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What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Henna for Eyebrows?

By A. Rohlandt
Updated May 21, 2024
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There are several reasons to use henna for eyebrows. The fact that it is a natural alternative to other chemical dyes and that it can be mixed at home are its main benefits. It also colors the skin as well as the hair, and can be mixed with other liquids to get lighter or darker colors. There are a few disadvantages to using henna for coloring eyebrows, including difficulty of application, rapid color loss, and failure to "take" on all hair types.

The biggest benefit of using henna for eyebrows is that it is an all-natural alternative to store-bought brow tints or dyes. It's also very easy to mix the henna power, and it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 30 days prior to use. Henna might be a good choice if someone already uses henna on her hair and wants her brows to have the same reddish color.

One of the other benefits of henna for eyebrows is that it colors the skin as well as the hair, and this can create a longer lasting stain. Applied correctly, henna creates a stain that should last between five and seven days. The stain underneath the brow hair can also help to create the illusion of darker brows.

The biggest disadvantage of using henna for eyebrows is that it is difficult to apply. Henna paste is thicker in consistency than conventional brow tints, and it can prove difficult to get the paste to cover all of the eyebrow. It can also be messy, and since henna colors the skin, the user may end up with stains where they aren't wanted. A simple solution to this is to smear petroleum jelly in the area around the brow before application or to use a brow guide or stencil.

Another disadvantage of using henna for eyebrows is that the color tends to fade quickly, which may be due to the growth cycle of the brows or to the thinner skin in that area. A henna stain around the eye will typically last for up to a week, but frequent reapplication may be necessary to maintain the color.

One of the most common complaints is that henna doesn't color all hair or brow types. Individuals who have darker and coarser brows may find that henna simply stains the skin underneath and does nothing to the eyebrow itself. One solution may be to pre-lighten the brows and then apply the henna. Another way to help ensure that the henna works as it should is to cover it after application. Henna works best when it's kept warm and moist, so applying strips of cellophane over the eyebrows may give better results.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1006735 — On May 12, 2022

The henna I use on my hair doesn't color my scalp, so why would the same henna color the skin beneath my eyebrows?

By Mor — On Nov 11, 2013

I actually quite like the smell of henna, although it can be quite strong at first. I like that it gives a kind of shadow effect on your brows as well, by dying the skin underneath, and that makes them look a little bit darker, but it takes a bit of practice to get that effect right.

By pastanaga — On Nov 11, 2013

@umbra21 - I think most people who put henna on their eyebrows will probably be doing it after using it on their hair. It sounds like your mother probably used extremely strong henna and maybe a kind that had another ingredient to give it a strong coloring.

Most commercially bought henna in the United States is going to have different levels of purity, depending on how it is sold. If you are following instructions from online, you are best off getting pure henna so it works properly in a given time frame.

But it's usually not going to cause an allergic reaction or anything, so, as long as someone is cautious, they probably don't need to do a patch test every time the way you should for normal hair dye.

By umbra21 — On Nov 10, 2013

I would definitely do a patch test before trying this. I can use henna with no problems (although it doesn't do much more than give me a bit of a red gloss in sunlight) but when my mother tried it, she ended up with bright orange hair.

She has red hair in the first place and it is turning grey, so that was probably the issue. But I think a lot of people who are dying their eyebrows are probably covering the grey parts or have light eyebrows in the first place, so they might run into the same problem.

My mother was so embarrassed that she had to go to a professional hair salon and get her hair dyed in order to get rid of the orange color.

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