Henna (Lawsonia inermis, also known as hina, the henna tree, the mignonette tree, and the Egyptian privet) is a flowering plant and the sole species of the Lawsonia genus. The English name "henna" comes from the Arabic حِنَّاء (ALA-LC: ḥinnāʾ; pronounced or, colloquially حنا, loosely pronounced as .
The name henna also refers to the dye prepared from the plant and the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes. Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather. The name is used in other skin and hair dyes, such as black henna and neutral henna, neither of which are derived from the henna plant.
Historically, henna was used for cosmetic purposes in the Roman Empire, Convivencia-period Iberia and Ancient Egypt, as well as other parts of North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Near East and South Asia. It was also popular among women in 19th-century Europe. Today, bridal henna nights remain an important tradition in many of these areas.
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