Henna is a powder made from the foliage of the Henna tree, called Lawsonia inermis. It is often combined with essential oils, apple cider vinegar, black tea, water, coconut oil, and more to make a paste to apply to the hair. Henna is also used for temporary tattoos, it’s useful for its antibacterial properties and much more. But in this post, we will focus on 5 benefits of henna for natural hair, as well as some drawbacks.
Natural Option to Color Your Natural Hair
No Synthetic Chemicals
Common options for coloring your natural hair usually require products full of synthetic chemicals. Many of these chemicals are harmful to the hair and scalp – enter Henna!
Henna, in its pure form, is all natural and vegan, so it does not have any synthetic ingredients that could harm your hair. As naturals, we are concerned about the health of our hair, and the fact that Henna can be used as natural hair color is amazing!
Several Vibrant Shades to Choose From
You can get your Henna in several shades and each shade leaves a tint of color on your strands. The colors The resulting color will fade away over time. How long it takes to fade depends on how often you wash your hair, the method that you used to mix and apply the henna, and more. But it usually lasts at least several weeks. After that, you can reapply henna, and layer it over the old henna if you want. Keep in mind that when you layer henna, the color will become more and more intense, eventually getting darker and darker with each use.
Once you arrive at the shade that you like, it would probably be best to do root touch-ups rather than reapplying henna to all of your hair each time. Use your judgment.
Great for Grays
Grey hair is notorious for being difficult to cover. Henna easily covers stubborn grays.
CAUTION: Do a Strand Test
All of that being said, it is important to do a strand test prior to doing all over henna color, because some people are allergic to henna itself. Some symptoms to watch out for are itching, redness, swelling, blisters, etc.
Helps to Strengthen Your Natural Hair
Henna has been used for thousands of years, and one of Henna’s best-known benefits is that it makes your hair stronger.
Textured hair like ours tends to be a bit more fragile than hair that is straight. This is due to natural weak points in the hair shaft where our hair strands twist and turn. So, as textured-hair folks, we could all benefit from increased hair strength.
You might ask how henna makes our hair stronger. It is believed that there are components of henna (such as tannin) that bind with our hair and act as an armor to strengthen our hair.
Helps to Retain Length
One of the main reasons why it seems like your hair is not growing is because hair length is not being retained. This means that older hair is breaking off either at the same rate or faster than new hair can grow in.
Henna’s conditioning properties, along with its ability to bind to the hair shaft, help with preserving the hair that is currently on your head. It does not speed up your hair growth, but it does help combat breakage. This translates to longer hair
Thicken It Up with Henna
If you are struggling with low hair density or fine strands, henna could help tremendously. Your hair can benefit from the tannin that is naturally present in henna. This organic compound binds to your hair shaft, making each hair strand bulkier. This gives the hair a thicker look.
Also, it is believed that Henna treatments stimulate follicles to grow hair, often resulting in added thickness.
Bonus tip: Because henna treatments can be layered, it could be of additional benefit to you to take advantage of this and layer the henna for maximum thickness.
Get More Radiant Looking Hair
Many of us deal with chronic dryness and dullness in our natural hair journeys. I’ll bet that many have not even considered using henna to simply make their hair look better. A henna treatment acts as a nutrient-rich coating on your hair, giving you hair LIFE.
So, not only does Henna help to strengthen and add thickness to your natural hair, but it could also give your hair a boost in the beauty department.
I have watched numerous hair demos on henna and have noticed the dramatic results that henna can bring. Even if you don’t want to, you just might turn several heads after a henna treatment! You’ve been warned.
If you are not prepared, R.I.P. to your white sink and bathroom walls! Just like Henna is good at staining the hair, it is good at staining your house. You will likely have to break out the cleaning supplies when you’ve completed your henna treatment.
My advice is to newspaper the heck out of your bathroom, or wherever you plan to do the henna treatment. Also, be careful about the consistency in which you prepare your henna. It might be a good idea to refrain from adding too much water to your henna powder. This way, your henna treatment will be relatively thick and easy to apply without painting your walls and ceiling with it.
The preparation of the henna mixture, along with the processing of the treatment, require a good chunk of time. I’ll elaborate.
You need to add to the henna powder several additional ingredients, like water, eggs, and oils (if desired), among other things. Some recommend that you need to let the henna sit for a specified amount of time before applying it to your hair. After applying the henna mixture, you need to leave it in your hair for several hours. Yes, I said “hours”. Then you have to rinse out all of that henna until the water runs clear.
Immediately after the henna treatment, your hair might be a bit dry. A deep conditioning treatment right after rinsing out the henna might be necessary
A lot, right?
Even so, countless people gladly deal with the prep and processing time for henna because they know that the benefits to their hair outweigh the drawbacks.
Reap The Benefits
Whether you are looking for vibrant natural hair color, thicker and stronger hair, or hair growth, henna is a great treatment to try. Being that it is natural and non-damaging to the hair, I believe that giving it a try is a no-brainer.
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