5 Ways Henna Can Treat Your Hair and Scalp Problems

Henna_for_hair

Though henna’s intended use is for creating intricate, yet beautiful designs on the body, women have been using the natural plant-based dye to remedy other issues with their hair and scalp. Different cultures have been taking advantage of this plant for centuries. Once discovered that henna left a red stain behind when left on objects  or bodies for long periods of time, people started using the plant to dye their hair and finger nails. Aside from natural dye, henna can be used to treat persistent and chronic scalp conditions.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition that can cause itchy and red patches to develop on your skin and even your scalp. While henna is not medically prescribed by doctors to treat psoriasis on the scalp, it has been used by psoriasis sufferers for years. Because henna has anti-fungal properties, it has been known to keep the scalp free of redness, flakes, and itching that is caused by psoriasis. Henna also strengthens the skin, which is beneficial for psoriasis sufferers since the condition causes the skin to become fragile over time.

Dandruff

Like psoriasis, dandruff can cause unseemly itchy flakes on the scalp. Dandruff is often the result of a fungal infestation. Henna’s antifungal properties keep the flakes and itching at bay. When applied, the natural hair dye binds itself to the keratin that’s in your hair and creates a protective layer. This protective layer relieves your scalp of irritation. Dandruff is caused by excessive oiliness on the scalp. Henna actually reduces oil, thus reducing the dandruff.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This is a skin condition that I have personally been suffering from for years. Seborrhea dermatitis is a skin condition that causes the oily parts of your body to produce too much oil. This excessive amount of oil turns into itchy, scaly, bumpy, red painful patches. Even after all of the dermatologists and prescribed medications, I always go back to henna to help clear up my dermatitis when I have a flair up. In addition to antifungal properties, henna also has antiseptic properties. Since dermatitis is suspected to be caused by a yeast fungus called malassezia, the antifungal and antiseptic properties that are in henna are probably what causes the condition to subside until the next flare up.

Hair Loss

Not only is henna used for dying the hair and treating the scalp, henna can also be used for hair growth. Will it grow your hair to extreme lengths in a short amount of time? Probably not. It doesn’t work over night. However, I can vouch for it contributing to the growth of thinning or broken hair. When I first began my henna journey, I was using it to help strengthen my hair. Because of my Seborrheic Dermatitis, I was losing hair. The dermatitis caused thick and large flakes on my scalp. When I removed the flakes, my hair came out with them. I did my research and henna was listed as a natural option for people with hair loss. I started applying the henna every month and slowly noticed my hair line and nape growing in thicker. Henna also is great for women who have thinning hair. Henna creates stronger strands of hair and promotes growth because of its antifungal/antiseptic properties. If your scalp spends less time fighting off dandruffs, dermatitis and psoriasis, it has more time to focus on hair growth.

Conditioner

Henna is a natural hair conditioner. Some like to mix their henna with coconut oil/milk or olive oil for added benefits. However, henna is an excellent conditioner all on its own. Henna is what I would call a deep conditioner because in order to see all of its benefits, it needs to be left on the hair for a few hours or more. I usually sleep with henna in my hair overnight. I have even heard of some women leaving henna in their hair for two or three days. After washing the henna out of your hair, you will notice a difference. Your hair will feel heavier, softer and you will notice less breakage.

Keep in mind that henna is not to be used without fully doing your research. There are some rules that need to be followed in order for you to get the best use out of henna. For example, henna should be mixed to a certain texture (pudding) and it should be applied to wet hair. It also should be mixed with something acidic like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if you’re using it for its hair dying properties. There are a host of other things to take into consideration before applying henna. Make sure the proper research is done before you decide if henna is right for you.

Do you use henna to treat your hair or scalp condition(s)?

13 thoughts on “5 Ways Henna Can Treat Your Hair and Scalp Problems

  1. I too suffer from Seborrheic Dermatitis and I’ve been looking for something to help. Ive heard about using henna but I haven’t tried it yet. Currently I have it under control from using SM African Black Soap shampoo or Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle along with benotnite clay and acv as a deep conditioner/cleanser but my edges and nape have some bad breakage from where it acts up the most. Some of the spots are growing in better than others and I’ve been looking for a natural solution to help strengthen and grow out my hair. I may have to try this for sure now. Thanks for the tips!!!

    • I can’t speak for anyone else but I exclusively use Godrej Nupur Henna, it’s premixed with other ingredients like amla (for toning down the red color), shikaki and neem. The neem helps with treating my seborrheic dermaitisis. I prefer it because it works, and its quick to whip up: I just mix about 1/4cup (you may need more depending on your length) sifted with hot water and olive oil until its the consistency of a thin yogurt. After letting it sit to let the dye release for a couple of hours, pop it in the fridge to firm it up. This is specifically helps with the application, applying right out of the fridge when its cold cuts down on the messy splatter.

      • Thanks so much for the detailed explanation Bnelle! I too have used the medicated shampoos and like you said it’s drying. I’m going to give henna a try. What have i go to lose? :-)

  2. I’ve been a henna head for a while since I big chopped in 2011 in fact. Then I had the bright idea to to dye my hair with conventional dyes from 2013 to 2014. Big mistake. Did not retain any length and my hair was breaking and thinning. Went back to henna and protective styles…gained more length in 3 months since I’ve been henna.ing??? (if that’s a word), then the whole year that I strayed away. Big problem downside is the processing time…but I found out about henna gloss. Curlynikki has details on this process. Basically I add two tablespoons of henna to my moisturizing conditioner and leave it in for about 2-3 hours and I have a nice conditioning treatment. My hair is thicker, full of shine, stronger, and hardly any hair fall out or breakage. I’m also retaining more length. Don’t fall asleep on henna ladies.

  3. I get my henna from Henna Sooq. I’ve been using the red raj when it is available. Gives a faster dye release and big pay off in color especially after repeated use.

  4. I suffer from Seborrheic Dermatitis and henna is the only product that treats my condition over the long term that doesn’t damage my hair. I’ve tried medicated shampoos, but those dried my hair out and made it break off. I use henna about every 2 months and it has transformed my scalp. No more flaking and painful scabs. I should also note that my SD is hormonal. If I’m extremely stressed for months on end, it flared up something serious before I used henna. Now all I do is maintenance: I shampoo with shea moisture’s African black soap (i think the formula changed bc recently my hair has been feeling stripped), and I just massage tea tree oil into my scalp once a week before styling and I have no other worries. It’s a breeze.

    I also use henna as a natural gloss and for color. I wanted shinier, thicker (i know) hair and a nice auburn color since my fine hair cannot handle any lifting agent at all. Henna has become my go to source.

  5. I have scalp psoriasis and use henna on my head. It does nothing for my psoriasis. It’s as pure as can be sometimes with twigs still in it. But what it does do is reduce my breakge, helps we retain length and loosens and defines my curl pattern.
    The last part is a bit of a problem because I have different curl patterns on my head and it got me all the way to 3c at the back of my head before I big chopped recently. Meanwhile the sides of my head which are usually 4c were still in 4b territory. Made for a funky wash and go situation.
    But I wonder, I’m getting ready to do the MHM regime and wonder if henna will be helpful or rendered useless or whatever else, does anyone have experience with this?

  6. I just want to add that if you are looking to dye but you don’t want to use something acidic you can still get results. I personally don’t put any acid in and I still have gotten color, my hair is now dark brown with reddish tint that pops in the sunlight. It took me a while to get to this color but I got here!

  7. I recently used henna on my hair. After years of research, I decided to use coconut milk to mix with. It’s been several days to a week and my dandruff HAS disappeared. It also dyed my gray hair a copper shade. My hair was dry, not wet when I applied the henna. Nor was my henna a pudding-like consistency.

    This was my first time and it was a test. Next time I WILL use a pudding-like consistency. I will also apply to apply to dry hair and use the coconut milk to mix, as it has already worked well for me.

  8. I started using henna indigo to dye my gray during the last 6 months when I became extremely allergic to hair dye. It has completely cleared my very thick psoriasis plaque since the first treatment and has not come back. This is the first time in the last 20 years that my scalp is completely clear of dandruff and psoriasis. I don’t use any of my prescribed steroid cream anymore. I don’t care that henna is messy because keeping my scalp healthy is worth it. I use henna indigo every 4 to 5 weeks, mixing it with 2 eggs, hot water and brewed coffee, olive oil, and apple vinegar.

  9. I have psoriasis and I want to use henna but not to color my hair so how do I get it to help my scalp without changing my hair color

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