One question we get asked the most about the henna hair dye from Desert Shadow is how it goes covering grey hair. In this blog post we have compiled information from a series of articles to help you get the best result for your grey coverage using a natural hair dye made from henna.

Does colouring grey hair with henna need more attention?

It's important to understand that using a natural hair colour made from henna to cover grey hair needs more attention to detail than other shades. Henna is not able to lighten hair colour like hair dyes with bleach in them, you can only go darker. For most people, colouring over grey is darker, but grey hair doesn't take colour quite as easily. When you read the instructions and they tell you to use an apple cider vinegar activation mix and to leave it on for 3 hours, these steps are important and necessary for grey hair coverage.

colouring your hair

How do you choose a henna hair colour if you have 30% grey or less?

You can get some really lovely results colouring grey hair that's 30% grey or less. You have the option of matching your natural hair colour, choosing something lighter than your natural hair colour that will effectively only colour your greys, turning your grey streaks in to a highlighted effect with a blonde or red colour. Lastly, you can go darker than your natural hair colour and take your whole head of hair to the dark side!

How do you choose a henna hair colour if you have 50% or more grey hair?

Desert Shadow suggest 3 things when choosing a colour for someone with more than 50% grey coverage. We have also tweaked this advice after speaking to our consulting naturopath about henna hair dye as she has a great deal of experience in the area of natural hair colour with her clients.

1. Match your own natural colour, but for those with darker hair, as you get older, and your eyebrows start to lighten naturally, your skin tone will be better suited to a shade that's a little lighter than your original darker natural tones.

2. Take the edge off your silver strands with either Honey or Sun Shadow. You will significantly reduce the upkeep because the difference in tone between your own silver and the Honey or the Sun Shadow are far less than covering grey with something dark.

3.Once you hit over 50%, consider whether it's time to stop using a colour and embrace your grey. Keeping up with a natural hair treatment will keep your hair looking shiny and full of energy. Grey hair is naturally drier because the outer cuticle is thinner and it's this cuticle that keeps the moisture locked in. Be mindful of heat styling grey hair for this reason.

grey hair roots

How do you get the best results when colouring grey hair with henna hair dye?

Desert Shadow have these 5 tips to get the best results using their natural hair dye.

1. Shampoo your hair just before you dye. Shampoo twice to ensure there's no natural oils on your roots. Using a clarifying shampoo if you have one will give you the best results. Towel dry your hair and apply your colour to damp hair, not dry hair.

2. Follow the instructions to cover grey hair exactly. Make sure you read the instructions and that you have everything you need before you start. There are two sets of instructions included in your packet. The instructions also include QR codes to a video on how to mix your colour. We recommend you watch the video in advance. Also, each colour has its own requirements for the volume of activating liquid it needs, and there are 2 steps, so please follow these for the best results.

3. Ensure your paste is thick as it will take better.

4. Leave the colour in for the full recommended time. It's a minimum of 3 hours for grey coverage, so pop on your favourite music and have some 'me time' while you colour. It's not a quick process.

5. Wrap your hair to keep the moisture in. You don't want it to dry out during the 3 hours or you won't get a good result. Most people will tell you to use cling film. We understand someone shopping from an eco friendly store may not want to do that. A cheap shower cap and then wrapping your hair in a towel over the cap will do nicely.

What do you do for colour resistant hair?

This doesn't happen to everyone, but some grey hair can be stubborn when you're trying to colour it, even when you follow all the instructions given. The Pre Colour Wash Bar from Desert Shadow is a clarifying shampoo bar. We also have a clarifying rinse from Beauty and the Bees and clarifying shampoo options from Giovanni and Acure. They shouldn't be used every day because they will strip the natural oils from your hair, but you need them stripped for the grey coverage on colour resistant greys. Make sure you use apple cider vinegar as your activation liquid or will risk drying your hair out unnecessarily.

If you're going from grey to a dark colour (Chocolate or Deep Chestnut for example), you can apply a red base that will take to the grey hair better and it serves as a foundation for the darker colour, so settle in, you have a bit day ahead of you if you need the red base, as you'll be colouring twice. The only way to know if you need this is to try without it and see what results you get.

If you want to colour grey hair with Indigo Shadow, which is the black shade, there are a specific set of instructions on how to do this. It's a 2 step process that can be done on the same day, or step 2 can be done up to 48 hours afterwards.

Desert Shadow Red Colour Base options

How do you choose the right Red Base colour for your colour resistant grey hair?

Red Base should only be used with Chocolate Shadow, Deep Chestnut Shadow or Indigo Shadow in the Desert Shadow range. Do not use a Red Base with any other colour. You can use Copper Shadow or Red Shadow as a red base.