At least once in her life, every woman has thought of colouring her hair–either to cover those pesky greys or to experiment with ombre, dip-dye, balayage, or whatever the newest style dominating Instagram is.
But just like there are no free lunches in life, colouring your hair comes with its own set of disadvantages. Yes, we’re talking about hair damage, which is daunting enough to make many a peeps steer clear of anything chemical. Enter: henna, aka nature’s gift to aspiring redheads. While at least half of India relies on mehendi to colour their hair, to say that this method comes without any cons would be wrong. So hair dye or henna–which one should you choose? Let’s find out!
Your hair colour can make you cry–literally!
If you’ve ever gotten your hair coloured at a salon even once in your life, you are definitely not unfamiliar with the dye giving you a headache and worse still—tears while you sit and wait for it to show some results. Turns out, it’s just a subtle hint that something is severely wrong with using synthetic or chemical hair colours.
As per information released by the American National Cancer Institute, “Over 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in animals.”
Then, of course, there’s hair damage
If you still need another reason to not rely on chemical-laden hair dyes, here’s something you can’t ignore. Hair dyes usually contain harmful chemicals like ammonia and peroxides, which predominantly strip away the natural oils and pigment of your hair in order to replace it with a more appealing colour of your choice. Without its natural elements, the hair becomes weaker, damaged, and more susceptible to breakage.
Let’s not forget allergic reactions…
Did we mention that chemicals present in hair dyes are quite capable of causing allergic reactions—thanks to the presence of a widely-known allergen paraphenylenediamine in the dye? Itchy scalp, irritated skin, redness, and swelling are bound to be the freebies you get each time you colour your hair.
Oh and if you already have skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, you’re even more likely to bear the brunt.
But the problem doesn’t end here. Inhaling chemical compounds called persulfates present in hair dyes and colours can aggravate respiratory issues like asthma, wheezing, coughing, and lung inflammation.
In fact, if the colour accidentally makes contact with your eye, you can even get conjunctivitis.
Can henna be your saving grace?
From ancient Romans and Egyptians to many “modern” Indians–people have been relying on this natural hair colouring method since forever. The most obvious advantage of using henna to colour your hair is that you’re saving yourself from the above-mentioned atrocities of harmful chemicals.
Henna, if used in its natural form can make your hair thicker, stronger, silkier, and shinier—thanks to the presence of tannins (a type of plant compound) in it.
It even acts as a natural conditioner due to its nutrient-and-moisture-locking properties, which simultaneously build a protective layer on your hair. So, you get protection against heat, harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, and pollution.
It’s also damn cheap, effective, and curative!
Available at a fraction of the cost of a hair dye, not only does henna offer a deep red colour to your mane–but it also treats dandruff thanks to its pH-balancing ability.
But what if you don’t want red hair?
Well, that seemingly is the only drawback of using henna–a lack of colour options. Sure, you can add coffee for a dark maroon hue and organic indigo powder for jet black–but for any other shade, you have no choice but to rely on a hair dye.
Which means… hair dyes also have some obvious benefits
Caramel brown, sandy blonde, peacock blue, or flaming orange–you’ll be spoilt for choice with hair dyes. Moreover, these hair colours last longer compared to henna and well, you have to sit for fewer hours for the colour to set in.
The bottom line?
All in all, henna is healthier for your hair. So if you already have thin, damaged, or falling hair–stick to this ingredient to colour your hair. In either case, choose wisely. Yeh hair care ka mamla hai, after all!