Henna layering: what it is and how to avoid it!

The accumulation of color on the lengths is a very common problem, often ignored because we are not aware of the risks we are running.

What is Stratification?

Explained in simple terms, layering is the accumulation of layers of henna , which gradually add up and make the color darker and less flashy .

Lawsone, the dyeing pigment of lawsonia is the only one able to blend with the keratin present in the stem. This means that when applied repeatedly, layer after layer, the shade of the hair becomes darker and darker .


But not only that, attention must also be paid to indigo . Once applied, especially if we have made close applications, we can no longer get it to download. The fact that it tends to unload with the first few washes can lead us to think that it is easy to remove, but it is not.

Indigo is not recommended especially if you often change your mind about the color of your hair and you know that in the near future you will want to bleach or make highlights.

Read also: How to lighten your hair naturally by downloading layered henna

The positive and negative of stratification

Most of the time we end up layering because we want to be able to strengthen the hair and obtain an increasingly intense color.

Nothing could be more true: the hair becomes stronger and the diameter of the stem increases over time but this also happens with the constant use of herbal dyes without necessarily having to stratify. If we don't know how to regulate and stop in time, we will get a much darker and lackluster color.


Usually this also happens because taken by the enthusiasm of seeing one's hair reborn, full-bodied, shiny, one tends to want to do henna wraps often and is unaware of the "danger" of finding oneself with a very different shade from the desired one.

It should also be said that some shades can only be obtained thanks to layering : black blue, black violet or cold red tones .

Layering therefore becomes essential for those who start from a light base and want to obtain intense and much darker tones.

As a result, layering can prove to be a positive in regards to hue. Those who start from a light brown will obtain with the first applications a coppery orange shade, characteristic of lawsonia. But if you want to get to the intense coppery red you will need several applications to stratify the pigment.

READ ALSO: Cold red henna vs. hot red henna

Layering that can take months instead for those who start from the same light brown base and aim for a cold red like in the photo above.

Henna hair layering: how to avoid it?


Once the pros and cons of layering have been revealed, I also want to advise you on how to avoid it on the lengths , in case you want to keep the same intense shade without risking darkening it:

  • you can protect the lengths of your hair by applying a vegetable oil, such as coconut or amla oil, which will film your shaft - protecting it from any stratification. At the same time, the compress on the lengths will restore the hydrolipidic film of the hair - fighting dryness;
  • you can protect the lengths by tying the hair in a ponytail, which you will wrap in a transparent film (for example, the one intended for food is just fine);
    • you can create a different dye mix from the one you use to color the regrowth, which must be "diluted", because cassia will prevail (with at least 50%). While you color the white regrowth, you take care of the lengths by reviving the color with a dedicated mix, without risking layering and consequently darkening the color.
    • or you can make "sherazade" using your usual dye mix "diluted" with conditioner instead of water. I talked about it here: Sherazade DIY henna gloss hair
    henna red brown layering

    If we take the example of Federica whose BEFORE and AFTER we shot in the photo above, you can see how a single application with lawsonia was enough to get a beautiful red shade. The starting color had a lot of impact on the final shade obtained.

    But remember that the clearer the starting base, the more likely it is to obtain a shade that turns copper instead of an intense red as happened in this case.

    If Federica insists on applying lawsonia every month also on the lengths, the color will become more and more intense but at a certain point it will also become increasingly dark and gloomy. So it's important to stop once you've reached your desired shade.

    Protect your lengths from henna layering with the tips you read above before it's too late.

    I hope this notion " layering " sounds less strange to your ears now and the next time you hear about it, you know exactly what it is.

    Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions about this.

    © Beautiful Delights

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    Rozalia & the Beautilicious Delights Team.

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