Uses of Different Types of Henna

Henna for hair

People love to color their tresses. Some do it to hide the grey traces and for some it is a style statement. A great replacement to synthetic hair dyes, Henna helps to camouflage the gray strands and gives different hues to the hair & the skin. However there are varieties of henna products available in the market. Now which one to choose from, which would suit best in the hair & what would be the outcome…  The list is endless but a few facts about different types of henna would give a good insight to the various hues that the henna creates.


Neutral Henna

Though a green color powder this is no henna at all. It is actually a cassia obovata plant called as senna or neutral/blonde henna. This plant is many centuries old and has antifungal & antibacterial properties. It has anthraqinone acid which provides a golden yellow stain to hair. The cassia obavata just as henna, act as a great conditioner to the darker locks, gives thickness and offer a color boost to the blonde and gray hair.


What are the benefits of using neutral henna (cassia obovata)?

  • Makes the hair shiny & healthy.
  • Improves the texture of the damaged hair.
  • Provides scalp nourishment.
  • Even out the split ends on the hair.

Some useful tips with neutral henna

  • Mix cassia powder either with water, orange juice or water, leave it overnight & later apply it on your hair for 3 hours to create a golden tinge to the blonde hair/ gray hair naturally.
  • To achieve strawberry tones, mix 80% of cassia powder with 20% of henna powder along with water & allow it to rest for 12 hours & later apply it on your hair & wait for 3 hours to wash off.
  • To get a copper red tinge, mix 50% of henna powder & 50% of cassia powder.


Black henna:

There are two types of black henna. In the first category, para-phenylenediamine (PPD) chemical is added to the henna powder to get more intense black hue. The henna with ppd is highly allergic substance and can cause harm to the hair & skin when applied.


The black stain can also be achieved by mixing two natural ingredients i.e. henna & indigo plant (indigofera tinctoria). This category of henna is much safer than the previous one. The black henna powder with PPD will look brownish black or black & the black henna with indigo, the powder is of green color and smells like that of a frozen peas.


What are the benefits of black henna?

  • Henna mixed with indigo can dye the hair to deep brown or black.
  • Can color the grey hair.
  • Protects the hair from harmful sun rays
  • Can safely be used in chemically treated hairs but with a gap of 2 weeks from the treatment.


Some useful tips with black henna

  • To give brown, auburn, chestnut, or chocolate tones to your hair. First, make the henna paste & leave it in a bowl for a day until the dye is released. Now mix indigo to the already prepared henna paste and allow it to stay for 15 minutes before its application. Apply in the hair & leave it for 1-6 hours in hair
  • For deep brown or black color, first apply henna to create a red base to the hair. On the hennaed washed hair, apply indigo paste to get a black luster.


Red Henna

Red henna also known as Lawsonia inermis, is a real form of henna. This type of henna has red-orange dye molecules which would give a red-orange stain to the hair but since it is translucent, it blends well with the natural hair color. It gives full volume to the hair & makes it silky & smooth. Brown, black, or blonde shades can be achieved by mixing the other plants and herbs with the henna powder, this type of henna is called compound henna which acts as a permanent dye till the time the hair grows further.

What are the benefits of red henna?

  • Minimizes hair loss, promotes hair growth.
  • Boost good blood circulation & eliminates excessive heat generated in the body.
  • It  makes the scalp dandruff free


Some useful tips with red henna

  • Add amla powder with the henna paste to get smoother texture to the damaged hair.
  • To get blonde tinge, mix saffron, chamomile, or senna (Neutral henna) to the red henna.
  • For intensified version of red, add cloves and few drops of brandy to the henna
  • For less red and more brown tinge, add coffee or tea decoction to the henna powder


All said and done, the final hue that you give to your hair depends on the original color, the hair texture, the type of henna used & the time duration that it stays on your head….

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