The most important information about this natural product
Henna is a natural substance which has been used for centuries to dye the body and hair. Despite the passage of time, its popularity has not diminished. The spectrum of applications is still very wide, but is primarily used in cosmetics and medicine. What exactly is henna and how can you make use of it at home?
What is henna?
Henna is a natural pigment produced from the leaves and stems of a plant called Lawsonia inermis. This shrub can be found all over Africa, Australia, South Asia and Latin America. The dye is made from young plant leaves, no older than 5 years. It is in these leaves that a substance called lawson - a red - orange dye that allows coloring hair and skin can be found. Henna is produced from boiled and powdered leaves, and without any additives, is in the form of a greenish powder.
Since henna is of natural origin, it isn’t a health hazard and allergies to it are very rare. It perfectly nourishes and strengthens dyed hair, thanks to which they become silky smooth and shiny. Henna, or actually the lawson contained in it, creates a protective layer on the surface of the hair, thanks to which they are resistant to UVA and UVB radiation.
Henna in cosmetics
Henna has a number of properties that make it an effective product in cosmetics. The most common application of henna is for dying hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. The dye contained in henna penetrates deep into the hair, bonding with keratin. Thanks to this, the obtained color is durable and completely natural. Hair dyed with henna does not deteriorate, unlike with traditional hair dyes - what's more, it becomes thicker and takes on a radiant and healthy look. Thanks to the ability to combine the dye with the natural building blocks of hair, the color does not rinse out as quickly as in the case of ordinary paints.
Henna has therefore found use in many hair products, and can even be used as a self-contained product applied in the form of a prepared hair dye paste. Additionally, applying henna to your eyebrows gives them a fuller and longer lasting look, so you can forget about painting your eyebrows.
Many hair and beauty salons offer services that utilize henna, but thanks to ready-made products available in drugstores, we can also apply it at home. However, it is recommended to use extreme caution, especially in the case of applying henna on the eyebrows. Eyebrows usually catch color quickly and it is important to keep an eye on application time, as having henna on too long may create an unnatural look to your brows. Additionally, henna can be used for creating long-lasting tattoos, which wash off after time.
How to use henna for home treatments?
Before applying henna to your hair, it is worth knowing that the final color after applying henna will depend on the shade of your natural hair, since the same color of henna will produce different results on dark hair than on lighter colors. How long henna stays on the hair depends on the structure of our natural hair strands. We should also remember that it will not change the color of the hair drastically, but only deepen the shade.
And now we can begin coloring...
Start by mixing an appropriate amount of henna with warm water, creating the consistency of a smooth paste. Add a few drops of lemon juice and mix again - citric acid contained in the juice supports coloring. Leave it for a few minutes to let the mixture thicken, and after this time, apply it to washed hair. We wrap the hair in a plastic wrap and a towel to maintain a constant temperature.
How long the henna is kept on the hair depends on the effect we want to achieve and the structure of our hair. Henna does not work as fast as traditional paint and coloring can last from 30 minutes to an hour. Certain manufacturers recommend prolonging the coloring time from 2 - 3 hours.
Applying henna to the hair should take place in protective gloves. Otherwise, skin staining may occur, which will be difficult to remove. After dyeing the hair with henna, you should not wash it for at least 48 hours, as it takes much time for the color to solidify. Otherwise it may result in premature rinsing.
Once the 48 hours have passed, wash your hair and rinse it thoroughly. Now you can begin to admire your beautiful, thick and nourished head of hair!
Juliusz is a beauty business blogger at Versum salon and spa software