Find A Safe Henna Artist

You can use the internet to search for a local henna artist (most professional artists have their own websites or social media accounts) but make sure to ask these key questions before hiring an artist:

1. Do you make your own henna paste?

The answer to this question should always be yes.

If the henna artist didn’t make the paste themselves, they have no way of knowing what is actually in the henna paste. An artist should never use store-bought henna paste. This henna paste can contain chemicals and preservatives that are dangerous, especially for someone undergoing cancer treatment.

NEVER let a henna artist use “black henna” on you. Chemicals in it can cause burning and scarring. “Black henna” is illegal in Canada but is still used all over the world. (Natural henna will stain a bright orange colour and darken over a 48 hour period, whereas black henna stains black immediately–it’s not henna, it’s dangerous!).

2. What ingredients do you use in your henna paste?

A henna artist should share their ingredients list with you so you can make them aware of any sensitivities or allergies you have, and/or share the ingredients with your medical team. Ideally you should do a test patch 48 hours in advance.

If you are undergoing cancer treatment at the time of your henna crown, the best henna paste recipe is just henna powder and water, however, the stain may not be as dark, as essential oil and lemon juice help to bring out the natural staining ability of the henna. The best ingredients are:

– Recently harvested organic henna powder (stored in a cold, dark place for freshness)
– High-altitude lavender oil (with a camphor rate of less than 1%)
– Organic lemon juice (not from concentrate) or you can request water if you have a citrus allergy, or especially sensitive skin
– Organic raw cane sugar (for stickiness so the henna stays on your skin longer)
– See our Artist Terms and Conditions to learn about the strict health and safety standards we required artists to follow while Henna Heals was operational (2010-2015).

3. What do you know about henna safety?

Natural henna is deemed safe by Health Canada. Pre-packaged henna cones, or worse, “Black Henna” should NEVER be used.

Read our About Henna Safety page and check out the “Is Henna Safe?” section of our online book.

4. Have you done a henna crown before?

Henna crowns are a mostly a new phenomenon, and are still very niche, so many talented henna artists have not had a chance to do one yet. Look closely at the quality of their work on their website.

5. How much will the henna crown cost?

Most henna artists charge between US $100-$150 for a 2 hour henna appointment (about the time it takes to create a henna crown), however, most artists are willing to work on a sliding scale for henna crown appointments. Make sure to confirm this amount ahead of time, and whether they require an additional fee for travel.

6. Can you provide me with some refferals?

After examining the quality of the artist’s work and confirming their knowledge of henna safety, you should also ask them for referrals.

7. Where should we meet?

Most henna artists are happy to meet you in the privacy and comfort of your own home, however, some people have received henna crowns in hospitals, support groups centres, yoga studios, public parks and cafes, or at the artist’s home. Agree to meet in a place where you would feel the most comfortable.

Henna artists should use organic body-art quality henna powder.
© Frances Darwin Photography

Henna paste should include either only henna powder and water, or henna powder, organic lemon juice, sugar and high-altitude lavender oil.
© Frances Darwin Photography
Try Henna Caravan if you would like to purchase your own henna powder.

Lavender oil is generally considered to be the most gentle essential oil. High-altitude lavender oil (not lavendine) contins the lowest levels of camphor.
© Frances Darwin Photography
Try Henna Caravan if you would like to purchase your own lavender oil.

Making homemade henna paste is easy. Even kids can do it! There’s no excuse for a henna artist to use pre-made henna (let alone black henna which can cause burning and scarring)!
© Frances Darwin Photography

Fresh henna paste is green and dries dark brown. It should NEVER be black.
© Frances Darwin Photography

Many artists work on a sliding scale, make sure to determine the cost, if any, before you make your henna crown appointment.
© Frances Darwin Photography