Henna and Natural Hair Health

Derived from the leaves of the henna tree, henna is a dye used to create body art and color hair. While it’s closely linked with Indian culture, henna is found throughout southern Asia. Over the past decade or so, it’s increasingly popular in Western countries as well. Here’s a quick guide to henna’s benefits and drawbacks as well as a few best practices for proper usage.

The Health Benefits of Henna

Henna can confer several compelling benefits to a user’s hair such as:

Stronger Hair Overall

The first thing you’ll notice when you regularly dye your hair with henna is a marked reduction in hair breakage. Henna actually strengthens hair by bonding to the keratin proteins that comprise the bulk of individual follicles. All things being equal, the end result is less shedding and fewer split ends regardless of the length, color or straightness of your hair.

Greater Hair Volume

One of the best things about henna when it comes to hair care is that it encourages the development of protective coatings around follicles. As such, each follicle is more moist and better able to retain crucial vitamins. Ultimately, each follicle is thicker and more luxurious. If you want to thicken hair and promote hair growth, henna is a great option.

A More Lustrous Sheen

When applied on a consistent basis, henna can result in shinier hair for a number of reasons. For one thing, the chemical makeup of the dye tends to straighten kinky hair and allow nutrients to penetrate follicles more easily. What’s more, henna changes pH levels within follicles to produce an outer layer that allows hair to shine like never before.

A Healthier Scalp

When you use henna on a regular basis, you’ll find that your scalp is in better shape over time. That’s because henna boasts anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties that control itchiness while moisturizing the skin. Unlike normal shampoos, henna doesn’t contain ammonia-based cleansers. What’s more, henna can reduce the appearance of dandruff over time if you apply it judiciously.

Potential Downsides of Henna to Consider

As great as henna can be, a few potential drawbacks might include:

Potential Dryness

While henna can certainly promote hair moisture, it can just as easily result in dry hair if you don’t know how to use it properly. Henna should be applied in conjunction with other oils to ensure that dry, brittle hairs don’t result. Simply slapping henna onto a mane isn’t a recipe for success if you’re not familiar with the product or how to use it.

Unpredictable Results

Another potential drawback of henna usage is the difficulty in achieving a set objective. Henna reacts with any given head of hair in a variety of ways and it’s difficult to predict how the whole project will turn out. You could shoot for a certain shade of red and end up with some approximation of that hue particularly if you’re a henna beginner.

A Lengthy Application Process

A reliable henna treatment that delivers the results you desire doesn’t happen within an hour or so no matter how skilled you are. A great henna dye practitioner knows the limitations of the treatment and tailors their techniques to the situation at hand. Generally speaking, a henna dye job will take several hours if you want to get the best results possible from the procedure.

Getting the Most From Henna Hair Dye

There are really just two key steps to making henna improve hair:

Picking the Right Materials

Easily the most important factor in a great henna dye job is the selection of the actual product that’s used to color hair. Selecting a body art quality henna made from organic stock will ensure that you have a positive experience. If you want to avoid bad outcomes, use only the finest henna-based dye you can find on the market.

Applying the Dye Properly

A good henna dye job can only be achieved if you know how to apply it properly based on your hair and the specific dye in question. This comes down to knowledge of the product and the timing required to ensure that dye is left in for the right amount of time.

Additional Herbs to Use for Superior Hair Health

All-natural supplements that make your hair more vibrant include:

Castor Oil

Much like henna, castor oil can thicken hair and reduce the occurrence of hair breakage when used properly. It encourages hair growth and strengthens each strand at the same time. What’s more, castor oil moisturizes hair and results in a shinier mane over the long haul. Regular castor oil applications in conjunction with henna usage can treat a variety of hair problems.

Grapeseed Oil

Thanks to its high levels of vitamin E, grapeseed oil promotes hair growth like nothing else. What’s more, the linoleic acid in grapeseed oil can produce shiny hair that doesn’t look or feel greasy. In addition, this oil will moisturize a scalp quickly and effectively treat dandruff issues. Best of all, grapeseed oil straightens kinky hair by breaking down specific protein bonds.

Olive Oil

Due to its rich assortment of acids and proteins, olive oil is arguably the best hair care supplement that can applied in conjunction with henna. The monounsaturated essential fatty acids found within it soften hair while protecting it from the elements. Olive oil forms barriers around follicles that reduce snags and tangles. Best of all, olive oil prevents free-radical damage from intense UV radiation.

There’s No Time Like the Present to Try Henna

As you can see, using henna on your hair doesn’t require a special effort and can deliver quite a few benefits. Finding body art quality henna and slapping it onto your scalp is the key to getting the best from the treatment. Ultimately, henna is a powerful weapon in the hands of a person that knows how to wield it.

An Introduction to Essential Oils for Health

While plenty of people have heard about essential oils at some point in their life, most do not know exactly what they are. A majority of people understand that they have some sort of benefit to them, or that they simply have a pleasant scent, yet they do not understand the true basis for their use. Where do they originate from? How exactly are they used? How can they be of benefit? All of these questions have answers that are easily explained.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the result of a distillation and evaporation process where compounds are extracted from a plant. The resulting concentrated hydrophobic liquid is the essence of the plant with its own personal and highly concentrated aroma characteristics.

Some essential oils are beneficial when taking internally, some are excellent for massage, while others are only suitable for aromatherapy purposes and should not be internalized. It is important to understand the differences between each oil and its use.

The term essential oils originally stemmed from the Aristotelian idea that matter is made up of fire, air, earth, and water elements. While the fifth element was thought to be the life force. Hence where the term ‘spirits’ comes from while distilling alcohol.

There are many varieties of essential oils that have aiding properties for just about anything. There is lavender oil which provides a calming and relaxing mood. Citrus oils can encourage a feeling of energy and a positive well-being.

Historical Uses of Essential oils

Plants have been utilized by ancient people as far back as any recorded history. They have provided early civilizations with an abundance of spiritual, medicinal, and beauty enhancing qualities through essential oils as far back as 3000 to 2500 B.C. in areas of Egypt, China, and India.

The Egyptians are one of the most commonly thought of as being the first to use essential oils. Various oils were used in their cosmetics, for aromatics, in religion, and even in their embalming process. The use of essential oils became such a revered and important aspect of the Egyptians that during the height of power only the priests were allowed to perform rituals with the oils.

Ayur Veda is a 3,000-year-old traditional Indian Medicine which utilizes essential oils in their healing traditions. The practice was even used during the Bubonic Plague when antibiotics failed. Essential oils have played an important part of Ayurvedic medicine.

China first recorded use of essential oils during the reign of the yellow emperor, Huang Ti. It was during this time between 2697 to 2597 B.B. that he wrote of the importance that essential oils played with internal medicine. His guidelines are still practiced by Eastern medicine to this day.

Common Health and Wellness Uses For Essential Oils Today

Essential oils are readily available almost anywhere these days. Each oil also comes with a long list of uses and benefits that provide better health and well-being. They are the perfect holistic option for any household. Whether they be enjoyed as an aromatherapy, a relaxing massage, or for their internal benefits there are a plethora of choices available.

One of the most common uses for essential oils today are the stress relieving and relaxing benefits they provide. These days people are filled with too much stress and too many deadlines. This leads to anxiety, insomnia, and even physical ailments such as headaches and body aches. The perfect remedy to aid in relieving stress and promoting relaxation are oils such as lavender, and chamomile.

Another popular choice of oils that are handy to have around the house or office are those that promote energy. Citrus such as orange, grapefruit, or lime and mints such as peppermint, spearmint, and eucalyptus are perfect oils for getting an energy boost.

Another reason to store certain essential oils around the house is for their anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Eucalyptus, lemon, lavender, and peppermint can also be used for these purposes. There are even a variety of oils that are great for use on insect bites.

There is a very good reason essential oils have been around and widely used for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations discovered their healing properties and put them to use through all areas of their lives. The oils were used spiritually, medicinally, and cosmetically. Essential oils have stood the test of time and are still used to this day for a vast array of purposes. They are perfect to have on hand in any household, whether it be for their calming or energizing scent or their internal medicinal qualities.