Here are some facts that you should be aware of when receiving henna services from any henna artist:
- No Black Henna! There is no such thing as "black henna." Typically henna that is black has a harmful chemical called PPD added -- the ingredient in black hair dye. This is harmful to your skin and other organs. It will be absorbed by your skin and enter your bloodstream where it can cause damage to your internal organs. It can also cause a severe reaction on your skin, including very serious chemical burns. Please be wary of anyone offering black henna.
- Jagua/Hengua. Jagua is a fruit which is added to henna powder to give it the appearance of black henna. In reality, the color is more of a blue-black color and not straight black. Henna which has been infused with jagua is often referred to as "hengua" to steer clear of the the confusion around the term "black henna" and to ensure that clients know that there are no harmful chemicals involved. Some people with sensitive skin may be allergic to hengua -- especially if you are allergic to berries.
- Ask for ingredients. Do not be afraid to ask your henna artist for a list of the ingredients in their paste. Reputable henna professionals will not hesitate to share their ingredients with their clients. This helps the client to ensure they are not allergic to any of the ingredients. It will also help you to feel comfortable in the fact that the henna paste being applied is all natural and free of harmful chemicals.
- Essential oils. Essential oils are used in the production of henna paste; however, some essential oils are not safe for pregnant and/or nursing women. If you are pregnant or suspect you are, please ask your henna artist if the essential oil used in their production is safe for you. We suggest that you only allow henna to be applied if lavender essential oil has been used in henna paste preparation. DIVA Empowerment Studio will not use any other preparation on pregnant and/or nursing mothers.
- OhEmGee! My stain is bright orange! Don't be alarmed -- this is NORMAL. Pure henna will result in a bright pumpkin orange stain once the paste is removed. However, over the next 48 hours, the stain will darken and deepen in color to a beautiful reddish brown color.
- My stain didn't come out like hers did. Stain color and depth varies widely from person to person. There are many factors which can influence your stain color including medications, hormones, poor diet, high stress, and your overall health. Also, something as simple as your use of creams or lotions prior to your henna service can affect how your stain develops. Stain color is not indicative of a poorly mixed batch of henna paste or ineptness of your henna artist.
- Design duration. Henna designs last an average of 7-10 days on the hands. That is typically the amount of time your skin takes to naturally exfoliate the top layer of itself. With good aftercare, you may be able to prolong this cycle for a few days.
Below are aftercare tips that, if followed, will help prolong your henna art:
- Keep paste on for a minimum of four hours. You will have even better results if you can keep it on overnight. However, do not wrap your henna application in plastic wrap or other material that will cause the area to sweat and become moist. This will accelerate the demise of your henna.
- Avoid excess contact with water. This should be done for at least the first 48 hours after paste removal. You can shower and wash your hands/feet or other body parts that have received henna design. However, prolonged contact such as swimming, sitting in a hot tub, or washing a boat load of dishes will degrade your stain.
- Don't use creams/lotions. It is important to keep the skin where your henna design has been applied well moisturized so that it stays soft and supple. However, you should not use ordinary creams and lotions as they will cause your stain to fade. To moisturize the skin where you henna design is, use an oil such as olive oil or coconut oil -- but not baby oil. Baby oil may strip your design so avoid it.
- Steer clear of harsh chemicals. Things like chlorine bleach and other household cleaners will strip the henna design from your skin. Avoid using these products when you have had a henna service.