Henna has been used as a hair colorant since ancient times in India, Middle East and Egypt. It was used by the beautiful Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra to color her tresses, hands and nails. Henna is derived from the leaves of the desert shrub Lawsonia Lythraceae, native to the tropics of Asia, Northern Africa and Australia. The red orange color found in the leaves of this plant is known as lawsone.
This beauty herb contains hannatanic acid, which when mixed with hot water coats the hair. Henna coloring has been a traditional beauty treatment in most traditional homes of the world and is void of any harmful chemicals. If you plan on coloring your hair with henna, you not only avoid the risk of exposing your tresses to the harmful affects of artificial colorants but also protect it fro the action of environmental pollution and sun. The action of chemicals in cosmetic colors can lead to your hair becoming dry, dull and brittle. But henna helps color your hair naturally and tends to keep it shining and healthy.
Action of henna on hair:
Henna coloring tends to bind in the natural oils and tightens the hair cuticle. This results in making the hair glossy and voluminous. It also protects the tresses from the harmful affects of the ultraviolet radiation of the sun by tightening and leveling the cuticle layer. Henna is known to be a fantastic hair conditioner that helps nourish the hair and binds in moisture, making even the dullest of tresses full of body and vigor.
If you tend to use henna on a regular basis, you will not suffer from light roots. The herb blends naturally into the hair shaft and fades gradually. The rich color of the herb usually lasts for up to three months and gives you a great look and feel. The various color tones you can get by using this herb include burgundy, orange, mahogany, dark brown, neutral, sherry, red, copper etc. The actual color your hair obtains after using henna is based on the color of hair to which henna is applied. It also depends upon the chemistry of your body, hair texture and the time period for which you leave the herb on. The quality and quantity of the herb as well as the addition of other ingredients also plays a major role in determining what color you eventually obtain. Repetitive applications of henna deepen the color resulting in richer and darker shades. After applying henna, you will notice that the color is of a brighter shade, but is gradually settles into a darker shade within a few days.
Henna Coloring for gorgeous hair:
If you are looking for a more defined color, you can blend various ingredients with henna prior to application to get the desired shade.
- Adding vinegar or brewed black coffee helps cover any grays.
- Adding walnut shells result in deepening the brown tones.
- Black tea, chamomile and lemon enhance blonde highlights.
- Hibiscus enhances the red hues.
Henna is applied as a mud paste on the hair and is rinsed out after a couple of hours. It is recommended that you use rubber gloves and wrap an old towel around your shoulders prior to application. Use a good brush to apply henna on your tresses. It is also advisable for you to apply Vaseline or petroleum jelly on to your skin in order to avoid staining.
Conduct a Harvest Test:
It is advisable for you to conduct a harvest test prior to applying henna in order to see the color results as well as examine if you are allergic to the product or not. Henna is not compatible with certain chemicals used in artificial colorants and dyes. It is recommended that if you are using an artificial colorant to color your hair, you must leave a gap of at least 3months prior to using henna. Metallic salts and chemicals from previous colorants tend to result in unwanted colors making your hair look bad.
- To conduct the test take hair from your comb or brush and apply the henna paste on it.
- Leave it for at least 3 to 8 hours.
- This will enable you to know the exact color of hair you will get after applying henna.
Henna coloring is absolutely natural and not only colors your hair but also nourishes it and conditions it. It results in glossier, more voluminous hair and is the ultimate hair remedy for all those looking to cover up the grays.