This month's special
Articles on henna and hair by Catherine Cartwright-Jones, PhD
Tips and Techniques
Were red-haired women believed
to be witches?
accused of heresy and witchcraft during the Spanish inquisition if
they were discovered to have henna on hair and fingernails. During
the Medieval Warm period, The Spanish inquisition believed henna was culturally
connected to ethnically Muslim and Jewish culture, and to have any
non-Catholic belief was heresy. By 1560 henna was outlawed in Spain,
and women found using henna were subject to imprisonment and torture.
The belief that red-haired or henna-haired women are witches has
softened, but women with vivid red hair are still viewed as daring,
wild, and mysterious! [Read more...]
Why is it important to learn about henna now?
It is important to learn about henna now because people are increasingly
allergic to chemical hair dye. People in North Africa, the Middle East and
South Asia have been dyeing their hair with henna for centuries, but their
mixes were unknown in the west. Henna, indigo, and cassia are ecologically
sound crops for small land holders in marginal farming areas, and if the market
for these products increases, it will benefit family farms and soils, as well
as preserving our own health.
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