What you should know before applying the henna to your hair

What you should know before applying the henna to your hair

Mehndi (henna) has been employed for its wide-ranging health advantages since ancient times and is considered auspicious for the bride on her wedding day.

Henna, while extensively used to color hair and apply to hands, can also have harmful consequences.

Is henna really that bad for you?


The pure form of mehndi (that is green in color) does not cause any health concerns, according to Dr Anil Ganjoo, HOD Department of Dermatology and Senior Consultant, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi.

Brown and black colored mehndi, on the other hand, might cause contact dermatitis in some people.

The following are some of the most common mehndi adverse effects:

1. Contact Dermatitis

Although natural henna is chemical-free, PPD (Para-phenylenediamine) is sometimes added to henna mixtures to increase the color and reduce application time.

However, most individuals are unaware that PPD is a potent allergen that can cause an allergic reaction when it comes into contact with the skin.

Wheezing, itching, redness, burning, and swelling of the skin are some of the most common symptoms.

2. Unruly hair

According to Dr. Anil, applying mehndi to your hair may cause it to become harsh as a result of the toxic chemicals that are introduced to it throughout the processing.

Henna can also damage your hair shaft, making it more prone to drying. The use of henna for hair coloring may cause irritation and the formation of boils on the head in some uncommon circumstances.

3. Red Eyes

Henna can induce redness and watering of the eyes if it comes into contact with them. If you find yourself in this scenario, flush your eyes with cold water and see an eye doctor to be checked for consequences.

Furthermore, the strong odor of henna may cause hypersensitivity (but is very rare). Did you know these 9 fascinating facts about your health that your eyes reveal?

RBCs are bursting at the seams (red blood cells)

Children with a rare illness known as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) impairment should avoid using henna on their hands.

When henna is applied in this situation, red blood cells are likely to explode, causing serious health problems. If this happens, it is a medical emergency that should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible.

5. Stomach discomfort

Henna should never be consumed in any form because it is deemed harmful for human consumption. Also, if you unintentionally swallow henna, seek medical attention right away.

Gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and other stomach issues are possible side effects.

Is it legal to use henna in the United States?


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only allowed its use in hair dyes in the United States.

The FDA has not approved the application of henna directly to the skin. Because henna isn’t controlled in the United States, it’s possible to manufacture black henna by adulterating it with coal-tar dyes like p-phenylenediamine (PPD).

PPD has been linked to allergic reactions in humans, according to several reports. As a result, it’s best not to put black, blue, or brown henna on your skin because it can cause problems.

How to Get Rid of Henna

1. Soak in saltwater

To begin the henna removal procedure, bathe your body in water containing an exfoliating ingredient, such as sea salt.

Epsom salt or even table salt can do the trick. Salt’s sodium chloride can assist you to nourish your living skin cells while also removing dead ones.

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Soak for 20 minutes in warm water in a half-filled bathtub with roughly half a cup of salt.

2. Scrub for exfoliation

Henna can be removed fast by scrubbing your skin with an abrasive face or body wash. Using one with a natural exfoliating agent, such as apricot or brown sugar, helps to keep your skin from being irritated.

After you’ve exfoliated your henna tattoo, use a moisturizer or coconut oil.

3. Salt and olive oil

A mixture of one cup olive oil and three or four teaspoons of sea salt may be able to remove the henna color from your skin while also exfoliating the fading tattoo.

Allow the olive oil to absorb into your skin with a cotton swab before gently rubbing off the salt with a wet washcloth.

4. Peroxide (H2O2)

Although hydrogen peroxide can lessen the appearance of your skin, removing henna with this method may take several attempts.

Apply a generous amount of diluted hydrogen peroxide designated for cosmetic usage to the region of your henna tattoo.

After numerous treatments, the tattoo should fade to the point where it is no longer visible.

5. Toothpaste with bleach

Apply a sufficient amount of your toothpaste to your henna tattoo and press it in to activate the whitening properties.

Allow the toothpaste to dry completely before gently scrubbing it away with an old toothbrush.

6. Conditioner for the hair

Henna may be removed with a hair conditioner formulated to hydrate your hair.

Apply the conditioner to the tattoo and allow time for it to absorb completely. Rinse with warm water to remove.

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Expert advice on how to avoid henna’s negative effects


  • Before using henna on your hands or hair, always do a patch test. Here’s how to conduct a home patch test.
  • To prevent the side effects of henna, lubricate your hair shaft before applying it to avoid tough hair caused by chemical exposure.
  • Another thing to remember is to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner (ideally herbal) to reduce the damaging effects on your hair. Learn about 5 common household substances that work wonders as hair conditioners.
  • Wash your hand or head if you have itching, redness, or seeping on your skin, and take anti-allergy drugs such as Allegra or Avil.
  • If you have any of these symptoms, see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Do not use any home remedies, such as oil, to relieve the allergic reaction (as it might not help).

So, the next time you use henna on your hands or hair, keep these suggestions in mind to avoid unpleasant side effects. Stay safe and healthy!

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