If you’re exploring more permanent brow enhancement options than your regular brow pencil, you’ve probably heard of henna brows. You probably know henna as a method of creating body art, especially in Indian culture. But using it on the brows may not be something you’re familiar with.
So you might be wondering, is the same dye used for body art and for brows? Can I use regular henna on eyebrows? What about color options?
If you’re getting a professional service, you don’t have to bother with any of these details. But if you’ve decided to DIY it, here’s what type of henna you should buy, why can’t you use regular henna on eyebrows, and everything else you need to know.
What Exactly Are Henna Brows and How Are They Done?
Henna brows are a form of semi-permanent brow enhancement, sometimes called a semi-permanent brow tattoo. It’s a form of dying your brows but with a natural dye, and it comes with the additional effect of staining the skin underneath the brow hairs, hence, the tattoo part.
Henna is a plant-based dye extracted from the leaves of the henna tree. It’s been used since ancient times for coloring clothes and as a form of makeup, and in today’s brow-obsessed world, it’s found its use as a natural brow tint.
The dye comes in the form of powder which, when mixed with water or a different carrier, becomes a powerful colorant that stains everything it comes into contact with. If left on for long enough on skin and hairs, it gets absorbed into them. So it can be used for cosmetic purposes by applying it where you want to achieve a darkening effect.
For more information on henna brows, head over to this guide.
Image source: Instagram @luparelipmu
Can I Use Regular Henna on Eyebrows?
If you mean henna intended for body art, the answer is no, you cannot use regular henna on eyebrows.
Body henna is used to stain the skin and last for several weeks on it. Eyebrow henna is primarily meant to color the brow hairs, and the skin stain is just a bonus that happens due to the nature of the application. Since they’re used for different purposes, the 2 have different formulas.
Brow henna is often formulated with hair-nourishing minerals which protect the hairs and keep them strong and healthy.
But the primary reason you can’t use regular henna on eyebrows is the question of color. While an orangey-reddish hue is desirable for body art, you don’t want orange brows (well, no judgment if you do, but most people don’t). Henna used for eyebrows is mixed in such a way that almost eliminates the orange fading body henna has. Almost, because it can still happen, but it won’t be so prominent.
So in terms of color, attempting to use body henna on eyebrows will not give you attractive results.
If you’re wondering if you can use hair henna on eyebrows, the formula is more or less the same, only it should be a bit gentle for brows, as they’re thinner, but it’s always better to get a henna brows kit which contains tools you can use specifically for dying your brows. Most kits come with great little applicators that help you with the shape.
Image source: Instagram @flirty_studio
Is It Safe to Use Henna on Eyebrows?
As long as you get a formula suitable for hair dying, generally, yes.
Henna is a natural dye, plant-based and vegan, but much like many treasures we find in nature, it’s known to cause allergic reactions on a portion of the population. This is an issue particularly with black henna, which contains a chemical called PPD – paraphenylenediamine – which can cause itching and swelling if your body reacts to it.
Definitely not something you want to happen to your face!
This is a bigger issue with black and really dark shades, while lighter shades generally don’t contain PPD, but can still cause a reaction.
That’s why you have to do a patch test the first time you use henna for eyebrows, and whenever you switch to a new brand or formula. Apply a drop of the dye on the inside of your elbow, and wait for 48 hours. If nothing happens, dye away your brows. But if you have a reaction, try a different brand.
Image source: Instagram @artsofattractionllc
Anything Else I Need to Know?
If you’re not super skilled in styling your brows, doing henna brows yourself can be a challenge. The paste is very easy to mix, but your application has to be spot-on. Henna can stain the skin quite faster, especially if it’s darker, and if you don’t apply it with extreme precision, it can stain the skin around your brows and the shape will turn out all wrong.
Of course, there are ways to remove it, but the henna stain can be quite persistent, and some of the removal methods can irritate the skin.
So if your brow game isn’t super strong, perhaps it’s best to book a professional treatment – they’re quite affordable, too.
Cover image source: Freepik