What is henna?

Pure Henna – Pure Hair Dye

henna planthenna powderhenna paste
henna planthenna powderhenna paste

What is Renaissance Henna and Indigo ?

Henna dye comes from the crushed leaves of the henna plant and its botanical name is lawsonia inermis. Indigo dye comes from the crushed leaves of the indigo plant and its botanical name is indigofera tinctoria. Renaissance Henna plant dyes are made by crushing and then finely sieving the dried leaves of these plants which ensures the strongest dye stain, and then : absolutely nothing is added to the powdered and finely sieved crushed leaves and the crushed plants are freshly sealed at source. And that’s it: – 100% desert earth plant, ammonia free, PPD free, additive free, synthetic chemical free hair dye ready to go. Simply add water, mix into paste and experience stunning natural hair colour!

They can be used safely on ALL hair types and, generally, on ALL people including:

• afro hair
• dreadlocks
• pregnant mothers – some pregnant mothers even like to get their bellies hennaed during pregnancy ! But a couple of words of caution here : if you’re a pregnant mother wanting to henna your hair, you’re probably sensitive to smells and plants, so I would say patch test and strand test please ! Secondly, you need to figure out if you think henna and indigo are safe to use during pregnancy. I’m afraid I can’t tell you. I consider them safer than any chemical hair dye. I also consider henna and indigo safe to use in pregnancy. But that’s my personal opinion; I’m not a doctor and I’m not a scientist. So I can’t state conclusively that they are safe to use in pregnancy. The organisation Foresight seem to suggest that even vegetable hair dyes should be avoided in pregnancy.
• PPD allergy sufferers go to Hair Dye for PPD Allergy
• cancer sufferers go to Is Henna Safe if you Have Cancer?

Henna Hair Dye

Henna’s real botanical name is “lawsonia inermis”. You can dye hair with henna, and indigo. Together, henna and indigo make an awesome hair dye combination and you can achieve a whole range of hair colours you probably wouldn’t have thought possible to achieve with pure botanical herbal hair colour. This goes  from funky red hair colour to the richest chocolate brown hair colour, to the deepest jet black hair colour  ! It’s perfect for covering grey hair too – see the wonderful David who went from shocking white to brown black all in one afternoon. And checkout the Hair Colour Galleries above. This is a world of hair colour that is completely herbal, natural, botanical, and beautiful, and it’s (probably) even good for you ! There isn’t a fixed hair colour chart in this herbal hair colour world. But you will be able to aim for roughly: auburn, brown, black, or a shade in between, or a shade in the extreme range of one of these hair colours. The end colour is going to be unique to you, just like your fingerprint.

The dye molecule in henna is called Lawsone. It’s a red orange pigment also known as hennotanic acid. Note that henna is acidic. This might sound disturbing, but so is skin, see:




When you apply henna to your scalp ( the skin on your head), henna is boosting your skin’s natural defence systems.

The henna dye is contained in the leaves of the mature henna plants, which incidentally produce the most beautifully fragranced flowers in multiple colours – but unfortunately the powdered leaves which henna comes from don’t smell like flowers, they’re more musty, almost damp smelling. (If you want to smell the henna flowers, check out our Henna Flower Perfume).

Henna may vary in its dye content, depending on climate, soil, and moisture; so two batches – even from the same region – may never be quite the same. The finely crushed henna leaves (henna powder), whilst acidic in nature, will chemically react with both water and acid ( such as lemon juice or cider vinegar). The addition of these liquids to henna powder will  prompt the chemical reaction which causes release of the dye. Water produces faster dye release; acid triggers a slower dye release. Hot water works faster than cool water. A long slow dye release time, with either water or acid juice, or a mixture of both, works well to get henna into overtime dye release mode. But straight hot water over pure henna is effective too if you’re in a hurry. Henna is versatile. And therefore all the approaches to henna and theories about henna should be versatile too. There are no hared and fast fixed rules. The rule of the game is : when you’ve discovered the treasure, make up your own code. Go with what works for you. And keep an open mind, experiment, and enjoy the journey. You really can’t go wrong. It’s been around for centuries. It’s already stood the test of time. And it won’t be bound by strict rules. It’s for everyone. Enjoy it !

Go here to see pictures of the henna plant and its beautiful flowers – http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/lawsonia_inermis.htm. Also see : http://www.plantcultures.org.uk/plants/henna_plant_profile.html .