Some of you may have noticed in the news lately that not all henna artists and their materials are created equal. Upon delving deep into the henna world, you’ll find that the quality of henna is based on numerous things that you might not have even been aware of. The quality of the henna powder, the freshness, and what the henna is mixed with are all important factors. Until you’re an experienced henna artist, mixing your own paste for some time, it is difficult to know which suppliers are offering you the best, all-natural, quality ingredients.
Essentially, what it boils down to is that henna only needs a few, natural ingredients to mix a nice quality staining paste. Henna first and foremost should always be green in powder form and brown in matured paste form. Henna is never black or other colors as it is a natural ingredient made from the crushed leaves of the henna plant found in deserts like Morocco. Henna leaves are only green in nature and once mixing them with lemon juice (or water) and some essential oils, the henna will have a dye release as it warms and sits creating a lovely reddish-brown color (not red). On the skin, it will leave a pale orange stain at first that will develop into a darker brown stain within 72 hours.
**Note - Never get henna from an artist who isn’t offering pure, natural, fresh henna. If you are unsure, ask them what is in their mix. If they do not know, beware. Pre-packaged hennas arriving from other parts of the world are mixed with things like hair dyes, gasoline, turpentine, and other ingredients that you do not want interacting with your skin. A henna artist should always know what is in the paste, if they don’t, move on and find a different one.
There are lots of great henna suppliers out there. They can all tell you what goes into their pre-mixed paste, and they often offer the powder form of the henna for you to mix your own as well. Here is a list of 10 suppliers that offer all-natural, safe henna powders and mixed henna (the first being my favorite):
Henna Sooq, www.hennasooq.com
I love this shop! Not only do they have excellent customer service, they also have videos on how to mix your own henna, and how to use henna for your hair, and they carry a variety of delicious all-natural, organic body and hair care products. They have everything you need to get your henna art underway, from hand-mixed henna cones to henna powder and essential oils to mix your own. They also carry henna books, jagua (I’ll blog about that later - it’s also safe and all-natural but acts a little differently than the henna - definitely do your research before using this product to become familiar with the how-to of it all), pre-rolled henna cones to fill with your own mixed henna, as well as books of henna designs!
I highly recommend the Red Raj for both body and hair stain. It gives a beautiful, deep reddish-brown stain that is incomparable to most other hennas.
I cannot say enough great things about Henna Sooq! I just love them!
Bulk Apothecary, www.bulkapothecary.com (referral link)
Bulk Apothecary is another favorite shop. While they do not have a huge selection of henna, they do have practically every essential oil known to women. They do offer a henna powder but note that the quality is for hair and is not finely sifted like the body art powders at Henna Sooq. If you purchase this henna for body art, you will need to sift it several times before mixing and you will likely need to strain it 2-3 times after mixing to get any of the sticks and bits out. Bulk Apothecary also has a fantastic selection of all-natural body and hair care products, however, they are mostly in bulk. If you’re not making enough products to use as gifts or aren’t going to start selling your own homemade soaps, you may want to find smaller amounts at other shops. Meanwhile, I love this shop when I’m looking for a product in bulk and they have so many pretty crafting things to look through. They also have a fabulous crafting blog, I highly recommend subscribing to, it’s free!
Sara Henna, www.sarahenna.com/henna-shop
Sara Henna carries jagua in both gel and powder form as well as henna in powder and paste form. They carry bottles to apply the henna if you’re intimidated by the idea of a cone and they have a selection of glitters that you can add to the henna paste while it is still wet for a bit of bling on the henna until the paste is removed.
Portland Henna, www.portlandhenna.com
Portland Henna offers hand-rolled cones, essential oils, henna powder, glitters, sealant (this can help the henna paste stay on the skin a bit longer to create a better, longer-lasting stain and is typically made from lemon juice and sugar), and even a few temporary tattoos.
Kona Henna, www.konahenna.com
Kona Henna has henna powder and kits to mix your own henna. They also offer Eucalyptus oil for cleaning the skin prior to hennaing. They carry some of their own designs of flash tattoos in the fun foil colors as well as some of their pretty designs on phone cases.
Nature’s Body Art, www.naturesbodyart.com
Nature’s Body Art has a limited selection of supplies but they do carry a Rajasthani powder, a little kit for mixing your own henna, and some pre-mixed organic paste along with their own aftercare balm (used after you remove the paste of the henna to aid in keeping the stain longer).
Earth Henna, www.earthhenna.com
Earth Henna offers a variety of henna kits as well as some powder labeled as the “henna refill kit”. They have jagua and books and a plethora of learning materials on their website. Earth Henna carries the new trend product called “White Henna”. While this is not technically henna (as henna is ONLY brown), it is a product that many brides have taken to for their henna designs on the day of their wedding. It’s a combination of body paint and makeup quality glue that adheres to the skin in the design painted. Unlike henna, the paste is not removed to reveal a stain. When left on, it can last a few days. They also have some DVDs available and are a very good source for henna on the West Coast.
Monterey Bay Spice Company, www.herbco.com
The Monterey Bay Spice Company offers what they call a neutral henna powder for hair that does not leave a stain or color change to your hair but instead conditions and adds shine, similar to Cassia. Their powder is an interesting mix of henna powder and powdered lichen. I have never personally tried this product and I would recommend a bit of research and a test spot of hair before applying it to your full head.
Hiral Henna, www.hiralhenna.com
Hiral Henna offers a henna kit, pre-mixed hand-rolled cones, henna powder, essential oils, and aftercare supplies.
Beachcombers Henna Supply, www.etsy.com/shop/ShopBeachcombers
Jody Rogers is the shop owner for Beachcombers Henna Supply and she offers henna kits, powder, cones, temporary tattoos, and bottles. She has a large number of supplies offered in a simple one-stop-shop and location.
I hope you find the henna supplies of your dreams from this list. Of course, you could have stopped at the beginning with Henna Sooq and found everything that you need an more in their shop to get started, but I thought it would be fun to see some other options and give you a good idea of what the natural henna powders and supplies look like so that you can easily compare them to the “fakes” (or not natural supplies).
I have ordered from Henna Sooq, and they are my number one recommendation for great henna and incredible customer service. I haven’t personally ordered from the other shops so I’d love to hear about your experiences. Let me know in the comments if you tried any of the shops!
And for all of the henna-lovers out there, I have a few cute items that I have designed inspired by henna art... check them out...
Paisley Eye T-Shirt (click image)
Paisley Eye Curvy T-Shirt (click image)
Paisley Eye Wideneck Sweatshirt (click image)