Street Style

Kilolo: “Of course you can bleach henna-ed hair!”

As you all know, I (Davina) am going to be doing my second big chop in July. One of the main reasons I want to chop off my hair is due to repeatedly using henna on it for the past two years. This was because I thought you couldn’t dye over the top of henna… until now!

At the Curlvolution event, I got talking to the lovely Kilolo, who was working behind the Lush stand on the day. Lush sells a type of henna hair dye that they had available on their stand, which sparked a conversation between myself and Kilolo – a fellow henna head. I explained to her that henna was one of the main reasons I wanted to chop my fro off.  This shocked her, as there are a long list of benefits to using henna on the hair (check out my previous post on my love hate relationship with henna for more details). I then explained that I also knew that you couldn’t bleach over henna, to which she replied ‘of course you can! I did!’


Of course, as a natural curly who has never bleached her hair, my interest was peaked. Kilolo suggested I strip my hair with a strong shampoo such as ‘Big’ – a volumising shampoo produced by Lush that contains sea salt. After washing my hair with that for a few weeks, (of course following it up with an intensely moisturising conditioner each time!) I should be left with less of the henna on my strands. After doing that, she suggested that I test out the bleach on a strand to see the results. If it’s successful, I’m thinking I could go with an Ombre look, similar to Kilolo’s style.

So now I am conflicted guys. Part of me thinks that as I have decided to chop my hair off anyway, I might as well do as much damage as I want to my curls now while it is still long. But what do you think? Should I test out the bleach? Have any of you bleached over henna? And have any of you had any bleach horror stories I should know about? Share your thoughts and experiences below, but before you do, check out Kilolo’s natural bio below!

Name: Kilolo


Spotted in: Canary Wharf, E14, working at the Lush stall at the Curlvolution hair event
Been natural… for the past 3 year
Favourite hair products: “Lush saved my hair for feeling dry once I started to bleach it. Nothing moisturises it quite like this, and it’s all natural.”
Style inspiration: Nada Adelle


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This article has 3 comments

  1. mercedes

    I have been hennaing my hair for a while, maybe 3 or for hennas over the last 2 years with the “wine red” by henna color labs. my hair is nearly black and so the henna gives it this red tint and turns any lighter parts of my hair a dark dark red. i recently wanted to do a brighter red streak in my fauxhawk and so i bleached the area i wanted. instead of going the normal brown>gold>blonde that you get with bleaching, my hair bleached a dark red>cherry red which was pretty easy to dye a deeper red like i’d wanted. hope this helps. i think its worth noting that henna bonds to the protiens in your hair and so will bleach at a different rate than the melanin in the follicle. the melanin will bleach faster leaving behind whatever color henna you used. you might not be able to bleach out the henna before youve totally destroyed your hair. but if youre chopping it all off anyway, i say might as well. worst thing that happens is you rock some red highlights for a while.

    • londoncurls

      Hey! I wish I had the same experience as you, haha! My hair wouldn’t take to the bleach at all, so after leaving it on for far longer than I should have, we peeled back the foil and found my hair was bright orange! I rocked this look for a few months, but due to the damage I have since cut most of it off. I’m back on the henna now and my hair is a lot healthier, so 2015 is going to be all about my hair’s health rather than trying out more hair colour. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience though!

    • Kayla

      Hi! This is random, but I’ve also used Henna Color Labs and want to bleach my hair to achieve a lighter red color with the henna. It’s awesome to know that someone else has tried it and succeeded!

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