Complete Guide to Henna

Choosing your henna is a mess! It's hard to choose among all the henna on the market. What is the difference between natural henna, neutral henna, blonde henna and black henna? It's a difference in composition, natural henna is pure henna. Neutral henna does not come from the same plant and other henna is composed of different mixtures and is therefore not pure. In addition, there is a lot of controversy about black henna: is it toxic or not? Then yes and no depending on its composition and its usefulness. Black henna for hair is not toxic because it is a mixture of non-dangerous plant powders. Black henna for tattoos is dangerous because it contains allergenic chemicals.

What is henna?

Under the name "henna", we find many things and a little bit of everything and anything. There are several forms of henna and we are here to help you make the difference:

  • the natural henna: this henna is pure and natural. It is actually the only true henna from the henna plant: the Lawsonia inermis. a pure and natural henna that is not: called "neutral henna", this henna is not strictly speaking a henna as it does not come from the same plant. It comes from the Cassia obovata. of henna-based hair blends: in the trade, it is possible to find hair henna that is composed of a small amount of natural and/or neutral henna, mixed with other natural dye powders, with the aim of providing more varied hair colors. of non-pure hennas: in these hennas, more or less toxic products have been added in order to give a certain texture to the hair, a better coloring or different colors. We are talking about ready-made preparations for hair coloring or for tattoos. An example of these most common and much heard of henna is black henna for tattoos.

Two main pure henna

Coloration - Tattoos - Dandruff - Eczema

Natural henna

The Plant

Natural henna is the only one that deserves the name henna, as it comes exclusively from the henna plant named Lawsonia inermis, making it the only "pure" henna. It is made from dried and then ground leaves. Its particular composition in lawsone molecules gives it different properties that can be used in therapeutic or cosmetic ways. There are different henna of different origins such as Yemeni, Rajasthani or Egyptian henna. They come from the same plant, the difference is the place of production which, due to the different climatic conditions and soil types, influence the concentration of lawsone in the plant. Indeed, the more the henna will be cultivated on a hot zone, the more it will produce lawsone and the more the final color will be dark. This is the henna we are talking about in this guide.

Therapeutic benefits of natural henna.

Antibacterial, disinfectant, aseptic

Cosmetic benefits of natural henna

Capillary sheath strengthening
Anti-oily hair Some simple uses of natural henna...
Color hair, fight dandruff and oily hair, strengthen your hair
Make a paste and apply it to your hair for a minimum of 2 hours. Rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.

Body Scrub and Purifier
Mix 1 tsp of henna, 8 tbsp of black soap and the juice of one lemon and then apply the mixture like a scrub, using a horsehair glove.

Make a henna paste and apply it with a sleeve to make your tattoos. The longer the henna stays in contact with your skin, the darker the color will be.

Sore or burn wound Make a poultice by mixing henna powder with water and cover with a compress. Repeat several times a day.

Sprains, rheumatism and other aches and pains
Make a poultice over the sore area. Repeat as needed.

Nail or foot fungus
Make a henna and lemon juice mixture to apply to the fungus for two hours every day until it disappears.

Apply henna as a poultice for 30 minutes to the affected area. Repeat every 3 to 4 hours if needed.

Natural henna

Oily hair - Dandruff - Lice

Neutral henna

The Plant

Neutral henna is not strictly speaking a henna. In fact, neutral henna comes from the leaves of another tree: the Cassia Obovata, belonging to the Fabaceae family. The Lawsonia inermis and the Cassia Obovata are then not related. However, neutral henna has many similar properties with natural henna. The major difference is that neutral henna does not have lawsone, the coloring molecule.

Cosmetic benefits of neutral henna

Anti oily hair
Hair growth
Anti lice

Some simple uses for neutral henna...

Anti-dandruff, oily hair and hair growth
Make a paste with warm water and apply the mixture to your hair for 30-45 min.

Body Scrub
Mix 1 tsp of neutral henna, 8 tbsp of black soap and the juice of one lemon then apply the mixture as you would a scrub, using a horsehair glove.

Mix the neutral henna with warm water until a paste is formed. Then apply the paste to your hair for 30-45 minutes.
Neutral henna

Henna-based blends for hair

In the trade, you can find other henna such as blonde, chestnut, brown or even black henna. These henna are intended for hair coloring and are composed of a mixture of natural henna and/or neutral henna, with other dye plant powders such as chamomile to lighten the hair or indigo to give a black color. They will provide the hair with all the benefits of natural henna while adjusting the shade of hair you want, allowing you to have a wider spectrum of color. These hennas are usually made up of only natural powders, but be sure to check the label!!

Black henna

There is a lot of controversy about black henna because of more or less severe allergic reactions, following a tattoo. First of all, what you need to know is that natural henna, in its purest form, will never give a black color. To obtain such a color, other ingredients have been added and in particular of PPD (paraphenylenediamine), THE compound responsible for all these reactions. PPD allows you to obtain a black henna color, however it is the one that is involved in allergic reactions sometimes irreversible, eczema and can leave scars. Therefore, we advise you not to use black henna.

Beware, black henna for hair dye is different from the controversial black henna. Black henna for hair dye can be completely natural! It is the indigo powder contained in this henna that produces the black color on the hair. Indigo is not used for the realization of tattoos for the simple reason that it does not adhere to the skin and therefore does not give coloring.