I have already told you about Cassia (neutral henna) and its restructuring and strengthening effects in dedicated articles such as: Cassia, the natural remedy to strengthen fine and brittle hair or Restructuring Volumizing Pack for Fine, Thin and Brittle Hair . So if you don't know her yet, I absolutely recommend reading these 2 articles.
Cassia or Sidr? What is Neutral Henna between the two?
They are 2 different plants but very similar to each other as they strengthen and give more body to the hair without changing its color (when the hair is medium-dark).
Confusion arises when in herbalist's shops you find a package with only neutral henna indicated above and you wonder what you are actually buying. Also because unfortunately the name "neutral henna" on the label does not give you the certainty that the contents of the bag are a single plant. It happens that sometimes lawsonia is even added inside, so never trust with your eyes closed.
In some shops, even Sidr, not just Cassia, is available under the name of Neutral Henné . So the only way to understand what you are buying is to check the INCI (ie the list of ingredients) which by law must be present on all the labels of the products on sale.
If you want to be sure you are buying SIDR powder to use it as a natural hair shampoo , the inci must report: Zizyphus Jujuba.
If, on the other hand, you wish to buy Cassia, the Inci must report Cassia Obovata or Cassia Angustifolia .
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Cassia (Neutral Henna) or Sidr (Zizyphus Jujuba): which is the best quality?
How can you understand if the Cassia or the Sidr you have in your hands are of excellent quality? Well, an excellent quality of Cassia or SIDR is indicated by an impalpable and soft powder like talc .
If, on the other hand, you notice that the powder is sandy, it is probable that the product in front of you is the result of various wastes from the plant, no less effective on the hair, but certainly the greater difficulty in spreading the product. Or there is a possibility that sand has been added to affect the weight of the product on the scale.
Cassia (Neutral Henna) vs. Sidr (Zizyphus Jujuba) : what differentiates them?
Cassia is a plant belonging to the legume family so it can give allergic reactions to those suffering from favism while Sidr belonging to the rhamnaceae family is rarer to cause allergies.
Unlike Cassia, Sidr also carries out a washing, purifying and conditioning action on the hair.
In wraps, Cassia can dry out the lengths a little more than a healing wrap with Sidr would because Cassia does not contain mucilage. The possible effect of dryness can be avoided by using flaxseed gel or hydrated fenugreek gel instead of water in the batter with Cassia.
Do both Cassia and Sidr color hair?
The name that is given commercially to both plants can mislead us: it is neutral henna so it does not alter the color of the hair! Right and wrong at the same time!
If Cassia contains a mild yellow dye molecule, which is activated thanks to the acidic environment and oxidation, Sidr does not contain dye molecules therefore it does not release any pigment and should not change the shade even of light hair.
They do not alter the color of hair whether it is naturally dark or chemically dyed dark. If, on the other hand, the hair is blond or very light, it could darken it by 1 shade or give strange reflections.
So to remedy unpleasant episodes, a test test should always be done on a hidden lock of hair.
Cassia (neutral henna) or Sidr: which one to use in Herbal Dye Mixes?
Since both are "neutral" herbs, which do not release a strong dye pigment, both Sidr and Cassia are usually used in herbal dye mixes to dilute the final shade of the dye mix and therefore obtain a less dark color , less intense.
I advise you to use Cassia and not Sidr especially in those light dye mixes where the percentage of Cassia prevails over the other dyeing herbs present in the mix. To prevent any dryness you can always use flaxseed gel instead of water.
You can give preference to Sidr instead when you need to fix the pigment of katam or indigo by adding it to your batter in a percentage that can reach up to 15%, but no more.
If you exceed 15-20% of sidr in a dye mix that also contains katam or indigo, you risk that the acidic pH of the sidr goes into conflict with the basic pH of the katam/indigo , nullifying the color rendering.
Used within these percentages, Sidr not only helps to fix the pigment in the hair but also facilitates the application of an indigo or katam batter which is often problematic due to the graininess of the plant.
Cassia (neutral henna) or Sidr (Zizyphus Jujuba): types of hair wrap
Strictly stopping at their properties, with Cassia (neutral henna) you can make an effective curative mask for strengthening and volumizing hair while with Sidr (zizyphus jujuba) you can make a cleansing and purifying mask that will leave your hair not only clean but also shiny , conditioned and vaporous.
Obviously, nothing prevents us from creating a synergy between these 2 Indian herbs and taking advantage of their reinforcing, volumizing, antibacterial and purifying properties.
There are studies showing that some components of cassia cling to the keratin present in the stem , which is why the hair is strengthened and more robust following the healing wrap. Instead the mucilages released by the Sidr will take care of those hairs that are dehydrated and damaged.
So all you have to do is try both Cassia (Neutral Henna) and Sidr (Zizyphus Jujuba) yourself, in healing poultices or dyes and let me know in the comments section, below, which of these two Indian herbs suits you best. your preference!
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