The history of hair color

The history of hair color

The history of hair coloring can be tracked all the way down through the ancient times of Egypt. People back then were already trying to find solutions to problems such as baldness, gray hairs and wrinkles.

The Egyptians were using the henna plant powder to cover their white hairs. Henna contains lawsone which is a reddish-orange dye that binds to the keratin which is a protein that can be found in hair, skin and nails. That’s why henna is often being used for several things: beautiful patterns on hands/feet, dying fingernails and temporary tattoos.

Keep in mind that henna is a permanent dye. But this doesn’t count for your body because your skin renews itself every 3-4 weeks! (

“The word henna comes from the Arabic word: الحناء (al-ḥinnā). And in the Indian subcontinent, the word mehndi is used to refer to henna.”

Despite henna being naturally a reddish-orange dye it is possible to dye your hair in multiple colors depending on your natural hair color. By using different natural powders such as indigo, cassia, amla, etc.; colors like: black, dark brown, medium brown, light brown, red, dark blond and medium blond can all be achieved.

Make sure that when you use black henna that the color is being achieved by using natural plant powders and avoid this chemical: PPD (paraphenylenediamine). (

Henna hair dye:

– Using Henna will improve your hair’s health
– Decreases breakage and repairs split ends.
– Increases each strands thickness
– Maintains hair color

– It may have a drying effect on your hair
– You must leave the dye on your hair for 2-4 hours
– Henna is a permanent hair dye
– You may have to grow out your hair completely before you can color your hair chemically again
– It can take few days until you really see the true hair color outcome

Want to learn more about henna?
When I was writing this blog post about the history of hair color I came across several websites talking about henna. But the one that stuck out the most was for sure the blogs of Ancientsunrise because of the amount of information they are continually writing about this topic. Be sure to check their blogs:

Sources that we used

Model –
Worldhistory –
Karger –
Mehandi –
Hairfinder –
Encyclopedia –
Silknstone –