Henna [Archives:2003/652/Culture]

July 21 2003

Mayasa Mohammed Gawad
YT Staff ,Taiz Bureau

Henna (camphire) is one of the bush plants famous in the Arab- Islamic world, known as a means for beautification and treatment of the body and hair too. Despite the various kinds of hair dyes, henna comes to be the first kind of dyes used in the world. Henna's origin is India or Iran and the well- known kinds of henna are the Indian, Shami, Baghdadi, and al Shaeka.
Henna of Yemen is that from Hadhramout and Aden. In Yemen, it is known that crops of henna are harvested soon after the beginning of the monsoon rains and they are the best times of the year. Since many long times, Henna has been used to dye the hair and decorate the body.
Henna is a bush plant with red roots, hard wood, containing color substances, stem with green profile branches turning in to brown when ripe. Henna is a good smell plant and the powder of its dried leaves is used in dyeing the hair and body decoration.

Henna and body decoration
The paste of henna is used to decorate hands, fingers, nails and the feet. In Yemen, grandmothers, mothers and young women decorate their body, especially in the countryside. Hands and feet of the bride are decorated with beautiful forms. To apply henna, mix the powder of henna with warm water till it becomes a paste. Then put it on your body or hair 1-2 hours. It is then you can get darker red color. Many women take it a job to decorate the body so as to earn money. They, sometimes, use hand -cut stencils and in Yemen, you can find beautiful stencils.

Dye hair with Henna
Since a time immemorial, women in the Arab and Islamic world have been used to dye their hair in with henna. It gives the hair a bright color and that refers to the original color of the hair and the time it lasts on the hair. In the Arab Islamic world, some even men even dye their head hair and beards with henna. In addition, henna represents an important substance in the combination of many hair dyes and shampoos.

Treatment with Henna
Besides using henna in body decoration and hair dyeing, it is known to be used to treat some hair and body diseases. Treatment of foot split and the different bacteria is done with henna. Treatments of hair scurf and in this case add to henna vinegar or lemon. Thickening and feeding the hair is another way of using henna. For treatment of headache put henna on the forehead.