Did You Know Henna Has Been Used Since Biblical Times?

Updated March 2023

Everybody has probably heard of henna in some way or another. Henna is often talked about in regards to Indian traditions, such as painting the body of the bride before her wedding. Henna has also become quite popular in mainstream America, mostly in the form of henna tattoos, but henna hair dye is quickly gaining in popularity. So, while you might be familiar with henna, something that might surprise you is that henna can be traced back to biblical times.

Henna was traced back to biblical times as it was mentioned in the bible several times in the Song of Songs. The one thing that you need to know about henna being referenced in the bible is that the word henna is not used instead the Hebrew word “kopher” is used. “Kopher” not to be confused with the word camphor refers to the henna plant directly and is found numerous times in Song of Songs.  The first place it is mentioned is in Song of Songs Chapter 1, Verse 14, then in Chapter 4 Verse 12 and 13, and finally in Chapter 7 Verse 11.
In Song of the Songs is not referring to henna as a dye, but in Song of the Songs Chapter 7 Verse 6 it is possible that a woman’s henna hair is being referenced. “Your head is like scarlet {or Carmel} and the locks of your head like purple.” In most of the verses, the reference to henna is in regards to the perfume of the flower rather than its ability to be used as a dye. Interesting to note is the fact that the earliest use of henna as a hair dye is from the Middle Bronze Age as henna-dyed wigs were found in numerous excavations in Jericho. Song of the Songs is a very erotic book in the bible and there are many allusions to bodily love and sexuality. With hennas use in marriage ceremonies in various countries and the allusion to henna in the Song of Songs one can imagine there is some kind of connection.

At Reshma Beauty® you will find a wide array of Henna Colors.