Henna plant is easy to grow, easy to maintain and it nourishes your skin and hair very well. If available and possible then grow henna plant at home. In India, Egypt, Morocco and other Asian subcontinents henna is used for various purposes. Henna is known for its unique color. Henna art also known as mehendi is popular art. Henna is used as for coloring hair from centuries. Henna is a natural hair dye and it is one of the best natural hair dye one use safely on hair.
Henna leaves contain coloring pigment called Lawsone that is responsible for the dark reddish orange color. When the leaves are crushed, this natural dye releases. After applying to skin, nail and hair, the color can last longtime because the lawsone molecules safely bind to the proteins present in skin and hair and darkens within 48 hours as it absorbed and binds to more proteins. This phytonutrient present in henna helps in recovery of skin and nail texture as well as gives a proper conditioning to hair.
Henna’s application as hair dye prevails from more than 6000 years. The reason for its popularity is because of its unique nature that supports hair.
Hair dyes available in the market might have oil or some other ingredients that can attract us. However, using chemical dye for longtime can destroy our hair. If you have henna plant (Lawsonia inermis) at home, you can grind the leaves and apply on hair to get its benefits. Henna leaf powder (must be pure) available in markets can be used as hair dye. When it is mixed with water, the lawsone molecule will become active and releases the stain that naturally colors hair and skin without causing any reactions. There are different ways to prepare and apply henna on hair.
- If available one can collect fresh henna leaves, grind and apply on hair. Grind the leaves previous night, add half tsp sesame oil and one tsp lemon juice, mix and keep it overnight. Apply this on hair next day morning, leave it for couple of hours and wash hair.
- If you are using henna powder, mix one cup henna powder with hair oil, lemon juice, 2 tsp amla – Indian gooseberry powder (1 tsp each) and to this add tea water (boil one and half tsp tea in one cup water -strain and use tea water) . Mix well and keep overnight in stainless steel vessel. Apply the paste next day, leave it for 2 hours and wash hair.
- You can mix henna powder, amla powder and one Tbsp beetroot juice with tea water and apply on hair.
While applying, divide hair into four section – back, front, left and right. Wear gloves, scoop and apply henna paste from scalp, root of hair to evenly on entire length of hair on all four sides. After applying henna, you can cover head with hair cap. Leave it for two hours, rinse henna. Avoid shampooing and artificial conditioner.
Benefits of applying henna are:
- It is natural hair color and does not have any added chemical.
- Generally, natural henna does not cause any allergy (test your skin before applying). It is safer than chemical hair dye.
- It provides good conditioning to hair and hair looks flawless. It repairs hair during the color treatment. It detoxes scalp and hair roots. Lawsone restructures the hair proteins well.
- You can treat hair with henna as many times as you want.
- It prevents hair loss
- Covers gray hair naturally.
- After application, henna will leave your hair silky, soft and luxurious.
- Prevents split hair
- Henna prevents head lice and dandruff
- It provides suitable color for hair, makes it resists weathering.
- Henna application is an easy DIY dye job and can be done as per your wish and at your own time. You can also seek professional help if you want to.
The cons of using henna is, while applying if not handled proper it can be messy. And for those who do not follow instructions, it could be a bit tedious process. If you are fond of varieties of hair colors, then henna is not for you! Beware of artificial henna -like black henna and henna powder that contains slats and chemical lighteners that can damage hair and react with skin causing allergy.
If you have henna plant and trusted source of henna powder, then use henna to grow and maintain your beautiful hair.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: September 17, 2020