Henna (Lawsonia inermis), also known Mehndi has been long used by both men and women for coloring their hair and also for doing temporary tattoos on the skin. For thousands of years, it has been considered a symbol of health, good luck and sensuality in many of the Middle Eastern countries. Nowadays Mehndi decorations on the skin have become a fashion among people all over the world. Henna is also used to dye fabrics including cotton, wool, silk and leather. Apart from the cosmetic uses, the most popular use of henna is as a coloring agent for the hair. In fact, it has been used as a hair dye for over 6000 years. Being a natural product, it offers great results without causing any kind of damage to the hair.
Health benefits of Henna
Although henna is mostly popular as a beauty herb, it also provides many health benefits. Because of its many therapeutic properties, henna has been used in traditional medicine for a very long time. The active constituents in henna exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive and astringent properties, which is useful in treating many ailments. The following are some of the health benefits offered by this wonderful herb:
- Henna has anti-aging effects
Henna has astringent and antioxidant properties, because of which it is used as a remedy for wrinkles, fine lines and other aging signs. Applying henna on the skin is also effective in eliminating scars and blemishes on the skin.
- Henna offers relief from headache
If you are suffering from headache, the application of the juice of henna leaves on the forehead can bring immense relief. Henna increases the blood flow and provides a calming and relaxing effect.
[Read more about natural foods for headache]
- Henna for faster wound healing
The anti-inflammatory properties of henna reduce pain and inflammation and promote faster wound healing. Topical application of henna on wounds, burns and cuts helps to heal the wounds by acting as a protective layer and preventing infections.
- Henna reduces fever
Henna provides a calming and cooling effect and hence is used as a remedy in Ayurvedic medicine to reduce fever.
- Henna helps you sleep better
People suffering from insomnia or sleep problems should definitely give henna oil a try. The oil calms and soothes the mind and promotes a relaxing effect to the body. So the regular use of henna oil helps you get a good night’s sleep.
[Read more about natural food for insomnia]
- Anti-inflammatory properties of henna
Henna oil is used topically as a remedy for rheumatism, arthritis and other inflammatory problems. When applied on the affected area, the anti-inflammatory effects of the oil provide relief by reducing pain and inflammation.
- Henna lowers high blood pressure
Henna is also beneficial to your heart because it helps keep your blood pressure under control. Drinking henna water is a great way to relieve stress. It also improves the blood flow through the blood vessels, which helps in reducing blood pressure.
- Henna for healthy nails
Just like the other parts of your body, your nails also need special care and attention. Applying henna on the nails makes it strong and healthy. It binds to the keratin on the nails and strengthens the cuticles and nails. The antifungal properties of henna also prevent any kind of fungal infection on the nails.
[Read more about foods that are good for nails]
Hair benefits offered by Henna
Henna is a great coloring agent for people who wish to cover their grays naturally and also for those who are allergic to the chemical hair dyes available in the market nowadays. When applied on the hair, henna binds with keratin of the hair and forms a permanent coating. It protects and strengthens your hair and also prevents scalp problems such as dandruff and dry scalp. Henna offers a cooling effect and it is one of the most popular herbs used widely in the beauty industry in India and many other countries of the world. The following are some of the hair benefits offered by henna:
- Henna as a hair conditioner
Henna functions as a wonderful conditioner for your hair. The regular application of henna on the hair thickens and strengthens the hair by locking in the moisture. Henna acts as protective guard by coating each and every strand of your hair and preventing hair damage. Additionally it imparts a shine and luster to your hair as well.
- Henna makes your hair healthier
In addition to providing hydration, henna also provides nourishment to your hair keeping it healthy and free from damage. It also maintains the acid – base balance of the scalp and prevents scalp infections and hair fall. It also cleanses your hair without affecting the natural oil balance in the scalp.
[Read more about Amla benefits for hair]
- Henna for covering grays
If you are looking for a safe and natural way to color your hair, then henna is the ideal choice. Not only does it cover your grays, it also makes your hair stronger and thicker. It coats the hair strands permanently and increases the hair volume. Unlike the chemical hair dyes that may sometimes cause side effects, henna is perfectly safe in that it retains the moisture in the hair and prevents hair damage.
- Henna gets rid of dandruff
Henna leaves have antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it effective in treating dandruff. It binds to the keratin protein of the hair and acts as a protective layer. It also moisturizes the hair and prevents dryness of the scalp, thus preventing the formation of dandruff.
[Read more about 50 natural ways to treat dandruff]
Some henna hair packs
Various henna packs for your hair can be easily prepared at home. These packs also include other natural ingredients that benefit your hair many ways. The regular use of these packs can give you healthy, strong and beautiful hair in no time.
- Henna pack for coloring hair
In spite of its other uses, henna is most popularly used for coloring hair naturally. The advantage of using henna for coloring hair is that it is safe and devoid of harmful side effects. Here is a coloring pack that uses henna and other beneficial natural ingredients:
Henna powder – 2 cups
Amla powder – ½ cup
Shikakai powder – 2 tablespoons
Lemon juice – 2 teaspoons
Egg white – 1
Fresh yogurt – 2 tablespoons
Coconut oil – 2 teaspoons
Mix all the ingredients in tea or coffee decoction and keep it for a minimum of 6 hours. Apply the pack on each strand of the hair and scalp and cover using a shower cap. Wash off after 2 or 3 hours.
- Hair conditioning using henna pack
Another important benefit of henna is that it acts a wonderful moisturizer, giving a healthy shine to your hair. It also helps in managing frizzy hair. A natural and effective hair conditioner pack can be prepared using henna, amla and hibiscus. Here is how you make it:
Henna powder – 2 cups
Amla powder – 1 cup
Hibiscus flower powder – 2 tbsp
Orange peel powder – 1 tbsp
Mix all the above ingredients in yogurt and keep it for about 2 hours. Apply this paste on the hair and leave it on for an hour. Wash off with lukewarm water.
- Henna pack for hair growth
Henna is a great natural ingredient that promotes the growth of healthy and lustrous hair. It coats the hair strands and provides thickness and volume to the hair. The regular use of henna essential oil ensures hair growth as well as protection from hair fall and premature graying of hair. To make henna oil, first heat 500 ml of coconut oil in pan. Add freshly ground paste of fresh henna leaves to the oil and boil it. Switch off the stove and allow the oil to cool down. Strain the oil and store in airtight containers.
- Henna pack for preventing hair fall
Hair fall can be caused by numerous reasons such as improper hair care, lack of nutrition etc. Henna has been found to be an effective remedy for preventing hair fall. A very beneficial hair pack for reducing hair fall can be prepared using henna powder, amla powder and fenugreek. This hair pack is packed with nutrients that nourish the hair and prevent loss of hair.
Henna powder – 3 tablespoons
Amla powder – 1 cup
Fenugreek powder – 2 tablespoons
Juice of one lemon
White of an egg
Mix together all these ingredients and keep it for an hour. Apply it on the hair and leave it on for an hour and then rinse off. The application of this hair pack twice a month can bring you amazing results.
- Henna pack for preventing dandruff
Dandruff is a common scalp problem that can be caused by dryness of the scalp or by fungal infections. Since henna has moisturizing and antifungal properties, it is an excellent natural solution to get rid of dandruff. Here is a great hair pack using henna and other natural ingredients that helps in eliminating dandruff
Henna powder – 2 cups
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
White of an egg
Mix henna with water and make a paste. Keep this paste overnight and in the morning add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and apply this pack on the hair and scalp. Leave it for about 2 hours and then wash off using a mild shampoo.
Using henna for coloring hair may be a time consuming process, which is why many people choose to use chemical hair dyes that give quicker results. However, henna is one of the best and natural remedies for your hair. Not only does it cover your grays, but it also provides many health benefits to the hair and promotes hair growth as well.