Auburn Aspirations? Henna 101


Sometimes I feel like such a sensual, earthy goddess with green paste all over my hair.

Henna will do that to you.

Best known as the dye used in intricate, temporary skin designs originally hailing from the traditions of Middle Eastern cultures, henna is also traditionally used to bring shine to hair and to impart a rich auburn tint.

Although there are many plant powders marketed as henna (but using different plants), only the red-tinting sort is the real Middle Eastern henna, and it’s readily available in international shops, sold in baggies of green powder. Henna is perfectly safe (even for the expecting among us) and the color typically lasts just a few weeks.

An excellent hair conditioner, henna makes hair silky and thick by tightening the follicle and sealing in the oils. It’s a very earthy process, this mixing up of pungent green paste and working it through the hair. It certainly makes me more appreciative of the gifts of the plant kingdom, and partaking in this natural hair care ritual reminds me that commercial chemicals aren’t a requisite to beauty or health.

Image: mezone