Q: I used to use color with developer, then tried henna (which I used about 4 times over the course of several months); the
last time I used the henna was Sept. '06. Then in November I colored with Clairol Natural Instincts; I had a question about the
product & called the Clairol 800 number. The rep said you shouldn't use a product with developer until henna has completely grown
out (or been cut off). However, I'd already put the Clairol product on my hair and was not having a bad reaction, so I left it
on for just 10 minutes and it was okay.
I haven't colored since then (last Nov.) and now I really want to color. I have many inches of
new growth, but there's still some old color starting about 3-4 inches down from the scalp. It's been more than 5 months since the
henna, and more than 3 months since the Clairol. Is it safe for me to use a product with a developer at this point? (No more henna
for me!) If so, anything specific I should look for or stay away from?
Thanks in advance for your reply. Which I look forward to getting soon, as I really want to color!
A: The main problem with using henna and then trying to use traditional hair color methods is that henna coats the hair shaft and can
prevent the chemicals from penetrating the hair shaft and processing properly. You can end up with your color not processing, with
the results being splotchy or patchy, or not coloring the hair at all.
There are methods for removing henna that are touted by different sources, but none of these are
guaranteed and the results depend on the individual. You can find the basic henna removal instruction here. Itís possible that your
henna applications didnít coat your hair too badly and that was why the Natural Instincts product gave you adequate results without problems.
Your best option would be to see a professional and explain your hairís history if you want to
use a more radical color process. However, given that you have already used the Natural Instincts once ďpost-hennaĒ with positive
results, you should be safe to use it again. Just be aware that if youíre planning to use any other color formula you may find
yourself facing problems with the henna, particularly when it comes to using lifting formulas.