Can you use henna on dyed hair? Yes, but you must follow these 3 steps before coloring your hair

over permanent hair dye

  • To apply henna on dyed hair, you have to consider the dye you used, the kind of henna you’ll apply, your hair health, and your expected color.
  • If your hair is colored with semi-permanent hair dye, you’ll have to wait until it completely fades. If it is permanent hair dye, wait for one month before you apply henna.
  • You’ll need 100% natural henna. Otherwise, both your hair health and color may be affected.
  • That’s why it’s best to perform a strand test to know if your hair will resist henna and what color it’ll finally have.
  • Finally, keep in mind that henna only has dark and coppery colors. Therefore, even if the base of your hair is black, it’ll always have secondary reddish or coppery tones.


Have you recently discovered henna’s benefits, and you want to use it in your dyed hair?


I’ve two pieces of news for you.

You’re not the first one to discover henna as a natural element to color your hair. After all, 9000 years ago, Cleopatra, the last great queen of Egypt, used it in her hair.


The second piece of news is that  you can apply henna on your colored hair but it always has to be 100% NATURAL, WITHOUT ANY ADDED CHEMICALS. 

What happens if your henna is mixed with other ingredients?


Your hair may suffer extreme damage.

I don’t mean to scare you, just to tell you the truth.


If you use non-natural henna, chemical additives may create a chemical reaction in your colored hair that may even burn it.

That’s why I insist.  Henna has to be 100% natural if you want to use it in your colored hair. 


Also, don’t create false expectations regarding henna. If you want to color your hair blonde or light color, henna is not for you. It only works on intermediate and dark shades, i.e., black, brown, dark brown, light brown, red, and orange.


Do you want to know what hair color you should have to apply henna?


Keep reading because I’ll tell you:

  • What to consider before applying henna on colored hair.
  • How henna affects the base color and what shades can be applied on colored hair

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What to consider before applying henna on dyed hair

lawsonia inermis

To know whether you can apply henna on your colored hair, you must follow a three-step plan: check the henna’s composition, test the strand, and faded dye.

Let’s see what each one is about.


1- Checking henna composition. Is it 100% natural?

First and foremost, the henna you want to use must be completely natural, and, to make sure, you have to check its ingredients. The henna must have:

Those are the only two ingredients your henna must-have.

 If you find it has sulfate, ammonia, sodium, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, or alcohol, it’s not natural henna. Therefore, you mustn’t apply it to your colored hair. 


2- Strand test on your colored hair

before bleaching

Once you made sure it’s natural henna, the second step is to perform the strand test.  Why?


 Because it’s the only way to check whether you’re allergic to it, even being a natural product, and how your hair may react to it. 

It’s a very simple test. You only have to apply henna on one hair strand.



  • Comb your hair and gather it in a ponytail, separating a single strand, preferably on the back of your head.
  • Apply henna on the strand following the manufacturer’s instructions. The required time may vary according to each brand, but it will be between two to three hours.
  • Then, rinse and let it dry.


Now comes the most important step: observation..

  • Grab the strand where you applied henna and touch it. Is it dry or rough?
  • Look at the strand. Is it shiny or heavy?


 If your hair is rough, dry, or brittle, you cannot apply henna on your colored hair  because it dehydrates hair, and you’ll notice it damaged and weak in no time.

If your hair doesn’t show any of those changes, isn’t dry nor rough, is still shiny, and with the usual texture, you can apply henna on it.


3- Hair dye fade

Now that you know that your hair can stand henna, it’s time to see what happens with your color.

  • If you have semi-permanent hair dye, you have to fade it by washing your hair more frequently. It’ll fade faster if you use dandruff or clarifying shampoo.
  • If your hair is colored with permanent hair dye, I recommend that you wait for a month after you colored your hair. This way, there won’t be any chemical trace that’ll alter the process.


Now, it comes the most important part. How to select the henna color for your colored hair?


How henna affects the base color and what shades can be applied on colored hair

Henna is available in dark and intermediate colors:

  • Black
  • Dark brown
  • Light brown
  • Red
  • Orange



 If your hair is colored blonde and you want it to stay blonde, don’t use henna. Otherwise, your hair will end up orange or reddish. 

There isn’t any blonde, platinum, nor grey henna. It’s that simple.


  • As regards the base color, henna has great coverage. So, you won’t need to bleach your hair to apply it.

Of course, if your base color is blonde and you want to change to more coppery tones, the resulting color will be more intense.

 So, you can apply henna on any base color. You only have to know that the henna has a cumulative effect, meaning that the more you apply it, the more intense the resulting color will be. 


  • Finally, remember that henna coloring is always coppery (orange) or mahogany (reddish). You have to know that before you apply it because, afterward, it won’t be possible to apply toner or toning shampoo if you don’t like the resulting color.

You’ll even get red as a secondary color in shades like black and dark brown.




  • The first thing is to choose completely natural henna without any added chemical to apply henna in dyed hair.
  • It’s also necessary to perform a strand test to check your hair’s texture and color after using henna.
  • If your hair is colored with semi-permanent hair dye, you’ll have to fade it completely. If it’s permanent hair dye, wait for at least one month before you apply henna.
  • And remember, henna is only available in colors such as black, brown, red, and orange. So, you should consider that when deciding your color.

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