Neutral Henna, Red Henna and Black Henna.
Only one of them is henna!
What is Neutral Henna?
Neutral henna, a green powder that smells like freshly cut grass, is neither henna nor neutral. It is Cassia obovata. Cassia obovata contains anthraquinones, particuarly Chrysophanic acid, a remarkable 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.
Learn more about Cassia Obovata at: http://www.hennaforhair.com/faq/cassiaobovata.html
What is Red Henna?
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.
Learn more about henna at http://www.hennapage.com/henna/encyclopedia/growing/
What is Black Henna?
Black henna, a green powder that smells like frozen peas, is neither black nor henna. It is indigo, Indigofera tinctoria.
Learn more about Indigo at http://www.indigopage.com
What kinds of henna are there?
Just Lawsonia inermis. This is the only plant that is actually “real henna” So how did this get so confusing?
Learn about the history of henna for hair: http://www.hennaforhair.com/history/
Then what is Lawsonia alba? ...Lawsonia spinoza/spinosa?
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. Learn more about henna flowers HERE: http://www.hennapage.com/henna/encyclopedia/growing/flower.html . You can see henna spines HERE: http://www.hennapage.com/henna/encyclopedia/growing/ .
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.
Learn more about how henna is grown and processed:
Then what are Brown, Blonde, and all of those other colors of Henna? 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. Some commercial brands that claim to be 100% natural may include a bottle of “developer”; beware! This is a completely bogus addition, as far as henna...