In the hair coloring world, henna is very much underrated because of the limitations to it´s colors. Mostly, people who would like to use natural dye to colour their hair go for it. Question is, does henna damage hair or benefits your hair instead? In this article, we will look at the pros and possible cons of henna. In addition, i have put a few simple recipes for henna treatment on both dry and oily hair. Now lets get to it.
How about we start from understanding what henna is in the first place.
What is henna?
Henna is a plant that has been used for centuries to dye hair, finger nails, fabric and make drawings on the skin. According to Wikipedia, henna is a dye prepared from the henna tree (Lawsonia inermis) native to the middle east. On the skin, henna is more of a stain which wears off within a week to 3 weeks by exfoliation.
Henna works differently as compared to the other chemical hair dyes such that it gives your hair coat of colour whereas the chemical dyes penetrate your hair cuticles to change your hair colour
Benefits of henna to your hair.
The main reason henna is used is to colour hair. However, henna has may other benefits.
- Because of it´s sealing properties, henna protects your hair from free radicals strengthening your hair follicles which will in turn prevent breakage.
- Henna can be used as a strengthening conditioner to repair damaged hair
- It balances pH levels of your scalp hence restore the natural alkaline – acid level.
- For oily hair, it can be used to control the oil production
- Henna has anti fungal and antimicrobial properties which will improve your scalp health.
How to use henna.
Before using henna, you should know whether you have oily or dry hair. Henna is best mixed with other ingredients like oils, coffee, coconut milk, egg just to mention a few. I will give you two main recipes, one for dry hair and another for oily hair.
Most people with hair type 1a,b, c through to 2c have relatively oily hair because of the texture. If you have this kind of hair texture, then this is your preferable recipe.
- 6 table spoons Henna powder (Preferred colour)
- 1 tablespoon Black coffee
- A cup of water
- Put the water and coffee in a pot and bring it to boil. In a moderate heat, let it boil for 3-5 minutes then put it aside to cool.
- In a bowl, put your henna and add the warm coffee in bits as you stir the mixture to remove any lumps until you have a smooth paste.
- Section your hair preferably into 4 parts for easy access and distribution then apply the henna paste from root to ends.
- To improve the results, you could over your hair with a plastic cap or cling film and leave it for about 4 hours. This is optional.
- When the time elapses, wash your hair with lukewarm water and follow up with a sulfate free shampoo.
- Use a moisturizing conditioner and continue with your hair regimen.
NB: This mixture is protein and caffeine rich and you shouldn´t use it more than once a month.
- 150 grams henna powder( Your preferred colour)
- 250ml coconut milk
- 50ml carrier oil of your choice.(Avocado,almond,olive, jojoba or argan)
- Warm up the coconut milk in a pot.
- Put the henna powder in a bowl and add the warm coconut milk bit by bit as you stir the mixture to avoid any lumps.
- Add your oil and mix well to form a thick paste.
- Section your hair preferably into 4 parts for easy access and distribution then apply the henna paste to your scalp, and hair from root to ends.
- Leave it for about 2 hours then wash with a lukewarm water and sulfate free shampoo.
- Condition your hair and continue with your hair care regimen.
NB: Depending on your hair needs, you can do this every fortnight or 3weeks.
Can henna damage hair?
Henna in it´s pure natural form is actually good for your hair as we have earlier seen. But in some separate instances it can damage your hair.
If you mix henna with other chemicals like paraphenylenediamine(PPD)or citrus based things, it is prone to make your hair brittle and damage your scalp too. Henna in it´s natural form actually strengthens hair.
For chemically treated hair, your hair may feel coarse after application. This is not because of henna. It is because of the chemicals used prior. For this reason, you should keep your hair moisturized to avoid breakage.
If you had previously coloured your hair with chemical dyes, and you use henna that has additives, your hair may turn green. Use a strand test to be sure before you walk around with green hair.
How to maintain hair with henna.
Hair with henna is not as hard to take care of as it may seem. After the henna application, make sure to rinse well to remove all the residue or else your scalp might feel itchy.
Apply a good amount of moisturizing conditioner to smooth the henna coat on your hair. Leave in for a few minutes to allow deeper penetration then rinse out.
Keep doing your regular hair regimen incorporating moisturizers to keep your hair soft and smooth. Make sure not to use chemical dyes when your hair has henna.
As we have seen, henna has many benefits to your hair when used properly. You just need to know what hair type you have. Besides the two basic recipes i gave, you can find other numerous recipes on the internet.
Is there something important about henna that i left out? Have you used henna differently on your hair or know of other benefits to your hair? Feel free to add it in the comments section.
I hope you enjoyed this article as well as learned something from it. i will be glad to read your thoughts and questions in the comment section.