You might have been tempted to dye your hair. And who would blame you when it looks so exceptionally beautiful? All those pretty, vibrant colours glimmering in the light, making natural brown or black seem a bit dull in comparison. Or maybe you just need the change, something to get you going, especially with the way the world is right now. But something has been holding you back.
Maybe you’re afraid of the consequences, all the warnings you have been given from relatives about the damage from the chemicals finally getting to your head. Well then, we are here to tell you about a safe place where you can take your first step into the world of hair colours.
A solution that has lasted through centuries of history: Henna for hair dyeing.
What is natural henna?
Natural henna is a dye that is prepared from the Lawsonia Intermis, which is also known as the henna tree. It has natural tanning properties that make temporary staining of skin and hair possible. It creates a brownish-green powder which can be made into a thick paste to be used for body art as well. Natural henna for hair can be a great substitute for synthetic dyes because it leaves the hair appearing darker and stronger.
Henna has a great cultural history. From being used to paint the hands and feet of the Egyptian Pharaohs to being used by Indian nobles and common people, the use of henna has always been widespread. In many Indian families, henna is an inheritance of heritage that is carried across generations, bringing with it the essence of memories.
Eventually, the tradition of henna also reached the west, where it has now grown into a popular medium for temporary body art, henna stalls being seen in so many locations.
Such a rich culture that has been passed through so many hands before yours, why shouldn’t you try natural henna for hair dyeing?
What is some henna for hair benefits?
Now that you have heard about the history of natural henna for hair, you want to know about some henna for hair benefits to convince yourself. You may be wondering whether it just looks pretty or does something else too. Henna does more than just adding colour to your hair. Adding henna to your life can do wonders for your hair care routine.
Here are six benefits of henna for hair listed below:
1. Stops hair fall and promotes growth
Hair fall is one of the major problems when it comes to hair care. Natural Henna has properties which improve the health of follicles when applied to your scalp. This helps in reducing the amount of hair fall gradually which in turn increases hair growth.
2. Soothes the scalp
Henna is antimicrobial and antifungal, easing the persistent itchiness on your scalp. It cools the skin, giving a relieving effect. A busy day with your hair tied up has never gone as smoother as it does in the aftermath of a henna hair care routine.
3. Repair any existing hair damage
Our hair goes through much wear and tear daily. This means that often there is a lot of damage that occurs without us even knowing. Henna for hair can help in faster recovery.
Henna also increases the volume of your hair, making it thicker and lustrous.
4. Has a conditioning effect
Hair can become dry and get split ends. Henna, especially when mixed with egg, has a conditioning effect that deeply nourishes your hair and heals the existing split ends, giving smoother and better quality hair.
5. Maintains hair colour
You might think that this one is obvious since henna is a hair dye, but natural henna has antioxidant properties which prevent premature greying of hair, ensuring long-lasting natural colour even after its dyeing effects fade.
6. Maintains balance in pH and oil level
We have mentioned how henna conditions dry hair but did you know that it helps control oil production in oily hair as well? Henna calms your overactive sebaceous glands and results in a lower level of oil.
How to Prepare Henna for Hair?
So now that you are finally convinced, it may seem daunting to figure out just how to prepare henna for hair. Fortunately, the process is as simple as it gets. Once you get your hands on a good packet of henna powder, you will find all the ingredients in your kitchen itself. There are many ways in which you can customize your henna mix to create different types of packs, depending on the intended effect and what suits your hair best.
To prepare the simplest type of henna pack to get you started, here are the required steps:
- Take the appropriate amount of henna powder (100 gm for short hair, 200 gm for medium length hair and 300 gm for long hair)
- Put it in a container that is preferably made of ceramic, glass or stainless steel. Be sure to not use any other kind of metallic container.
- Pour in warm water, little by little and mix using a spatula until the mixture reaches the consistency of yoghurt. Some people prefer to use tea water or coffee water for the henna to reach a darker colour while dyeing.
- Leave the mixture overnight in a warm place, making sure than the container is covered to create an airtight atmosphere for the henna. This will ensure a darker colour when applied.
- The next day, henna will be ready to apply.
Things to keep in mind
Always be sure to check whether the quality of henna. Natural henna is somewhere between the shades of green and brown. It smells herbal and earthy. If the given henna is black or gives off a chemical smell, do not use it.
Some people prefer to add their ingredients, like a dash of lemon juice or 2-3 tablespoons of fenugreek powder to enhance the effects. However, everyone’s hair types vary and what ingredients are safe for one might prove harmful for the other. Thus, be sure to be cautious of this, as ingredients such as lemon juice can result in dry scalp as well.
How to apply henna on hair?
Now that you have your mixture ready in a bowl, you may be clueless about how to apply henna on hair. First, make sure that your skin will not react by doing a simple patch test where you apply henna to an area of your skin to see how your body deals with it.
- Before the application of henna, you must shampoo and dry your hair to make sure that it does not contain any dirt or chemicals. Do not use conditioner when you do this. Your hair must be free of any additives.
- You can apply coconut oil or petroleum jelly along your forehead, ears and neck to prevent staining.
- Wear old clothes or a cape and hang a towel around your neck. Use gloves.
- Free your hair of tangles and divide into parts,
- Take a small section of your hair and start applying using a henna brush, from roots towards the tips, making sure the henna covers both the scalp and the hair.
- Wear a shower cap. You can leave the henna on for around 2 hours or longer if you want a darker effect
- Rinse with just water and use conditioner to ensure removal of residual.
- Use a spare towel as it will stain
You may be tempted to immediately peek in the mirror and find yourself disappointed. But remember that henna takes around 24 to 48 hours to reach its true colour. Give it time. It will be well worth it.
So what’s the final verdict?
Well, you have your henna, you have your instructions, but that last shred of hesitance just won’t go. Remind yourself that this is temporary if you don’t like how it looks. You can also change the intensity of the colour. Henna itself gives various shades of red, which is comparatively tamer when compared to other hair dyes. You will not spook yourself when you finally dare to glimpse at your reflection.
Give it a try. If you don’t like it you can simply move on. And if you do, then congratulations, you are one step closer to colourful hair.