Henna is a plant used in Asia (India) and Middle East to color hair. The color that results from using just henna is bright wonderful red! the other colors up to blue black are obtained by mixing henna powder with indigo powder (also extracted from a plant) in various proportions. Henna does not bleach the hair and it does not lighten it, so it cannot be used to become a blonde. However it can give reddish tones to all the shades. Henna works by coating the hair and this makes it a wonderful natural conditioner! It protects the hair cuticle from further damage and regenerates tired, abused hair. Upon henna application, all users observe that hair is silky, strong and smooth and shines. The shine improves in time!
There are various health benefits to using Henna versus contemporary modern hair dyes which could actually be toxic (they contain parabens, ammonia to name a few bad for us ingredients). It has natural anti-fungal activity (which makes it improve dandruff, a condition caused by scalp fungi growth). It also has anti-parasitic activity, working against head lice. It improves scalp blood vessel circulation and scalp skin condition and it is absolutely non-toxic!
If you do not want to change permanently your hair color, but want to condition the hair, use Cassia Obovata (a plant different from Henna) or so called neutral henna, this plant powder is safe and has the same benefits for hair that henna has.
Herbal natural henna is red and other colors are achieved by the indigo addition, never use something called black henna, which is usually used for skin tattoos. Even though it is called henna, black henna is actually a dangerous chemical: Para-Phenylenediamine.
Here are some links to videos showing how to prepare henna and how hair looks like after using it: , .
High quality organic henna (coloring and neutral -Cassia obovata-) can be purchased online from Mountain Rose Herbs (just click on the colored link to get to their website).