Every summer we visited my village, it was so hot and dry…
I believe I could see mirages on the dry dusty roads… There were small pleasures to be had, such as the bell of the icecream man was greeted with cheers.
We could buy an ice-cream for 1 Rs to 5 Rs.
By Mokkie [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Grandma would ask people who still had henna plants in their backyard garden to harvest leaves and send. These leaves would be washed and ground by hand in a rubbu rolu as shown below.
My grandma would also add in either tamarind or lemon juice to strengthen the red colour .
By Bhaskaranaidu [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
This is then applied on hands as dots and in the hair.
By Adityamadhav83 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Crude, yeah, but lots of fun.. and let me tell you if you can get hands on henna leaves, that it awesome.. The colour is beautiful, makes hair silky and shiny and henna powders in the market are no match for the leaves.
What you will find here
- 1 Uses of henna
- 2 Is henna safe for children ?
- 3 Side effects of Henna
- 4 Henna without Red – How to get rid of that Red Colour
- 5 What henna is good for hair ?
- 6 Best way to mix henna for hair
- 7 What’s the Best Henna for Hair?
Uses of henna
Henna is used to cure many hair scalp issues and in cosmetics.
- fungal infections
- hair dyes
- hair care
Is henna safe for children ?
As a child I always used henna in my hair on the hands and legs.
Me, my cousins, aunts, we have had no allergic reactions. I did find a note in a website saying that it is unsafe for kids and pregnant women.
I am quoting it here and you can check it out if that is your concern.
Children: Henna is considered UNSAFE for use in children, especially in infants. There have been cases of serious side effects when henna was applied to the skin of infants.
Infants with a condition called glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency are at especially high risk. Putting henna on the skin of these infants can cause their red blood cells to burst.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE to take henna by mouth if you are pregnant. There is some evidence that it might cause a miscarriage. It’s also UNSAFE to take henna if you are breast-feeding.
Side effects of Henna
I have had no side effects and I have been using it for years now. This website mentions side effects and I wanted to quote it here.
I honestly have to no clue if this is true because my whole village has used henna at one point or the other in their lives and we have had no issues.
Actually so called modernization has resulted in many people going for the fancy hair colors touted by celebrities, and that’s when they have started experiencing hair loss, thinning and rashes.
I strongly believe in henna and its curative properties and I have no clue why it causes the allergies as mentioned in the website below.
Side effects such as inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) including redness, itching, burning, swelling, scaling, broken skin, blisters, and scarring of the skin. Rarely, allergic reactions can occur such as hives, runny nose, wheezing, and asthma.
I must admit, I am not a fan of that red colour.
I want more darker shades, but see the picture here, well thats the colour you will get on your hair.
If your hair is pitch black, it wont show. Only you can notice a reddish tinge when you stand in the sun.
Well guess what?
It hits you … wham on the face … whether you want it or not and those grey and then white hair start peaking out.
Then when you colour with henna, it can look red, reddish brown… depends on how old the powder you used is, also if it has impurities.
Recently I found if you mix henna with Indigo you can get a dark colour, just like your hair dye and it is totally safe and has no side effects ( atleast for me).
What henna is good for hair ?
I was thinking maybe all these women who are getting allergies, are they using pure henna.
After all henna is a leaf, the purer it is, the better it works.
Here are some tips for picking and processing henna for hair
Choose Organic henna
Organic henna is certified henna by various agencies. Basically they are checking to ensure that the henna has no chemicals, preservatives. They ensure that the soil in which the plant has been grown has been pesticide free for 6 months and more.
Here are some organic henna brands which you can take a look at, which have been certified by different agencies
Just Jaivik 100% Organic USDA Certified Henna Powder
- Preservative free
- No chemicals
- No parabens
- No ppd
- Safe for all ages
- colours and conditions hair
- Resealable zip, makes it easy to store and use
USDA NOP Certified 100% Organic
- Treats dandruff
- Works as hair conditioner
- Improves hair growth
- Reduces hair fall
- Repairs and strengthens hair
- Balances oil production and PH
- Resealable zipper pouch
- Soak for less time to get rich colour
Internationally Certified by ECOCERT Greenlife,France
- No PPD
- No Ammonia , No peroxide or dyes
- Moisturizes Scalp
- Conditions Hair, Maintains pH of scalp
- Repairs damaged cuticles
- HALAL Certified
- Peta Approved
Best way to mix henna for hair
Make sure you have fresh henna leaves or powder. Check the expiry. Old powder wont work at all.
- Use an iron vessel or glass container to mix the henna.
- Mix as per instructions on box
- Add in other stuff if you want to condition and color hair
- Let the mixture rest for sometime ( I usually leave it overnight). The light green colour should turn dark green.
- Apply mixture on hair working from the center of crown to the base of neck.
- Leave it for a couple of hours or atleast 45 mintues
- Cover with a plastic shower cap ( will let mixture still remain damp and will be much easier to wash off)
What’s the Best Henna for Hair?
All said and done if it was me I would still opt for fresh leaves from the henna plant. But, sadly all the plants have been chopped down. And I have resorted to organic henna for my hair.
Do you use henna? If so, how often? And if not why not?
Also please take this survey it will help me a lot.[poll id=”5″]
Thanks and Visit Again 🙂