miss my hair color, when will it fade. My hair was brown before I used natural henna but now it has a bit of orange and I really want my natural hair color back, my hair is 3b/3c. Please, when will it fade?

Answer

This can be a tricky situation as my sister is in the same position. She has henna in her hair and has been waiting for it to fade for a long time with no luck. While some may find it fade slightly, henna is permanent and must be grown out or cut for removal. Despite this, there are ways to help the process along.

What is henna?

Pure henna is a powder that comes from the leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant. The leaves have a red-orange dye molecule that stains hair. People often make the mistake of thinking henna is found in several colors like black or brown but pure henna is red-orange, and any henna that is advertised to color your hair black or brown has added ingredients that you may want to avoid. Henna does penetrate the hair shaft and binds to the keratin (protein) in hair. It can condition, loosen, and permanently dye your hair. Before you try it for the first time, I would recommend that you fully understand the pros and cons of using henna.

Despite this permanent state, there are some solutions for removal.

DIY Henna Remover

NaturallyCurly Editor Devri used this recipe to remove the henna from her hair when she realized that henna was preventing her from being able to color or lighten her hair.

Ingredients
  • Equal parts of extra virgin olive oil, argan oil, coconut oil (enough to cover all of hair from root to tips)
  • Sulfate shampoo
  • Plastic cap
  • Blow-dryer (optional)
Directions
  1. Cover hair from root to tips with oil and cover with plastic cap. You can either heat your oiled hair with blow-dryer, sit outside in the sun, or allow it to sit overnight covered with a plastic cap and scarf to prevent bleeding.
  2. In the morning apply sulfate shampoo to hair to remove oil and rinse well.
  3. Follow up with a deep conditioner to close the hair shaft and style as usual.
  4. You will need to repeat process a few times to see color change.

Hair Color Remover

There are color removal products on the market like the Color Oops Hair Color Remover that curly girl Growth Music Travelused with success. You can watch her share her experience for a full review.

Again, henna is permanent and while for some it may fade, most will have to either cut it out, grow it out, or can try one of these methods. These methods will vary based on many factors to do with your hair and what you have done to it in the past. Good luck!

Have you tried either method or another? Share below!