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Monday, February 10, 2014

Henna Myths Debunked

The art of henna has been around for over 6000 years and has grown from its use in traditional rituals to something that anyone can do just for fun. But despite its wide use in many modern cultures today, many false ideas and myths about henna persist. Is henna safe? Where can you use henna? Will more coats make henna darker? We’re here to set the record straight and debunk some of the more common henna misconceptions and answer some of the common questions.

Myth 1: Henna Is Not Safe 

henna safetyFalse. Real natural henna is one of the safest substances on earth, yet some people are still concerned about the safety of henna. Fresh henna paste made with unadulterated body art quality (BAQ) henna powder is extremely safe, even safer than the cosmetic products we use every day. The problem arises when people think they are using henna but are actually using a chemical product that may or may not contain henna. It’s very important to know what the ingredients are in henna powders and in henna pastes. Only use henna from trusted sources that understand the importance of quality unadulterated henna, and you will be perfectly safe.

Myth 2: If I Want Darker Henna Designs, I Need Black Henna 

False. There is no such thing as black henna. Henna is always a red/brown color. Anything being called black henna and leaves a black stain is extremely dangerous and should never be used on the skin. To create a black stain chemicals such as para-phenylenediamine (PPD or coal tar), gasoline, or kerosene are used. Never use anything labeled as black henna.

For safe beautiful henna stains, only unadulterated real henna should be used and this will always produce a red brown color, never black. To get good dark henna stains, use the freshest possible henna from a good supplier, allow the henna to stay on the skin for as long as possible, and follow good aftercare practices. Yes, you can use multiple coats of henna to darken a design. Henna is a transparent stain, so the more layers that are stained; the darker the henna stain appears. It’s possible to achieve beautifully rich dark henna tattoo stains using safe natural henna products without chemicals.

Myth 3: Henna Tattoos Are Permanent 

False. There are many misconceptions that relate to the durability of henna art. Henna is not simply a temporary tattoo. Unlike face and body paints, people cannot remove their new henna designs by scrubbing them away using soap and water. Henna decorations wear off gradually, as the skin cells exfoliate away over the course of its normal cycles.

Some people go to the other extreme and assume that their henna body art will stay with them for months and months, but henna is not a permanent tattoo. Usually, the henna art will not even last for a full month. Generally one can expect good color for 5-10 days and the henna stain will be completely gone in 1-3 weeks. Henna certainly lasts much longer than many other types of body art and people will be able to enjoy every minute of their henna decorations without having to worry about accidentally losing them due to moisture.

Myth 4: Henna Tattoos Will Be Bright Red or Black 

False. Some people have false ideas about what their henna decorations will look like once the artist is finished with their designs. The henna skin decoration will begin as an orange color and darken to a rusty color over a couple days, as opposed to the bright red color. People should also know that fresh henna paste can only be used to create reddish brown henna art. If the henna art in question is any other color, it is a sure sign that the henna paste is not pure and is dangerous.

Myth 5: Henna Is Just Used on the Hands 

False. Most pictures of henna online will show intricate patterns applied to hands, but that’s not the only place henna can be used. It’s safe for application to the skin anywhere including hands, arms, feet, belly, or anywhere else.

You may be surprised to learn that henna powder is safe and frequently used to dye hair. Henna powder is a great natural way to dye hair a reddish brown color. Using henna on hair is especially beneficial compared to harsh chemical treatments because it seals in natural oils, leaving the hair conditioned and protected from sun damage. Henna is a permanent hair color that can be used more often than chemical hair dyes.

Do you still have questions or concerns about using henna? Find out more about our henna products here or email us at beachcombers@shopbeachcombers.com for help.

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