Henna Plus: Things to Know Before You Buy

by Jane Wangersky | May 2nd, 2013 | Women's Beauty, Women's Fashion

womanA few weeks ago, while looking for henna at the health food and supplements store (where else?) I came across a hair coloring line called Henna Plus and ended up taking some home to try, though it wasn’t exactly what I’d been looking for. I’ll say right up front that I’ve been mostly happy with the results — still, if you’re considering this product, there are some things you should probably know first. In no particular order:

Henna Plus doesn’t actually contain henna. Strange. But they don’t hide that; it says so right on the box. It does contain “9 Certified Organic Botanicals” including green tea, hops, and ginseng.

However, it’s not chemical-free — nothing that you buy in a package that’s been sitting on a shelf for a while can be. The only way to get completely natural hair dye is to mix it yourself, one batch at a time, from raw materials.

The Long-Lasting Color version of Henna Plus contains ammonia and peroxide, strong ingredients you may well want to stay away from, though they do keep the color from fading. (The company also makes color products that wash out.) But there are no parabens or PPD, which can cause allergic reactions in a few people.

Based on experience: The burgundy shade looks purple but turns dark-brown, partially grey hair dark reddish brown. Go figure. (And do a strand test first, especially with some of your grey if you have it.)

Based on what the store manager told me about her experience: The blond shades don’t turn grey hair blond. Again, go figure. And so much for turning my grey streaks into highlights.

Inside the package you’ll find two bottles, color and activator, which you combine and put on your hair. There’s also a pair of plastic gloves. I added a plastic bag to put over my hair while the color was setting, though the instructions don’t recommend it.

The color takes 40 minutes to an hour to set. After you rinse your hair, you’re supposed to use the conditioner in the kit, after diluting it with water. I just used it straight, however — seemed to work.

Though I didn’t get the “100% grey coverage” promised, I think that’s my fault for not hitting all the grey hairs. Like any hair product that has to be applied over a sink, this can be tricky if you’re using it on yourself. I could’ve taken more time and done a more even job.

I could also have used a second kit, and I recommend this for anyone with long and/or thick hair. Though if you’re going to spend that much on hair coloring, you may just want to get it done at a salon.

The color looks great after nearly a month, a lot of my grey hairs have disappeared, and overall the Henna Plus was a good purchase.

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