Why Is Black Temporary Henna Tattoos Dangerous?

Published: 21st March 2006
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Henna is NOT Black and does not cause blisters and open sores.



There are several products marketed as "Black Henna", some of which is harmless but others are very dangerous



PPD (Para-Phenylenediamine), black hair dye CAN cause blisters and sores.



When PPD is used to make black temporary tattoos, often called "black henna", it can cause blistering, open sores,scarring, and lifelong health problems.



PPD should never be used directly on skin in plain format or mixed with another product. It is illegal to put synthetic Black Hair Dye on your skin because thats not what it has been approved for.



Para-Phenylenediamine is a strong sensitizer. A sensitizer is something that your body is naturally allergic to, or may become allergic to. Some people are born sensitive to PPD. Others become sensitive to PPD. If you become sensitized to PPD, that allergy will never go away and you may become cross-sensitized to many related things. That means other similar things may set off an allergic reaction and make you sick. Hair dye, sun block, cosmetics, even black clothing, may cause an outbreak of itching and hives.



Why Do People Use Black Hair Dye To Make Body Art Instead Of Safe Henna?



1. Its Cheap

Black Hair Dye can be purchased from any beauty store at a low cost. If purchased off the internet, it can be repackaged and mixed to be sold as "Black Henna".



2. Easy To Mix And Apply

To make normal henna for tattooing takes time and patience to learn to do beautifully. With Black Hair Dye you just mix it with water and use. It easily stains your skin giving you a nice looking tattoo.



3. Big Profits

Because Black Hair Dye is cheap to buy and prepare to use as a dye for tattooing a street artist can make thousands of dollars a day from just 1 packet of black dye that may have cost under $10.



4. PPD "Black Henna" looks like a Tattoo

People want something that looks like a tattoo. At first, PPD "black henna" may look like a tattoo. Later, there may be itching, blisters, open sores and scarring.





How Can You Tell If The Henna Artist is Using Safe Henna For Tattooing



1. Does it Smell

Traditional henna paste smells like spinach, or you may smell fragrances like Pine, Tea Tree Oil, or Mentholatum from essential oils they're using. PPD doesn't have a smell.



2. What's The color

Traditional safe henna paste is khaki green, greenish brown, or very dark brownish green. If the stuff they are using is jet black, stains the skin quickly it's probably PPD based black hair dye.



3. Ask The Henna Artist whats in the mix

They should say something on the lines of essential oils, lemon juice henna powder. You should be able to smell them, this is a very sure sign that the henna is safe and not black dye.



4. Ask them how long the stain will last.

PPD "Black Henna" stains typically last more than a week and stay black throughout that time. Henna stains last 1 - 3 weeks, fading to orange during that period. There are some safe body art products, such as body paints, that come in black, but they don't last longer than 3 days. If it's black and long lasting, it's probably PPD "Black Henna"!



5. Ask them what color the stain will be when the paste comes off.

If they say it will leave a orange stain that will darken to red brown or dark brown, but will not be black when the paste flakes off, then it is henna. If they tell you the stain will be BLACK when the paste comes off and that it will stay black, they're using PPD



There are some black body art products that may be safe and do not contain PPD.



Ask to see the ingredient list! If the artist cannot supply a complete ingredient list, don't let them put it on your skin! If you don't like what you see in the ingredient list, don't put it on your skin.



Sniff it. If it smells vile, don't put it on your skin.



The safer black body art products only last a few days at most. Ask the artist how long the design will last.If the answer is "Not more than 3 days" the body art product may be safe.



Nita is a professional Henna Artist, Urban Henna. who has practised the beautiful art of henna for a number of years. She not only does henna for brides but also for special occassions.


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