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Henna hair dye
Fresh henna powder smells like fresh cut hay or spinach and is an earthy green or khaki color. Bright green powder may have chemical dye added, this is often just a food coloring and can be safe. Sometimes the green dye is added to disguise an old crop of powder. If the powder is brown and has little or no scent, it may be stale and too old to yield a good color for mehndi or henna body painting.
Begin mixing paste the day before you would like to apply the henna. It takes about 24 hours to prepare the henna paste for application.
Henna and Indigo
Indigo - Indigofera tinctoria is mixed with Henna to achieve dark rich browns. First you use Henna and then Indigo - in a two step process. Indigo applied over henna treated hair makes a lush black hair color.
For more detail about Henna and its companion herbs: Henna hair dye
Amla - Emblica officinalis
is sometimes added to tone down the red and create a deeper, browner tone and it helps to fix the dye.
Amla is an excellent hair volumizer and curl enhancer, and facial scrub and toner. It - Promotes hair growth - Controls hair fall - Cures scalp infection - Controls premature greying of hair - Removes pimples and grime
Cassia obovata (senna)
Cassia NOT Cassia angustifolia - is similar to henna but does not creat red - it lightens.
Cassia powder looks very much like henna powder, but generally does not stain hair or hands. It is an excellent conditioner which makes hair glossy and thick, with a healthy scalp. When you mix this green leaf powder with warm water, it has a strong smell similar to a heap of warm mowed grass.
It contains anthraquinones, particuarly Chrysophanic acid, and is anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Cassia obovata has a golden dye molecule that will stain dull blonde and gray hair yellow. It will help damaged hair, make hair full, glossy, healthy.