Popularly known as mehendi, henna is a natural herbal powder, which is not just used for colouring hair, but is used as a part of general hair care due to its ability to prevent other hair-related problems such as dandruff and scalp itching. Henna is also used as a hair conditioner. But, is henna really great for your hair? Read on to find out if you have any concerns.
Henna has been used as a beauty ingredient for hair care since ages in India. In ancient days, women used the leaves of this plant for hair treatment by grinding them to a paste. But now, it is available in a powdered form in stores for hair therapy. Apart from hair colouring, do you know the various other reasons why henna was used for hair care by women in the past?
Here are the benefits of using henna for hair care:
Arrests Hair Fall And Promotes Hair Growth
The natural properties of henna promote hair growth. The powder can be added to your regular hair oil and boiled for 5 to 6 minutes. Once cooled, this oil can be applied to the hair in a lukewarm condition twice or thrice a week. This helps arrest hair fall and promote hair growth.
Acts As A Deep Conditioner For Hair
Often, using henna replaces the need for you to use other hair conditioners, as it can beautify and nourish your tresses, leaving them looking absolutely gorgeous. A simple way to use henna as a hair conditioner is to mix quarter cup of henna powder with half a cup of plain yogurt to make a smooth paste. Shampoo your hair and then apply this mix on your hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse off.
Henna, when used regularly on the hair, is effective in treating dandruff. It also prevents recurrence of dandruff. To cure dandruff, soak a few fenugreek seeds in water overnight and grind it the next morning. Add henna and mustard oil to this mix. Apply this paste on your scalp, leave it on for 30 minutes, rinse it off and then wash with your regular shampoo.
Controls Scalp Itchiness
Henna has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. They help in cooling and soothing your scalp and in controlling scalp itching. Just grind a cup of henna leaves along with half a cup each of neem leaves and tulsi leaves. Apply the paste on your hair and rinse off after an hour. Both neem and tulsi leaves also have the same antimicrobial properties as henna leaves.
Adds Shine And Natural Colour To Your Hair
If you are concerned about the allergic chemicals being used in your normal hair dye, substitute it with henna to cover your greys and add a beautiful brown tinge to your hair. There are several methods to use henna for colouring your hair. One simple option is to use two natural hair dyes - amla powder and henna powder.
Add 3 tsp of amla powder to a cup of fresh henna paste. Add a tsp of coffee powder to this mix and apply it to cover the greys using an applicator brush. Leave it on for an hour and rinse off with a mild shampoo.
Tames Dry, Unruly Hair
Henna can induce moisture into your hair and condition your locks, as it is a natural hair conditioner. Therefore, if you have dry, frizzy or unruly hair, your hair can get well moisturized and soft with regular application of henna. Add any of your favourite herbal oil to your henna mix to improve its conditioning properties. This will improve its conditioning properties, tame your unruly hair and give it a health boost.
Maintains The pH Balance Of Scalp, Reduces Split Ends
Henna helps by retaining the natural acid-alkaline balance on your scalp. It cleanses your scalp without messing with this balance, unlike other chemical-based products. A good pH balance is essential to keep the scalp hydrated and prevent the occurrence of split ends.
Helps In Treating An Oily Scalp
If you happen to have an oily scalp, henna can help in balancing this, without causing any hair loss. You just have to mix multani mitti (Fuller's earth) with henna powder in water, so as to form a paste-like consistency. Use this as a hair mask and leave it on for 2 hours. Wash the hair pack with a mild shampoo.
Having known all the benefits that henna has to offer to your hair, are you still concerned? But, yes, you should be, if you are purchasing henna powder from any local store.
When purchasing, ensure that you buy authentic, organic henna, as the market these days are flooded with products that claim natural, but still contain chemicals and preservatives. The best option any day would be to use freshly ground leaves or paste of the herb.