What is Henna?
Henna paste is made from the powdered leaves of the henna plant, Lawsonia inermis. The Lawsone dye molecule in henna has an affinity for bonding with protein and keratin. It has been used for thousands of years in Africa, India, and the Persian Gulf to dye hair, skin, fingernails, wool, silk, leather, and wood.
How Henna Works
The henna paste stains the top layers of your skin. So, the thicker your skin (like on hands, palms, and feet), the darker your henna stain will get (the dye molecule has more layers to hold on to!), and the longer you leave it on, the darker the stain you get and the longer the stain will last.
Henna After Care
The henna paste takes 30-45 min to dry on your skin. After the paste dries, we apply a sweet smelling sugar seal or a paper tape bandage to secure the design. The paste is left on for 4 to 8 hours and can be left overnight for best results. It is then scraped (not washed) off. Avoid exposure to water for 12 hours after removing the paste. At first the stain will be light orange, watch as it darkens over the next 24-48 hours. The henna stain will last 1 – 3 weeks. Avoid chlorine if you want your stain to last!
Black henna isn’t henna!
Because henna come from a plant, it always leaves a reddish brown stain. Henna is never black. So-called black henna is actually PPD, a highly toxic coal tar dye which is not safe for the skin, and also has long-term use effects associated with bladder cancers, fetal harm, and liver failure. You should never use black henna on yourself or anyone else. Black henna is illegal for use on skin in the USA, Canada, and many other countries. Denver Henna makes all of our henna paste — it is 100% natural.
White henna isn’t henna!
“White henna” is a cosmetic-grade acrylic adhesive that is applied like henna and then stays on the skin (it doesn’t stain the skin like henna). The paste can be set with beautiful, sparkly mica powders. These designs last only a couple of days and look their best on the day they’re applied.
Henna is not a tattoo!
Henna is a temporary body art that has been used to decorate and adorn bodies for literally thousands of years. It has a rich history of use in many North African cultures, Arab countries, and many parts of Southern Asia, including Pakistan and India.
Unlike tattooing, which has it’s own cultural roots and history, henna does not involve any piercing of the skin or permanent body modification. Henna creates art on the skin’s surface that disappears after a couple of weeks.