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By : Brendan Mitchell, 09-19-2015

When you hear the words temporary tattoo, the first thought in your head is probably a small, press-on illustration that fades from the skin after a day or two. Well, there’s a another type of body art that’s taking the U.S. by storm, and its popularity is soaring: Henna.

Henna refers to a form of temporary tattooing that uses dye to stain the skin. Its name comes from the dye’s key ingredient, leaves from the Henna plant. Unlike a press-on tattoo, henna tattoos are usually large, intricate designs, and typically last at least ten days.

Henna tattoos are becoming so popular that henna artists are now often hired to provide their service at events. While they are quite popular with bachelorette parties and bridal showers, more recently henna artists are appearing at children’s birthday parties. Naturally, many parents are concerned by this; henna tattoos are lasting, large, and there is widespread controversy about its potential health risks. This is an issue that all consumers should be wary of.

While organic henna is actually quite safe to use, there are many reported cases of henna dye with additional ingredients provoking a bad, dermatologic reaction. Black Henna is the most widely publicised example of this – it contains p-phenylenediamine (PPD), an additive notorious for its negative effects on skin. Because of this, henna dye has not been approved by the FDA for direct application to the skin, and may only be imported as a hair dye.

Despite this, the henna tattoo business is booming, and it’s easy to see why. Henna provides a temporary, aesthetically pleasing alternative to permanent tattoos, and for some people, can be a form of celebrating and honoring their cultural background – Henna has a long history with Indian and Middle-eastern cultures

Of course, before hiring a Henna artist to come to your event, it’s a good idea to do your own research. You should also make sure that only organic henna dye will be used, to avoid any health issues, and that every guest (and their parents, if the guest is a child) is aware there will be a henna artist at the event, ahead of time.

If you are considering getting a henna tattoo, make sure you check with your employer’s body art policy. Some jobs may not allow you to work with a henna tattoo. The same advice applies for children, and their school and/or extracurricular activities.

Ultimately, as long as you follow these steps, henna tattoos can be safe, eye-pleasing and exciting. If you decide you’d like to hire a henna artist, can help you find someone local today.

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