If you were to type in “henna” in Google’s search engine, you’re sure to discover that the expression of the medium is expansive. Henna is just that – it’s a medium, a rather ancient medium at that, with a very long tradition rooted in Middle Eastern and Northern African culture. Now, inventive henna artists have create new genres and motifs ranging from Gulf-Indian fusions to Steam Punk henna. The modes of expression are only limited by the artist’s imagination.
Henna is used primarily for cosmetic purposes, and there is absolutely no religious quality to the medium in and of itself. As my friend and mentor Victoria Welch once said, “it’s like wearing your favorite shade of lipstick,” particularly for us henna artists. However, some henna, like some cosmetics, can be harmful, even deadly if certain additives are added to the mix. PPD, or “black henna” is one such product, and should be avoided at all costs. For more information on PPD free henna, simply google, or go to http://www.hennapage.com. There, you can find pictures of some individuals who have been permenantly scared and harmed by using PPD/black henna and read more about the harmful effects of the product.
I, and many other henna artists, are devoted to educating the public on safe henna use. We use only organic or all natural ingredients. As a matter of fact, if you ever get henna done at an event, they should tell you that the only things they’ve used to make their henna are the following:
- henna powder
- lemon juice or water
- sugar or sucrose (some use molasses or honey)
- essential oils
I advise that you DO NOT get any henna if the artist can’t tell you what’s in their henna, or tells you they have purchased the cones pre made at a store. Pre-made cones almost always contain harmful additives, or leech chemicals from the foil they’re wrapped in. If the henna doesn’t need to be frozen if it isn’t used that day, it has some harmful additives in it. Below is an image of “black henna,” and what it can do to your skin:
If you’re local, and want to buy some henna from me, please contact me via email. Or better yet, buy your henna from the same place I do! I purchase all of my supplies from Henna Caravan. Visit them at www.hennacaravan.com. I’m always impressed and delighted by these ladies.