Can You Perm Henna Hair? A Complete Guide

can you perm henna hair

Employing henna to dye hair, nails, or skin goes back centuries when the ancient people had no other means of playing with different hair colors. And it is still widely used, especially to give the grey hair a deep orange or reddish-brown tint.

Further, people who are allergic to chemical dyes use henna as an alternative to spice up their hair shade or benefit from its nourishing effects. Can you perm henna hair if you are a fan or the low-maintenance curly hair fan? Or can you relax your hair after henna?

While you can perm hair that has been dyed with henna, you will need to make sure that the henna you used was entirely pure. Due to the lack of quality control, commercially available henna powder contains chemicals that interfere with perm solution. As a result, your hair won’t get the perm and may also experience some damage.

Let’s dive into a bit of detail to know whether you can perm over henna hair to curl or relax it. And, what possibly can happen when you try to perm henna hair.

What To Expect When You Perm Over Henna Hair?

The dyeing ability of henna powder stems from an ingredient called lawsone. When used in its pure form, this chemical in henna generally dyes hair dark orange. However, the color you get from henna also depends on the original shade of your hair.

Typically, commercially available henna powder contains added chemicals to intensify the color and provide you with various shades of orange and red. Therefore, when you try to perm henna hair, these chemicals react with perm solution and don’t allow you to relax or get curls on your hair.

Should I Wash My Hair Before A Perm...
Should I Wash My Hair Before A Perm? (Expert Explains)

The following are common repercussions of trying to perm over the hair dyed with henna.

1. Your Henna Hair Won’t Get The Perm

If you don’t know that the henna powder you used to dye your hair was free from added ingredients, perming your hair might not work. The perm solution needs to break the disulfide bonds of the hair strands and reconfigure them into curls.

Therefore, when applying this solution to your henna hair, it is likely to react with dye ingredients. As a result, you don’t get the perfect curls or sleek straight hair strands after perming your henna hair.

Further, the henna powder contains ingredients that protect your hair shafts from environmental damage. In Asian countries like India and Pakistan, people dye their hair with henna to protect it from sun damage.

The henna powder is rich in vitamin E and proteins. Thus, it has a protective action against chemicals. So, applying a perm solution on henna hair might not relax the bonds as it usually does. Therefore, you won’t get the perm to its maximum.

2. You Might Experience Some Degree of Hair Damage

The henna powders available online or in the retail stores are most likely to contain metallic salts or artificial dye molecules. And you never know what else it holds in it. Therefore, when applying the relaxing solution from the perm kit to your henna hair, you can expect any chemical reaction.

Typically, trying to perm over henna hair leaves your hair strand dry and brittle. However, it is less likely that you experience aggressive hair damage unless the henna was of poor quality or the perm solution caused the damage on its own.

Therefore, it is always crucial to commercially find 100% pure henna powder. Nevertheless, some brands offer the best quality henna dye.

3. The Perm Solution Will Fade Henna Dye

No matter how difficult henna dye is to fade, using a perm solution over henna hair will remove some of it. As a result, you might see faded patches of hair strands.

According to Sallybeauty, perms do fade the color-treated or henna hair. And as mentioned above, the protection from henna doesn’t allow the relaxing solution to work correctly. Therefore, you may have to use an extra volume of perm solution, which is likely to fade henna more.

Moreover, after ruining the color of your henna hair while trying to do a perm, you won’t be able to color your hair with artificial dye unless you want to damage your hair. However, you can use henna over the permed hair to produce a uniform tint.

How To Perm With Henna Hair?

We won’t suggest you perm over henna hair, especially when you dyed it a few days ago. It will not only affect the efficacy of perm solution, but you may also get faded patches on your hair strands.

So, what is the better way to perm your hair and garner the benefits of henna dye?

According to the experts at salons, it is best to perm your hair first and give it some days to set the curls perfectly. Subsequently, dye your permed hair using pure henna powder. So, you will achieve the perfect curly hair from the perm solution and uniform color from the henna.

However, give your hair some time, possibly one to two weeks after the perm, and then use henna over it. What it does will not ruin your curled or relaxed hair.

Wrapping Up

Henna had been the staple of beauty for ancient women. Nowadays, this plant-based dye is widely used in various cosmetic products. The most prominent use of henna is to employ it as a hair dye. However, if you want to relax or curl your henna hair using a perm solution, you might not get the desired results.

The commercially available henna powder comes with added chemicals that might react with perm solution. Moreover, the protection from henna doesn’t allow your hair to get permed easily. The best way is to perm your hair first and then dye it with henna.