The truth about "Black Henna"
Every year, thousands of people go on holiday and opt to have a henna tattoo, and why not? You’re on holiday, you’re relaxed and having a great time. I've done it myself in Egypt, I had a really pretty design and it looked great ... I was lucky enough to get away with it.
Many street henna “artists” will make temporary tattoos using black henna.
Black henna does not exist. The henna they are using is a black hair dye containing para-phenylendiamine (PPD). This chemical should never be used directly on skin. PPD can cause serious injury. It causes itching, blistering and can scar permanently.
There are many safe and effective traditional techniques of making natural henna go dark red or dark brown, even nearly black. Adding Tea Tree oil is one of the most effective ways of making henna darker with very dark results on your hands (I've had some beautiful results) but lighter results on arms and legs.
How do I know if I've got real Henna?
If the Henna you've purchased is a fine green powder, it is real Henna, if the powder is dark brown or even black, it is probably a PPD based hair dye ... unusable on skin.
If you mix a little bit of the powder, you'll see that if it's real Henna, it'll go brown or indigo (blue) and smells like strong tea. Either colour is safe for use on skin ... but won't give black results. If when you mix the powder with water and after a little while the black dye runs out, you have PPD. The mixture will either have a bad chemical smell or no smell at all.
My only advise is, always buy henna which is a reputable brand from a decent seller.
Henna has been used for centuries in weddings and festivals across the globe, it's a timeless and beautiful tradition. Why have the run the risk of injury with "black henna" when you can have beautiful designs using traditional brown henna?
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