Bad Henna Brows - What Can Go Wrong?

Bad henna brows can happen if the dye is left on for too long, not long enough, due to adverse effects, or insufficient precision when applying it.

bad henna brows gone wrong

Image source: Freepik

Henna brows are a semi-permanent brow enhancement procedure that’s done by applying a dye of natural origins to the brows. Sometimes, it’s called a semi-permanent tattoo, but it doesn’t involve any skin breaking – the dye stays on the skin’s surface.

It’s a much less invasive procedure than actual brow tattoos. It lasts a limited time, but it can give you just the brow enhancement you need, especially if you have a vacation or a special occasion coming up so you don’t really want a more permanent solution.

It’s a very simple procedure and the risks are extremely low, but bad henna brows can still happen. Let’s go through the ways in which a henna brows treatment can go wrong, what side effects may emerge, and how to fix henna eyebrows gone wrong.

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Can Bad Henna Brows Happen?

Yes, bad henna brows can happen, but most cases of henna brows gone wrong are dealt with easily and are not that serious, apart from the possibility of an allergic reaction or skin irritation.

The risks of henna brows are very low, and to explain why, let’s run through how henna brows are done:

Henna Brows Procedure

This procedure can be done at a salon or brow bar, or you can do it yourself. The process goes like this either way:

  • The brow area is cleaned to make sure dye absorption is even.
  • The henna is prepared – it usually comes in the form of liquid or powder that has to be mixed with an activator. At salons, different shades can be mixed to get a custom color. The components are mixed into a smooth paste.
  • The paste is applied onto the brows. The henna will stain the skin, so it’s important to create the shape you want.
  • It’s left on for the designated time. This is usually 20-ish minutes, but different formulas and shades may need more or less than this. If you’re DIY-in it, always follow the instructions provided with the kit.
  • The paste is cleaned off, and an optional nourishing oil is applied to the brows.

Super-simple, right?

The treatment takes very little time, and the skin isn’t broken in any way.

henna eyebrows gone wrong Image source: Freepik


To prevent bad henna brows shapes, you can use a cream or sticky patches to outline the shape you want. This way, you prevent the color from going outside of the borders and keep the edges crisp and tidy.

henna eyebrows shape turned wrongImage source: Freepik

You Had an Allergic Reaction

Certain components of henna are known to cause allergies in a portion of the population (especially black henna, which is used less and less often in cosmetic dyes). Even if you’re generally not prone to allergies, your skin may react to this substance.

If you feel any sensation along the lines of burning or stinging at any point of doing henna brows, this can be a sign of an upcoming allergic reaction. The allergy can manifest itself in the form of continued itching, burning or stinging, or break out into a rash.

If this happens, it’s advisable you see a dermatologist.

Why This Happens

You didn’t do a patch test!

With any cosmetic product, but especially for substances known to cause allergies in some people, you should always test it on a small, hidden area of the skin before you apply it right on your face.

Dab a tiny drop of henna in the crease of your elbow, let it sit for a while, and if everything is fine after 48 hours, it’s safe to use it on your face.

How to Fix It

Visit a dermatologist and let them assess whether you need any sort of treatment.

It goes without saying, you definitely shouldn’t use the product again.

If you’re not willing to give up on the treatment regardless of this henna eyebrows gone wrong scenario, you can try a different brand next time and do a patch test!

Bad Henna Brows – Main Takeaways

Unlike with actual brow tattoos, bad henna brows are not that serious, but it’s still a hassle that’s best avoided.

The fool-proof way to avoid henna eyebrows gone wrong scenarios is to book a professional treatment and let the technician worry about everything, but if you want to DIY it, just make sure you do a patch test (this is very important – why put your body and mind through the stress of an allergic reaction?), follow the instructions provided with the kit keeping close track of timing, and try to be as precise as possible when actually applying the henna.



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