Aromatic botanicals are food for our hair and medicine for our scalp. Here’s why…
This is a topic close to my heart. I have never thought grey was my colour and I have decided I am not ready to go grey. Certain people look magical with grey hair but I am not sue I will be one of them!
But there are other reasons for me using Henna all these years, and now that I have found an incredible product that works amazingly, I trust I will be adorning my locks for years to come.
In Ayurveda some Pitta-fire types have early greying of hair and even though as a Pitta I don’t have a lot of grey yet – I have been dying my hair for ‘several’ years now. In the very early days I would use hair dyes for fun, to get a brighter shade, more red or auburn or mahogany and I used the synthetic stuff, mostly at-home experiments and maybe one or two trips to a salon. My sister is a master hairstylist and when we both lived in South Africa I was often her ‘model’ for cuts, colours and all kinds of marvellous curls.
And then I discovered Henna.
If you understand Henna, you will know it is almost impossible to get a good strong colour to cover grey hair and the grey will come out a very bright shade of orange-ish red or even pinkish orange. Great for some but not for all : ) The secret ingredient to making henna work in the hair AND cover grey is the Indigo plant and other botanicals. I have searched for years for a really good and easy-to-use henna for my hair and have certainly experimented with a lot of different henna dyes. I have finally found a henna that covers grey, makes my hair colour beautifully rich AND is 100% botanical.
When I say botanical I really mean it. A really good hair henna has a masterful mix of henna, indigo and other botanicals in varying degrees with various recipe secrets. The henna I found recently has an incredible blend of organic Ayurvedic herbs. In fact the colour I use has not only henna but also cassia leaf, indigo, amla (Indian gooseberry), eucalyptus, aloe vera, turmeric, and chamomile flower and Ziziphus spina-christi, known as the Christ’s thorn jujube, That’s IT!! Absolutely nothing hidden, nothing else. No junk, no synthetic chemicals. This luxuriously rich hair colour is also an effective botanical elixir for healthy hair AND a healthy brain.
The hair absorbs everything and those synthetic chemical dyes from commercial hair colour products make their way into the system for sure, through the hair follicles and also by inhaling the fumes.
Botanicals such as those found in some henna colours are complementary medicine for the scalp as is the henna plant a balm of beauty for the hair. Herbs like amla, aloe, and chamomile are cooling and soothing to the mind, and very kind to the hair. These herbs, flowers and roots are good medicines, the other stuff not so much. In fact studies have shown the toxic effects of some synthetic hair dyes on the brain, not to mention the long-term degradation of the hair.
Ziziphus spina-christi, known as the Christ’s thorn jujube, is an evergreen tree or plant native to northern and tropical Africa, Southern and Western Asia. It is native to the Levant, East Africa and some tropical countries. Fruit and leaves from the tree have been used in Ancient Egyptian food and medicine and now we can enjoy the benefits in our hair colour. I mean – Cleopatra amiright!?
Benefits of the herbs for your hair?
HENNA: has a cooling effect on the scalp. Antifungal and antimicrobial properties help to maintain scalp health by healing and preventing various scalp issues like dandruff, itchiness, psoriasis. Helps remove impurities from hair for good general hair health and lovely shine. Boosts hair growth and reduces hair loss.
AMLA: Reduces hair loss and early greying of hair. Stimulates hair growth. Prevents and treats dandruff and dry scalp. Helps heal scalp infections and inflammation.CHAMOMILE: Anti-inflammatory compounds alleviate dry and itchy scalp. Alleviates skin conditions on scalp such as dermatitis and psoriasis. Soothes scalp. Helps achieve natural highlights in hair. Promotes healthy shiny hair.
INDIGO: Conditions dry hair and prevents premature greying. Encourages new hair growth, reduces hair loss. Prevents scalp infections. Naturally thickens hair.
ALOE VERA: Repairs damaged skin cells on scalp. Promotes hair growth, moisturizes and nourishes hair. Soothes the scalp, reduces dandruff.
CHRIST’S THORN JUJUBE: Cleanses hair and scalp and strengthens weak, thinning hair. Reduces hair loss, revitalizes dull hair. Gives volume to the hair. Soothes itchy inflamed scalp.
TURMERIC: Anti-fungal and antibacterial properties remedy dandruff, fungus, and itchy scalp, Stimulates hair growth be encouraging circulation on scalp.
We spend our precious time and resources finding natural botanicals for our face and body, avoiding synthetic beauty products that can be detrimental to our health but with our hair it seems we overlook the myriad of toxic ingredients in hair dyes and the impact that can have on our scalp, hair and brain. Why? Well for one thing our crowning glory is a cherished asset and we may not know we have alternatives. Hairstylists don’t love to recommend Henna, with scary (untrue) feedback that it dries out the hair and won’t get the colour desired. That is partially true about the colour, it is not as controlled as synthetic chemical dyes, but it gets pretty close and nowadays you can have anything from blonde to red to black (again – Cleopatra!). It is also semi-permanent.
What is this magical Henna?
Now I won’t leave you hanging, I do want to share the henna product I have found and adore, and just to be clear – I am in no way an affiliate. My wish is to encourage you to try it, and maybe consider moving away from the ‘other’ stuff.
CULTIVATORS – Colours from nature. There it is! I was beyond impressed when I went to their website and discovered they have every certification that truly proves they are a green, conscious company from the botanicals they grow to the production methods and their fair trade business philosophy and vision. This is very rare and their story of origin is inspiring too. So take a look, Let me know what you think!
ps. I usually go for the luscious dark brown or the rich and vibrant mahogany!