Wednesday, May 28, 2008

QTSaver Daily Search results for: Henna
Henna - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henna or Hina (Lawsonia inermis, syn. L. alba) is a flowering plant, the sole species in the genus Lawsonia in the family Lythraceae. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, and northern Australasia in semi-arid zones.

Henna is a tall shrub or small tree, 2–6 m high. It is glabrous, multibranched with spine tipped branchlets. Leaves are opposite, entire, glabrous, sub-sessile, elliptical, and broadly lanceolate (1. 5–5. 0 cm x 0. 5–2 cm), acuminate, having depressed veins on the dorsal surface.

The leaves gradually yellow and fall during prolonged dry or cool intervals. Henna flowers have four sepals and a 2 mm calyx tube with 3 mm spread lobes. Petals are obvate, white or red stamens inserted in pairs on the rim of the calyx tube. Ovary is four celled, style up to 5 mm long and erect.

3 Traditions of henna as body art

Henna, Lawsonia inermis, produces a red-orange dye molecule, lawsone. This molecule has an affinity for bonding with protein, and thus has been used to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather, silk and wool. Henna's indigenous zone is the tropical savannah and tropical arid zone, in latitudes between 15° and 25° N and S from Africa to the western Pacific rim, and produces highest dye content in temperatures between 35°C and 45°C. It does not thrive where minimum temperatures are below 11°C. Temperatures below 5°C will kill the henna plant. The dye molecule, lawsone, is primarily concentrated in the leaves, and is in the highest levels in the petioles of the leaf.

Henna is commercially cultivated in western India, Pakistan, Morocco, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. Presently the Pali district of Rajasthan is the most heavily cultivated henna production area in India, with over 100 henna processors operating in Sojat City.

Though henna has been used for body art and hair dye since the Bronze Age, henna has had a recent renaissance in body art due to improvements in cultivation, processing, and the diasporas of people from traditional henna using regions.

Henna for sale at the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul

In the Bible's Song of Songs and Song of Solomon, henna is referred to as Camphire.
(An old spelling of Camphor.)

Henna will repel some insect pests and mildew.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved henna for direct application to the skin. It is unconditionally approved as a hair dye, and can only be imported for that purpose. Henna imported into the USA which appears to be for use as body art is subject to seizure, and at present it is illegal to use henna for body art in the U. S. ,though prosecution is rare. The fast black stains of “black henna” are not made with henna, but are from p-phenylenediamine. This can cause severe allergic reactions and permanent scarring. No henna can make a black stain on a torso in ½ hour. P-phenylenediamine can stain skin black quickly, but the FDA specifically forbids PPD to be used for that purpose.

Henna body art is made by applying henna paste to the skin: the lawsone in the paste migrates into the outermost layer of the skin and makes a red-brown stain.

Whole, unbroken henna leaves will not stain the skin. Henna will not stain skin until the lawsone molecules are made available (released) from the henna leaf. Fresh henna leaves will stain the skin if they are smashed with a mildly acidic liquid. This will stain skin within moments, but it is difficult to form intricate patterns from coarse crushed leaves. Dried ground, sifted henna leaves are easily worked into a paste that can be used to make intricate body art. Commercially available henna powder is made by drying the henna leaves and milling them to powder, then the powder is sifted. This powder is mixed with lemon juice, strong tea, or other mildly acidic liquids. Essential oils with high levels of "terps", monoterpene alcohols such as tea tree, eucalyptus, cajeput, or lavender will improve skin stain characteristics.

The henna mix must rest for 6 to 12 hours so the leaf cellulose is dissolved, making the lawsone available to stain the skin. This is mixed to a toothpaste consistency and applied with a one of many traditional tools, including resist techniques, shading techniques, and thicker paste techniques, or the modern cellowrap cone.
Henna for Hair - Frequently Asked Questions

There are 3 green plant powders: Neutral Henna, Red Henna and Black Henna. Only one of them is henna!

Neutral henna, a green powder that smells like freshly cut grass, is neither henna nor neutral. Cassia obovata contains anthraquinones, particuarly Chrysophanic acid, a remarkable anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.

Red henna, a green powder that smells like hay, is Lawsonia inermis, commonly known as henna. The leaves of the henna plant have a red-orange dye molecule, Lawsone, a napthaquinone. Henna will stain your hair red-orange; but this stain is translucent and will combine with your natural color. Body art quality henna has a much higher dye content than the henna usually sold for hair. Henna is the best hair conditioner of all. It will make your hair heavy, thick and silky.

Black henna, a green powder that smells like frozen peas, is neither black nor henna. It is indigo, Indigofera tinctoria.

What kinds of henna are there?

Learn about the history of henna for hair: http://www. hennaforhair. com/history/

Lawsonia alba and Lawsonia spinoza are misleading older names for Lawsonia Inermis. When henna is a small and immature plant, it has low dye content and is spineless; when mature, it develops spines and higher dye content. Henna plants undergo this change when they are 3 years old. When western botanists saw juvenile and mature henna plants, they thought they were seeing two species, and gave them different botanical names. Lawsonia also has different colors of flowers. The plants with white flowers are sometimes called var. alba, but they are used for dye as are the plants with yellow, pink and red flowers.

Can you get different colors from different parts of the henna plant?

Only henna leaves have dye, and the highest content is in the leaf petiole. There is no dye in the bark, twigs, or rootstock of Lawsonia inermis, and certainly not different colors such as black. The roots of henna are never harvested for dye, as henna is a small tree that is kept in production for many years. Though henna is grown in many different countries, the henna dye molecule is always the same red orange. The leaf’s dye content differs according to climate and soil conditions, so the dye saturation may differ, but henna is not black in one country and red in another country.

Some Blonde, Brown, Auburn, Mahogany, and other “shades” of henna are mixes of amla, indigo, walnut, rhubarb, and Lawsonia, with other plant or synthetic dyes added, and may have metallic salts added. Many of these products have no henna whatsoever and are chemical dyes. This is a completely bogus addition, as far as henna itself is concerned and is the biggest indicator that your product is NOT even close to being 100% pure henna! The labeling on these products is often misleading, inaccurate, false, or entirely missing. The quality is often very poor.

Once the henna’s dye has oxidized and reached its final shades, the color is permanently impregnated into the strand. Shampooing, chlorine, blow-drying, will all cause some type of degradation. Because there is a single-compound natural dye in henna, it is far less likely to go brassy or bronze like multiple-compound synthetic dyes, which will degrade and change color after a shorter period of time, and do not bond to the hair in the same way.

As with some chemical dyes, repeated applications of true henna or henna mixes develop a richer, deeper color with each succeeding application. Think of a teaspoonful of coffee in a white cup. It will look very light brown.

Each application coats the last, changing the depth and bounce of the light wavelengths off your hair and giving the appearance of progressively deeper richer color each time. If you only henna your hair once, it may lighten a few shades from its peak color, but the henna’s essential color will remain until it grows out and is cut off unless it is stripped out with a chemical process.

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