What is white henna? There is a lot of confusion on the subject and that’s understandable. So maybe I should start by telling you what it’s not: henna.
White henna is not henna. By definition, white henna could not be henna because there’s no such thing as white henna. Now you’re really confused, right? Sorry, let me start over. Traditional henna tattoos are created by mixing henna powder—made with the crushed green leaves of the henna plant—with a liquid solution, which results in a henna paste. That green henna paste is applied on the skin and leaves a reddish-brown stain that lasts 7-10 days. That is a henna tattoo.
There’s a new temporary tattoo in town, and the designs look just like henna tattoos but they are white. Because the designs people create with the “white henna tattoo mix” LOOK like henna tattoos, people started calling them white henna. The “white henna tattoo” mix is made up of medical grade glue (adhesive) and white body paint. You apply this mix just like henna (from a soft-squeeze plastic applicator bottle) onto the skin. Because of the glue, it sticks to the skin—it does not stain the skin. It dries flat, lays on top of the skin, and lasts 1-3 days. So it’s a special event kind of thing. It looks absolutely gorgeous in white—the effect you get when you set the design with corn starch. Or you can add silver glitter on top of the design to make it sparkly.
We went out of our way to call it something else to alleviate possible confusion. We came up with White Lace Tattoos, and that’s what it says on our White Lace Tattoo kit packaging. HOWEVER, our brand name is Earth Henna, and that’s printed there on the box. Which is part of the reason some people buy our White Lace Kit and think they’re getting a henna tattoo kit that stains the skin white. But Earth Henna creates several kinds of temporary tattoo kits: henna tattoos, jagua tattoos, and white lace tattoos. ALTHOUGH I HAVE TO ADMIT that when you visit our website, the tab for our White Lace kit says “white henna,” as does our product page. Why? Because no one would think to look for a white lace kit. They’re all looking for white henna! I know, I know, it’s exhausting.
We work with an exclusive seller for our White Lace kits on Amazon.com called Errands at Home, and—frustratingly—she has received a couple of 1-star reviews from customers who say things like: This wasn’t even henna… As if we were trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. It’s no secret that people don’t like to read, and they obviously are not reading the information in her listing, which blares, as if with a bullhorn, that white lace tattoos are made with glue and paint.
Am I ranting? I think I’m ranting! Forgive me. Just remember: White Lace tattoos are gorgeous temporary body art that people flash at weddings, festivals and special events. They are not henna tattoos—white or otherwise.