Can Henna be dangerous, and what is Black Henna?

Posted by Namaste Collective on


Is henna dangerous? What is black henna? Can henna hurt you?

This is a topic which often causes confusion! Unfortunately, often the media will group all types of 'henna' into the one group - including those pastes that are full of chemicals and nasties, that call themselves "henna". 

Our Henna Kits use only natural and pure forms of henna. Henna is a plant that when ground up, can be mixed with liquids to form a Henna paste. Natural Henna stains a dark brown colour on your skin. The pure Henna powder releases dye molecules when mixed with essential oils and water; this allows the organic stain to happen. It is all a natural process, and it takes some time to happen! 

'Black Henna'

However, many stores are now selling what they call 'black henna'. 

If the Henna you have come across elsewhere stains ‘black’, it is definitely not natural. It is dangerous.

‘Black Henna’ is made from chemical dyes mixed in with pre-made paste, and it is these strong and potent chemicals that leave the ‘black’ stain behind on your skin. Black Henna is not like natural Henna paste at all. If you are on holiday and somebody offers you a 'black henna tattoo' where they promise 'instant' or 'black' stains, be careful, as it is likely not henna!

Sometimes our customers get confused and when they see our photos, they see that sometimes our henna looks black. These photos are of when the henna paste is still in paste form. It does not, however, leave behind a black stain - more a dark red / brown natural stain! 

Check out our blog on 'black henna' to learn more about it here! 

So what about natural henna? 

In practice, applying henna to your skin is a completely natural process! It is a ground up plant, mixed with natural essential oils. However, a very, very small percentage of people can have allergic reactions to the henna (or the oil), despite it being natural. For example, some people have allergic reactions if their skin comes into contact with natural skin creams, or even fruits and vegetables! 

Some people also may have existing conditions. If you are aware of any skin sensitivity, or anything which may cause a reaction, we advise to be very careful, and to consult a doctor first - always better safe than sorry! It is for this reason we also suggest that everyone tests the henna (if it is their first time) on a small patch of skin first. 

Educate your friends! 

Henna is an amazing natural plant which can be used to express creativity in so many ways! It is a shame that the cheap, and somewhat fake types of 'henna' can tarnish the reputation of such an amazing traditional art form so much!

Make sure that next time you hear someone say "all henna is dangerous" that you remind them that natural henna, in its pure form, is pretty much as natural and safe as it gets! It is the 'black henna' pastes, and the pre-made tube pastes which can pose the real threat! We provide more information on this in our Henna Kit instruction booklets, which sets it out in nice and simple terms! 


Feel free to get in touch with any questions whatsoever, we always love to help! 


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