Henna Safety: How to know your pre-mixed henna
Concern for henna safety started mainly with the emergence of "black henna" and some resulting horrible skin reactions... Just a reminder that black HENNA does not exist! Neither does red henna, or any other odd color you may see advertised. Natural henna comes in only one color, which is an earthy green as powder form, dark brown when mixed and as the paste applied on the skin, and the dry paste will be a dark brown, almost blackish color. When first flaked off, natural henna will leave a stain on the skin anywhere from a bright orange color to a pale orange-brown color. This bright orange is natural, and will oxidize within the next 48 hours, first to a darker reddish brown color, and then to deep brown or on some skin tones it may appear almost black on the palms. If you do not see this color progression, the henna you are using may not be all natural.
Other red flags that your pre-mixed henna may not be all natural:
- Henna should smell good. The smell of henna is not everyone's favorite fragrance, but it should absolutely not smell BAD or like chemicals or hair dye. Natural henna should smell a bit earthy and warm, and if mixed with essential oils to aid in dye release, it may smell like a recognizable essential oil such as tea tree or lavender, or it may just smell like a blend of fresh essential oils. It should not smell like artificial fragrance.
- Natural henna needs to be kept on the skin for a longer time to leave a stain. Avoid any "henna" that has instructions including that the applied paste should be removed after 15 minutes and washed off with soap and water, as this may mean that there are additives that may be skin irritants, or an artificial intense stain or ink that may stain the skin almost instantly and very dark. Natural henna should require staying on the skin for at least an hour or two for the best stain, and should be able to be left on for as long as desired with no ill effects, itching, burning, or irritation.
- Obtain an ingredients list of exactly what is put into the henna paste whenever possible. If you happen to have an allergy to a specific natural essential oil, then this is especially important even from reliable sources of natural henna. This is the ingredient list from our original Signature Henna Paste for your comparison: -lawsonia inermis (henna) powder, citrus limonum (lemon) juice, melaleuca cajeputi (cajeput) oil, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil, melaleuca viridiflora (naiouli) oil, and sucrose (sugar).
Buy our tried and true all natural henna paste HERE!: Henna Art Products: Henna Paste
-If you already have our amazing, reusable acrylic hand or foot templates for practicing henna, try applying any "questionable" henna paste onto the template before you apply it onto your skin. If the henna paste permanently stains or tints your acrylic template, then the paste is not entirely natural! Our Signature Henna Paste and Lavender henna paste will not leave any stains on your acrylic templates, no matter how long you leave the wet or dried paste on the template, it will always wipe or crumble off clean. If you don't have a practice template yet, buy one here!: Henna Art Supplies: Acrylic Templates
Always practice henna, always practice SAFE henna! Henna is NOT a tattoo!