T.A.T Me Up UK get asked about Black Henna all of the time, so the word must be spreading, but not fast enough, as these “artists” and I use the term loosely  are still trading.

T.A.T Me Up UK would like to make one thing clear right here. WE DO NOT USE BLACK HENNA OR ANY FORM OF HENNA PRODUCTS. We only use make-up that is completely FDA approved for use on the skin. The mix that is used for our Temporary Airbrush Tattoos is a make-up that when applied sits on the surface of the skin and NEVER penetrates the skin. We do NOT use dye. Therefore it is nothing like henna.

What is Henna?

Detailed Terms:

Henna is a plant (bionomical name - Lawsonia inermis) found and grown in South Asian and North African countries. It is used since ancient time to colour skin, hair, fingernails, leather, and wool. The name Henna is also used for dye or paste derived from the leaves of the plant and for the art of temporary tattooing from those paste.
The English name "henna" comes from the Arabic word (pronounced ħinnā).

Layman’s Terms:

Henna is a paste made out of crushed leaves and twigs of henna plant. The paste can also be made from dried leaves of the plant by mixing it with hot water. When this paste is applied in skin (just like writing from a marker) and left for few hours, it leaves an orange to dark maroon stain in the skin which fades away in 7 to 14 days.

What is 'Black Henna'?

Black Henna as it has become known can be defined as containing the dangerous chemical, Para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, and is a term that has been loosely used to describe the use of dark stains and dyes to apply temporary tattoos.

Human beings do have a natural resistance to PPD's, some more than others. For example, one person can be exposed to PPDs everyday for their entire lives without seeing any side effects from it, but another person may see side effects straight away.
It is also a chemical that breaks down your natural resistance levels, so If you don't see any side effects today, don't be too sure that you won't tomorrow. Apparently some tests have seen PPD's break down a subject's immunity to it over time.

So what are the effects?

Different people react differently; however most will develop red sores, rashes or even welts on the area affected.  An early warning of a reaction is itching and a slight redness around the tattoo design. It is advised to remove the temporary tattoo as soon as you possibly can.

In severe cases, PPD's have been known to cause severe oedema, irritation of the eyes and face, difficulty in breathing, renal failure, respiratory problems such as asthma, people collapsing and has been linked to some cancers.

Because it is a sensitizer (something that your body is naturally allergic to) the effects of PPD's may not become immediately apparent. But it has been noted that extended and prolonged exposure to it over time can also affect your resistance to other related products, dyes, chemicals, suntan lotions, sun blocks and even black rubbers.

The general public are still confused or even naive to the fact that when they get a temporary tattoo whilst on holidays, it could potentially ruin their lives. Because of the multitude of people still applying it, the general public take a "if it's available it must be safe" attitude.

Black henna is NEVER 100% pure henna and is often NOT SAFE!

Technically 'Henna'  is not meant to be applied to the skin anyway, as 'Henna' was only ever approved for use in hair as a hair dye, but many specialists and experts claim natural henna is safe, even if it’s not approved for use on the skin by the FDA.

Black Henna has now been banned by the FDA.

There have not been many reported reactions to natural henna. For some, it is a nice way to express yourself and it is a nice art form, but as usual one or two people ruin it for all.

How to tell the difference between Natural Henna and Black Henna.

1) Don’t bother asking the artist as they are likely to lie to you and tell you that it is all natural.
2) Have a look at the products that they are using. If it is Jet Black and can be washed away without having to be left on for a long time, then it islikely that it is Black Henna. SO Steer Clear of it.
If the artist recommends that you leave the paste on as long as you possibly can, then it is most likely natural henna.

There are many resources on the internet about black henna and black henna warnings. I suggest you do a search and read up on it as much as you can if you are considering getting a henna or a black henna temporary tattoo.