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Best Essential Oils for Henna

Best Essential Oils for Henna-Vivorific Health

For centuries now, people around the world have been using Henna – a form of body art that’s temporary. Women in the Indian and Arabian continent usually put henna on their hands and feet to beautify themselves when preparing for important functions like weddings, parties, and gatherings. 

Apart from being applied on the hands and feet, henna is also used to dye hair to a deep red color. Natural red-heads can use it to deepen their hair color and cover up gray hairs. Brunettes or dark-haired people can use it to give their hair subtle brownish reddish highlights and mask their gray hairs too.

The henna paste can be applied on its own to produce a satisfactory outcome, but essential oils can be added to the paste to further enhance the color.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants that are obtained through distillation - via steam and/or water - or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. Basically, Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that retain the natural smell and flavor, or "essence," of their source. It is imperative to know that the process of obtaining essential oils is very important. In other words, essential oils obtained through chemical processes are not original essential oils.

The benefits of essential oils are endless. They help relieve stress, anxiety, headaches, migraine, insomnia, and other health issues. Essential oils are also used in aromatherapy, as mosquito repellents, and for industrial cosmetics. What this article is concerned with is how essential oils are used in cosmetics, with henna as the main focus.

Essential oils can be added to the paste to further enhance the color. However, it is not all essential oils that can be used for henna. Henna artists need to use essential oils in henna that are skin safe and healthy for humans that will also dissolve the lawsone – a red-orange dye present in the leaves of the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis) as well as in the flower of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). This article would highlight some of the best essential oils that can be used for henna.

How Do Essential Oils help In the Application of Henna?

Many essential oils contain hydrocarbon solvents which are effective at darkening the stains of henna, and this makes essential oil more effective than water. In fact, Hennotannic acid – the dye in henna – is hydrophobic rather than hydrophilic, and as a result, water is not the most effective means to release and darken henna.

In other words, essential oils function as a solvent in the paste that helps the dye molecule more available to attach to the keratin in the skin. Most solvents like kerosene or turpentine are not skin-friendly and they can’t be put in the paste. However, there are skin-friendly solvents in essential oils with high levels of monoterpene alcohol, and this is where the term “terp” comes from. Terps is a word henna artists use to refer to terpenes, especially monoterpene alcohols.

It is the monoterpene alcohol that helps henna artists out with the henna paste. Nevertheless, it is important to point out that some monoterpene alcohols or essential oils containing them can be irritating or even toxic. As a result of this, it is important to choose carefully.

The most effective, non-toxic, non-irritating monoterpene alcohols are terpineol, geraniol, cineol, cedrol, linalool. Out of these terpenes that can be found in essential oils, the most useful and least harmful is terpineol that can be found in high concentrations in essential oils extracted from Tea Tree, Cajeput, and Ravensara.  It is safe to say that essential oils lacking terpineol and/or similar terpenes do not improve the stain of the henna.

Best Essential Oils for Henna-Vivorific Health-p-

8 Best Essential Oils for Henna

There are so many essential oils containing monoterpenes, and it could be difficult to settle for the right one. However, here are some of the best to help you narrow down your search.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil, Melaleuca alternifolia, is an impressive essential oil that has been known for many centuries because of its unique fragrance. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-bacterial properties that prevent bacteria and other germs from growing on the skin. 

This essential oil is known for being extremely high in terpenes, or monoterpene alcohols, which help henna release its dye, giving you darker henna stains. Apart from this, tea tree essential oil helps to smoothen the texture of henna paste and keeping the henna from drying too quickly. As a result of its earthy fragrance, this essential oil adds a fresh spicy scent to your henna mix.

Another noteworthy feature of tea tree essential oil is that it serves as a powerful disinfectant that kills germs and controls bad odors, and it is mild enough and non-irritating for sensitive skin.

The antiseptic feature of tea tree essential oil makes it effective in treat stings, burns, wounds, and skin irritations while its antifungal properties make it a remedy for treating athletes foot and toenail fungus.

Ravensara Essential Oil

Ravensara Essential oil is created by distilling the leaves and twigs of the Madagascan tree called Ravensara aromatica. This essential oil certainly doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.

It possesses many health benefits and its thin and watery texture makes it very easy to use. As a result of its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, ravensara essential oil helps to prevent and heal skin conditions ranging from chapped skin to cold sores.

Ravensara essential oil possesses a scent that is somewhat similar to eucalyptus but just a bit spicy. Since it has a less potent smell than the eucalyptus or tea tree, it makes a good alternative to the stronger scents. This essential oil also serves as a powerful disinfectant that kills germs and controls bad odors, and it is mild enough and non-irritating for sensitive skin.

Apart from the fact that it has a pleasant fragrance, it is very effective when it comes to darkening henna stains. You can simply mix several drops of Ravensara essential oil with a few drops of tea tree oil and some coconut oil to your henna paste to get a pleasant result.

Geranium Bourbon Essential Oil

Derived from the leaves of Pelargonium graveolens, a plant species native to South Africa, geranium bourbon essential oil is known for its musky-minty-rose aroma. This exquisite variety of essential oil contains linalool, citronellol, and Geraniol, and this combination of monoterpene alcohols makes geranium bourbon essential very efficient in improving the color of the henna paste.

As a result of its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, geranium bourbon essential oil helps treat fungal and bacterial skin infections. Geranium bourbon essential oil is a mild non-irritating essential oil that serves as a powerful disinfectant that kills germs and controls bad odors.

One amazing thing about this essential oil is that it can be combined with other essential oils, such as Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Cedarwood, Citronella, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavandin, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Neroli, Orange, and Rosemary, to create a really enjoyable fragrance.

Patchouli Essential Oil

Belonging to a family of other well-known aromatic plants - including Lavender, Mint, and Sage – patchouli essential oil has a grounding, balancing, calming scent and provides numerous health benefits.

It is very beneficial for the skin, helping to reduce a wrinkled or chapped appearance. Although a majority of scientific studies carried out on patchouli essential oil, regarding its benefit in skincare, have been carried out on animals, there is enough evidence to show that it would be effective in treating skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, or dry, cracked skin.

A 2014 study treated mice with patchouli oil for two hours and then exposed them to ultraviolet radiation, which can age and damage the skin. The result of the research showed that mice treated with patchouli oil had less wrinkle formation and an increase in collagen content. 

Further research will need to be performed to see if the same benefit can be observed in people. Patchouli essential oil has a unique aroma that might be described as woody, sweet, and spicy, and this makes it one of the best essential oils for cosmetics, and this case henna paste.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is an all-rounder and arguably one of the most impressive essential oils today because of its antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties as well as antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying, hypotensive, and sedative effects. 

This can also be said of its lovely, pleasing floral scent. Centuries before now, people have used this essential oil to create a calm, relaxing, and peaceful atmosphere. Lavender oil helps soothe and cleanse minor skin irritations. It is full of antioxidants that help the skin fight against acne and wrinkles.

Another noteworthy feature of lavender essential oil is that it is safe enough to apply directly to the skin without the use of carrier oil, and this enhances its convenience and ease of use, as well as making it the perfect essential oil to add to your henna paste.

Lavender essential oil also serves as a powerful disinfectant that kills germs and controls bad odors, and it is mild enough and non-irritating for sensitive skin. Apart from the fact that it has a pleasant fragrance, it is also very effective when it comes to darkening henna stains.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil, derived from the leaf of a tall evergreen tree, offers many aromatic benefits. Its main chemical components are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol, and this gives eucalyptus essential oil its soothing and cooling vapor. 

This essential oil is a purifying, cleansing, clarifying, and immune-boosting oil that is ideal for use on skin. The healing benefits of Eucalyptus Oil can be attributed to its analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antiviral properties, making it one of the best oils that can be added to the henna paste.

Apart from this, Eucalyptus essential oil is known for being extremely high in terpenes, or monoterpene alcohols, which help henna release its dye, giving you darker henna stains. It serves as a powerful disinfectant that kills germs and controls bad odors, and it is mild enough and non-irritating for sensitive skin.

You can simply mix several drops of Ravensara essential oil with a few drops of tea tree oil and carrier oil of your choice to your henna paste to get a pleasant result.

Cajeput Essential oil

Cajeput essential oil is produced by steam distillation of fresh leaves and twigs of the cajeput tree (Melaleuca leucadendra) and the paperbark tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia). Its major Constituents include 1,8-Cineole, a-Terpineol, p-Cymene, Terpinolene, Gamma-Terpinene, (+)-Limonene, Linalool, and a-Pinene.

The healing benefits of Cajeput Essential Oil can be attributed to its analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antiviral properties, making it another effective essential oil that can be added to the henna paste.

In fact, fungal skin infections stand no chance against cajeput essential oil when it is applied to the skin. The presence of terpinol, linalool, and cineole helps the henna paste release its dye, giving you darker henna stains. It also serves as a powerful disinfectant that kills germs and controls bad odors, and it is mild enough and non-irritating for sensitive skin.

One amazing thing about this essential oil is that it can be combined with other essential oils, such as Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Cedarwood, Citronella, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavandin, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Neroli, Orange, and Rosemary, to create a really enjoyable fragrance.

Niaouli Essential Oil

Niaouli essential oil, also known as Melaleuca Virdiflora, is extracted from the fresh leaves and tender twigs of the large Niaouli tree, which is native to Australia, New Caledonia, and the French Pacific Islands, through the process of steam distillation.

The components of this oil include alpha-pinene, cineole, limonene, piperitone, alpha phellandrene, gamma terpineol, linalool, and beta-pinene, with the presence of terpinol and linalool making it suitable for henna.

Niaouli essential oil possesses antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antiviral properties, and these properties help to treat the wounds, skin infections, and other disorders. One drop of Niaouli oil should be added to the henna paste, and it would help to cleanse the skin ulcers, acne, insect bites, wounds, blemishes, cuts, and burns. It also helps to eliminate the bacteria from the affected part of the skin and speeds up the healing process.

As a result of its antibacterial properties, niaouli essential oil is also added to creams and lotions to treat the bacterial infections, and it would have the same effect when added to the henna paste.

Recipes for Making Henna Paste with Essential Oils

Henna Paste with Tea Tree Essential Oil

What you need

  1. ¼ cup pure fresh henna powder
  2. ¼ cup lemon juice
  3. 1.5 tsp white sugar
  4. 9 drops Tea tree essential oil
  5. Medium-sized glass bowl & spoon
  6. Henna applicator cones
  7. Electric stand mixer

Steps

  • Sift your henna to remove any tiny stems.
  • Put ¼ cup of henna powder into your bowl.
  • Now add the lemon juice and stir it simultaneously so that no clumps form. Stop stirring when you have a thick yogurt-like consistency. If you don’t reach that consistency, you may need to add more lemon juice. Be careful not to add a lot as this would not make the henna stick to the skin.
  • Next, add the sugar and tea tree essential oil.
  • Stir again to achieve a smooth, silky henna paste.
  • After mixing, tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Store it in a warm place (80 F) for 24 hours for the henna color to darken and form a perfect henna paste.
  • When the time is up, stir the paste very well to make it smoother and creamier. If the mixture has gotten is still too thick after mixing, you may add more lemon juice, tsp by tsp until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Finally, you fill your henna cones with this paste and start applying.

Henna Paste with Lavender Essential Oil

What you need

  • 1/2 cup Henna Powder
  • 3 teaspoons of powder sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons lavender essential oil
  • Medium-sized glass bowl & spoon
  • Henna applicator cones
  • Electric stand mixer

Steps

  • Sift your henna to remove any tiny stems.
  • Put 1/2 cup of henna powder into your bowl.
  • Now add the lemon juice and stir it simultaneously so that no clumps form. Stop stirring when you have a thick yogurt-like consistency. If you don’t reach that consistency, you may need to add more lemon juice. Be careful not to add a lot as this would not make the henna stick to the skin.
  • Next, add the sugar and lavender essential oil.
  • Stir again to achieve a smooth, silky henna paste.
  • After mixing, tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Store it in a warm place (80 F) for 24 hours for the henna color to darken and form a perfect henna paste.
  • When the time is up, stir the paste very well to make it smoother and creamier. If the mixture has gotten is still too thick after mixing, you may add more lemon juice, tsp by tsp until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Finally, you fill your henna cones with this paste and start drawing your designs.

Henna Paste with Ravensara Essential Oil

What you need

  • 1/2 cup Henna Powder
  • 3 teaspoons of powder sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons Ravensara essential oil
  • Medium-sized glass bowl & spoon
  • Henna applicator cones
  • Electric stand mixer
  • Plastic wrap cover

Steps

  • Place your ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir the mixture slowly with a spoon till you get something similar to toothpaste.
  • Then with a plastic wrap cover the paste and gently press down so it’s touching the surface and there’s no air contact
  • Store the paste in a warm location for 24 hours (about 75 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • When it is past 24 hours, take off the plastic wrap and give it a good stir,
  • Then fill your henna applicator cones and start drawing beautiful designs

Are there any essential oils you feel should be on the best essential oils for henna list? Share them in the comments below.


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