Ask Kiki: Is Henna Really a Safe Alternative in Coloring your Natural Hair?

submitted by KIMMIE:

"I have been tempted to color my hair but feel the chemicals would be too harsh... is henna a better source for natural hair coloring?"
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Real and pure body art quality henna is safe for almost anyone to use unless you are under the age of 5, have been diagnosed with G6PD or if you are allergic to fava beans, or aspirin. Henna is a plant based alternative to boosting your hair's natural color and has been used to dye women's hair (and for temporarily tattooing the skin) for centuries. Normal henna rarely causes allergic reactions for those with contact dermatitis, but darker "henna" containing an added chemical also found in hair dye called p-phenylenediamine, or PPD, can instigate severe skin problems and additional allergies. Indigo is usually added to black henna dyes to darken the color of hair.


What exactly is Henna?

True henna is basically another name for the Lawsonia Inermis plant grown in areas such as Pakistan, India and UAE to name a few. The leaves of the plant are dried, ground into a powder form, then reconstituted to form a paste for application.


What do you mean by 'true' Henna?

True Henna comes in one color, and one color only and that is of a vivid orange-red hue. Compound hennas are often sold as "Golden brown", "Copper", "Auburn", "Mahogany", "Black" and so on – a sure sign that they are not in fact true and 100 percent henna.  This does not mean it will produce identical results on different heads of hair, however; henna binds to the keratin of the hair and combines its color with its existing hue. As a result, when using henna on gray hair, the henna is likely to end up turning the hair a bright orange to medium reddish color. I definitely recommend strand testing before applying henna to your entire head.

How long will my color boost last with Henna?

True henna is all natural and many people think that because it is derived from plants that the effects are short-lasting. This is not true. Henna is virtually impossible to strip from hair and is a permanent and natural color alternative. Some success may be obtained by trying repeated oil treatments, honey treatments and/or dyeing or bleaching over the henna, but to fully rid one's hair of the color is next to impossible. Many people find themselves in the position of having to grow their henna color out, or cutting it off in order to get fully get rid of the color itself.


 Have any of you tried coloring your hair with Henna? If so, were the results what you were expecting?




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