For many millenniums, henna has been a favorite deep conditioner, colorant and protector for hair. This bush is 100% natural and permanently dyes the hair in orange – reddish tonnes. As all natural plants that dye, you will only receive this range of color. Commercial henna mislead us by stating that they are using natural henna “colors” that range from browns, blacks, auburn… I think I have even seen a strawberry blond. The truth however is that these dyes will most definitely contain other ingredients, such as other natural dyes, chemicals, additives or metallic salts. Once you start using natural hair dyes, you may never turn back.
Henna is best known to bring back health to damaged hair and restore its the natural acid-alkaline balance to the scalp. It clears up dandruff and dry scalp like a jiffy, which in turn promotes healthy hair growth. By bonding itself to the cuticle it coats each strand, providing regrowth, strength, thickness and volume. Many have used it as an alternative to protein treatments. It is also a sun block with UV protection, natural cleanser, removing pollutants and residue left from harmful hair products and the environment. If you are looking for a natural curl relaxer, henna is the plant, as it helps loosen the curl patter making hair more manageable.
All hair types from African to Caucasian and everything in between takes well to henna. It truly makes a difference in feel, vitality and luster.
Henna is a regenerating herb. Before becoming most popularity known in the form of body adornment, it was medicinally used to keep the outer layers of the body cool, clean, moisturized, sun protected. Tho its many uses in healing, it was used on the skin to cure/alleviate fungal conditions, skin conditions, burns, break fevers and purify the blood.
As a body adornment, henna is a temporary stain that typically last anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks (diagram 1), sometimes even more. Henna is translucent in color and will blend with a persons natural skin tone. With the proper care that means that it doesn’t discriminate and will show up as a beautiful stain on light skin or dark skin.
As with any medicinal herb, henna has 2 important rules that are to be memorized and respected. They are as follows:
- NEVER henna over broken, cut, open, scratched skin, it will remain forever. Henna is meant to be a stain, permanent tattoos pierce the skin and draw under the stratum corneum; or the layer under your skin (diagram 2).
- NEVER USE BLACK HENNA. You will find people using black henna because it looks more “beautiful” however this is an extremely dangerous product as it can cause permanent chemical scarring in the pattern.
Henna’s anti fungicidal properties make it a perfect match to cure those fungal conditions. In addition when applied to the nails it binds the keratin strands, thus strengthening the cuticles and fingernails, promoting growth and beautifying.
As henna is chip resistant, most people opt for having the color grow out as the stain does not fade but should you have to get rid of the stain quicker, my suggestion would be lemon juice… and good luck.
Henna has a very special place in the spiritual and religious world. It is mentioned in the Book of Solomon, The Qu’ran, the Vedas and many other hindu texts. Spiritually, henna makes her presence from birth to deaths and anywhere in between.
As there is no other plant like Henna, it has a reputation to ward off the “evil eye” and invite the gods. For example followers of the Judaism and Hinduism traditionally have what is known as the night of henna, which is usually done the night before a wedding. Moroccan women are known to henna the inside of their feet and belly’s right before they are to give birth to protect the child entering into the world. Egyptian mummies are found with henna patterns on them. And the list can go on…
Finally, applying henna patterns is a meditation in itself. No matter where it is applied or how it is mixed, it requires us to be free by bringing out creativity, focus and joy.
Henna can be applied to leathers, silks, cottons and any other pure fabrics. I have personally applied it to lamp shades, candles, jewellery boxes, mirrors, leather bookmarks, invitation cards, silk scarves, cotton shirts and underwear, drums, etc. I am always open to making custom artifacts and would love to try new things such as bones and hides.