Henna is a plant that grows in the hot, dry climates of the Eastern hemisphere. For decades, women from North Africa, India and the Middle East have used henna to stain their hair, skin and nails. The red henna dye is contained within the leaves of the plant. After the plant is harvested, the leaves are dried, ground and sifted into a flour-like powder. In the last few years, henna has become a popular treatment option for African American women seeking more natural remedies for their hair.
Though I naturally have reddish-brown hair, I love to use neutral henna for its great hair health benefits. Here are a few FAQs about using henna on your hair.
What Are the Types of Henna?
- Cassia Obovata: “Neutral Henna” is a green plant powder that smells like freshly cut grass with golden yellow dye molecules. It is used as a deep conditioner for all hair types. It makes your hair shiny and thick, while it also promotes a healthy scalp. It also strengthens the hair shaft and improves your hair’s overall health. Cassia is grown in Egypt and Nubia, with about 400 types around the world.
- Lawsonia Inermis: “Red Henna” is a green plant powder that smells like hay with reddish dye molecules. It is also used for deep conditioning for all hair types. It will stain your hair red-orange; but this stain is translucent and will combine with your natural color. It makes hair shiny and thick as well. It also strengthens the hair and makes it smooth.
- Indigofera Tinctoria: “Black Henna” is a green powder that smells like frozen peas. Though often referred to as black it is actually indigo. This henna isn’t pure and has been mixed with other ingredients in order to produce the dark colorant.