The Dangers of Imitation 'Henna'
Updated: Jan 10, 2019
Avoid Factory Manufactured 'Henna'
Experienced henna artists refrain from using factory-made 'henna' cones and 'black' or 'red' henna as they contain chemicals such as kerosene, gasoline, paint thinner, benzene, PPD (p-Phenylenediamine) and black tar to give a longer shelf life and instant stains on the skin. 'Black' and 'red' henna is basically hair dye that contains PPD. Chemical hair dye is not recommended to be on the skin, not just because it stains instantly, but because if it can damage hair, it most definitely will damage the skin is some way or form. PPD is very dangerous to the skin because they are linked to chemical burns and possible cancer. Artists should know the difference between natural organic henna and chemical 'henna' cones.
Those with lighter skin tones are more prone to skin issues caused by products such as imitation 'henna', however, that doesn't mean those with more melanin are not at risk. The chemical ingredients used in the fake 'henna' cones can seep into the blood stream causing long-term health issues such as cancer of any kind.
* Some imitation 'henna' brands to avoid :
Golecha, Rani, Supreme, Hemani, Prem, Neha, Kevari, Rubyo, Nisha, China Mehndi, Khadi, Saba Fancy Cone, Sehnaaz, Ratan, etc.
There are so many factory-made cones that it's hard to name all of them. It's best to avoid anything that can be bought in stores or in mass production online.
* How to identify imitation 'henna' :
- Cone packaging : If the cone packaging looks mass produced and factory manufactured, avoid it at all costs. Natural henna is handmade by a henna artist and usually has their signature label with their choice of cellophane cone, syringe or jacque bottle packaging.
- 'Henna' Scent : If the 'henna' gives an unpleasant scent smelling of chemicals or hair dye, drop it. Henna should smell like plants or the essential oil that is mixed in with the paste.
- Ingredients : If a henna artist does not make their own henna paste or use henna cones made by an artist who makes their own henna cannot tell you what the exact ingredients in the 'henna' cones are, do not let them use it on you. Simply avoid this danger.
- Wait Time : If an artist tells you to only wait 2 hours or less and/or tells you to wash using water within that time frame; it is likely that the 'henna' being used is the imitation kind. Real organic henna requires AT LEAST 6 - 24 hours of wait time and near complete avoidance of water in that time frame in order for a dark stain to be achieved. Henna takes time and sabr (patience); good things come to those who wait.
One of the many reasons why chemical 'henna' is made in the first place is to give instant stain results faster. People think it saves time and energy but what's the point when it only harms us? When an artist who uses organic henna tells you to wait 6 hours or longer for the henna to stain your skin, it is best to follow those directions. An experienced artist would know what they are talking about.
References and articles exposing chemical 'henna':
Ash Kumar explains how to tell the difference between 'black henna' and natural henna.
'How to know if Henna is Natural'
PPD found in synthetic hair dyes is also found in 'black henna'.
YouTubers putting chemical imitation 'henna' on their face for faux freckles causing burning sensation... EPIC FAIL!!