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Common Henna Hair Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Henna hair mistakes are common with individuals who do not prepare initially or know how to use this natural colorant. Being prepared is the best way to avoid mistakes. The good news is that even if you make a mistake, there are ways to fix it.

By following our guidelines, you can avoid eight different situations and get the henna hair color you desire.

Things You Should Know Before Using Henna on Hair

Before you start searching for how to fix henna hair mistakes, understanding more about henna products will prepare you to use it on your hair. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind.

Henna Can Change the Texture of Your Hair

Things You Should Know Before Using Henna on Hair

Henna can make your hair feel thicker and more coarse. If you have fine or thin hair, henna can improve the volume and texture because it will adhere to each strand of hair.

Henna Needs Time To Work

The longer you leave it on, the more intense the color will be. So plan to leave it on for at least 3-4 hours.

Henna Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Dye

The amount of henna you need to use will vary depending on your hair length and thickness. Be sure to mix enough henna paste to cover all of your hair, or you may end up with patchy results.

Henna May Not Suit You

Henna is rich in proteins, making it not ideal for protein-sensitive individuals. It can cause an allergic reaction in some. Also it is not the right hair color product for everyone.

Henna Hair Mistakes and Ways to Fix Them

Anytime you adjust your hair color using products, there will be specific steps to take for an effective result. Even with natural items like henna, you can forget something and cause problems.

Learning henna hair mistakes and ways to fix them can be as simple as ensuring you follow the proper procedure for adding this natural colorant to your hair.

1. Not Protecting Your Skin

henna hair mistakes - Not Protecting Your Skin

Henna is a permanent dye that will change the color of your hair and the skin on your hands, face, and neck.

To avoid having unsightly dye patches on your skin, you can use petroleum jelly, coconut oil, or lip balm on the skin around your hairline, neck, and ears.

These products will create a barrier, so the henna does not dye your skin. If you get some on your face, be sure to wipe it off immediately.

Otherwise, it will take some time to reverse this henna hair mistake by using a baking soda and lemon juice mixture.

2. Not Using Heat Protectants

Although henna is a natural plant-based product, it can dry out your hair if you already struggle with brittle strands or dryness.

The dying process will open the cuticle for a more effective result, but it can react with the natural keratin of your hair strands and make them feel brittle.

Not using heat protectants is a common henna hair mistake that is easy to forget. Therefore, you can add coconut oil or argan oil to your henna mixture to help give your hair moisture during dying.

In addition, using styling tools with excessive heat will amplify any dryness, so you must partner heat protectants with flat irons, hair dryers, and other hot styling aids.

3. Not Protecting Curly Hair

henna hair mistakes - Not Protecting Curly Hair

Henna can somewhat straighten your hair, making your curls less prominent than before. If you have curly hair, you must protect them.

Although a small percentage of people will not see any change in their curl patterns, most of those using henna with curly hair will see a loosening.

To keep your curls intact, you can add amla powder to your henna dye mixture.

This innovative natural product will also help restore moisture, boost volume, promote growth, and condition your hair and scalp, helping to fix this henna hair mistake.

You can also use amla powder in a carrier oil as a hair mask after dying with henna to rejuvenate your curly hair.

4. Not Allowing Enough Time To Oxidize the Henna

Henna is unlike traditional box dyes that you mix and immediately apply. This natural colorant requires time to sit and oxidize to release the dye fully.

This process can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight for effectiveness.

If henna does not sit long enough, the color could be really orange or too bright than what you want for your hair, leaving you with a henna hair mistake that may take time to rectify.

5. Not Using the Correct Mixture

henna hair mistakes - Not Using the Correct Mixture

Another common henna hair mistake is obtaining the right mixture. Henna can be tricky to mix the first few times you use it.

For example, if it is too thick, it will clump and not penetrate all your hair strands, leaving you with uneven color. If it is too runny, it will not sit on your hair properly to be effective.

Creating the perfect mixture will take some patience as you add liquid to the powder slowly for obtaining the correct texture.

6. Not Leaving the Henna On Long Enough

Unfortunately, because henna is a natural colorant, it requires more time to work than standard box dyes. A typical henna process should take between two and four hours to complete.

If you rinse it out before it has a chance to be fully effective, your color can be patchy and uneven.

Alternatively, you can leave it on too long, so following the proper timeline is critical to avoid henna hair mistakes that result in ineffective coloring.

7. Not Cleaning Hair Before Applying Henna

henna hair mistakes - Not Cleaning Hair Before Applying Henna

Applying henna to hair that is dirty with residue or has a build-up of hair products will interfere with how the dye coats the hair cuticle.

If you have products or leftover conditioner on your hair, the henna cannot uniformly cover your hair. You will end up with a patchy color that is too light or dark in areas, and not consistent.

To avoid this henna hair mistake, you should use a clarifying shampoo that will prepare the hair strands.

However, do not use a commercial conditioner, as it will interfere with how effective the henna will be during the process.

8. Not Using the Best Henna Products

Some commercial henna products contain metallic salts, like lead acetate and synthetic chemicals. These additives change the composition of the henna, altering the effects.

You should avoid henna products that are available in many colors since this indicates they are not pure henna and can give unpredictable results.

Inferior henna products can also create problems if you use commercial box dyes on your hair later. The ingredients from the henna can react with standard box items, causing irreversible damage to the hair strands.

Tips to Get The Best Result from Henna

To avoid any henna hair mistakes, follow these tips for the best results:

  • Purchase henna that states it is Body Art Quality (BAQ), made with pure, natural ingredients
  • Use only distilled water in your henna mix; any other water type can contain minerals that may react with the henna and alter the color
  • Talk to a professional stylist before using henna or switching from box dyes, as you can have damaging reactions when using henna on chemically-treated hair
  • Mix your henna and additives into a smooth paste. If it’s too thick, it won’t be easy to apply and will not color your hair evenly. If it’s too runny, it will drip and make a mess.


These are some frequently asked questions about the henna dying process for more clarification.

Can henna make my hair fall out?

Henna can help to strengthen and condition your hair. However, if you do not follow the directions correctly or you leave the henna in your hair for too long, it can dry out your hair and lead to breakage.

What will happen if I keep henna on for too long?

If it remains on your hair for too long, it will dry out your hair strands, causing them to turn brittle, break, and possibly fall out. You should not leave henna on your hair for longer than five hours.

Should I use lemon juice for henna?

Although you do not have to use lemon juice for henna, adding this will deepen the color for you. It is up to you on the hue you want to achieve and if you want the richest color possible.

Does henna make my hair dry?

Normally henna will not dry out your hair because it is a natural colorant rather than chemical synthetic dyes.

However, if you leave it on your hair too long, it can dry out your hair strands, leaving you with coarse, brittle hair. So use a deep conditioner afterward.

Should I mix henna with hot water?

No! Henna should be mixed with cool water and sit for at least four hours to effectively release the dye.

Mixing henna with hot water can release the dye immediately, but the resulting color will not be as intense, leaving you with a brassy or lighter tone.

Using henna can be a terrific way to add deep color to your hair and improve its strength and volume. However, it’s critical that you avoid common henna hair mistakes to achieve the optimal results you want.

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