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HomeNewsHenna: The Indigenous 'Lalle' Of Northern Nigeria And Its Importance

Henna: The Indigenous ‘Lalle’ Of Northern Nigeria And Its Importance

Henna, a reddish-brown dye produced from powdered leaves of a tropical shrub, is mainly used for hair and body beautification. Moreso, it is a source of income for many farming entities in northern Nigeria.

Henna: The Indigenous 'Lalle' Of Northern Nigeria And Its Importance 1

Speaking to Aminiya, Abdulmumini Haruna, a farmer, described henna farming as a lucrative business, saying there are different species of henna leaves, and after the leaves are harvested, they are dried and preserved in sacks before they are taken to the markets.

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‘Lalle’ as it is called in Hausa, comes in different varieties, including; Dan lele, dan gaya, dan garin mallam, dan kademu among others. It also varies in colours — red and black — there is also Indian henna. 

The northerners, who are predominantly Muslims and Hausas, patronise Lalle for different purposes. 

As earlier mentioned, the men cultivate it for financial gains. Similarly, women, especially beauty artists, also benefit from it by offering henna design services to others. 

Henna: The Indigenous 'Lalle' Of Northern Nigeria And Its Importance 2
Henna: The Indigenous 'Lalle' Of Northern Nigeria And Its Importance 1

The women mostly patronize this service, especially during festive seasons and ceremonies.

Apart from the natural henna powder, there are also foreign products that have threatened to take over the locally made powder in recent decades, bringing more choices and varieties to the market. 

According to the women henna artists, most of these products are imported from India, a country also popular for henna usage. 

Henna: The Indigenous 'Lalle' Of Northern Nigeria And Its Importance 3
Henna: The Indigenous 'Lalle' Of Northern Nigeria And Its Importance 2

However, health experts have argued that using henna on the skin for decoration can bring about skin allergies depending on the skin type. One health expert said to Aminiya that this is especially true of artificial henna products. He added that Lalle, on the other hand, has medicinal benefits for the skin and body, although some skins might still react to it.

According to organic facts, henna possesses health advantages, including its potential to relieve headaches, detoxify the body, improve nails, protect the skin, boost hair health, cool the body, reduce inflammation, and speed healing.

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