Henna Brows Vs Brow Tint - What’s the Difference?

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on August 21, 2023

Let’s compare 2 methods of brow dying: henna brows vs brow tint. Here’s a review of how these techniques differ and what they have in common.

henna brows vs brow tint

Image source: Instagram @stefybrows & @glambyvanetey

There are a lot of ways to make your brows darker with various makeup products, but if you are looking for a longer-lasting solution – brow dyeing is a way to go.

By semi-permanently darkening even the tiniest brow hairs, helping them stand out more, you can get the illusion of denser brows. This look can be achieved with 2 different methods – by tinting them with brow dye or by using henna paste.

Similar results, however, don’t imply the same treatment characteristics. We’ll explain the differences between tint vs henna brows, but first, we must explain what each treatment is.

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What Are Henna Brows?

By now you’ve probably heard of henna brows, a form of tinting that uses natural henna paste. Henna is a natural colorant extracted from the henna tree.

Applied over the brows into the desired shape, the paste darkens the brow hairs and the skin around it, creating a look of darker, fuller, denser brows. Since it also stains the skin around the brow hairs, it gives a shaded, powdery effect.

This technique also allows layering of the pigment, so the ombre effect is easily achievable. To elaborate, the henna stains the skin gradually, so you can remove it from the heads of the brows sooner than from the tails and get a gradient.

With henna brows, the skin stain is an added effect you can play around with, so it’s perfect for anyone looking for a more dramatic enhancement.

The colors available for henna brows are different shades of brown, from light to dark, many of which have reddish undertones.

If you’re getting your henna brows done professionally, brow shaping will probably be included as well.

Here’s a guide to how henna brows are done.

what are henna brows
Image source: Instagram @dilek_beauty_salon

What Is Brow Tinting?

Brow tinting is essentially just dying your eyebrows the same way you’d do your hair. The dye colors all the super-thin baby hairs in the brow arches that are otherwise invisible, resulting in enhanced brows that look natural.

As opposed to henna, the effect is much subtler, so this treatment is sought after by men as well. Another perk of brow tint vs henna brows is that the color can be matched to the exact shade you need.

Lighter-haired and browed people often prefer this technique of chemical dye tinting over henna brow tinting. It gives more freedom, since there are countless shades available. You can even dye your brows in any color of the rainbow!

The dying itself takes about half an hour, but it’s usually combined with brow threading, waxing, or brow lamination for a full brow transformation.

It’s important to note that certain tints also stain the skin, some shades and formulas more than others. But unlike with henna, the shading effect isn’t something you can count on.

Here’s more information about brow tinting and why it’s a common add-on to brow lamination.

what is brow tinting
Image source: Instagram @beautybylenora

Henna Brows Vs Brows Tint Contraindications

Now that we’ve briefly introduced both procedures and highlighted their benefits, let’s get into who shouldn’t be choosing them. After all, nothing will make the decision easier than knowing the other option is off limits.

Certain types of henna contain an ingredient that can cause an allergic reaction in a large portion of the population – PPD – but more on that below.

Other than that, this treatment is very safe as it doesn’t use any chemicals. The only side effects can be some slight redness, slight itching, or irritation, most likely on sensitive and dry skin. These side effects are nothing major and subside quickly.

Brow tints are chemical treatments and there are a few contraindications:

  • History of allergic reactions to hair dyes and similar products
  • Eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea in the area
  • Cuts or scabbing in the area

Some formulas of brow tints are more aggressive than others and can irritate reactive skin more. Again, a patch test is very important to prevent reactions right on your face.

If you’ve ever had a reaction to one of the methods, that’s a clear sign you should try the other one. But if this doesn’t help you decide between henna brows vs brow tint, let’s look into other factors that will.

Risks of Henna Brows Vs Brow Tint

Being semi-permanent and completely non-invasive, neither henna brows nor brow tinting carry any serious risks. Some still exist though, so let’s review them:

Risks of Henna Brows

The henna paste used to color the brows is of natural origins and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals like peroxide.

However, black henna contains an ingredient called PPD, or paraphenylenediamine, which causes allergic reactions in a lot of people. And although you probably aren’t using straight up black, it’s possible black henna can be found somewhere in the mix.

For this reason, a patch test is a must. Especially if it’s your first time doing this treatment, or you’re using a new brand.

Risks of Brow Tints

Tinting your brows involves the same process regular hair dying does. Which means chemicals and bleaching agents.

But – if done properly (keeping track of timing, not getting it in your eyes and protecting the skin outside of your brow arches) brow tinting is generally safe.

Potential risks involve:

  • allergic reactions to ingredients,
  • irritated skin,
  • and damaged brow hairs.

These risks can be easily avoided by using high-quality products that are made specifically for brow hairs (making the chances of hair damage and skin irritation very low), as well as doing a patch test prior to the treatment.

Risks of Henna Brows Vs Brow Tint Patch test
Image source: Instagram @lashlifting.mm

Longevity of Henna Brows Vs Brow Tint

As we mentioned, both treatments color the hairs, but they don’t stain the skin equally. In general, this is where their longevity differs.

Longevity of Henna Brows

The brow hairs will stay darker for the entirety of their growth cycle, so about 6 weeks. As you lose more and more of the dyed hairs, your arches will return to their natural color gradually.

The stain on the skin won’t last this long, though. Its longevity will depend on your skin type, but 7-10 days is the most you can get out of it. On oilier skin, it will likely fade sooner, and your skincare routine can also accelerate the fading.

Longevity of Brow Tints

Regular brow tinting has pretty much the same longevity in terms of brow hair darkening. The hairs stay dyed 4-6 weeks, but after the third week the fading becomes more apparent.

In terms of the stain on the skin, if you even get it, it will get washed off within days.

Longevity of Henna Brows Vs Brow Tint
Image source: Freepik

So, Which Is Better, Henna Brows Vs Brow Tint?

Both are simple, quick, non-invasive, and you can do them at home, at a really affordable price. If your skin shows no reaction to either of the treatments, the choice is really down to the effects you want to achieve.

If you want a more dramatic enhancement, henna is the way to go. If you want a more subtle look, or you need more options in terms of color, then go for brow tinting.

Henna Brows Vs Brow Tint – Main Takeaways

Although both techniques help you achieve darker, thicker-looking brows, the results of henna eyebrows vs tint are still somewhat different.

Henna offers a more dramatic look by staining the skin, similarly to eyebrow microshading or powder eyebrows. And while regular brow tinting may also leave a slight stain on the skin, it’s more of a side effect that will wash away in a day or two.

Henna is a natural alternative to the conventional dye used for brow tinting, allowing clients to avoid using hydrogen peroxide if their skin is sensitive to it.



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