Henna is a type of powder that comes from a plant that is native to the Middle East and India. It is often used by women to dye their hair, lips, and skin for beauty enhancement. It can also be used as a way to celebrate certain religious or important events such as the introduction of a young bride to her husband or in honor of religious holidays. Though the practice of using henna began overseas, it is becoming more and more popular by Arab Americans and Indian Americans in the United States
Unlike traditional hair dyes that can leave hair dry, damaged, and brittle, using henna to color your hair can actually improve both its texture and quality. Henna has been found to strengthen hair, make it softer, and even be effective in the treatment and prevention of dandruff. Before using henna to dye your hair, it is important to keep some basic guidelines in mind. First, unlike traditional dyes which will produce one basic hair color no matter what color your hair originally is, henna is naturally red and will therefore create a reddish tint in both blond and brunette hair unless combined with other ingredients. When combined with chamomile, saffron, or other natural ingredients, henna can be used to dye hair blonde. Be aware that while you may be able to find henna from Middle Eastern beauty shops, you will more than likely need to purchase it online. For best results, purchase a small amount at a time–this way, you will be able to test the quality of the product. While you can always purchase more henna if you like how your hair color turns out, you don’t want to be saddled with tons of an unwanted product if it does not suit your needs.
Creating a Temporary Tattoo
Henna can also be used to create a temporary tattoo. Typically, henna tattoos are applied to either the hands or the feet, as the skin is thickest here and therefore will produce the darkest color and will also last the longest time compared to when applied to other parts of the body. Often the hands or feet are steamed or warmed before the application of henna tattoos in order to create a longer lasting stain, and if you do receive henna tattoos you should be encouraged to avoid excessive hand and foot washing as this may also cause the tattoo to fade. Henna tattooing is an art form that’s growing more and more rare–and it can be very difficult to find someone to give you a henna tattoo for a reasonable price.
Finally, henna can be used as a natural way to color your lips. Though you can now find manufactured lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip balms that contain henna, you may want to consider using henna in its natural form to get a traditional look. Chances are, you will really enjoy the results!