Henna is well known for its use as a non-toxic dye for skin and hair but is henna good for eyelashes? Here is what you need to know.
In principle, henna is good for eyelashes. It’s full of conditioning ingredients that help to improve the health of your hair while adding color and gloss. In practice, henna can be difficult to apply to your eyelashes. Also, some “henna” products contain chemical ingredients including known allergens.
What Is Henna?
Henna is the name typically given to any product made from the leaves of Lawsonia inermis (often better known as the henna plant).
Henna can be used in medicine but its best-known use by far, however, is as a dye.
These days, henna days are probably most used on hair and then skin. They can, however, also be used on other materials such as leather and fabrics.
Benefits of Henna
Henna is credited with having numerous benefits for the whole body:
- Antifungal (can help with problems like dandruff)
- Contains vitamin E, proteins, and antioxidants
- Full of tannins (so can color hair without chemicals)
3 Reasons Henna Is Good For Eyelashes
Here are the three main reasons henna is good for eyelashes.
1. Rich in nutrients
Henna contains Vitamin E, proteins, and antioxidants. It conditions your hair while coloring it.
Henna isn’t just a chemical-free product, it’s actively antifungal. This means that it helps to keep your eyelashes clean and therefore healthy.
3. Provides rich color and gloss without chemicals
Henna is full of tannins. These produce a rich, auburn red color that can stain your skin for about a week and your hair for up to two months.
There is, however, a caveat here. Some “henna” products do contain other chemicals including very harsh ones.
These are often dyes used to create a color other than auburn. Cheap dyes can also have minimal henna content.
Note that although henna may be safe for lashes, henna is not safe to use as eyeliner. Henna can cause irritation and swelling and can cause a serious infection.
Can Henna Help Grow Eyelashes?
Henna may be able to help grow eyelashes due to the Vitamin E content. Vitamin E is known to have antioxidant properties. These could help to protect hair follicles from damage by oxidative stress and free radicals.
How To Use Henna For Eyelashes
Henna is notoriously difficult to work with.
This means that the best way to use henna for eyelashes is probably to have them dyed at a salon.
The next best way is to use mascara that contains henna. If, however, you do want to use henna for eyelashes at home, here is the process to follow:
Always patch test before using any henna product, especially for the first time. Never use henna immediately after hair removal or if you have any wounds, inflammations, infections, or skin/hair conditions in the eye area.
Be careful working near your eyes. If any product does get in your eyes, rinse them immediately with clean, fresh water.
If you experience a more serious reaction, get professional medical assistance.
1. Check if your henna product needs extra ingredients
Some henna eyelash dyes need to be mixed with hydrogen peroxide before you use them.
Most of the time, this will be included. If it isn’t, however, you can get it from almost all drug stores and a lot of supermarkets.
You might even be able to get it from local grocers.
2. Clean the eye area thoroughly
If you have been wearing makeup, it’s advisable to double-cleanse to ensure that all traces of it are removed.
3. Apply a barrier product
Technically this step is optional but it’s highly advisable.
Any oil or oil-based product will stop henna in its tracks. This will help you to avoid staining the skin around your eye area while you’re trying to stain your eyelashes.
It will also make it easier to clean up any spills.
4. Use the product according to the instructions
Some henna dyes will provide an applicator.
If they don’t, or you don’t want to use it, then you can use a spoolie or other stiff brush. Apply it in the same way as mascara.
You’ll generally find it easiest to start with the bottom lashes.
You may want to soak a couple of cotton balls in water and put them under your lower lashes. That way they’ll catch any drips.
This can be useful even if you’ve put on barrier cream as the henna can still run down it onto your cheek.
Try leaving the henna product for about a third of the allocated time.
If you find you still want to go darker, then apply it again. This will help you to avoid overdoing the dyeing process.
If, however, you do end up too dark, there are ways to lighten the color.
Risks And Warnings Of Using Henna
There are practically no risks to using pure henna (externally). Even so, you should always patch test just to be on the safe side.
The biggest risk with henna dyes is that they will have had other chemicals added to them.
This is particularly likely with lower-cost henna dyes, especially if the color is adjusted.
Cheap black henna dye in particular is often colored with paraphenylenediamine (PPD). Premium ones typically use natural alternatives such as indigo.