Henna is a herbal ingredient that is used widely in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries. Henna is mostly used for its dyeing effect on hair. It renders a magnificent reddish brown color to dark hair.
However, not many people are aware of its properties in treating hair loss and promoting hair growth. The reason henna is effective in promoting hair growth is that, it can blend well with the natural proteins in hair, thereby stimulating hair growth.
Henna balances the pH of the scalp, thus, preventing premature hair fall. It cures most scalp problems such as dandruff, dryness, etc. It also reverses the effects of pollution on hair as well as dryness due to excessive blow drying. Additionally, henna also stops premature graying of hair.
Conditioning Properties of Henna
Henna is an excellent herbal conditioner. It gives your hair a sleek and shiny look. It nourishes the hair and makes them soft and silky.
The best way to avail the benefits of henna for hair conditioning is by soaking it in plain yogurt and then applying it all over the head. Yogurt prevents the drying of hair and is also responsible for the additional shine.
Alternatively, you can also mix henna powder in yogurt with a dash of lemon juice. Rinse the mixture off your hair after an hour or so. You might have to wash your hair a couple of times, before you get rid of all the henna from your hair.
If you want to use henna hair dye to color your hair dark, mix the henna powder and lemon juice in an iron skillet and let it stay overnight. However, if you wish to color your hair vibrant reddish brown, do not use skillet or any iron utensil for that matter.
Henna can be used as a great anti-dandruff remedy by mixing ground fenugreek seeds in the above henna mixture. For this, soak 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds in water and leave them overnight. Make a paste and mix it in henna mixture. You can enhance the properties of henna by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil. This will make your hair strong and healthy.
Instructions for Use
If you wish to use henna for hair growth, then you should apply it regularly in the form of oil. Given below is the procedure to make oil of henna
- Heat about ¼ liter of mustard oil in a pot, on a low flame.
- Crush some fresh henna leaves and put them in the pot containing mustard oil. (Henna leaves are easily available at the stores.)
- Allow the mixture to boil for some time.
- Turn the flame off when the mixture turns reddish brown.
- Allow it to cool for some time, before straining it.
- Strain the oil from the henna leaves and store it in a bottle, only when it has cooled completely.
- While applying it on your hair, always mix this oil with yogurt or lemon juice. (The quantity of oil would depend upon the length of your hair)
- Leave it on your hair for a couple of hours, before rinsing it off with warm water.
Applying henna on hair can be a messy and time-consuming job. However, you have an option of using commercially available henna products, but then you will have to compromise on its effectiveness. Henna tends to lose its nourishing properties upon processing.