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Research and development of plant-based skin care, hair care, and make-up
Henna - When All Natural Isn't All That
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Thank you for all the homework you do on these ingredients! I was toying with the idea of trying hennas again (like you I used them a couple times many years ago), but now you've saved me the mess (and the potential dangers)!
April 7, 2012 at 9:01 PM
Hi Stephanie - thanks for your kind words! Yeah, I kinda can't help myself when I get curious about something and I seem to have a non-stop curiosity about cosmetics ingredients. I was actually a bit disappointed that I couldn't find anything better on henna--
By the way- have you had trouble posting comments to this blog? I've had to fish 2 of your comments out of a filter area-- can't for the life of me figure out why this system would think your comments needed to be 'parked' instead of published... Let me know if you've had probs.. ok?
April 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM
I've heard about some of these dangers, the PPD in particular. I've heard you should always use body art quality (BAQ) henna and that ensures it is pure henna. "Black" henna, "neutral" henna definitely not safe because they don't exist in nature. Henna cannot be black or neutral or blonde. Cassia can be used as a "neutral" treatment similar to henna for brunettes. Indigo is the name of the plant if you want your hair black. There are some reputable henna sources where you can get the pure henna, cassia, or indigo. I've purchased and used cassia from Henna Sooq and never had any problems. I'm highly allergic to all sorts of things as well as being chemically sensitive and didn't have any issues with the BAQ cassia. Rainbow henna and others you can buy in stores - I would steer clear of. As for the benefits, I've not used henna, but cassia benefits were worth the mess for me. My scalp issues subsided, my hair was thicker feeling and very shiny. It did seem dry at first but I did a coconut oil treatment overnight which fixed that.
April 8, 2012 at 5:58 AM
Hi Debbie - excellent input, thanks for sharing! It was actually my hairdresser that got me started on this henna information excursion. Some of the things he was saying about it sounded so outrageous I had to check it out. Sounds like you have had some success using cassia, but you know, now you have me all curious about cassia.... I feel another research session coming up...
April 8, 2012 at 4:43 PM
Hi Lisa! I've never dyed my hair, but I know that in Poland exists very popular company KHADI. They sell natural henna, cassia, indygo and some mixes of herbs that can colour your hair. On their website you can see the results of using their products sent by clients - http://www.khadi.pl/stosowanie-farb-khadi-przyklady :)
April 9, 2012 at 8:49 AM
Hi Foster Marine, thanks for your input. It's a good idea to have a customer input gallery (I checked out the site), and it is admirable that someone is trying to offer safe henna products. It's a pity that this kind of thing is necessary though, don't you think?
April 9, 2012 at 9:17 AM
After nice reviews about Khadi Henna, I purchased Khadi Henna Black and Dark Brown. Unfortunately I had severe allergic reaction. Later I found out it contains PPD and was told it contains more PPD than L'oreal hair dye (:.
April 8, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Hi MsLucky Star - what a sorry thing to discover - and in such an unpleasant way! I hope you healed quickly.
April 8, 2014 at 12:17 PM
So what am I supposed to do about my grey hair??? I stopped using commercial hair dye a few years back but I really don't like looking ten years older than I am, which is what lots of grey does for you. Was considering trying black henna but was concerned about its ability to color resistant grey, but now I find out black henna is as bad as the commercial stuff. Thanks for that by the way. Does Indigo dye grey hair blue? Old lady blue hair would be worse than the grey.
February 2, 2015 at 1:52 AM
Hey there Cora ktp - I sympathize! I got by for several years with the 'don't let the product touch the scalp' method. Have you ever had 'streaks' of color added to your hair? A section of hair is coated in dye and the section is wrapped in foil. With this method, the dye doesn't touch the scalp, but the main portion of hair is colored.
Whether you use henna or a traditional hair color,the result is a lovely nuanced color where only bits of the grey show through with this method.
Indigo might give you a blue hue.
I have been meaning to try a strong mallow infusion (as this is said to be strong enough to cover grey), but the mallow makes a very deep purple hue, so this might not be your best bet either. It's also quite messy (why I haven't gotten serious about trying this method yet).
Finally: there are some hairdressers now offering 'ecologically friendly' and 'all nature' hair dyes. Perhaps it would be worth a try seeing if there are any in your area?
Best of luck with it. and do let me know how you get on.
February 2, 2015 at 12:41 PM
Oooo I love me a bit of henna, I have a lot of grey hair like Cora above and I wanted to colour it.... I tried Nutratint but that dried my hair out as the PH is soo high It damaged my hair and I also became sensitive to the ingredients. I shaved my head in 2013 and rocked that for a while.
I discovered henna again through online hair colouring research and came across henna for hair online, and that was a revelation. I understand the very real disasters for adulterated henna and also the long palaver mixing, waiting for dye release, application, rinsing, after care. However there is PPD in natural sources all around us, in bio available and non bio available forms, such as Orange peel.
For me, henna (from a single reputable source with traceability) applied with a piping bag to get to the roots, pH adjusted water to rinse and a 15min deep moisturising treatment, works for me. Repeated applications(every 6 wks) intensifies the colour so against my black hair, my greys are copper coloured. I've bought some indigo to use separately when I am bored of the copper and want a darker hue, but this will be another step and I'm all about the simple.
So in short I think for a whole hairdressing industry to sweep henna with the same brush is discouraging. It is a natural product and people will have sensitivites to it, patch test every batch like we are meant to with every new hair dye (Which we don't as we trust the big companies and hair dressers to keep us safe) Millions of men and women around the world use henna for cosmetic and topical medicine (helps to cool the skin and body, handy in hot dry countries) clearly they have the good stuff. It is for us to find the good stuff.
Wow I really didn't mean to rant...
May 18, 2015 at 7:04 PM
Hi jo - You are absolutely right about patch testing and using reputable suppliers - this is the way to approach henna to be sure. I have been meaning to revisit some of my research on henna and may just have to do an updated post.
Thanks for your input.
May 19, 2015 at 11:49 AM
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