Henna FAQs

Q: what is henna?

Henna is the name of a tall shrub that grows in arid areas of the world, and henna is also the name given to the paste made from the dried and sifted leaves of the plant, which contains a stain used for thousands of years in human body art.

Q: how does it work?

Henna is applied as a paste by a henna artist in intricate patterns, the paste takes about 10 minutes to dry and should be kept on the skin for a minimum of 2 hours. Paste is then scraped off (do not wash with water) and an orange stain is left on the skin which develops into a deep russet brown over 24-48 hours

Q: what colours does henna come in?

Natural henna is a red-brown-orange-maroon stain (depending on the region it is grown,freshness and the person's skin type)  that develops over 48 hours  from a bright pumpkin orange into a deep rich colour, then gradually fades on the skin over 1-2 weeks as the epidermal layer naturally exfoliates. This is the pattern of henna stain and any product  that stains black or dark immediately is likely to not be safe pure henna.

Natural henna stain develops over time:

  1. *Henna paste still on the hand
  2. *Henna stain immediately after paste removal ,2 hours after application
  3. *Henna stain after 24 hours

Q: my henna didn't stain well! The main reason for this is poor aftercare- did you leave the paste on for a minimum of 2 hours - hopefully longer?  If you removed it immediately it dried you haven't left it on long enough,and unfortunately nothing you do can make it darker.  If you have washed the paste off with water you will interfere with the stain development and will get a poor stain.

Q: How can I get the darkest stain from my henna?

follow the artists aftercare carefully - keep the paste on as long as you can and away from water - wrap it and keep paste on overnight.  Keeping the stain warm or under gentle steam can really help too!

Q: I have a great stain, how do I keep it longer?

Rub coconut oil into it before and after showering to protect it, avoid soaps and harsh detergents.

Q: I have some concerns about safe ingredients in henna?

All my henna paste is fresh and handmade from100% pure organic certified henna and contains only lemon juice,sugar and essential oils (lavender and cajuput). 

Q: I have heard people talk about the dangers of black henna what is ppd?

The desire for darker henna stains, speed and convenience has led to harmful ingredients being added to natural henna which include dyes like PPD (a cheap ingredient used in hair dye) printer inks and other toxic materials.  Natural henna paste loses its staining power after just a few days unrefrigerated, so this allows the sale and distribution of pre-made cones at room temperatures.  Pre-made cones are not regulated and ingredients are very poorly labelled if at all - so there is a risk associated with their use and professional business insurance won't cover me to use them.  PPD when used for bodyart is used at much higher concentrations than it is in hair colourant and it stays on the skin for much longer, meaning the chance are as much as 50% of having a severe chemical burn and lifelong allergies. Its illegal to use ppd for henna in Australia although many overseas holiday destinations sell black henna tattoos and it can take 2-4 weeks for the reaction to occur meaning holiday goers have often returned home.   Just be careful! if it stains black, stains dark immediately or uses another chemical wiped over it to develop it - its ppd!

Q: do all parts of the body stain?

Yes, but not equally.  Natural henna stains the heel of the palm and the soles of the feet  best and there is a gradual fading of the colour from fingertips upwards.

White Lotus Henna

henna temporary tattoo service and mobile henna artists for events in Sydney