Acacia catechu powder is extracted from the heartwood of the Acacia Catechu tree (Khair). It is a moderate size deciduous tree with rough dark gray brown bark. It belongs to the family Leguminoseae-mimoseae. It is said that the name ‘catechu’ was given to it because its bristles resemble the claws of animals of the cat family or maybe because its heart wood contains cutch. It is also called khoira, koir, kheriya baval, kher babul, kagli, cachu, kugli, kaderi and sandra in local Indian languages (Hindi, Punjabi). Khair grows naturally all over Haryana and the rest of the Indian subcontinent areas which enjoy average rainfall; it also grows throughout the whole of the Indo Gangetic plain from Assam westwards, right up to Afghanistan, and from the sea coast to the Deccan Plateau and then northwards to the lower Himalayan ranges having an altitude up to about 1250 m or so. (* Information from http://www.haryana-online.com/Flora/khair.htm)
Acacia catechu is used generally to add dark tones to henna. It will also safely get light blondes to dark blonde. On darker hair colours, usedin conjunction with henna powder to give colour tones leaning towards brown. Add half to one tablespoon acacia catechu powder to roughly 100gms of Renaissance Henna powder – follow instructions on your henna pack. Apply for normal length of time – about 2 hours minimum.