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Henna Ancient Egypt

henna ancient egypt

Ancient Egyptians used henna as means of decorating and coloring their hair and nails to make themselves more beautiful and attractive. They used many different colors of henna on different occasions. It was generally made of natural extracts from flowers and shrubs. Let us now examine the significance and use of henna in ancient Egypt.

Derivation Of Henna

The term henna is derived from the Arabic word Khanna. The term Mehendi is also used instead of the word henna and that word is derived from Sanskrit origins. Henna was a color dye that was originally derived and formed from dried and crushed leaves of the Lawsonia interim shrub. Although the original color of henna leaves was green, special pigments could be obtained from orange-yellow to orange-red and even darker brick red.

Henna In Ancient Egypt

Archeologists researched and found out that henna was used in ancient Egypt primarily to color hair and nails. Ancient Egyptians used to make different colors from henna by adding various natural elements present in the surroundings. Then they used to dye their hair and nails with these different colors.

Henna was not just about looks, it was also about health. Henna was considered to contain some very nutritious contents that enhanced the growth of hairs and nourished them from roots. This provided strength to hair and made it strong, tough, and smooth. In the same manner, nails were also meant to gain strength with the use of henna. Henna made nails look beautiful and attractive and at the same time made them strong and resistant to damage.

Henna For the Hands

When henna was first derived its main purpose was to enhance the beauty of hair and fingernails and make them strong and beautiful. Later, ancient Egyptians started using henna for painting their hands with beautiful designs as well. The color of henna usually lasted for several days and became increasingly popular. 

In 1400 B.C. it is believed that the queen of Sheba was decorated with henna on her journey to meet King Solomon. Musicians and dancers also used henna very commonly for decorating their fingers as their occupation was contained in the magic of their fingers.

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