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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.