The henna plant has leaves that contain a red-orange tannin that can be used as a dye. This dye is found throughout the leaf, but the highest amount is found in the central vein of the henna leaf. Henna can be used on human hair for a number of purposes.
Dyes Hair Naturally
The tannin in henna can be used to naturally change hair color. The dye made from the henna plant is translucent, which means the original hair color and the color of the henna will combine to create a new and different color. For instance, applying henna to blond hair may make it red or strawberry blond. Dark brown hair will lighten to a chestnut color with red highlights. Individuals using henna on hair that is completely gray need to be cautious. Applying a henna dye to totally gray hair can result in hair that is orange, especially if the henna is not of the highest quality or purest form.
Strengthens and Conditions
Using henna on hair helps to improve the strength and condition of each individual strand. The tannins in henna bind to the keratin in hair and make the strands stronger. Henna can make hair look healthier, cause it to become softer, and help prevent split ends. Henna can also make hair that is prone to tangling easier and less painful to comb through.
Reduces Dandruff and Treats Ringworm
Henna has antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. These properties can help to treat certain scalp conditions. Certain types of dandruff can be caused by a fungal infection or by psoriasis. The antifungal property of henna can help treat the unsightly flakes of dandruff. This same antifungal property can also help treat ringworm, which is caused by a fungal infection.
Gets Rid of Head Lice
Henna, in combination with other ingredients, can be effectively used to get rid of head lice. Henna mixed with fenugreek can help kill resistant head lice. An even more affective treatment for head lice that gets rid of the most severe infestations of head lice is henna mixed with artemisia.