We interrupt our usual henna stories to bring you this special report:
Okay. It was a vow renewal service, not a wedding. Still! Look at this!
This past summer, I had the privilege of doing "white henna" for the lovely Tierra and her vow renewal service in Huntsville. Strictly speaking, there's no such thing as white henna. True henna is made from the henna plant and stains the skin reddish brown.
However, a couple of years ago, someone on social media posted photos of their "practice henna" done with body lotion. The white look became a hit, and the market responded with a variety of white henna options. I use the Henna Glam product from Henna Caravan (great company, BTW). It's a cosmetic-grade paint that sits on top of the skin. It's fairly durable and can last 1-5 days but is also removable. (You can't "stain" anything white. You can only bleach something to make it white, and bleaching skin is horrible.)
And as you can see ... it looks SPECTACULAR on deep-toned skin! I also did white henna for the guests at Tierra's reception. Just take a look at this beautiful woman. Wowza!
Some days, I cry.
And so does this YouTuber, and I don't blame her because GOD HELP US ALL!!!! Here's what happened:
She saw another YouTube makeup artist create "semi-permanent" freckles using henna paste. Okay. Sounds plausible. The reddish-brown color of henna resembles the color of a birthmark or freckle. So, she ordered "Golecha" brand henna paste off eBay and went for broke. And just let me say, thank god she didn't wind up in the hospital.
The "no harmful chemicals" claim on the packaging is rubbish. (Technically, everything is made of chemicals, and almost no chemical on the planet is completely risk-free, but I digress.) More than likely, the manufacturer is claiming it contains no synthetic chemicals such as the notorious PPD. I'm calling shenanigans.
First of all, true henna does not have that purplish-magenta tone that you see in the stain on her face. It's a much warmer, reddish brown tone. The unnatural shade is a dead giveaway that Golecha cones contain some sort of synthetic dye.
Second, true henna does NOT stain instantly like this product did! That's just not how it works. Henna paste must be left on the skin for an hour or more, and when it's removed (either washed away or peeled off), the stain is orange at first and then darkens to red-brown over 24-48 hours. Her instant color is another dead giveaway that the cone contains a synthetic dye.
Third, the burning. That is a classic sign that you've put something containing HAIR DYE on your face.
Folks, the very sad fact is cosmetic labeling is poorly regulated in many countries. They can say whatever the heck they want on the package and face no legal consequences. I'm looking right now at an eBay listing for Golecha's "black" henna. If you didn't know how natural henna works and the dangers of so-called "black henna," you could easily fall for the load of horse poop in this listing:
Henna manufacturers have realized that Western consumers are becoming educated about the dangers of "black henna" and other kinds of adulterated henna products, so they use buzzwords like "handmade" and "all-natural" and "clinically tested." It's utter cow manure, and all they care about is dollars in their pocket.
If you have a desire to put henna on your face – or anywhere else – PLEASE purchase your paste from a real human being who made it herself. Doesn't matter if you buy from me or someone else, just do business with a reputable henna artist who cares deeply about the human beings who use her product and isn't just trying to make a buck.
And Naomi, girlfriend ... I hope your skin returned to normal. 😟
UPDATE 2/7/19: She did it again.
This is what a severe reaction to a PPD burn looks like. It's ugly and horrifying Please do not take the risk!