How Long After Henna Can I Dye My Hair? [Expert Advice]

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Henna is a natural dye that has been used for centuries to color hair. It’s known for its ability to add shine, volume, and nourishment to your hair.

One of the most common questions people ask is how long they should wait after using henna before they can dye their hair with another hair color.

Applying hair dye to henna-treated hair can lead to unpredictable results, but thankfully, there is a simple answer.

We’re here to explain how long you should wait before dyeing your hair after using henna. Let’s go!

Henna Hair Dye: The Basics 

Before we address the how long after henna can I dye my hair question, let’s grasp what henna hair dye is and how it works. 

  • Henna is a natural plant-based dye that stains your hair a red-orange, brown or black color.
  • Unlike chemical dyes, henna operates by coating your hair shaft, adding a layer of color to it rather than altering your natural pigment.
  • It does not fade quickly like most chemical dyes but instead, it gradually washes out over time.

Remember, because henna works by staining your hair, if you have lighter hair, the color will be more vibrant. On the other hand, if you have darker hair, the result may just be a subtle tint.

How Long After Henna Can I Dye My Hair - henna hair dye powder

How Long to Wait After Henna to Dye Hair? 

It’s essential to wait for your henna-colored hair to fade before using any other hair dyes or hair color treatments.

The time it takes for henna to fade depends on your hair’s texture, type, and condition.

On average, it takes about two to three months for henna to completely fade. While waiting, you can speed up the process by using natural shampoos or oil treatments.

If you want to transition from henna to a different hair color, you’ll need to be patient and take extra care of your hair. 

Avoid using heat styling tools, as they can damage your hair and undo the color.

Instead, try protective hairstyles like braids and twists to prevent breakage.

Don’t forget to regularly apply deep conditioning treatments and oil massages to keep your hair healthy and moisturized.

With proper care, you’ll be able to achieve the hair color you want without compromising your hair’s health.

Henna Hair Dye: Before and After 

Before using henna, it’s recommended that you first test a small patch of hair to evaluate the color result and your skin’s potential reaction.

It’s also essential to understand that henna hair dye results can vary, as they’re influenced by your original hair color, hair texture, and how long you leave the dye on.

After henna, your hair will have a warm, reddish glow. The color will fade, but it won’t be as quick as a conventional chemical dye. 

How can I remove henna hair dye?

If you really can’t wait for your henna hair dye to fade, there are some potential ways to remove it. These methods can be harsh on your hair and don’t guarantee complete removal of henna but you can always give them a try!

Hair Color Remover 

Hair color removers contain sodium hydrosulfite, which effectively reduces the dye in your hair, shrinking the color molecules and removing them from your strands. 

It’s a quick and hassle-free method to remove henna hair dye. However, this approach might dry your hair out, so it’s essential to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment. 

Lemon Juice 

One easy way to remove henna hair dye is through the power of acidic lemon juice.

When applied to your hair, the acidity in the lemon juice reacts with the dye, helping to fade and ultimately eliminate the color over time. 

Keep in mind, however, that while it’s a natural method, lemon juice can be drying to your hair. Nourishing your hair with a conditioner post-treatment is highly recommended.

Baking Soda and Honey 

If you’re after a natural home remedy—a combination of baking soda and honey can gradually lighten henna hair dye.

Baking Soda acts as a scrubbing agent that disolves the dye, whereas honey conditions your hair, counteracting the drying effect of the baking soda. 

  • Method: Mix equal parts baking soda and honey, apply them to your hair, and cover your hair with a shower cap. After 15-60 minutes, wash it out.

Remember, drastic color bleed is not expected with these methods, and they may need to be repeated for the full effect.

Also, conduct a patch test before any attempt to prevent any unwanted reaction.

These ingredients help to open up the hair cuticles and strip the dye out. Once the henna color is successfully removed, you can wait for a few days before using any other hair dye.

Can You Use Henna on Dyed Hair? 

  • Henna can indeed be used on previously dyed hair. However, since henna coats the hair shaft, the dye’s shade might not penetrate as effectively.
  • If you’ve recently used a chemical dye and decide to use henna later, it’s advised to wait a few weeks in between processors to prevent any possible adverse reactions or mishaps.
  • Also, make sure you patch test first to check for any allergic reactions.

Can You Dye Over Henna? 

Technically, yes, you can dye over henna, but it’s not recommended!

Again, waiting at least 6 weeks is safer. Henna’s coloring properties might interfere with the dye, leading to unpredictable outcomes and uneven color if you don’t wait enough. 

While waiting for henna to fade before using any other hair dye is the best practice, some people want to experiment with different colors immediately.

You can opt for semi-permanent hair dyes or temporary hair color treatments.

These do not contain harsh chemicals that can react with the henna dye, and they will not damage the hair. Just be careful when choosing the hair color to use and follow the product instructions carefully.

Can I Use Ammonia Free Hair Dye Over Henna?

If you’re insistent on dying over henna and can’t wait, opting for an ammonia-free hair dye may be a safer bet.

Ammonia-free hair dyes are generally gentler and may cause fewer adverse reactions.

However, a strand test and an allergy test are still essential prior. 

Parting words

So really, patience is crucial when dealing with henna and other hair dyes.

By understanding how these various hair coloring methods interact, you can confidently navigate your hair care journey.

Whether you’re using henna over dyed hair or wondering how long after henna you can dye your hair, this comprehensive guideline has got you covered. 

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!