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FEATURES Jul 1 2014 8:54AM

Color Your Hair Happily With Henna

So you’re on your natural hair kick, using all natural ingredients and loving it! But since it’s a new season, you’re thinking about making a fun change. You don’t want a weave or a cut, so you decide that color may be the subtle style switch you are looking for. However because you have now embraced all-natural products, you are pretty sure you don’t want to use a possibly damaging, strong chemical-based dye. So what’s a girl to do? 

Try henna hair coloring, a conditioning color that not only gives your hair a pop of color but also aids in leaving your natural hair soft. Henna is a healthier alternative that can be a natural colorant and strengthener and reduce dandruff. Since many stylists are anti-henna, thanks to lack of education and the limitations of color, many sistahs are doing it for themselves. But before you color your hair with henna, you should know exactly what it is and what it does.
Henna, stems from a plant that grows from a small desert tree in hot, dry climates. The dye inside henna plants produce a red/brown stain on skin and various red colors on hair. Using henna as a hair dye is tricky, because it lightens certain hair colors (red henna) but turns other hair colors darker (indigo henna).
Henna is essential in the formation of strong hair as the dye molecules binds with the natural keratin in hair. Because of this, henna is essential in the formation of stronger, smoother, shinier hair, because there are no chemical dyes in it. However, be careful to only use body art quality henna, as it has no additives and is safer than natural henna that contains possible allergens.
Henna application can be extremely messy due to its high-staining power (be sure to protect face with Vaseline), and very time consuming. Be sure you allow enough time for application, since achieving the best color results take you wrapping your head with plastic wrap or the use of a  shower cap for up to six hours.
Follow up your henna treatment with a moisturizing deep conditioner (like Tui Color Care Hydrating Hair Mask), as it’s a small chance that your hair will be slightly drier than normal. Avoid using permanent dyes on top of your henna at all cost, and to avoid long-term damage. Henna leaves hair glossier and will be more permanent than other chemical dyes that could be used.
Found at many local health food stores, henna is a fairly affordable natural product, visit mehandi.com for pure henna with no additives.


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