We tend to use the word 'henna' to mean a design style AND the actual temporary body art. Adding to the confusion, we see a lot of pictures around the internet taken with the henna paste on the skin -- thinking that henna is black.
And then there is a product called 'black henna' which is a commercially produced adulterated product which contains dangerous chemicals. Henna is never, ever (not ever) black.
Henna is a plant. It is harvested, dried and ground. A paste is made with liquid (tea, water, juice) and essential oils. The skin is decorated with the paste which will stain the skin (its temporary).
Photo 1: paste on // Photo 2: paste off, stain is oxidizing // Photo 3: mature stain
Henna is not a tattoo. A tattoo punctures the skin and makes a permanent design on the body. Henna is a stain which will disappear over time as the body makes new skin cells.
henna stain photos
monique herzig, alchemist, aesthetician