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Henna  Safety

Natural Henna

The henna plant, Lawsonia Inermis, is a shrub that grows in hot arid regions such as Africa, the Middle East, India and Pakistan. The leaves of this plant are harvested, dried, and ground up into a very fine powder. The powder is then mixed with an acidic liquid, such as water or lemon juice, in order to release the dye from the plant. Next, sugar and essential oils are added. This paste mixture is then applied to the skin and left on for several hours. Once the paste is removed, an orange stain will remain which will darken over 48 hours to a reddish/brownish colour and will last seven to ten days. Please see the FAQ for more information on natural henna.

Henna prepared in this way is perfectly safe for use on skin and has been used for thousands of years in many parts of the world. The results from studies done on henna have found little to no adverse effects from using this natural product. According to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the cases of reactions are mostly

confined to "individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and reactions to adulterants added to henna products". G6PD Deficiency is rare, whereas henna with added chemicals is much more common.

Henna Planet's Ingredients

Henna Planet prides itself on providing the highest quality henna paste that is safe for skin. The ingredients include henna powder, organic lemon juice, organic sugar, and Bulgarian Lavandula Angustifolia (lavender essential oil). No chemicals or toxic ingredients are added to the henna paste.

All of Henna Planet's merchandise is also properly labelled in accordance with the Canadian Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act., which is standard practice in the cosmetic industry but not, unfortunately, always followed by importers and merchants of henna products.

Had a Reaction to PPD?

Go to the hospital or the doctor

and be sure to report it to:

Health Canada

The Dangers of Chemical Henna Cones

Black henna is a term used to describe designs that are put on the skin using black hair dye (sometimes mixed with henna) and which subsequently leave a black stain. Unfortunately black hair dye contains a very toxic chemical called PPD (para-phenylenediamine) which can cause chemical burns on the skin. Blistering, redness, swelling and itching may occur one to fourteen days after a black henna application. 




Research shows that the use of PPD can lead to liver and kidney damage/failure, asthma, cancer and even death. PPD is also a strong sensitizer, therefore repeated exposure increases the chance of developing an allergy and sensitivity to it and products that are related to PPD. Even if there is no reaction the first time exposure occurs, over time, sensitivity will develop and reactions are more likely.

What is Black Henna?

Adulterated Pre-Packaged Henna Cones 

Unfortunately store bought packaged henna cones contain chemicals as well. These products are not regulated by the government and often don’t include a list of ingredients. However, simply opening them up and smelling them will provide a clue as to what is in them. Chemicals such as kerosene, lighter fluid, lye, acid black #2, lacquer and PPD (paraphenylenediamine) have been found in these cones. And do not be fooled by the "Natural Henna" or "Brown Henna" label on them, laboratory tests have found that there is little that is natural about them.

Black Henna Burn on the body.

Black Henna Burn

Black Henna Scar on the body.

Black Henna Scar

Exposure to PPD may result in sensitivities

to the following:

  • PBA Based sunscreens (para-aminobenzoic acid)

  • Sulfa drugs

  • Textile and semi-permanent hair dyes

  • Black clothing

  • Benzocaine and other ‘caine’ drugs

  • Printer and fax inks

  • Some cosmetics

  • P-aminosalicylic acid

  • ​Paratoluenediamine

  • 2,4-Diaminoanisole

  • Ortho-animophenol

  • Black rubber products

  • Sulfones

  • Sulonamides

  • Diaminodiphenyl methane

  • Para-aminodiphenylamine 

PPD Synonyms to watch out for :

  • 1,4-Benzednidiamine

  • Paraphenylenediamine (PPD or PPDA)

  • Para-aminoaniline 9P-animoaniline)

  • 1,4-Penylenediamine

  • Paradiaminobenzene (p-diaminobenzene)

Black Henna is Illegal

Unfortunately Black henna is found in many tourist areas in and around Toronto and within Canada. It is also found throughout the world in places such as the United States, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and just about anywhere tourists are found.

However, Black henna is illegal for use on skin in Canada. The Government of Canada includes a warning about Black Henna on their website as well as information on how to go about reporting any exposure or knowledge of its use to the nearest Health Canada Product Safety Office.


Although it is becoming more common to hear about black henna warnings in the media, not enough people are aware of the dangers. It is important to spread the word about this toxic chemical, so please share this information with family and friends.

Get a Dark Colour Naturally

In order to get the darkest colour possible with natural henna, it is important to start with a good quality fresh henna paste. Leaving the paste on for up to eight hours, wrapping the dry paste with a tensor bandage, and applying gentle heat will help to produce a rich dark stain that will last a long time. Please check out the FAQ page for more information on the henna process and aftercare instructions.

In Conclusion

The only way to know what is in the henna paste that you are using, if there is no ingredient list, is to ask the person using or selling it.

At its basic, henna paste should include ground up henna leaves and lemon juice or water. It may also contain sugar and skin safe essential oils (lavender, tea tree, and cajeput, are some of the safest). If the person making the paste mentions anything else that sounds suspicious, if they are vague in their response, or they will not say what the ingredients are then please be wary. 

To purchase natural henna from Henna Planet

please visit the shop.

Natural Henna paste and powder

Use Natural Henna!

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