Black Henna


Natural Henna only comes in ONE color; red, and it's varying hues. These hues can range from the darkest nearly black cherry black to bright crimson red to mahogany brown. Henna is NEVER EVER EVER black!!!! Black henna is a mixture of toxic chemicals, usually containing concentrated black hair dye. The black hair dye ( PPD or Para-phenylenedimine) is a strong contact sensitizers. In addition to being a main ingredient for hair dye, PPD is an industrial dye used in black rubber, oil, grease, gasoline, textile dyes, dark cosmetics, photograph developing, lithograph plates. (Dupont manufacturers PPD and has gone as far as refusing to sell PPD to people intending to use it for black henna!)

How bad is black henna? It is ingested by woman in India and Pakistan as a form of suicide. Black henna is /was fed to children in Sudan to murder them. First time reactions to black henna are estimated to be as high as 40%-50%. Every subsequent exposure to PPD yields a higher probability of severe reaction. The more black henna you have applied, the greater chance of having a reaction. These reactions are not limited to black henna, they are for ANY exposures to PPD from hair dying to brand new black jeans.

What does a reaction to PPD mean? First, the reaction takes 3-15 days to surface. This means making a test dot and waiting 24 hours is useless for determining probability for a reaction. Between 3-15 days the black henna design will redden, welt, blister, swell and ooze. The black henna design will often become a permanent scar! People suffering from a reaction report intense pain and itching. If swelling or breathing becomes problematic hospitalization may be required. Severe reactions can cause angioneurotic edema, renal failure, peritoneal dialysis and / or hypotensive shock.

Warning 2

Having a reaction doesn't stop after the symptoms go away... After a person becomes allergic to PPD: they develop "cross reactions." Cross reactions mean your body will confuse something you are not allergic to as being something you are allergic too. Usually proteins are to blame. If you have a reaction to PPD, common things you will most likely have a reaction to include: Azo Dyes, Ball Pen Ink & PABA sunscreens More serious are the following life saving medications: para-aminoselicylic acid ( medicine for tuberculous) hydruchtoruthiazide cardutamide sulfonamides sulfones sulfa drugs benzocaine procaine PLEASE do not get black henna & please do not allow your loved ones to get black henna.

Black henna can ruin your life! Black henna vendors frequently LIE about the contents of their paste. How can you be sure the Henna you are using is safe? Here are some tips to help you determine if your henna is natural or chemical.

  1. Ask what is in the paste. Black henna vendors stumble when trying to explain their recipe. They may often repeat that is it safe and all natural, but not quickly ramble off their ingredients. If a vendor mentions "henna stone" or "hydrogen peroxide" they have black henna!
  2. Ask how long the henna mud needs to be left on the skin. Natural henna takes 4 to 8 hours to achieve and good stain on the skin. Black henna and chemical henna only need a small amount of time, usually quoted as an hour.
  3. Ask where their henna comes from. Natural henna artists typically make their own henna or purchase their henna from a reliable source. They should be able to tell you exactly where it is grown and if it has undergone independent testing for additives.
  4. Smell : Natural henna smells like hay or grass. It may smell like essential oils but will smell pleasant. Henna should not smell offensive, like chemicals, or like pen ink.
  5. Looks: Black henna is often applied by using a paintbrush or bottle, henna is a paste and is applied by using a cone, bottle or syringe.
  6. Consistency: Black henna is often a liquid that must be painted on. Chemical henna is often a gel that can be peeled off of the skin after it is dried. Henna is a paste that look like mud. It is raised when applied to the skin, cracks and can be flaked off.

>What about Commercially prepared "natural henna ? People often think black henna is the only dangerous form of henna, this is very untrue. Commercially made cones can and often do contain PPD and other horrible chemicals. These cones are imported in and have colorful wrappings boosting their " wonderful fast color." Like black henna vendors, makers of these cones falsely claim they are 100% all natural.

The truth... Commercially made henna cones are NOT natural, their color comes from chemicals and man-made dyes, including black hair dye. Chemicals found in these cones have included gasoline, kerosene, dry cleaning fluids, road tar, shoe polish, lacquer, acetone, camphor, wood stain, lighter fluid, zine black dyes and acid black #2 and Lye. The chemicals in these cones have made them illegal to import in to the United States. They are often confiscated at the borders. They can be brought in for personal use. Many Asian markets sell these cones, they are usually illegally brought into the US. Usually the marketplace owners are lied to by the manufacturers of these cones and believe them to be safe. Use of these cones frequently causes itching and burning of the skin. Several children have told me how these commercially made cones burn and hurt and how they hate henna because of their experiences with henna cones from "home." It is so sad to see these kids and their parents harmed because they trust that a product from their home country is SAFE! These companies exploit their South East Asian / Northern African location to convince people that their products are authentic. It is a very dangerous lie to believe. Often these cones steal pictures of natural henna art from online to place on their packages.

Henna eggs

Henna kits from books stores and Earth Henna kits. Any henna powder that in not properly stored will lose its ability to dye. Natural Henna artists freeze their henna to preserve it. Kits stored on a shelf that claim to be natural either contain a preservative or will yield unsatisfactory stains compared with fresh prepared henna paste made from properly stored henna powder. Plain and simple.Earth Henna uses walnut husk to help darken the demising henna in their kits. Walnut can cause an allergic reactions in people with nut allergies. The cost of these kits are usually much higher than buying fresh made paste or the ingredients from a natural henna provider.

The general rule of thumb: If you find it on a shelf, not frozen, do not buy it. If every ingredient is not listed, do not use it. If you can not pronounce an ingredient, do not bother with it. If you can not read the package, walk away. If it stinks, do not smear it on your skin. Ethnicity does not make a person knowledgeable when it comes to Henna.

Henna is an amazing art form and VERY safe and fun if prepared using the correct ingredients. As always, KC Henna only uses climate controlled henna powder, independently tested for additives. We prepare each batch using lemon juice, sugar and safe essential oils. Nothing else is needed so nothing else is added.