HENNA BROWS • Feb 18, 2024

The Patch Test & Henna Brows: So Important

Mrs.Highbrow patch test brow henna brows

Sometimes specialists think they can skip the patch test, or allergy test, for a Henna Brow treatment but we really don't recommend doing this! A patch test is the only way to prevent an allergy - no matter how infrequent.

A patch test is a method of discovering whether or not a beauty product or ingredient provokes allergy on the skin. If you are going to work with Brow Henna on a client, a patch test is very important to perform! In rare cases, Brow Henna can cause a nasty contact allergy on the skin - performing a patch test helps rule this out!

Allergic To PPD

Dyotics Brow Henna is a product based on natural henna with color pigments that have been added to give the Brow Henna the tint you know. This substance is called PPD (P-Phenylenediamine added) and is present in a very low percentage in Brow Henna. PPD is actually in all eyebrow dyes, as well as hair dyes.

Some people are allergic to PPD and can have unpleasant reactions like skin that becomes very irritated and sometimes even a rash or blisters can develop. With clients who already know they are allergic to PPD, you should never use brow henna. With other clients who are getting Henna Brows for the first time, always do a patch test.

Patch Test: How to proceed

Ask your client to come in for the patch test a few days before their treatment. You can also do it when they are in the salon anyway, such as during eyebrow shaping. You can then apply the henna brow treatment next time, if they don't turn out to be allergic.

  1. Prepare a darker shade of Dyotics Brow Henna, preferably Ash Brown or Raven, even if you actually want to use a lighter shade of Brow Henna - the darker colors contain the highest percentage of PPD, so you are definitely safe when testing with these shades.

  2. Apply a dot of Brow Henna on the inside of the elbow or on the underside of the wrist.

  3. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. Remove the Brow Henna with a damp cotton pad with water.

  5. If a reaction occurs in the meantime, rinse immediately and wash the skin with soap and water. This client clearly cannot tolerate brow henna.

  6. Does no reaction, such as redness, burning or itching, occur within 48 hours of the patch test? Then the brow henna is safe to use!

No Guarantee For The Future

Unfortunately, a patch test is not a guarantee against future allergies - sometimes a person may still develop an allergy to a certain substance. This can happen in cases like a client having a henna brow treatment done too often. For this reason, we recommend not repeating the treatment more often than once every 5 weeks.

A Patch Test Every Time?

Do you have to do a patch test every time before a brow henna treatment? Fortunately no! Once every 6-12 months is sufficient, unless something has changed in terms of a client's health. Has someone been very sick and therefore has a weakened immune system? Then you may be more susceptible to allergies. An extra patch test can't hurt then. When in doubt, it is wise to do a patch test anyway. Better safe than sorry!

When else no Henna Brows?

A patch test is a clear indicator of whether or not you can offer henna brows to a client. But sometimes it doesn't even take a patch test to know not do it, for instance when: 

1. Pregnancy Or Breastfeeding

It is unwise to apply Henna Brows during pregnancy. It certainly cannot harm the unborn child, but an allergic reaction can be more likely due to hormones and higher sensitivity during pregnancy. In cases of henna allergy, hormone ointments are often prescribed, which are also not great during pregnancy. For the same reason, we also advise against Henna Brows if a woman is breastfeeding.

2. Sensitive skin

Does someone have irritated skin, wounds or acne around the eyebrows? Then Henna Brows are not recommended, because damaged skin is more prone to an allergic reaction.

3. Just Before a Sun Holiday

After a Henna Brows treatment, sun and tanning beds should be avoided for 48 hours : sun on henna brows can in fact trigger an allergy! Clients should therefore not go full sun with their freshly done Henna Brows, but protect them by staying in the shade. After those 48 hours, protect the henna brows with an SPF, although this will cause the color to fade sooner.

What if a client is allergic?

Very occasionally someone builds up an allergy, so even though you did a patch test a few months earlier, a client suddenly turns out to be allergic. This is obviously very annoying for the customer, and it can give you sleepless nights as a specialist.

Does a customer call you to say she has, or thinks she has, an allergy? If so, don't panic. Ask her to email you a photo, and if in the slightest doubt: advise this client to see a doctor that same day.

The doctor will probably prescribe a hormone ointment or cream. Try to call your client back the same day to ask how it was at the doctor's office. And keep in close contact in the following days as well. This way you show interest and it is nice for yourself to know how he or she is doing. Hopefully your client will soon be rid of those annoying symptoms. After that, this client may never use henna brows again unfortunately.