What's In That Paste?

Natural henna comes in one color: henna color.  The shade of the stain/dye may range from an auburn to a russet hue, depending on the henna crop, your body's chemistry, and your skin tone.  Paste with other colors may have dangerous chemical additives.  We emphatically do not recommend anything that stains the skin in any other color than henna's natural red-brown.
What's in our paste?

We mix our henna ourselves, to be able to vouch for the ingredients.  The "usual" recipe is:
  • sifted henna powder (no additives-- just henna!)
  • a citrus juice, usually lemon juice
  • sugar
  • pure, therapeutic-grade, steam-distilled essential oils, including
    • Australian tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) or Indonesian cajeput (melaleuca cajeputi, a tea tree "cousin"), plus
    • Bulgarian lavender (lavandula angustifolia) or Indian cardamom (elettaria cardamomum)
That's it.  Really!  We believe strongly that any henna artist or business should be happy to share their paste's specific ingredients with customers.  Henna paste recipes aren't top-secret, and for customer awareness and safety, we believe that knowing exactly what's in what we're using is important.

Allergic to citrus (or another ingredient)?  Give us 72 hours' notice, and we can whip up a batch with ingredients that meet your needs.  Our usual alternative for citrus is cranberry juice.

"I'm allergic to henna!"  If you've previously experienced a reaction to an application of natural henna, there are several potential likely causes, based on what could have been in the paste recipe.  Allergies to henna, itself, are vanishingly rare.  Potential culprits:
  • You're allergic to citrus
  • You're allergic to an ingredient that came in a commercially-sold kit, such as eucalyptus oil.  (We've found that enough folks are allergic to eucalyptus that that's precisely why we don't use it here at North Star.)