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Black henna tattoos: a word of caution

Black henna tattoos: a word of caution

Having a black henna tattoo may seem like harmless fun, says Salon Manager, Adam, but they 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 Adam. “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 having black henna tattoos either 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 Adam. “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 bad 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 become worse over time.

The importance of allergy alert tests

Allergic reactions to hair colour products can be highly dangerous, 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. It needs to be done at least 48 hours before your visit. There is no need to make an appointment just pop in and we’ll test you. If you have any questions at all or prefer to confirm a time to pop in then call us first on 01273 323597

Using hair colouring products at home?

Adam 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 have a reaction to the allergy alert test do not use the product. There are serious health risks and it’s just not worth it.”

Book a complimentary colour consultation

Thinking about colouring your hair for the first time? Or perhaps you usually colour your hair at home but would love some professional creative colour for a change? We’ll be happy to carry out a free consultation and make recommendations. Call 01273 323597 to book your complimentary colour consultation. And, of course, we’ll also make sure you’re safe with a free allergy alert test.


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