The Shades of Henna
True, undiluted, natural henna powder produces a rich reddish-brown color. Commercially prepared henna is sold in varying shades which are produced by, in the best case, mixing natural henna with other natural dyes to produce various shades of red, brown, and even darker shades. So-called clear henna is actually not henna at all, but rather a natural substance sourced from an entirely different plant.
Some henna, however, is mixed with various chemicals to produce specific "designer" shades. Henna for hair bought in the forms of cake, paste, or other premixed formulas generally has at least a trace of additives and chemicals mixed in with the henna and should only be purchased from trusted sources to make sure it is safely produce the expected hair color.
The hair colors produced by henna hair dye can range from orange to auburn to even darker shades, depending upon the strength of the henna and the original shade of the hair.
On Using Henna
Henna powder is the purest form of henna. It is mixed with water to produce a strong, rich, long-lasting dye.
Packages come with instructions for mixing, for specific amounts to use, and for timing. As henna is natural, hair may need to be saturated with the henna for several hours in order to produce the desired color.
A Word of Warning on Henna
It is extremely rare, but there is a slim possibility of henna powder for dyeing hair. It is specifically dangerous to a population of people with a specific health condition called G6PD deficiency. Much more common than allergic reactions to henna, are physical responses to other substances and chemicals sometimes mixed in with henna powder. It is wise to carefully read the label and available information on any package of henna dye for hair. Only purchase from trusted sources. Henna in the form of powder is usually the purest form available, but only if you get it from a trusted source. For safe, henna hair dye solutions, visit ShopBeachcombers.com.