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The picture you see here is the scarring left behind from black henna burns. A forum member posted it and asked if having a reaction to henna means she would also have a reaction to tattoo ink. Feel free to jump in and join that discussion if you have any advice or personal experiences to share.

Every year, I see countless news reports about this and still there are business proprietors pushing this product, even going so far as telling their clients that it's better than regular henna and perfectly safe. This is a lie - natural henna is a powder derived from a plant and, in its purest form, causes virtually no allergic reactions. Black henna, however, is natural henna that has been altered by adding a dangerous, toxic chemical known as PPD - it's often found in black hair dyes and is typically safe to use on the hair but is widely known to cause severe allergic reactions when it comes in contact with skin. Black henna or any product containing PPD should not be used on the skin, ever.

For more information on henna, black henna, and how to enjoy henna art safely, check out the following articles:

The Dangers of Black Henna
What is (Natural) Henna?
How to Make Henna Paste
How to Apply Henna Paste


November 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm
(1) Henna Creations says:

Thank you for writing this article on the dangers of PPD. There are very few of us professional, natural henna artists and it’s difficult to educate the masses.

There is now an international certification for natural henna artists. Artists are examined on the botany, safety and medical aspects of henna. All Internationally Certified Natural Henna Artists are committed to making their own 100% natural henna paste.

People seeking professional henna can find local certified henna artists here: http://www.icnha.org/mambo/

Thankfully, Canada has passed a law against the use of PPD “black henna” on the skin. Although there are still fly-by-night booths found at festivals and salons in heavily Indian populated areas, but at least we can report them.

Happy hennaing!
Lisa Spaulding

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