Henna Vs Hair Dye

There’s more to henna than meets the eye

In 2019, the global hair colour market was valued at 0.3 billion, with 36% of UK adults using at least one type of at-home hair colourant – and that’s not counting those who visit hair salons. But how many of us know the potential risks in using chemical hair dyes? 

New Lush book True Colours: Hair Colouring for the Curious & the Cautious, launching 22nd February 2022, delves into scientific research and historical facts from the last 40 years highlighting practical, topical and eye-opening information, including shocking statistics like people who colour their hair with chemical hair dyes have an 18.8% increased risk of developing various forms of cancer. 

Co-Author Mark Constantine OBE – a trained trichologist with 50 years worth of experience in the industry – has long advocated the benefits of natural herbal hair colouring with henna instead. Henna has been used for centuries for medicinal and spiritual purposes, as well as for its colour. Mark started using henna in the 1970s and it was at that point he wrote a short book entitled Herbal Hair Colouring, first published in 1978.

Henna Timeline:

|1977: Constantine and Weir Launched

Offering herbal hair care and natural dye services, Mark hosted henna parties in 29 High St, Poole.

|1980s: Mark supplies the Body Shop with henna blends

Mark sent henna shampoo samples to The Body Shop who placed an order for £1572.75

|1992: Cosmetics to Go opens!

The Body Shop bought the rights to all products made by Constantine and Weir, so they created a mail order business.

|1993: Really Cookin’ range

CTG sold fresh henna treatments that needed refrigeration and used within 2 weeks.

|1994: Cosmetics to go

But the story doesn’t stop there

|1995: LUSH opens!
|1998: LUSH sells pre-made henna treatments

Sold like ice cream, newly opened LUSH Kingston sold out the day they launched

|2001: Helen invents LUSH’s henna bricks

A massive innovation: packaging free, self-preserving hair dye. Inspired by tea bricks

|2020-2021: Henna Bricks are reformulated

Daisy, Mark, and Helen revisit the bricks to improve coverage, create a wider pantone of warm and cool shades and introduce a new shade for fairer hair

Twenty years after the invention of the Lush henna brick, Lush HairLab Technician & Colour Specialist Daisy Evans has reformulated Lush’s cult henna range to give greater coverage and the best hair dye experience. For the first time, Lush will also be introducing a new shine-enhancing strawberry blonde shade; ideal for fair hair or to give warm, sun kissed tones to naturally blonde, light or white hair.

Natural hair colour with benefits

So much more than just hair colour, henna delivers a natural-looking colour without the damage of synthetic hair dyes. Henna coats the cuticle in a protective, translucent layer that boosts body and gives the shiniest results imaginable. Henna is both a treatment for the hair as well as a natural colourant!

Wrapped in 100% recycled paper packaging, Lush’s henna is vegan, self-preserving and 100% natural. By sourcing the best ingredients and keeping this product as naked as possible, henna is not only a natural choice but also an ethical one. 

‘It has been very eye-opening to work with henna at Lush. From starting my career in hairdressing and becoming primarily a colourist, ‘henna’ in the hairdressing community was a scary word and has a bad reputation. It is known for being impossible to get off of the hair, and creating a lot of damage if you try to do so. BUT – it turns out what we all thought was ‘henna’ could actually have been numerous examples of a henna hair dye, where a lot of them are formulations of potent chemical dyes, which cause all sorts of reactions and complications when bleach or synthetic hair dyes are used afterwards. It is wonderful to have been able to fully understand the concept of these innovative hair dyes and to know that they are 100% natural. I would love to see Lush henna being considered by hairdressers as part of their toolkit, a beautiful example of a natural alternative to chemical hair colouring.’ – Daisy Evans, Lush HairLab Technician & Colour Specialist

Henna is also suitable for Afro hair and has a lovely protective effect on curl patterns 3A to 4C, especially if it is high porosity.  The newly reformulated henna bricks are made with sieved henna and indigo powders to enable a smoother consistency and ease of application for Afro hair and locs.

"Henna offers a gentle alternative to synthetic permanent dyes and a smooth consistency for ease of application on Afro hair and locs"

Sarah Sango, Lush Afro Hair Specialist

Let’s talk about henna: discover how it’s used, its benefits and a complete list of answers to frequently asked questions here 


For further information please email [email protected]

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