Mehndi Tattoos

Henna/Mehndi Tattoos

Henna is a dye produced from the plant Lawsonia Inermis that grows perennially in North Africa, Asia and Australia. The plant is dried and crushed to create henna powder. The powder is then mixed with lemon juice or natural oils to create a paste, which is used to stain the skin. The henna tattoo should last 1–2 weeks with gradual fading throughout the period. Henna tattoos applied to the hands or feet will last longer than those applied to body areas with softer skin.

Very few problems have been reported with true henna tattoos. However, many, many problems have been reported from people receiving so-called “black henna” tattoos. Pure henna produces a reddish brown stain on the hands and feet, and is usually a lighter shade on other parts of the body. To obtain a darker stain than pure henna provides, a toxic chemical dye known as p-phenylenediamine (PPD) is often added. PPD and other similar ingredients can cause reactions ranging from an itchy rash to blisters, sores, and permanent scarring.

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