The blacker the berry……………..


Posted on: March 6, 2009

Whats the word on that. Im sure that many of you have heard, read or watched something to do with henna? I, myself have seen alot of information about henna, pretty much all of it has been positive, I haven’t actually read anything negative (until now :)).
So what are the supposed benefits of henna?

  • May temporaly loosen the curl pattern slightly
  • Tames frizz
  • Stronger Hair – The lawsone (dye) molecule goes into the hair it penetrates the hair shaft some, binding with the keratin in the hair. This makes hair stronger, but also is one of the qualities that makes henna removal near impossible. Henna also coats the hair and fills in rough spots on a frayed cuticle. This adds a second layer of strength, but it DOES NOT lock out moisture.
  • Smoother, Shinier Hair – Henna, as stated above, does coat the hair, but it is a permeable coating that does not lock moisture out. The henna helps fill in rough spots on the cuticle. With the cuticle rough edges smoothed over the hair feels smoother and the cuticle takes a lot less damage during combing and manipulation. It takes several days for Henna to stabilize. It becomes more flexible and durable as it oxidizes and cures–it is in fact a plant resin that is flexible and solvent enough to penetrate the hair at the cuticle, carrying pigment with it.
  • Non-Fading Red – Anyone that has used red chemicals dyes knows how badly they fade. Henna may fade a little after the first application, but after the second application fades very little.
  • The Absence of Chemicals – Chemical dyes are not only VERY damaging to hair, they can also cause scalp burns, allergic reactions, and recently studies have linked long term use to cancer.

Some Cons of Henna

  • Loss/Reduction in Curl – Many users of henna report a loss of curl. This is by no means a universal effect, and should be neither discounted, nor counted on. It seems that wavies are the most susceptible to this, though some curlies are as well.
  • Cannot Lighten Hair – Henna cannot lighten your hair, ever. On some colors of hair it may appear to brighten it, but you should count on any color you get with henna being darker than what is already on your head.
  • Darkening with Multiple Applications – Henna will darken with multiple applications. If one wants to keep a lighter color, only the roots should be touched up, and repeated whole-head applications will progressively make the color less orange and more burgundy.
  • Cost – Depending on your mix, how much hair you have and how often you henna, it may either be more or less expensive than chemical dyes. Though that doesn’t factor in one very important thing… the price your hair pays on chemical dyes. Many people find that they only need to do a full-length application one or two times, and the because henna doesn’t fade much, they can save a lot of cost by only redoing the roots.
  • The Smell – Some people love it, some people hate it, but the smell of henna lingers in your hair for awhile after the application, often reviving when your hair is wet. Some herbs, such as ginger, can be added to shift the smell of the mix, but nothing will eliminate it entirely. Most people feel it has a smell somewhat like grass or hay.
  • Variable Color – Henna can and does shift in color depending on the light the hennaed hair is placed in. The same head of hair can go from burgendy to firey copper, just depending on the light.

For me the red colour would be a con, though you can get “black henna” I prefer the “neutral henna”

What is Neutral Henna (Cassia Obovata)?

Cassia Obovata is often referred to as “neutral henna.” It is not henna and it does not alter the color of hair greatly, though it may give more golden tones with repeated applications. It has similar conditioning benefits as henna, but they are not permanent, and they disappear without reapplication.

What is Black Henna?

Indigo is commonly referred to as black henna. It does not produce a black dye, but instead produced a blue (indigo) dye. Indigo releases its dye immediately and it demises VERY fast. If using indigo in a mix, start by preparing the henna and allowing dye release. Then prepare the indigo and immediately mix it with the henna and apply it to the hair. Indigo dye does not last long, and demises quickly. For a two step application indigo is applied after henna has been rinsed from the hair. Be warned that on some people the indigo will fade to varying degrees, leaving the henna to show through. If you are not comfortable with some red be wary of using indigo and henna to achieve brown or black. Warning: Some people will sell “black henna” which may or not contain henna, but contains lots of a chemical called PPD. PPD has been known to have horrible reactions to some people’s skin

Please note that it is recommended and strongly advised that you deep condition after a henna treatment as your hair may feel dry and strawlike. 

 info from and


2 Responses to "Henna?"

i have been using henna since January. There are a bunch of pics on my blog. I love it!

I really want to try it but its been surprisingly difficult to find in the indian stores.

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