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Henna (Lawsonia inermis, also known as hina, the Henna tree, the mignonette tree, and the Egyptian privet) is a flowering plant and the sole species of the Lawsonia genus.
The English name "Henna" comes from the Arabic حِنَّاء‎ (ALA-LC: ḥinnāʾ; pronounced [ħɪnˈnæːʔ]) or, colloquially حنا‎, loosely pronounced as /ħinna/. Hand with mehndi design. The name Henna also refers to the dye prepared from the plant and the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes (see also mehndi).
Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool and leather.
The name is used in other skin and hair dyes, such as black Henna and neutral Henna, neither of which is derived from the Henna plant. Historically, Henna was used for cosmetic purposes in Ancient Egypt or Carthage, as well as other parts of North Africa, the Horn of Africa, ...see more the Arabian Peninsula, and South Asia.
Bridal Henna nights remain an important custom in many of these areas, particularly among traditional families. Commercially packaged Henna, intended for use as a cosmetic hair dye, is available in many countries, and is now popular in India, as well as the Middle East, Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States.
The color that results from dying with Henna depends on the original color of the hair, as well as the quality of the Henna, and can range from orange to auburn to burgundy.
Henna can be mixed with other natural hair dyes including Cassia Obovata for lighter shades of red or even blond, or with indigo to achieve brown and black shades.
Some products sold as "Henna" include these other natural dyes. Others may include metal salts that can interact with other chemical treatments, or oils and waxes that may inhibit the dye, or even chemical dyes which are common allergens.
Any product that comes in a cream, block, or paste form has some sort of additives. As with Henna in body art, the dried leaf powder should be mixed with a mild acid such as lemon juice, orange juice, or vinegar and left to stand.
The resulting paste is then applied to the hair, and covered with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. This paste should be left in the hair for several hours in order for the dye to permanently bind to the hair strands.
The paste is then washed away leaving hair that is permanently dyed. Sometimes Henna is mixed with hot or boiling water and used immediately.
This gives a color that may fade, and which is not as rich or deep. reference: www.wikipedia.org
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