Here are answers to these frequently asked questions about henna for natural hair and more on how to mix and apply this treatment for hair growth. Find out more on where to buy henna and what the best brands are.
Meaning ad and Is it good for natural hair
What is hair henna? What is it used for? This refers to a powdered form of a tropical shrub. It comes from a flowering plant called Lawsonia inermis, which has been used as a hair dye for ages. Today, the henna powder has been modified into various forms to suit hair needs.
Using i5 gives a reddish tinge that might not sit well with those who desire other colors. It is for this reason that it has been used as a base for hair coloring products. It can also be mixed with other plant-based dyes to make different types of colors.
Is henna good for natural hair? It is a more natural coloring option with properties that give hair strength, shine and intensify the color.
In addition, it is all natural and has been embraced by the natural hair lovers. It conditions it, adds strength and volume typical of healthy natural hair.
Dried leaves of henna have been proven to have potent herbal properties that can treat scalp conditions such as dandruff. It has active ingredients such as gallic acid, tannic acid, mucilage, and lawsone. Lawsone, from which it derives its scientific name is responsible for its coloring effects on hair and skin. It also has antibacterial, antifungal, astringent properties and prevents damage by ultraviolet rays.
Benefits and effects
Henna has a wide range of benefits including for your skin. In fact, this has placed this natural hair dye at the top of organic coloring treatments. It does not change its natural color of you nor damage its structure like commercial bleaches do. If this is the first time you are hearing about henna or considering a natural coloring change, there is a lot of online info from great sources such as Curly Nikki and Henna for hair. Here are the pros and cons:
- Treats dandruff, psoriasis, and eczema
- Stimulates growth
- It has no chemicals
- Strengthens and thickens it
- Reduces hair fall
- Soothes the scalp and relieves itching
- Adds volume and improve shine
- Conditions it and reduces split ends
- Slows greying
- It is safe to use during pregnancy
- Tedious and messy application
- It can not lighten hair
- You have to experiment to find the right color
- It requires some touch ups for the new growth
- Some people may find the smell of henna to be gross
- It can extremely dry your hair
- Loss or reductions in curls
How often to use it
How often can one use henna on natural hair? The frequency of using it depends on the rate of your hair growth and how deep you prefer its color to be. Henna gives an intense color that stays on for 6-8 weeks for most people. This, however, depends on the rate growth, porosity, and exposure to external factors such as silicon-based shampoos, chlorine in the swimming pools etc.
While going through henna for hair color reviews, I found out that most women like to apply it once every month and do some touch ups with henna gloss every 2 weeks. Since it does not change the natural color of your hair, it calls for new application. You can do this covering all of it or just the roots.
African American hair tends to be thick with lots of curls. Overuse could make it too dry and thick, a problem that most girls with curly hair want to get rid of. Those with kinks and coils are most likely to have this problem. However, those with waves and curls experience a different effect as thickening and weighing down of hair tends to loosen the waves and reduce shrinkage. By binding on keratin, henna tends to build up on hair. This is the property that makes it thicker with lots of volume.
Many henna products in the market have made it very difficult to get authentic one. The one used or body art is the best quality for hair coloring. It is pure with no additives. Body art quality is made from leaves that are picked from the top of the plant. These have more dye content producing richer shades of color. It is all natural with no chemicals, bleaches or artificial dyes. It is advisable to buy henna from a food store or from a known henna body artist.
According to the hennapage.com, “The best crops come after a prolonged drought and high temperatures when the rains have just begun. Yemeni, Indian, and Pakistani crops that are harvested soon after the beginning of the monsoon rains are usually the best of the year. Moroccan crops harvested after the early spring rains are usually the best of the year. Dryer climate, hotter temperatures usually make for higher dye content in the henna.”
Henna should be all natural and the ingredients list should contain only its natural ones. A few exceptions to this are black henna which uses indigo plant and light blonde which uses marigold plant or cinnamon. These, however, use only plant-based additives that will not harm your hair in any way.
High-quality one is light green and finely sifted. The fine grains make it easier for you to rinse off your hair. Bright green colored henna may be a fad as most companies will add green dye to make it look authentic. Look out for some of the best brands from countries like Morocco, Pakistan, and Oman. Always buy henna from reputable stores and brands like Mehandi.
Here is a list of the best henna types to give a try:
- Organic Rajasthani Indian
Some brands contain added chemical ingredients that may damage your hair. Choose to buy the natural one from your local henna body artist or online and do the mixing all by yourself to leave some room for the messy fun and experimentation with any of your favorite ingredients.
How to mix it
Being an all natural color treatment that intensifies or changes your hair color without damaging and changing its structure. It conditions it, treats dandruff and gives you rich a color with a bouncy twist to it. Note that, it just coats the hair by binding with keratin, therefore your natural hair still grows through.
Here is how to mix it:
What you need;
- A cup of fresh lemon juice
- Tea tree oil
- Peppermint oil
- Ceramic bowl and plastic spatula
- Pour 300g of henna into a bowl- add according to the length of your hair
- Add in 1 cup of lemon juice-you can swap this with warm water, wine or grape juice
- Add 2 tablespoons of lavender, peppermint and tea tree oil
- Mix up all the ingredients to make a paste with medium consistency. This makes it easier for you to apply without getting messy
- Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let the mixture rest in a dark area, at room temperature for twelve hours to help the dye release
Some people like the smell of henna while others think that it is gross. Make use of your favorite essential oils and spices such as cinnamon and cloves to mask the smell of henna.
How much henna do I use for my hair? The amount of henna to use depends on its lenght.
- If fine and short- use 4 tablespoons
- For fine shoulder- length 6 tablespoons.
- Thick shoulder length- 8 tablespoons.
- If long and very thick- 12 tablespoons.
Henna Treatment or how to apply it
Henna treatment for natural hair is a process that depends on what product you buy, how you do the mixing and the time it takes before rinsing it out. It is very important to know what kind of results you expect.
Buy henna that is a shade lighter than the hair color that you want to achieve. If you want it to be darker brown, go for medium colored brands. Or blend different shades of brown to achieve the perfect color. One thing you can be sure of, with it, you can always go darker but never lighter. Pure one will give your hair a reddish tinge. Neutral henna is colorless and only conditions it without changing the color. The outcome depends on the following;
- Your starting hair color
- The ingredients you use in your mix
- The type used-indigo, cassia
- Fineness of the powder
- How it is
- How long you let henna stay on before washing off
The application process will be a little messy. Henna stains everything from your skin, floor, and clothes. I recommend you do the treatment in the shower because it is easier to wash out in case you got some spilling onto your skin. Here is how to apply it:
- Prepared henna paste
- Plastic cap
Requirements- protective gloves, a towel, Vaseline and a plastic cap
- Apply Vaseline all around on the skin close to the hairline and the forehead. This helps to prevent your skin from getting colored with any spilling henna
- Divide your hair into small sections
- Make sure your mixture is not too thick or thin. Add lemon juice as required
- Apply generously in little bits until maximum coverage is achieved
- Put on a plastic cap and let it sit for 4 hours in the sun. The time you take before rinsing out depends on how deep you want the color to be. The longer it takes the deeper the color
- Rinse out henna with warm water
- Air dry and do not wash for the next 48 hours. This allows the color to tone down from that orange you get immediately after
- It is is very sticky and might be a little tough to rinse off
- Do not rinse it onto your body under the shower. It stains the skin
- It will smell henna for 2 days and that is completely normal
- The tinge especially the roots may be hot orange at first, that is normal too
- It takes 2-3 days for its color to completely set in and show off its real color
The good thing about henna is its lasting power. It can stay on for months without fading off. However, new growth may call for touch-ups to match up to its color. Henna is completely safe and can be used as frequently as one desire. The only problem, however, is the buildup that may thicken and prevent it from benefiting from other hair products.
If it is the first time you are using it, do a patch test to know what color you expect. Apply on a small part or harvest hair from your brush, dip it in the henna and wait for 2-4 hours to see the outcome. With experience, it will be easier for you to know what type you need to achieve a certain hair color.
Does it help in hair growth
Henna is widely regarded as a source of thickening and strengthening hair. This can be achieved coloring or by making a mask to deeply condition and stimulate hair growth. Alternatively, it can be used in its fresh form to make henna oil that stimulates growth.
Its application maintains healthy hair growth be used as a remedy for hair loss. It clears dandruff relieves itchiness and reduce the rate of it falling off. Also, it forms a layer that protects the hair from UV rays, harsh products and chlorinated water in swimming pools. This reduces the rate at which split ends are formed.
How to make a henna mask for hair growth
- Soak henna mixed with black tea overnight.
- In the morning, add two beaten eggs,
- Add four teaspoons of curd,
- Add ¼ cup of lemon juice
- Add one tablespoon of coconut or olive oil.
- Leave this mask on for at 2-3 hours
- Rinse off with cold water
- Wait for at least 24 hours before shampooing
Where to buy it
Henna can be found at your local store. However, since itis perishable, a long shelf life means low potency. There are many online stores that sell authentic one such as The Henna Page Suppliers listed on the henna page.
These suppliers boast an array of fresh body art quality henna with a list of suppliers who have signed a statement assuring product quality. Other online suppliers include; Mehandi and morocco method. These are reputable online suppliers with the best body art quality and safe one with helpful guidelines on what type of henna is best for your hair.
It is advisable to go through as many coloring reviews to make an informed choice and also to be sure of the outcome you expect is what you get.
- If you buy henna in large batches from the store, store it in an airtight, light-proof container in your freezer, it’ll stay good for years! If you leave your henna in the light, in an opened box, or in a hot place, it will lose its dye potency.
- It is a base and SHOULD NOT be in any way be mixed with acidic bleaches. This can badly break your hair
- Other natural plant powders for color. Indigo – can be mixed with henna for a brown color, or used after henna application for a black color.
- Amla – can be mixed with it for an auburn color; also adds curl and shine too.
- Cassia obtava – gives a glossy shine