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Natural Color Options: Henna, Questions and Answers

Henna has had a long history of being used as a beauty product. Heralding from Africa and India, henna has been used to stain hair, skin, and nails. The henna is harvested from the plant, with the dried leaves ground and sifted into a fine powder. In recent years, henna has been a staple when it comes to color treated African-American hair. Henna tends to gently color the hair, making it a popular and natural option for people who are looking for a new change, regardless if they have relaxed or natural hair. Here are some common questions and answers about henna:

Is Henna Gentler Than Commercial Hair Dye?

Yes, 100 percent organic henna is more gentle on the hair when compared to commercial hair dyes. However, certain low-quality strains of henna have other ingredients that can have an adverse effect on the scalp and hair. Dye additives may also cause an allergic reaction. It is best to purchase organic, 100% henna – the FDA has approved henna as an alternative to commercial hair dye, but it does not regulate it for efficacy or safety. Henna is not able to lighten the hair, but it can add color by depositing dye onto the surface of the hair. The result of henna are akin to a semi permanent hair color. The henna will fade with time.

Can I Achieve a Dramatic Color Change like Commercial Hair Dyes?

Henna can only produce a red to orange color. Different crops and strains may help you achieve different intensities – but it will always be in the red or auburn color range. If the supplier of henna mentions that their mixture can help you obtain a brown or black color, then it is most likely formulated with cocoa powder to produce a more brown color change. If you are looking to lighten your locks, then henna is not suitable for you. Henna can only deposit color, it cannot take away pigment. Henna will give you a subtle color change - but it will increase in intensity with consecutive treatments.

Can I Use Henna on Relaxed Hair?

Hair that has been chemically treated tends to be more porous. This porosity can actually be a good thing when it comes to henna application. The hair will take the henna pigment more readily.

Are There Any Cons Associated with Henna?

The actual application of henna can be somewhat messy. It will have to be mixed with a medium before it is applied to the hair. If the solution is too runny, you will find that the color will leak down your neck and face, potentially discoloring clothing. If you are applying henna at home, make sure that you're wearing clothes that you do not care for. You can also make the henna solution more like a paste like formulation, allowing for precise application. Individuals who are looking for dramatic and permanent color change may not be satisfied with henna. If you are looking for a more holistic approach when it comes to coloring relaxed or natural hair, make sure to contact us. You can also follow us @Patwell.

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