Henna has been around for centuries and many people may not be aware of the fact that it has been used in other ancient civilizations outside of the Middle East. Today, henna is used in all aspects of the skincare and beauty industry, from hair dyes and cosmetics to even henna tattoos. The rich history of henna is not an easy one to trace but its presence has allowed it to remain more popular than ever all over the world.
While most people associate henna with the Middle East, it has been widely used for centuries in countries like Africa, India and Egypt. The henna plant is small, dark green and currently cultivated in Asia and Africa. In the Middle East, people discovered that by crushing the plant’s leaves, they could make a fine powder that also stained anything it touched when mixed with oils. In ancient Egypt, the Egyptians used the henna plant for cosmetic purposes, including dyeing their fingernails. In this sense, henna served as the earliest form of nail polish. Those living in desert regions found that creating a paste from crushed henna leaves could lower a person’s body temperature when applied to the skin, allowing them to remain cool during hot weather. The Chinese and Australians used henna to dye their silk, wool, animal skins and even to color the manes and hooves of their horses.
After a few thousand years, henna became prevalent for use in cosmetics. It was common practice for women in particular to use the henna to create beautifully intricate designs on their hands, feet and forearms. Many women also used it as an all natural hair dye and men even used it to color their beards. Many brides in India take part in receiving henna tattoos in order to celebrate their wedding. These temporary tattoos are applied to the hands and feet before the ceremony.
Although the use of henna throughout the centuries varies from country to country, it is more widely used for cosmetic purposes these days. Those seeking all natural hair dyes will find henna to be the main ingredient and the practice of getting henna tattoos is no longer reserved for Indian brides. Many people get henna tattoos for the fun of it, especially if permanent tattoos are not an option. Henna tattoos last for as long as six weeks and there are a variety of styles you can choose from, which are determined by the region the designs originate from. Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian and North American henna designs give people plenty of options to choose from for a customized tattoo.
If you’re interested in using henna to dye your hair, you have a couple of options. Henna in its natural form can produce hues of reddish brown, brown or orange brown. However, be wary of products that contain henna that has been chemically altered to produce different shades. Most of these chemicals can cause allergic reactions. It is important to seek a professional hair stylist that specializes in using henna to dye hair in order to get the best results.
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