Does henna expire

By: | Last Updated: February 23, 2022

Tired of having plain and boring hair? Well, hair dyeing may just be for you! 

Yep, you can instantly spice up your style by dyeing your hair! From blond, black, brown, auburn, or red, hair dyes will definitely enhance your natural beauty. 

And while it’s true that conventional hair dyes are less damaging than bleach, damage is still damage. You might still end up with frizz and dry hair. 

A little can go a long way, after all. 

So the ultimate question now is, is there a natural and much safer alternative to conventional hair dyes?

Thankfully, there is what we call “henna”.

What is Henna? 

What is Henna

Henna originated from the Middle East. It is a plant-based dye that comes from the mignonette tree, simply known as the “henna tree”. The leaves are dried into a powder and then mixed with water. 

The leaves of the henna plant have a natural coloring pigment that creates henna stains. These stains vary in color, ranging from pale orange to deep rust. 

And fun fact! Those planted in hot and dry places stain the best. 

Over the years, henna has been used not just as an alternative to traditional hair dyes but also as temporary body art. 

Henna as hair dye

Henna can be used as a permanent hair dye, and it’s perfect for those who want to go a shade darker such as brown, black and red. Not to mention, it does not contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia and peroxide, so you won’t have to suffer from damaged strands and that burning sensation on the scalp

Time to say goodbye to toxic chemicals, thanks to henna hair dyes. 

Aside from dyeing, it can act as a conditioner, making the hair stronger, shinier, and thicker!

Truly, henna does wonders! 

What happens if I use old henna?

Let’s say you’ve bought henna, stored it somewhere, and completely forgot to use it. 

The question now is: Has the henna gone bad? Will it still be safe to use it months later? 

Technically speaking, it’s still safe to use old henna. So if you’ve accidentally used one, don’t fret! Harm’s not on the way. 

It turns out henna does not expire, which means it does not pose a danger or health hazard. Henna is a natural herb, so old henna will only lose its color intensity. 

When old henna is applied to the hair or skin, the color will unlikely show up, but it will appear very faint if it does.  

However, you should still be careful, especially if you have sensitive skin, because in some instances, applying old henna may cause some adverse reactions. 

Not to mention, old henna smells foul and rotten.

So it’s best just to throw it away and purchase a new one. 

Does natural henna expire?

Does natural henna expire

Let’s get this straight. Natural henna and even unnatural ones do not expire. 

The good thing about natural henna is that it does not pose any health risks due to the lack of preservatives and chemicals, which keeps the henna for a longer time. The downside, however, is that it does not have a long shelf life. 

But how do you determine if it’s natural henna?

Well, it’s pretty simple. 

If the label says you have to keep it in the freezer, then it’s chemical-free henna.

How long does henna stay in the fridge or freezer?

Henna should be used within the first 2 to 3 months after buying it to get optimum results. However, you can still extend its shelf life by storing it properly.

There are two different types of henna – henna paste and henna powder. These two require different storage techniques. 

Henna Powder

Storing it in the fridge won’t be necessary for sealed henna powder. As long as it is kept in a dark, airtight container, henna powder will remain fresh for up to 3 years.

However, putting henna powder in the fridge or freezer remains an option. 

On the other hand, keep opened henna powder in a tightly sealed container to minimize air exposure. Store it in the freezer for a few weeks max. 

Henna Paste

Henna paste is more fragile than henna powder. As a rule of thumb, it should not be dried out.  

Keep unopened henna paste frozen at all times until it’s ready for use. You can store it for a few months as long as it is tightly sealed. 

And similar to henna powder, opened henna paste should only be stored in the freezer for a week. 

The takeaway is that whether powder or paste formula, proper storage is always non-negotiable. 


In defrosting frozen henna paste or powder, never use a microwave. But instead, wait for it to melt at room temperature or if you’re in a hurry, place it in a warm bowl of water.  

How long does henna expire?

How long does henna expire

Henna can be used for up to 3 months from the date of purchase. However, storing it in a cool and dry environment will extend its shelf life for a few years. 

Does henna powder expire?

As mentioned earlier, henna does not expire. This means henna powder doesn’t either.  But it should only be used anywhere from 3 months to 3 years as long as it is properly stored. 

Does henna paste expire?

No. Henna paste does not expire. But once opened, use it immediately within a week. Otherwise, it may not be as vibrant as originally desired.

How long does unopened henna last? 

Unopened henna powder can last up to 3 months or more as long as it is tightly sealed and stored in a cool, dry place with minimal light exposure. Unopened henna paste, on the other hand, can last for a few months as long as it is kept frozen. 

CHECK OUT: How long does henna hair dye last

Final thoughts

While using henna as hair dye or temporary tattoo seems fun and exciting, it’s also worth considering that there are guidelines you should follow to ensure that the henna stain stays vibrant and fresh. 

Proper storage is, therefore, a must! 

It may not expire, but that doesn’t mean you should continue using an old one because there might still be a slight chance of adverse reaction. So it’s best just to dispose of and get rid of them.

Also, you should only be purchasing henna products from reputable brands to ensure safety and quality. 

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