|Henna - every 19th century actress's friend.|
Just ask Renoir.
First off, let me tell you that I've hennaed my own hair for several years, and it never once fell out. I didn't have to go to the hairstylist and have my head shaved. And it didn't ever come out green, as the color of wet henna would have one think. What does happen is that my hair is stronger, it's shinier, and it's dandruff-free because that's what henna does. And yes, it's red.
I think where hairdressers get their concern is from having seen the results of a cheap box of stuff that says "henna" that isn't just henna, but a cocktail of strange and mysterious ingredients. When you purchase powdered organic henna (not a premade mix) and blend it and apply it properly, it is much safer than anything on the average hair salon shelf. In fact, if you screw something up like missing a big patch on the top of your head, you can apply more immediately without fear of damaging your hair.
And it smells like autumn leaves. No commercial hair dye smells like autumn leaves.
Yes, trying henna for the first time can be a bit nervewracking. After all, it's your hair and henna is permanent. So I suggest taking a sample of your hair from an inconspicuous spot (don't cut your bangs, for instance) and doing a test run to see how you like it. Remember, too, that henna oxidizes for the following two or three days, so white hair that starts out looking brassy will calm down a bit.
If you're not into going red, you can add other herbs to alter the results. I discuss that, along with step-by-step instructions for coloring your hair with henna in my book "Hair Gone Wild! Recipes & Remedies for Natural Tresses" which is available in paperback or as a Kindle ebook.
I've used henna more times than I can count, and I love the results. I often joke I'll be a 90-year-old woman with bright red hair. I bet even then I'll be telling people that with a little know-how, henna is safe for my old-lady hair, and for your gorgeous locks, too.