A couple of weeks ago, I went to my salon hoping to have my brownish hair color lifted a few levels. Initially, I didn't think to let the colorist know of my previous henna dye and natural lightening sessions that I had conducted at home earlier this year.
Unbeknownst to me, henna dye is completely permanent--as in, it will not allow even bleach to penetrate it for a color correction or new hue. This was big news to me--and somewhat upsetting. Had I known the impact a couple of henna treatments would have on my hair color curiosity, perhaps I wouldn't have even gone near the stuff.
After a forty minute dye job, my roots totally took the color. They are now an auburn color, while the older parts of my hair (the henna dyed ends) remain their brunette-black color. The colorist suggested I come back in a few weeks to try again, but was honest in letting me know that this may only cause damage to my hair rather than correct the color over the henna dye.
Pictured above: My auburn roots and darker, henna-dyed ends
Luckily, there is a safe way to remove henna dye from your hair if you find yourself in the same tough spot I am in. Though this is also quite unpredictable, it may work for your curls. Everyone's reaction is different, depending on your hair and the henna or hair dye you've previously used. So before you try this method, you should take the variability of its results into account. In my personal case I figured, "it's worth a try, right?"
What I'm using
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Argan oil
- Unrefined coconut oil
- Sulfate shampoo
- Plastic shower cap
- Co-wash or gentle sulfate-free cleanser
- Combine equal parts extra virgin olive oil, argan oil and coconut oil.
- Apply the oil blend from your scalp to the tips of your hair. Leave some leftover for a near future touch-up.
- Leave the oil in overnight (cover your head and with a plastic shower cap and secure with a head wrap so there is no oily mess on your pillowcase the next morning).
- Remove the oil treatment by saturating your curls with an undiluted sulfate shampoo, massaging it well into your scalp.
- Rinse your hair thoroughly and then follow up with your usual co-wash.
Note, this will take a few processes until you start noticing your real hair color coming back. I don't want my curls to be super oily and limp throughout the week, so I have been using this method every three to four days. I'm hoping that the henna will be completely removed from my hair within the next two months - I'll write a follow up article and post my before and after photos for you then!Have you had your hair dyed with henna before? How did you have it removed? Share with us in the comments below! This article was originally posted in 2017 and has been edited for grammar and clarity.