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So You Want A BLACK Henna Tattoo??

Let me tell you why you don’t!


What is "Black Henna" ?

Henna itself does not naturally dye skin black, though there are products available for sale called "black henna". If a product is called “Black Henna” there has been something added to the henna to make it turn black. PPD, P-Phenylenediamine is frequently added to henna to make it stain black. PPD stains the skin absolutely black within 2 hours and the stain can last easily 2 weeks. PPD is extremely dangerous because it is a toxin that is able to get into the bloodstream through the skin. Once in the system, PPD toxins can collect in the liver, causing serious damage.


Traditional henna naturally, safely, stains the skin some color in the range of brick, caramel, cocoa, bittersweet, burgundy, red, or under some conditions, coffee color.

Other products called "black henna" may have indigo or food-type dyes added to henna. These are generally not harmful to skin. They also do NOT stain the skin JET-BLACK quickly, and the stain does not last long! These fairly harmless dyes only stain the outermost skin cells on the epidermis, and the stain is generally gone in a few days to a week.


What is a PPD "Black Henna" allergic reaction like?


The skin reactions to PPD "black henna" frequently resemble this photograph supplied by Thomas Cowell. P-Phenylenediamine frequently causes reactions the skin exactly where the PPD "black henna" temporary tattoo was applied. Sometimes the reaction is mild, with a raised, itchy area that resembles a poison ivy rash where the "black henna" pattern was. More severe reactions include pustules, blisters, oozing sores, intense itching, and these often leave term scars on people. Many people now have scars on their skin in exactly the pattern where the PPD "black henna" was applied. The onset of the reaction generally begins 1 day to 3 weeks after the PPD "black henna" has been applied. Sometimes the blisters come up while the black pattern is still visible, and other times the blisters appear when the pattern has faded. If someone has a hypersensitivity reaction one time to PPD "black henna", it will be more severe with each subsequent exposure.


It is of no use to “patch test” PPD "black henna" to see if you're going to have oozing sores and blisters, because the sores will appear up to 6 weeks after exposure. Also, skin hypersensitivity reactions will be increasingly likely with each exposure to PPD. A person may have one PPD "black henna" tattoo with no reaction, but may have a severe reaction with the next PPD "black henna" tattoo. Even if there is no skin reaction to PPD, it is still a transdermal toxin and can be harming your internal organs without showing lesions on your skin!




I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Jeremy Rowntree, Carolyn Cosh, Dr. Dave Hope, Nick Price, Natasha Papousek, the supporters of The Henna Page, and the Sirius Rising Henna Conference in assembling this material. It could not have been done without their cooperation!


For more very detailed information on black henna, please see the following links: - A page with pictures and info about the damage PPD "black henna" does. - All the information on PPD, a very complete page. - A personal account of the damage caused by "black henna" on a child vacationing in Bali.


Mehndi By Michele (612) 721-5081