By Terez Howard

Countless companies proclaim they have created a natural hair color product by the use of organic compounds and plants.  But when it comes down to it, pure henna is a completely natural hair color.  Extracted from the Lawsonia inermis tree, which grows in India and North Africa, henna is made by drying and grinding the stems and leaves.  The resulting greenish powder can be mixed with acidic liquids, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to create red, orange, brown or auburn colors.

Lawsone, the strong pigment that creates these colors, is only temporary.  So this is not exactly a permanent natural hair color.  However, after the hair dye has oxidized and reaches its last shades, then your strands will have permanently impregnated colors.  Lawsone, which produces a transluscent stain, combines with your natural hair color and can produce unexpected hues.

About Henna In Hair

This natural hair color does more than just serve as a hair dye; it strengthens natural hair and makes it shine.  Lawsone molecules actually penetrate the hair shaft and bind with the hair’s keratin, a strong protein.  According to hennaforhair.com, it reduces dandruff, eliminates head lice and ringworm.

Henna must be left in natural hair for hours to reap its benefits.  Two hours might produce a copper tone, while four to six hours have the ability to create a rich burgandy shade.  The longer it’s left in the hair, the richer and darker the red.  It is impossible to know before you create your henna mixture what shade this natural hair color is going to produce.  Therefore, it is recommended you test henna along with other ingredients on a small section of hair.

The more often you use this natural hair color, the deeper and richer the color becomes.  Each time you apply, you are covering over a previous application.  It has also been known to loosen curlies curl pattern over time.

Before You Henna…

You might want to shampoo or clarify your hair, so that there’s less build-up, meaning there will be less gunk on your natural hair for the henna to penetrate.

However, since henna strips the hair, you should follow up a shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner.

Also, be aware of potential allergies to henna, which can include a tight feeling in the chest, itchy eyes, sneezing, dry cough and runny nose.  The powder or paste can cause these symptoms.  If you think you might be allergic, place a dab on your arm and wait an hour to see if you are allergic.  If all you see is an orange mark, that is only the staining caused from usual henna, and you are not allergic to it.

Simple Ways To Get Various Henna Shades

Since different mixtures create different dyes, I am going to discuss some of the combinations you can use to achieve a particular shade.  However, as noted before, henna natural hair color is all about trial and error.  It is a time-consuming process, but the benefits make it worth it.

For Black: Mix henna with lemon juice until the mixture is as thick as stirred yogurt.  Leave on for 2 hours and rinse.  Follow up with an indigo henna-water mix.  Leave on for 1 hour and rinse.

For Auburn: Mix henna with lemon juice and get it to that stirred yogurt consistency.  Let the mixture sit overnight.  Cover the hair in the mixture and apply generously to your natural hair.  Leave it on for about 4 hours and rinse.

For Red: Mix henna with lemon juice and water to create the stirred yogurt consistency. Let the natural hair color dyes release by letting the mixture sit for 12 hours. Apply to your hair. Leave it on for 2 hours and rinse. For a more intense, deeper red, leave the natural hair color mixture in for 6 hours.

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