Coloring With Henna

 How high a price are you willing to pay for beauty? $100 for professional hair coloring? Cancer? Your life? Coloring with henna needs a closer look at coloring your hair.

More than 75 million women color their hair regularly. This is ironic, since getting a man to notice your new 'do is about as likely as getting him to swear off watching football! OK, OK, we'll give you guys a break, since you're becoming more image-conscious, too: One in 12 men colors his hair regularly.

Hair Coloring to Die For

But hair coloring made it onto the Cancer Prevention Coalition's Dirty Dozen list of most harmful consumer products--Clairol's Nice and Easy permanent hair coloring, to be specific. Its stew of labeled carcinogenic (cancer-causing) ingredients include Quaternium-15, also a formaldehyde releaser; Diethanolamine; and Phenylene-Diamines.

Phenylenediamine in particular should be avoided. Using permanent and semi-permanent hair coloring regularly is strongly associated with increased risk of cancer, including Hodgkins, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma and perhaps leukemia and breast cancer. The dye para-phenylenediamine (PPED), present in nearly all hair coloring products, was shown to be carcinogenic to the breast in 1986 following oxidation with hydrogen peroxide--which is exactly how the products are applied.

As a matter of fact, information from the National Cancer Institute suggests that 20 percent of all cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in women is due to regularly using permanent hair coloring. It is noteworthy that the lovely Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who regularly dyed her hair black, died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Prolonged use of dark--especially black--hair coloring may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Hair coloring products also contain Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APE's), which are found in spermicides and pesticides. They are created from and break down into alkylphenols--two of which, nonylphenol and octylphenol, are suspected hormone disruptors. Studies have discovered altered reproduction, hermaphoditism and lower survival rates among salmon and other fish in waterways contaminated with nonylphenol.

As if that weren't enough, the Harvard School of Public Health's epidemiology department discovered that women who use hair coloring five times or more annually are twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who never use hair dye. Further, a study published in the International Cancer Journal found that women who use permanent hair coloring are also twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than those who do not.

And the icing on top of the toxic cake is that the risk of childhood cancer could be increased tenfold for children whose mothers use hair coloring shortly prior to conceiving or during pregnancy.

This is where organically grown Henna from Mountain Rose Herbs comes in.

Henna: Gorgeous Hair without the High Price!

Mountain Rose provides organically grown Henna--no pesticides, no additives, no other coloring agents, no nothing--just pure, luxurious Henna!

Henna has been used as a hair dye since ancient times in the Middle East Asia. In fact, it was a well-kept beauty secret of Cleopatra and Nefertiti!

Henna is formulated from powdered leaves of the desert shrub plant Lawsonia Lythraceae, which is native to tropical areas in Asia, northern Africa and Australia. This perennial shrub, often used in hedges and gardens, can grow to be 20 feet tall. Its leaf embodies a red-orange color component, lawsone.

Henna contains hannatannic acid; mixed with hot water, it coats the hair. It also seals in oils and tightens the hair cuticle, making the hair very shiny and full of body. Because the cuticle is tight and flattened, Henna also helps protect hair from sun damage. As a matter of fact, Henna has gained commercial leverage as a hair conditioner and to stimulate hair growth; scientific studies have even proven that Henna is a better hair conditioner than other commercial conditioners. Regular use texturizes hair, giving it more body and making it visibly fuller.

Another really nice thing about Henna is no dark roots as your hair grows! Henna blends naturally and fades gradually--there is never a noticeable regrowth area. Henna's rich color lasts for three months.

Mountain Rose Herbs carries several lustrous shades of Henna: Red, Black, Sherry, Mahogany, Burgundy, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, Copper, Marigold Blonde, Neutral or Strawberry.

If you desire even more saturated color, you can add additional natural ingredients to your Henna mix. For example, adding vinegar or brewed black coffee can help cover gray. Walnut shells boost brown tones, and rhubarb enhances red shades. Black tea, chamomile tea or lemon will add blonde highlights. Hibiscus- or Rosehip-based tea enriches red tones.

Henna is applied as a mud and washed out after one to two hours. Be sure to use plastic or rubber gloves, wear old clothes, and wrap old towels around your shoulders. It's also a good idea to rub non-petroleum jelly or cream around your hairline to prevent your skin from staining. Instructions are included with each order.

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