henna & jagua

What is it?

Henna, or Lawsonia Inermis, is a plant whose leaves are crushed and ground before being finely sifted and mixed into a paste. The leaves of the henna plant contain a gentle, all natural dye that releases on the outer layers of the skin. The plant is powdered and mixed into a paste with sugar, lemon, and essential oils. The paste is applied and left on for several hours. This dried paste is then removed to reveal a bright pumpkin-orange colored stain. After 24 hours, this stain darkens to a deep mahogany. Henna will last up to 2-3 weeks, fading gradually as the outer layers of skin rejuvenate. 

Jagua, or Genipa Americana, is a tropical fruit that grows throughout the rainforests of South America. This berry is boiled or squeezed for its juice. Jagua juice is then mixed with henna powder. This mixture is piped into a cone and is used to create intricate designs that stain a deep black-blue color. Jagua lasts about to 2-3 weeks, fading as the outer layers of skin rejuvenate. If you have an allergy to citrus, strawberries or other berries, you may have a similar allergic reaction (itching or skin rash) to the Jagua fruit.

Does it hurt? Is it really like a tattoo?

Although henna and jagua henna are commonly referred to as "tattoos", this is far from the truth! The only similarity that henna and jagua henna have with tattoos is that they are another form of body art. It does not hurt, because the cone never penetrates the skin. It's simply used to apply paste onto the skin. In fact, henna is closer to icing a cake than tattooing!

what colors are available?

Henna only comes in one color - that's the color of the dye available in the plant, which is a reddish mahogany stain. Jagua henna gives a deep brown/black stain. Any other colors you may see on the market are not really henna or jagua.

Is it safe? What's it made out of?

Our henna paste has 4 ingredients: the powdered henna plant, lemon juice or water, raw sugar, and essential oils. These ingredients are skin-safe and have a very low allergy rate. However, if you are sensitive to eucalyptus oil or lemon juice, please mention this when booking your appointment, and a more gentle recipe can be used on you.

All-natural jagua, when mixed into henna paste, creates jagua henna. Jagua henna is all natural and doesn't contain any chemicals whatsoever. However, allergies are more common than with henna. This is due to the fact that jagua is a tropical fruit. If you have any allergies to strawberries, kiwis, or citrus fruits, you may have contact dermatitis (itching or raised, bumpy skin rash) to the Jagua fruit. Unlike "Black Henna", jagua will not leave permanent scarring or chemical burns.

What does the stain look like?


I'm pregnant! 

Congratulations! Henna is 100% safe to use on pregnant and nursing women, and is often used to decorate the belly (also known as a "belly blessing"! Please mention this when booking your private session or bridal appointment, so we can use a gentle recipe on you. Henna is safe to use on children over the age of 7.

Although jagua henna is safe to use on the skin, Anjali prefers not to use jagua henna on nursing or pregnant mothers and children. This is due to the fact that jagua henna can sometimes cause contact dermatitis on certain skin types - it's best to stay on the safer side! 

Does the stain completely fade away?

YES! Henna and jagua only stain the outermost layer of your skin. This layer of skin, after a few weeks, eventually sheds and is replaced by 100% new, fresh skin! This means your henna or jagua henna will only last until your skin is fully exfoliated.

How long does it last?

Henna & jagua last about 2 weeks. Generally, the less you scrub your hands or use hand sanitizer, the better!

Where does it come from?

Henna, also known as hinna in some parts of the world and mehndi in others, is a tradition of body adornment practiced in various parts of the world. The henna tradition is as old as 9,000 years and is practiced by various cultures across the globe, including ancient India, Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East. In the modern day, it is used for nearly anything you can imagine. Henna is a wonderful way to take a moment to love yourself and your body.

The jagua fruit has been used for nearly 2,000 years by the native indigenous tribes living in the rainforests of South America and Panama. It is well known for its medicinal qualities, as a natural food-dye, as body art, and even as a natural insect repellant! The Kayapo tribe has been frequently featured in the National Geographic, sporting their beautiful blue-black Jagua stains. Suppliers of Jagua work with local indigenous tribes to farm the fruit, manufacture the fruit, and produce it sustainably. 

I'm not indian! Can I still get henna?

Culture is the thread that brings the world together. We believe that henna is a gift meant to be shared. Although henna is primarily popular in India today, henna and jagua have actually been practiced across the globe for centuries by various cultures and groups of people. 

what's white henna? why don't you offer it?

"White henna" is body paint which has been used to create henna style designs. I do not typically offer "white henna" because it's not really henna and does not stain the skin. Body paint usually only lasts about a day or two on the skin before it's washed or flaked off.


Henna and Jagua are 100% all-natural and derived from plants and fruits. With that being said, please be aware of the replica products on the market known as "Black Henna". These cones, found in most Indian stores, are unfortunately labeled "natural henna", despite often not containing any real henna in them at all. These chemical-filled cones are unfortunately still used in India, South Africa, and even Venice Beach. Manufacturers infuse harmful chemicals within these cones to ensure a long shelf life and a quick stain. Unfortunately for clients, these store-bought cones, also called "Black Henna", usually contain a harsh synthetic dye known as PPD (p-Phenylenediamine) and other toxic chemicals (such as kerosene or ammonia).

The chemicals found in black and colored henna are known as "sensitizers" that can cause serious allergic reactions - including severe chemical burns and permanent scarring. Always be sure to ask your artist where they source their paste from, and never hesitate to ask for the ingredients of the paste that will be sitting on your skin. 

Anjali Henna does NOT use or encourage the use of "Black Henna", "Colored Henna", "Kali Mehndi", "Emergency Cones", or any other forms of chemical Black Henna. 

Anjali Henna is fully certified & insured.