Henna has been used to colour and condition hair for more than 6,000 years. The first recorded use dates back to ancient Egypt, when it wasn’t just for aesthetics but was also believed to be effective in warding off evil spirits. These magical properties meant it was applied to the hair and nails of the dead before they were mummified, in a bid to keep them safe in the afterlife. Henna was also – and continues to be – used across Africa, India and the Middle East, and gained popularity in Europe after opera singer Madame Adelina Patti popularised its use in the 1800s. It remained one of the few commercially available hair colours for centuries and was used by everyone from hippies to Hollywood stars.