Safe Henna Practices

 Natural Henna is SAFE Henna

Divine Henna uses all natural henna dyes which are hand made by us so we know exactly what goes into it . So called Black Henna is never used due to its possible hazardous health effects.  All images on this website which show henna as black are simply henna in its first stage as a paste, the result is a red, brown or maroon colour. Any henna that does not result in  a shade of red or brown is not henna! Be careful. White henna and gold henna are also in use now but are generally body art quality media lasting 1-5 days and usually safe. Ask your artist for their ingredients if in doubt.

dark horse henna feet

Applying henna paste which looks green or brown and dries to a black crust.


When the paste is peeled off and the stain oxidises the result should be maroon, brown or coffee colours.



Black Henna Warning

black henna warning

Black henna is not actually henna but has a chemical additive to leave a black result. This chemical is called PPD, para-phenylenediamine. PPD is a synthetic coal tar dye that can cause mild to severe reactions. Amongst its reactions are blistering, scarring, and other lifelong health problems. This chemical is accumulative which means that even if you don’t react the first time the build up of the chemical may mean you can react if exposed again. Even if there is no immediate reaction PPD is carcinogenic and should be avoided at all costs.

For the most detailed account of Black Henna and its effects refer to this page.



Pregnancy Safety 

Is henna safe for use in pregnancy?
As a natural dye, henna body art is a safe way for most women to mark the occasion of immanent motherhood. It can also be a therapeutic and relaxing way to celebrate with family and friends.

However, if you have had any blood pressure problems or in particular suffer G6DP Deficiency (Glucose-6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency) or Hyperbilirubinemia henna should be avoided. Consult your midwife or doctor before receiving henna if you have anemia, chronic blood or immune system problems. If you have any children with these problems it is also advisable to avoid henna during pregnancy.

When choosing a henna artist, I recommend looking for someone who makes their own natural henna. You should make sure that they use pregnancy safe essential oils such as lavender and no chemical additives.


In any case black henna should always be avoided as it has chemical additives which are unsafe pregnant or not.(On this website henna is pictured as appearing black but this is simply the paste which is removed leaving an orange, red-brown or coffee coloured result.)

Rebecca Colefax Photography-100

Precautions when receiving henna.

  • Make sure that the room is well ventilated and cool.
  • Don’t lie down on your back while the henna to receive henna, comfortably on a couch or a chair.
  • Don’t be tempted to keep the room hot to get more out of the henna colour. Overheating can make you dizzy and may raise your blood pressure.
  • Interrupt the henna application session occasionally to move around ensuring adequate blood circulation.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Don’t overstretch

Marie Macdonald, “The Baby Centre” webpage :

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