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

The two products have this similar appearance but they yield very different results when applied on the hair. It is note worthy that both gives 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.