Cassia Powder Application as a Replacement for Henna

Henna paste is a dark brown to red paste obtained from crushing the green leaves of a plant called lawsonia Inermis. The staining properties of henna are caused by a compound 2 hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone or lawsone, or hennotannic acid. The leaves of the plant contain approximately 5% weight of lawsone which is a yellow to orange powder and insoluble in water. In application, the lawsone dye infuses into the skin, hair and other porous surfaces without chemically altering them. Several factors affect the lightening or darkening of the skin such as skin type, temperature, hormone levels and stress.

Cassia Powder

Cassia powder is derived from the Cassia Obovata plant also called Senna Italica . Cassia powder has a very similar appearance to henna powder but it does not stain the hair or hands. It acts as an excellent conditioner that makes hair glossy and thick and creates a healthy scalp.
Cassia Gum Powder
Cassia Gum

Choosing between Henna and Cassia Powder

The two products have this similar appearance but they yield very different results when applied on the hair. It is note worthy that both give a good appearance to the hair but there are underlying differences in their mode of action, appearance, and side effects. Advantages of Henna
  • Deters scalp issues like dandruff, detoxifies follicles, makes hair stronger and creates a silky feeling on hair.
  • Penetrate hair and adhere to strands
  • Long lasting color that does not fade and effects last for 4 -5 weeks
Disadvantages of Henna
  • Application takes hours for the dye to release properly
  •  Risk of other colored products being marketed as henna, without actually containing Black henna. These may contain synthetic black hair dye referred as p – phenylenediamine (PPD). This may trigger serious allergic reaction to susceptible people and continued exposure can be fatal.
  • Stains everything during mixing and potentially messy.
  • Does not aid hair moisture retention and may sometimes create a harsh drying effect when used. Hair with loose curls may end up straightening after every application.
  • Not recommended for hair that has commercial grade dyes on it as results are poor.
  • Red shades of henna are difficult to regulate since it’s a plant based dye.
  • It can never lighten the color of natural hair; actually it may darken hair with time.

Advantages of Cassia Powder

  • Cassia powder is 100% natural and inexpensive
  • It conditions hair making it very soft
  • Less mixing time as you never have to wait for dye to release, it can be applied and rinsed in 30 – 60 minutes time.
  • Non staining as compared to Henna. The cassia powder creates the same effects on dark hair as Henna but without depositing any hair color on the dark hair.
  • Best for people that don’t like red hair, does not loosen curl patterns as compared to henna.
  • It lasts 2 –  3 weeks on the hair and reapplication may be needed

While choosing between Henna and cassia powder it is advisable to compare what you need versus what the two products offer, and also looking at the possible side effects to the hair and even to the body.

In many regions, people have been using different plants and other natural material for colouring their hair for many years. The innovation of hair dyes gave a convenient option for colouring hair, but it comes with its advantages and disadvantages. With growing awareness of hair care products and their effects, now people are looking for natural options like henna and cassia considering the safety aspect.

Cassia Powder as a Hair Conditioner


Today, there is a wide range of products available claiming the product to be ‘neutral henna’. Actually, henna is Lawsonia inermis, which has a red-orange dye molecule. In most of the cases, the green powder promoted as ‘neutral henna’ is Cassia Obovata leaf.  The appearance of the cassia powder is very similar to the henna powder. However, the cassia powder doesn’t stain hands or hair. It is considered as one of the best conditioners that makes the hair shiny and improves the hair thickness. Moreover, cassia powder is helpful for getting a healthy scalp. When henna is mixed with water, it generates a strong smell.

Cassia Obovata is also popularly known as Senna Obotova. It is important to know that Cassia known as Senna is actually different than the Cassia, which is Cinnamon. Cassia Obovata is specially grown to be used for hair. It is mainly harvested in India, Egypt and Nubia. There are more than 400 species of cassia in the world and different species of cassia have different applications. Some of these cassia species are used in medicines, anti-bacterial and as anti-fungal. Some cassias which are used as a treatment of bacterial infections have been found to be extremely effective against various microorganism and fungi.

Cassia Powder for Restoring Damaged Hair


The tannins in Cassis Obovata are very helpful in restoring the soft texture of hair damaged from the bleach. Especially, it is most suitable for people having delicate natural hair. Cassia powder not only helps in strengthening the hair, but also improves the scalp conditions caused as a result of chemical treatments. Most of the times, delicate curly hairs tend to break off quite often. For such hair conditions, cassia powder is one of the best solutions. It helps in growing long hair by strengthening hair and keeping the scalp healthy. Cassia powder is capable of restoring delicate hair damaged due to the sunshine, chemical treatments of swimming.

Cassia Powder for Colouring Hair


Many times the water used for washing the hair contains dissolved minerals, that can gather in hair. Some of these minerals may react with cassia resulting in dark brown, green or greenish black hair. It is always advisable to test it on some hair taken from the hairbrush. If the colour appears strange, it is recommended to remove the minerals from the hair before dying them. Cassia may not help in changing the colour of dark hair, but it is a very good conditioner. Most importantly, it is very safe. Cassia powder is often mixed with henna to achieve different colour shades.