For me the best herb that I have genuinely tried and tested is henna. Henna is a herb that does wonders to our hair. In India, henna is commonly used to color gray hairs and to condition hair.
I still remember when I was a kid we used to have bushes of henna in our locality. Almost every house used to have henna plants. Whenever someone needed henna to prepare hair mask they used to simply pluck the fresh leaves from the plant, make a fine paste in a mortar pestle and then apply on their hair. In those days, powdered form of henna wasn’t available. People used to make fresh paste from fresh leaves. Some women also used to sundry the leaves and then male powder out of it and store them for future use.
But today we want everything readymade in our hands as no body has the time to pluck the leaves and then make the past. Powdered henna is widely available in the stores that can be made in paste form.
Now the question arises, what’s so special about henna? How henna benefits our hair? Let’s talk about some qualities of henna leaves.
Henna is a conditioning agent and also a natural dye. It helps to fight dandruff and color hair. Henna can also be mixed with other herbs to make hair masks.
Henna is a Natural Dye: One of the most common use of henna is as a hair dye. Henna gives a burgundy color to our hair. It is an amazing hair dye. It will not give the black color to the grey hair as the chemical hair dyes do. Lawsone is a coloring agent present in henna leaves that gives the reddish orange stain to the gray hairs.
How to use Henna as a Dye?
Henna paste can be easily prepared from fresh leaves or powdered form in an iron pot. When we make henna paste in an iron pot the hair color comes more effectively. I generally prepare the paste in an iron vessel. Take a sufficient amount of powered henna in an iron vessel ( you can also use a stainless steel vessel or a glass vessel). Add water is small quantity and mix well. Do not add more water to make a flowing paste. Make a thick paste so that it doesn’t drip from your hair. Leave the paste for atleast 2 hours. It is better if the paste is left overnight. Apply the henna paste on the hair roots first and then cover the whole length of the hair. Leave the hair mask as it is for 2-3 hours. You may cover the hair with a hair cap so that the mask doesn’t dry easily. Wash your hair with plain water. You can apply shampoo on the next day.
Note: Never apply henna packs on oiled hair or unwashed hair. It’s better to wash the hair a day before applying henna. Apply henna mask once in two weeks or once in a month because frequent use of henna might dry out the hair.
Henna to Treat Dandruff: Henna is used to treat dandruff. It helps to maintain the pH of the scalp. Various hair masks or hair packs can be made with henna that helps to prevent dandruff. Adding ingredients like lemon, and yogurt (curd) helps fighting dandruff and conditions hair deeply. The anti fungal property of henna leaves helps to get rid of dandruff. It also reduces the excess oiliness of the scalp.
How to make Henna hair pack for Treating Dandruff?
Prepare hair pack as explained above. In the morning, add a whole lemon juice and little amount of yogurt in the mixture. Mix thoroughly and then apply thoroughly on the scalp, roots and strands. You can also oil one tea spoon of coconut oil in the pack to moisturize the hair. Leave the henna pack for 1-2 hours and then wash with plain water. Wash with a mild shampoo on the next day.
Henna as a Natural Conditioner: Henna is an excellent conditioner. It can be mixed with coconut oil, olive oil, mustard oil, and castor oil to enhance the benefits. Henna is a deep conditioning agent that soothes the hair and scalp. You can also add an egg in the henna paste. Always watch the consistency of the pack. The henna pack should not be dripping.
Henna as a Damage a Repair: If you have damaged hair or hair with split ends henna packs can help restoring the strength of hair strands. Henna binds with the hair filament and provides an extra layer of protection. It helps to restore the natural nutrients of the hair and makes the hair stronger.
Side Effects of Henna
No side effects of henna has been reported till date in adults. If you are allergic to cold then you should avoid using henna packs as it cools the scalp and head. It is safe to use henna as a hair pack.
In general I apply henna once in a month. I also add one tea spoon lemon, one tea spoon coconut oil and two table spoon yogurt. This pack conditions the hair and also gives a beautiful color to the hair. It is 100% natural with no side effects. You can also try this wonderful herb to keep your lustrous locks look more beautiful and be more healthy.