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Black Henna Tattoos: A Word Of Caution

Black henna tattoos: a word of caution

A black henna tattoo may seem harmless fun, says our stylist Jaye, but it can be dangerous – especially if you’re planning to colour your hair.

What are black henna tattoos?

You may have got a black henna tattoo while on holiday abroad or at a fair or festival in this country. Black henna kits can also be bought online. So what’s the problem?

“Black henna (sometimes called ‘neutral henna’) may contain high levels of the chemical PPD (paraphenylenediamine),” explains Jaye. 

“A certain amount of this ingredient is legal in hair colouring products – but black henna can contain way too much PPD making it toxic.”

This means a black henna tattoo may cause:

  • Chemical burns and scarring.
  • An allergic reaction – either straightaway or later (sometimes years later) when using products such as hair colour.

What the NHS says

The NHS advises against black henna tattoos in this country or abroad.

Keeping you safe

Our number one priority when you see us for hair colour is to keep you safe, says Jaye. 

“That’s why it’s vital to tell us if you have had a black henna tattoo since your last colour appointment.”

The tattoo may have had no harmful effects at the time – but it may have made you more sensitive to hair colour dyes that contain a legal amount of PPD.

Even if you have never had an allergic reaction to hair colour products before, a black henna tattoo may make you allergic – and this allergy can worsen over time.

The importance of allergy alert tests

Allergic reactions to hair colour products can be hazardous, so if you’ve had a black henna tattoo since your last tint or allergy test, you must have an allergy alert test before we can colour your hair.

The test only takes a couple of minutes and, of course, is free. 

The allergy test must be done between 48 hours and five days before your visit.

Are you using hair colouring products at home?

Jaye adds, “If you’re colouring your hair at home, always follow the instructions for carrying out an allergy alert test before using the product. If you react to the allergy alert test, do not use the product. There are serious health risks, and it’s not worth it.”

Book a complimentary colour consultation

Are you thinking about colouring your hair for the first time?

Call 01277 263060 to book your complimentary colour consultation. We’ll be happy to carry out a free consultation and make recommendations. And, of course, we’ll also ensure you’re safe with a free allergy alert test.

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