Can you use Brow Henna on the eyebrows during pregnancy?

08.06.2020 - Myriam van Engelen

We are asked regularly if you can use Brow Henna during pregnancy. Since it’s a very important topic to address for both beauticians and their clients, we created this blog so you can make a considerate choice whether to use it or not. So what to do if your client is pregnant, breastfeeding or undergoing IVF? Is it safe to use henna on them?

Our advise 

Every colorant or hair dye, including henna, has small traces of PPD in it. PPD, or Paraphenylenediamine, is a chemical compound used to make sure the natural henna dye stains on the skin and hair. However there isn’t much research done on the effects of PPD exposure to the unborn baby and the possible risks of this chemical. It’s also good to know being pregnant makes your body more reactive to anything it perceives as a threat to protect the baby. With that in mind and since we always believe safety first, we don’t advise you to use Brow Henna if you’re pregnant.

The PPD of the hair dye can penetrate into your skin and therefore get into your bloodstream, but the amounts are really minimal. But especially when you’re carrying a baby, you just don’t want to take any risk. If your client is pregnant, breastfeeding or undergoing IVF, they must be made aware of the potential risks associated with tinting. However, at the end of the day it is your own risk and consideration if you want to take this risk or not.

Safety of Brow Henna during pregnancy

If you do decide to proceed with Brow Henna and tinting the hair during pregnancy, we always advise beauticians to have their pregnant clients speak to their doctor or paediatrician before getting any brow henna or hair coloring treatments. If they have specific allergies to henna-plant based products, then we strongly advise you NOT to use henna on your client. Hormonal changes can also change your reactions to certain products, so even if you’ve never had an allergic reaction before, during pregnancy this can change. Next to the advice of a doctor, a patch test is therefore always mandatory if you decide to continue with Brow Henna.

IMPORTANT: patch testing

It is very important to always patch test for both non-pregnant and pregnant clients. Although most of the dye is natural henna, the chemicals added can cause allergic reactions. Because hormonal changes can cause new allergic reactions, it’s extra important to patch test while being pregnant or undergoing IVF. PPD can cause severe allergic reactions, by patch testing you can avoid this from happening. This is why patch tests behind the ears are mandatory prior to accepting new clients and existing clients. Always use the color black henna because it contains the most PPD. Apply the henna paste at least 48 hours before the treatment for 20 min on the skin and remove the paste afterwards, so there’s enough time to test if the body reacts or not. Sometimes it takes hours before a allergic reactions appears. 

What products you need for patch testing:

Avoid using Henna if..

If your client is allergic to hair dye, tint, henna, PPD, or any form of colorant, do not proceed with the treatment. If your client has any type of eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rash, stye, etc. do not proceed with treatment, since you don’t want to worsen their skin condition. 

Pay attention to hair structure changes

Keep in mind that during a pregnancy the hair condition and texture changes. The brow hairs can become thicker, and the brows can get fuller. Because of that there is a possibility that the henna color you normally get can turn out different. Also, during pregnancy, you have a lot of hormones in your body. That baby doesn't build itself ;) What could lead to different reactions to the coloring. The henna may turn out lighter or darker than normal. Eyebrow tinting often goes well during pregnancy, but it’s always good to inform you clients on this topic and to keep the above risks in mind.

Now that you know all the risks. You can decide if you want to have henna brows during your pregnancy or not. Above all we wish you a happy and safe pregnancy! 

Love, Supercilium

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