Every day you engage in some sort of cleaning, moisturizing, and protective maintenance to keep your curls, coils, kinks, and waves in tip-top shape. Have you considered taking your routine to the next level with Henna? This all-natural powder is made from the dried leaves of a shrub and used on hair or skin with brilliant results. Check out our seven reasons to try henna. Perhaps you will become a henna head, too.
Henna, otherwise known by its proper name - lawsonia inermis - grows in hot climates and sold all over the world. Lawsone, the active ingredient, migrates into the hair shaft where it binds with the keratin and strengthens strands from the inside. The bond fills-in gaps in the cuticle along the strand making hair appear shinier and thicker. Henna is also known to smooth frizz.
Frequent trips to the salon for deep conditioning, color, and gloss can be expensive. Even boxed hair color can get pricey. Henna does all that for a fraction of the cost. The condition and color stain are long lasting. You will, however, need to do reapply to later continued conditioning and color.
Henna leaves behind a red stain on everything it touches, especially hair. Henna powder is versatile; the strength of the stain can range from bright red to a light color gloss. Deepen or lessen the stain by varying the amount of time the dye is allowed to ‘rest’ and the type of liquid used to create the paste. For instance - Mix with hot water for a color intense paste or mix with conditioner for a henna gloss.
Gray hair is a natural part of aging but not everyone wants it. This is where henna can help. Henna gives lasting color to all hair types, staining grays a new color anywhere from copper to maroon. But, as with any color, consistency is key. Regular application will color new growth and enhance your hair's health.
There is much discussion within the natural hair community about which works best – applying henna to wet or dry hair; dirty or clean. While there is much discussion, there is much testimony (including my own) that demonstrates either works as well as the other. As long as the henna paste is allowed enough time for dye release and uptake, you can apply to wet or dry hair with similar results.
Using henna to color and condition your hair is one of the best things you can do for your strands. Not only is henna powder all natural, but the additional ingredients used to create the paste are all natural, too. Most paste recipes use warm water or green tea to create the paste while others include honey, yogurt or conditioner for a smoother, creamier mix.
From creating the paste to rinsing your strands, the henna process is pretty lengthy. Even at its shortest full-strength application you are home bound for several hours. Because this process can easily consume a good portion of your day, take advantage of the time at home. Turn those hours into a spa day. Grab a book, glass of wine; turn on some music and tune-in to some relaxation.
Your henna experience will depend mostly on the quality of the henna used – the finer silt, the better. Remember to wear rubber gloves and follow your henna application with a deep conditioner. What healthy hair product do you swear by? Do you already use henna for hair? What are your experiences?
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