Does Henna Expire? How Long Does It Last? 

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Henna has become more and more popular as a natural skin and hair product over the past several years. Many have begun using henna to produce beautiful natural hair dyes, and of course henna tattoos can look stunning.

But as more and more people purchase natural henna powder, the question becomes: how long does it last?

Does henna expire? Here’s the bottom line:

  • Henna expires, and dry powder has a shelf life of about 2 years
  • If it’s stored improperly, henna will expire more quickly
  • If the color has faded, throw it out. It’s gone bad

In this article we’ll discuss everything you need to know about henna expiration, how to tell when it’s gone bad, and how you can keep it for as long as possible.


Henna 101

Henna is a dried and powdered form of the Lawsonia inermis plant. This plant is native to North Africa, the Middle East, and India. The leaves of this plant are what are used to make henna dye.

When these leaves are dried and powdered, they can be used to create a paste that can be applied to the skin in intricate temporary tattoo designs as well as the hair as a hair dye. 

The primary color that you’ll find henna in is red. However, there are other colors that it can come in, such as black, brown, and white. Whats more, henna can also come in a range of different designs.

The primary color that you’ll find henna in is red, but it can also come in black, brown, and white.

Does Henna Expire?

Now that you know what henna is, let’s explore our primary concern. Does henna expire?

This is perhaps one of the most common questions regarding henna. Many people want to know how long they can keep henna before it expires.

As mentioned above, the answer is yes, henna expires. Just like any other dried and powdered plant, henna will eventually expire. 

However, there are some things you need to know about the henna expiry date. For starters, henna usually has a shelf life of about two years. However, this is only if it’s stored properly. If you don’t store your henna paste correctly, it can expire in less than two years. 

You can do a few things to extend your henna’s shelf life.

1. Store it at room temperature 

This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to extend the shelf life of your henna. Henna should be stored in a cool and dry place such as a cupboard or pantry.

Avoid storing it in places prone to humidity, such as the bathroom. 

2. Store it in an airtight container

Another thing you need to do is store your henna paste in an airtight container. This will help to keep out moisture and other contaminants that can cause it to go bad. 

3. Keep it away from light 

Henna should also be kept away from direct sunlight, which can cause it to fade.

4. Once opened, store in a freezer

The moment you open a pack of henna, it starts to oxidize. This process will cause the color to fade and the paste to become dry. To prevent this, you should store your henna in the freezer as soon as you open it. 

How To Tell If Your Henna Is Bad

Now that we’ve discussed henna expiration, it’s time to move on to some of the other questions you might have about this popular body art.

In this section, we are going to take a look at some of the signs that your henna is bad.

These are things that you should look out for when or before using henna so that you can avoid any potential problems. 

1. The Color Has Faded

One of the most obvious signs that your henna is bad is the color has faded. So, if you notice that the color of your henna paste has changed and gotten lighter, it’s a good idea to throw it away and get a new one. 

2. The Paste Is Dry

Another sign is the paste has become dry. Suppose you notice that the texture of your henna paste has changed. This means that it’s starting to expire. Furthermore, the crusty bits mixed with your henna powder are the first signs that you can no longer use your henna.

And in case it is the kind that comes with a tube, getting it off will be quite a hassle. 

3. Strange Smell

If you notice a strange smell coming from your henna paste, it’s a good idea to throw it away. Note that henna always has a funky smell… but if the smells is different than when you opened it, it’s probably gone bad.

This is because the smell is usually a sign that the paste is expired, and you can’t just use it. 

4. It’s Been More Than Two Years

If it’s been more than two years since you’ve bought your henna paste, it’s a good idea to throw it away and get a new one. Even if it’s been stored properly, the quality of the paste will have declined over time. 

If it’s been more than two years since you’ve bought your henna paste, it’s a good idea to throw it away and get a new one. 

Top Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Expired Henna

It’s never fun to toss unused products that you paid for. We get it! Of course, some people choose to use it anyway.

If you’re considering using expired henna, here are some things you need to know. 

1. The Color Will Be Faded

If you use expired henna, the color will be faded. This is because the paste has oxidized, and the color has changed. It’s unlikely the expired henna will get as dark as good henna.

2. It Won’t Last as Long

Another reason you shouldn’t use expired henna is that it won’t last as long. The paste will be dry and crusty, flaking off your skin much sooner than fresh henna (or not providing an even hair color if used as hair dye.) 

You go through all the effort of making your design. You want it to last!

3. Irritated Skin

This is one of the significant reasons you shouldn’t use expired henna. The expired henna can cause skin irritation and other problems. Also, remember that some while many henna products are advertised as 100% organic henna, there are many companies that put fragrances, preservatives, etc. in the mix as well.

These can irritate your skin, particularly if the henna is old..


Now that we’ve answered the question does henna expire, we hope that you understand better how to store your henna paste and what signs to look for when it’s time to throw it away. 

Remember, expired henna can cause skin irritation and other problems, so it’s best to avoid using it altogether.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).