Why henna hair colour

How do henna and indigo differ from chemical hair dyes?

What hair colour will you get with henna ? Can blondes use henna?

Why do hairdressers love to hate henna ?

How does Renaissance Henna differ ?

And is Daniel Fields Natural Hair Colour truly chemical free?

read on….


A basic introduction to 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. For centuries, these two plants have been used to colour hair and to heal the body. The incredible thing is that those who have previously used henna – like myself – were just never aware of the fact that henna is meant to be used with indigo ! They go together like birds of a feather and the fact is they were always meant to flock together. That is, if you don’t want red orange or auburn tones in your hair. If you’re aiming for red hair tones anyway, then straight henna is for you. But if, like me, you were always aiming for more muted natural brown to black hair, then you always needed indigo to go with henna, but you just never knew it ! And the sad thing is that some people have used indigo in the past with henna, but not correctly. My past is full of henna disappointments, but the key was always to use it with indigo. And there is a method of application – set out in the Renaissance Henna Hair Colour Kit booklet – which will give you the results you wanted but could never previously achieve. The instructions are detailed and may require a comfortable armchair read before you get started. But think of it as a learning experience, and I think you’ll only gain.

The difference between henna and indigo and chemical hair dyes is that, firstly, herbal hair colours are natural and have never been known to kill or to damage health – they are well known for their benefits. And, secondly, henna and indigo leave well alone inside your hair and do not disturb the natural chemical make up of the hair that you were born with. The henna colour coats each individual hair shaft without infiltrating it and is self sealing. It locks itself onto your hair and makes it feel immediately thicker, fuller, and altogether more alive. The exception seems to be grey hair – henna will penetrate the inner hair shaft of grey hair and dye it red orange, but using indigo immediately afterwards will turn it a deep brown to black, depending how long you leave the indigo in for.

How do Chemical Hair Dyes ( like a Loreal Hair Dye Colour ) Really Work?….the truth about the silent killers

Chemical hair colours, on the other hand, work by first causing swelling to the hair shafts and actually opening them up – that’s what makes your hair feel fuller when you’ve used a chemical hair dye. They open up and permeate each hair shaft, flood the cortex of each hair with some degree of hydrogen peroxide to “strip” the natural colour, and then invade big time with military precision by infiltrating and depositing toxic chemicals into your hair strands. The underlying aim – with your full consent – is to remain there as long as possible. You might feel good after a chemical hair dye but, if you’re dying your hair in this way, I believe you’re killing yourself softly. Those toxic chemicals enter the bloodstream and the nervous system through inhalation – and possibly through the scalp as well – and do all sorts of damage. They don’t all contain PPD. It’s generally the dark hair dye colours that contain the dangerous PPD chemical. But my opinion is that all typical over the counter chemical hair dyes work to damage your health, regardless of whether they contain PPD or not. They are synthetic chemical hair dyes and there’s a difference between man made synthetic chemicals and earth grown plants which contain naturally occurring chemicals.

Hair Dyes & Cancer Link…bladder cancer… rheumatoid arthritis….can it get much worse????

Despite current European research which is inconclusive, I personally believe that, in the long run:

a) continual use of chemical hair dyes a) contributes towards a breakdown of the immune system


b) that there is a link between hair dyes and cancer.
See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4071114.stm.

Further, there appear to be well researched concerns which virtually establish a link between the use of hair dye and rheumatoid arthritis, and between the use of hair dye and bladder cancer. See http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1306. Can it get much worse than this? The bottom line is that the beautiful and glorious images which the commercial hair care industry are mass marketing – to you and me – are deadly. Poison. They’re killing us softly with their song. And money is no excuse to promote illness and early death.

Information on the safety of henna and indigo hair colour for cancer patients.
Information on PPD Hair Dye Allergy and chemical hair dye.

Everything that deceives may be said to enchant.
Plato, The Republic
Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC – 347 BC)


Pure Henna for Hair – Maybe not Nice ’n Easy, but Definitely Love ’n Respect !

Real henna and indigo are pure herbal hair dye colour, and in my view they are hair strengtheners, as well as mind and body strengtheners, and entirely hair and health friendly. These herbal hair dye colours strive to tone naturally with your hair to give natural hair colour.


What colour will you get with henna?

On darker hair shades like black and brown, you’ll just be able to decipher a somewhat deeper hair tone which enhances your own natural hair colour and shimmers in the light. The natural henna hair dye gives colour which is natural to you, and therefore the end result will always be unique to you. On lighter hair colours like blonde and ash hair colour, the results will be more dramatic, but still beautifully natural, and  with just henna hair dye, used alone, you’ll get deep auburn hair colour! The key notes will be burnt red / red orange. But if you don’t want red hair colour, then you can tone it down to a brown or black hair colour with indigo. Even if you’ve previously used hair dyes, you’ll still get beautifully blended hair colour which is totally unique to you. You’ll need to explore the Hair Colour Gallery  to grasp what I mean. Henna and indigo hair colour are positively unpredictable. And by that, I mean they’re unpredictable in an entirely positive way. You won’t be disappointed ! Whether it’s funky hair colour or natural hair colour you’re after, you will get translucent colour that shimmers in the sun and reflects light.


Henna for blondes?

Cassia obovata is commonly confused with henna and mistakenly known as “colourless henna” or “neutral henna” though in fact it comes from an altogether different plant. When the leaves are crushed, it looks similar to henna leaf powder but is lighter in colour. It promotes healthy, soft and shining hair, and is also reputed to help clear dandruff. Cassia obovata is for deep hair conditioning and, on blonde hair, it will naturally highlight the blonde without changing hair colour (on darker hair colours it will not impart any noticeable colour). Cassia obovata can be combined with rhubarb root for an even deeper hair conditioning treatment and to further enhance golden blonde tones. And it can be combined with just a touch of pure henna for strawberry blonde, and with acacia catechu for dark blonde.

Henna Hair Benefits

They coat the hair with herbal colour and with protection. They colour grey hair. Henna and indigo hair colour will protect your hair from the harsh effects of sunlight, cold, and heat – naturally. Even regular blow drying will not damage hennaed hair as much as blow drying chemically treated hair ( in fact it’s arguable that regular blow drying on a moderate heat will not damage hennaed hair at all). I believe that regular use of henna and indigo hair colour also boosts the immune system and results in the deposit of a wealth of goodness into your blood which contributes towards good health (but I may be wrong in my belief). Correctly used, they build up hair colour which the chemical hair colour industry can never match – these colours stand out, naturally, in their own right! And they last ! They may not be entirely nice and easy hair colour, but they have a clean heart and they’ll always treat you with love and respect.

Henna – Why Hairdressers Love to Hate Henna ! ….and why Compound Hennas ( pre-mixed metallic salt henna colours ) are BAD

I think you’re likely to find that just about all hairdressers are “anti-henna”. Not that I blame them ! Their concern is how to colour hair safely. You’ve got to remember that if your hairdresser is anti-henna, this is because the hennas which your hair dresser has come across in the past are “compound henna” – i.e. henna powders mixed with dyes and metallic salts such as lead acetate which act as fixatives to “fix” the so called henna shade which the manufacturer is marketing. Remember that pure henna does not come in “shades” – it’s always going to be red orange/auburn. Any henna hair colour which contains anything other than just 100% pure lawsonia inermis is likely to be a compound henna mix, unless it’s only other ingredient is 100% pure indigofera tinctoria.

A compound henna mix is not a chemical free hair dye. Do get used to reading through the ingredients [ on henna powder packs and on all products ]. It’s the metallic salt fixatives in the compound hennas that get onto your hair and react badly with perms and chemicals in hair dyes and bleach solutions. Any hair dresser who knows what real henna is and what real indigo is will not put you off using it; having your best interests at heart they will only encourage you to fly, fly, fly towards henna / indigo.

But the fact is that it’s highly unlikely that your hairdresser has actually come across pure henna and pure indigo before, so expect them to be dubious, suspicious, and off putting. And excuse them for it. They’re thinking compound henna metallic salt mixes. They’re thinking how to colour hair safely. They want to save you from sheer catastrophe.Then refer them to the Renaissance Henna Hair Colour website so they can learn and understand what pure henna is and so they can start to overcome their fears and discover a world that’s pure and beautiful and that won’t cause harm at all. Here’s an e bay discussion on hair dyes that I somewhat inappropriately barged into; I hope they’ve forgiven me by now. It does illustrate, to an extent, how misinformed hairdressers, generally, are.

It’s very important to know the difference between a compound henna and pure henna because the two are totally different. Metallic salt chemical cocktail henna has given pure henna and indigo a bad name. And it’s totally undeserved, born out of ignorance and misunderstanding (like so many other prejudices which we harbour in our hearts). Pure henna will never result in fried hair or colour catastrophe.


What hair types can use pure henna and indgio?

You can use pure henna (and indigo) safely on any kind of hair – bleached, dyed, permed, …fried….etc. And you can use it pretty much straight away, except in the case of hair that has just been permed or is about to be permed – here I suggest a gap of 2 weeks either way. Other than that, you’re safe to go, but I personally recommend a waiting period. Make it as long as you can. Let’s say a minimum of two weeks. And the only reason for the wait is simply 1. to rid your hair of chemical build up and 2. to allow for the best possible colour take from henna and indigo herbal hair colour. Please read on for further information about this.

How My Pure Henna Hair Dye Differs from the Mainstream Henna Hair Colour Hennas

I have undertaken some brief research into the big brand henna companies that sell latest hair colour henna in beautiful hair picture boxes, sometimes mixed with indigo. To their credit, lots of the big henna companies are using natural ingredients which is reassuring, but I’m concerned that they are not 100% natural products and that the companies which sell them are not 100% clear on what it is they are selling.

There are some major and some subtle differences between my henna / indigo product and the mainstream products – for one, if you check their boxes, you’ll see some of them are using something they call Indigoferaefolium. I use indigofera tinctoria to tone the henna to natural hair colour like brown and black hair colour. Indigofera tinctoria is the plant which gives the deepest and most lasting hair color, hence its name “tinctoria” because it gives colour. Interestingly “indigoferae” folium is not a botanical name but a pharmaceutical name, and therefore it is not possible to precisely pinpoint which species of indigo, indigofera folium is ! The indigofera tinctoria which I sell is the one which gives the deepest colour stain in hair and you will get very good coverage with my henna and my indigo. You can get brown through to black, sometimes with slight reddish, burgundy, or blue undertones, depending on how much grey hair / white / or blonde hair you have, and depending upon the method of application. Overall I’ll say that you can achieve superb natural hair color with my product if that’s what you want, and fantastic anti grey hair coverage on gray hair. Full instructions come with the Renaissance Henna Hair Colour Kit.


Henne Henna, & Surya Henna Cream

I cannot seem to find a complete ingredients list for the Henne company or for Surya Henna Cream which is surprising given that they state their ingredients are all natural. Some websites selling the Henne brand of henna seem to imply that henna alone can produce black hair colour which simply isn’t true. I would steer clear of any site selling a product which does not state the full ingredients. Never be afraid to approach the company directly and ask – that’s the only way to find out. Especially as many companies are adding PPD to henna so it’s no longer pure henna anymore…it’s chemical hair dye – watch out !!!

Some companies are using very stale henna that just doesn’t do the job. And some are adding perfume (a product with perfume added is no longer 100% pure!!) to their henna colours as well as clove bud oil which I consider to be a potential irritant as well as having the potential to interfere with colour take.

My henna / indigo are 100% pure, natural, herbal, inherently organic, and chemical free hair dyes. They do not contain any added ingredients like perfume or clove bud oil;(or any oil). I also sell cassia obovata which you can add to your henna mix , or use on its own. You will find cassia obovata is the best hair conditioner and hair booster that nature can offer you.

Finally, the biggest difference between my henna / indigo and the henna colour you get from the major mass marketing henna companies, apart from value for money & dynamite powder quality, is that I sell the powders separately for you to mix up as you desire. Not only does this allow you to adjust your colour tone as you like, but the crucial thing about this is that you will get perfect colour take using my methods ! Henna is naturally acidic – it gives the best dye release sitting in its own naturally acidic environment. Indigo on the other hand is naturally alkaline and gives the best dye release in its own naturally alkaline environment. The two pastes must be mixed separately to work effectively ! Mixing henna and indigo together will not give you perfect henna / indigo dye release and will not give you perfect colour take. Full instructions come with my Renaissance Henna Natural Hair Colour Kit. Try it and see the difference for yourself – you’ll be amazed !!

Don’t be confused by Daniel Field’s “organic and mineral hairdressing” range of  natural hair colour free from hydrogen peroxide and ammonia – they contain (click here) PPD !


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