Dry henna powder in bowl on wooden table
Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

3 Ways To Use Henna For Beauty, Besides Dying

Most natural beauty buffs will be familiar with using henna to dye hair. And most of us have seen the henna body art booths at theme parks. But henna can mean so much more for beauty. Below are a few ways to use henna, besides the standard dye treatment.

Hair Conditioning

This is very close to dying with henna, but the goal is different. Henna can actually work as a wonderful hair conditioner, as long as you use the body art henna to make sure it doesn’t have any nasty additives that could react poorly with dye or chemical treatments on the hair. Pure henna makes hair shiny, strong and gives volume. Henna coats the hair shaft, leaving it healthy and strong, without locking out moisture. It can even reverse minor split ends!

Using henna as a conditioner is a lot like using it as a dye:

  1. Mix the henna with either warm water, tea or some people have reported using coconut milk. Mix until you have a thick paste. Lemon juice is commonly used to promote dye release, but that is much too acidic for a conditioning mask, and dye release isn’t the goal here.
  2. Let the mixture sit overnight.
  3. Once the mush has been sitting for eight hours or more, add some more liquid to make it into a yogurt-like consistency.
  4. Then saturate your hair fully with the henna paste.
  5. Leave the mixture on for just thirty minutes so that you do not get the intense dye uptake.
  6. Rinse out well.

Careful on light blonde shades, as some red color may still be imparted into the hair. Do a strand test first if you have light hair.

If you don’t want to go through the mess, there are also natural henna shampoos and conditioners at various health stores that can work wonders. The dye effects will be less strong or nonexistent, depending on the product.

Scalp Improvements

Henna is also a natural cure for dandruff and red, itchy scalps. For this treatment, prepare the henna as above and then apply it to the scalp and hair. Leave on for 30-60 minutes, and then rinse it out.

Henna Oil: Nature’s First Aid

Henna oil is also great for minor scrapes, abrasions, burns and cuts. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural astringent. Simply apply henna oil to a wound using a cotton ball, but make sure to wash the area first.

Because it’s an astringent, it has also been used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. For this use, apply the oil to the affected area once or twice daily.