Lighten Hair Color with Henna

Henna hair coloring
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Q: I'm trying to grow my hair as much as possible, and I'm trying to make it as healthy as I can. I'm currently dyeing it with chemical hair dye but I'm thinking of switching to henna. The problem is that I have dyed red hair. It is a kind of a fake red, not the natural red, but I want it to be a natural orange-ish red color.
So, if I started using henna, would it make my hair's color a natural red or would it maybe brighten up my current fake red? It would be the best if I could wait to grow my hair out and then chop off the chemically dyed hair but that would take a long time. Thanks in advance for answering!

A: The trouble with crossing henna color and traditional hair color types is their lack of cross-compatibility. Henna color (and any other vegetable dye) cannot lighten the color of the hair.
So you must choose a color that is darker than the current color you have. You won't be able use henna color to lighten the shade or color of your hair. This will also mean that you will have a difficult time getting the "orange" tone you want with your hair already a significantly "red" tone.
You should also be aware that if you use a henna color on your hair and do not like the results, it can be tricky to remove the color. Vegetable dyes tend to coat the hair, lowering the hair's porosity and reducing the ability of other chemical services to penetrate the hair shaft and work properly. Removing henna colors (and other vegetable dyes) often involve a very complex series of steps to strip away the coating left behind.
I'm not speaking against henna colors (they do have their benefits) but I do want you to be informed and understand what you could face if you opt for henna application. The key (to successful color processing) is having an understanding of the abilities and limitations of the products with which you are working.
See also:
How to color hair
Tips for redheads
How to color your hair with Henna
What are the best color removers, especially for henna and black tint?