Hair Care

Henna For Hair – Benefits, Side Effects (Precautions), How To Use/Apply

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Henna is a dye prepared from a flowering plant.  Henna is used for hair, skin to draw temporary tattoos etc. Henna is mostly used for hair, it is found to be very beneficial for hair growth, hair fall, dandruff removal, strengthening the hair and hair pigmentation. Henna is also used by men to taint their hair and beard in orange/reddish pigment.

Henna is a natural plant and as it is a natural plant it can only give one color that is orange/reddish. Nowadays on commercially packaged Henna there is variety of colors mentioned but it is not possible to natural Henna to have any else color. Hence, the commercially packed Henna is treated with chemicals to bring that color and it may damage your hair.

Benefits Of Henna For Hair

For Hair Growth

Henna boosts your natural hair growth. The natural properties of henna help promote hair growth continuously. The powder form of this ingredient can also be used to create an essential oil that moisturizes and promotes hair growth. You can use henna in a DIY mask or as a hair pack with combining other natural ingredients such as aloe Vera, amla powder, coconut milk, curd, castor oil, olive oil, etc. Henna can restore your scalp and encourage the growth of new follicles. It also repairs your strands and gives them a voluminous look.

For Hair Thickness

The tannin present in henna binds with the hair, and it doesn’t penetrate the hair cortex, which makes sure that there will be less hair damage. This makes sure that you will have thicker, voluminous hair with each application. Henna can increase the hair’s thickness, as it gets attached to the hair cuticle and creates a loosening effect making the hair more voluminous. As the hair becomes thicker, the hair becomes stronger. This should end up minimizing hair damage.

For Hair Fall

Henna directly affects the scalp, by helping in improving the health of your scalp. This helps reduce hair fall, and also prevents hair thinning.  It can be used with various other complementing hair ingredients for hair packs to control hair damage and excessive Henna is natural dye that also helps to prevent premature graying of hair. Henna keeps the balance of pH level maintained and prevents hair fall.

For Hair Coloring

Henna is most widely used as a dye. Henna isn’t costly and is very much cheap as compared to the other chemical dyes and not to mention it makes your healthy which other chemical dyes do not. Henna dye gives an orange/reddish color to your hair. The intensity of the color depends upon your original color base, the time you leave it on for and the quality of your hair like if you have drier, damaged and porous hair they will absorb more color. Henna cannot lighten your hair.

For Dandruff 

Henna can help prevent dandruff. Henna helps remove extra dirt, grease and dandruff from your hair.  Add 4 teaspoons of lemon juice and coffee, one teaspoon methi seed powder, 2 raw eggs and enough tea water to make it a paste of thick consistency. Make tea-water by boiling tea leaves in enough water, then cool and strain the liquid. Apply the henna on the hair and wash off your hair after an hour.

For Itching of Scalp 

Henna can control scalp itchiness. Henna has natural anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties that helps to cool and soothe your scalp, controlling the itchiness of the scalp.

For Hair Conditioning     

Henna when combined with damping ingredients such as eggs, makes a great conditioner. All you need to do to make sure that your hair remains silky smooth all the time is to apply a henna pack for a short period of time. Henna ensembles the hair to build a protective layer around it so that all the essential nutrients and oils are locked in the hair which maker hair silky.

For Split Ends   

Dry and damaged hair is prone to split ends, which is why just cutting them off is not enough. You have to get rid of split ends once and for all and using Henna is a great way to do this.  Henna also prevents your hair from getting extra frizzy.

Precautions While Using Henna For Hair

Have the right consistency 

While applying the mixture of henna powder and water the consistency may get a little runny which may lead to getting the mixture on your skin or on your clothes. To avoid this from happening you should have a paste like consistency of the mixture which is not too runny but also not to hard.

Use eggs     

Henna tends to make your hair dry. So while applying masks of Henna use eggs in the mixture to avoid getting dry hair later. Eggs help lock in the moisture and keep hair soft all the time.

Make sure you haven’t done any chemical treatments on your hair recently

If you have done any chemical treatments on your hair you should wait for at most 6 months before applying Henna on your hair.

Cover yourself   

Always apply the Henna to your hair using a brush and remember to wear an apron while applying it so your clothes do not get dirty. this will make sure that you are not left with orange/red stains later on. Also, wear gloves while applying henna or else your hand may get stained.

Make sure your hair is clean   

When hair is unwashed it collects all the dirt and the pollutants and combined with the natural oils of hair and sweat and heat it is a perfect playground for bacteria and microbes. henna only acts as a coloring and strengthening agent it does not remove dirt from your hair. If the dirt and oils are not removed the Henna won’t be as effective as it should be on your hair. Hence, you need to make sure your hair is washed properly and is free of dirt and oils.

Do not use conditioner on your hair while washing     

For best dye results, it is important to skip the conditioner before applying henna. The glycerin and silicon in the conditioner prevents Henna from properly binding to your hair.

Dampness of hair    

Hair should be at least towel-dry, or the paste is apt to get thin and runny once it is on. Hair when wet is more fragile and most likely to break.

Make sure to protect your face    

The red color of Henna may stain you face if in contact. Put some Vaseline or any coconut oil on the corners of your face before applying the Henna on your hair.

Side Effects Of Henna For Hair

It is a permanent hair color     

Henna is a permanent hair color. the orange/red color of the dye remains in your hair and eventually gets darker and denser. After regular applications of henna you may not be able to color your hair with a lighter color.

It can cause dryness of hair   

Henna can cause dryness of hair so when applying henna as hair masks on your hair make sure you add nourishing elements for the hair too, like eggs.

Loosen the curls

If you have curly hair regular use of henna may cause your hair to loosen the curls. If you have beautiful curls it may cause them to loose their shape. Add amla powder to henna while applying it to your hair to make sure your hair doesn’t lose it’s curliness.

How To Apply Henna On Hair

Preparation Of Mixture

 Take a bowl, take some Henna as per your hair length, take some lukewarm water as per to make the required consistency which is as similar to the consistency of mashed potatoes. Mix the powder and water, cover the bowl with plastic and let it develop at room temperature for about 12 hours.

Shampoo And Then Dry Your Hair

In the shower or bath, wash your hair with your regular shampoo to remove dirt, oil, and styling products. Rinse out all of the shampoo. You can dry your hair however you want after coming out of the shower like blow dry, towel dry or air dry.

Protect Your Hairline

With your fingers, apply some coconut oil, body butter, or petroleum jelly to your hairline, including your forehead, neck, and ears.

De-Tangle Your Hair

Let your hair down and comb it with a wide-toothed comb. This will not make your hair frizzy and will remove all the tangles and knots in your hair.

Section Your Hair

Part your hair in the center, and let your hair fall evenly to either side of your head.

Application Of Henna

Start with the topmost layer of your hair, grab a small section of hair from the middle back of your head. Comb this section of hair. Take a brush or you can also use fingers but I mostly would recommend a brush, take some Henna and start applying it to the roots of your hair. Gradually spread the Henna evenly toward the tips of your hair and add more paste if necessary.

When you have completely covered the section of your hair with Henna, twist that section a few times and wrap it into a bun on top of your head. Working with the same topmost layer of hair, take a fresh section of hair from beside the original section. Again twist the dyed section of hair a few times, wrap it around the original bun that you created with the first section of hair.  Work in small sections, like before. Now start applying Henna on the front part of your head also, apply Henna on both the sides of your hair.

Continue working in thin sections to make sure proper coverage. When you’ve dyed the topmost layer of hair, repeat the same process with the lower layer until all your hair has been covered with Henna. When every section of hair has been covered with Henna and is twisted into the bun, go around your hairline and add more paste to areas where the henna isn’t dense or more coverage is needed.

Setting Your Hair

When your hair is fully covered with Henna, take a long sheet of plastic wrap and wrap your hair with it or you can also use a shower cap but it may get stained.. Wrap the plastic all over your head including your hairline and make sure that your hair is fully covered. Don’t cover your ears with the plastic wrap. Henna mostly takes between two and four hours to set properly. The more time you leave it on the head the more vibrant and dense the color you will get later.

Rinse Your Hair

When the Henna has set for enough time remove the plastic wrap or shower cap you wore. Make sure you wear gloves as your hand will probably get stained while removing it. Thoroughly rinse the Henna of your head with lukewarm or cold water. Put some conditioner in your hair to give your hair a soft shiny look. Continue washing your hair until the water is clear and there is no Henna paste left in your hair. If it is difficult to remove the paste use a mild shampoo while rinsing your hair.

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(Reviewed by Dr. Samiksha Rane)

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Neha Sharma
the authorNeha Sharma
Hailing from Mumbai, a fashion geek and Craftist from deep corner of my heart!

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