Is It Safe To Use Henna During Pregnancy?

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Henna has been an integral part of Indian customs and traditions. Henna signifies beauty, prosperity, and good fortune. Festivals like Karva Chauth, Teej, Eid, Diwali, etc. are incomplete without getting beautiful henna patterns on the hands and feet. Is it safe to use henna during pregnancy?

Godh bharai is another function when pregnant women adorn themselves with beautiful Mehendi designs. When it comes to safety, it is best to refrain from chemically prepared henna as an alternative to chemical-based hair colors. which may affect you and your baby in pregnancy. Read on to know more.

henna during pregnancy

In This Article

Which Henna is Safe During Pregnancy?

Of late, there are various varieties of henna and henna tattoos available in the market. Some of these packaged henna brands contain chemicals that give you dark color, hence when you are pregnant, it is best you avoid packaged henna and opt for natural homemade henna paste.

Natural henna, derived from the plant itself and free from any chemicals, is considered harmless in pregnancy. Black henna is also gaining a lot of popularity recently.

But black henna can be very harmful to you and the fetus as it contains a dye called para-phenylenediamine, also known as PPD. It can cause severe allergic reactions along with blisters, sores, permanent scarring and you may even develop extra sensitivity towards sunlight.

Henna for Hair During Pregnancy

Dyes and chemical-based hair colors can prove to be allergic and may cause damage, especially when you are pregnant. Though research is yet to find a significant link between hair colors and pregnancy, most women are advised to skip the chemical-based dyes at least during the first trimester.

The dyes can be absorbed by the scalp and they could pass through the placenta and you’re your baby. The best solution for this is to use henna instead, but the only natural ones. Henna is a natural herb and gives ample color to your hair. It will keep your scalp cool and healthy and color the hair without damaging it.

The color will not strip off the natural oils but will nourish them from within. The only drawback of using henna as hair color is that you don’t have plenty of options to pick your favorite color. Also, you need to keep it in your hair for a good 3-4 hours for the color to transfer.

woman with henna to color hair

Using Henna as a Hair Color in Pregnancy

Henna is a natural organic conditioner. It could be applied as it is if you want. However, when combined with other ingredients it gives your hair extra nourishment and even rid your hair of dandruff.

You could add eggs to the henna paste before applying. If you are allergic to eggs you can avoid it. You can even add coconut oil, tea, or coffee, which will give your hair extra shine. You could also add shikakai, a few drops of aloe vera, or even amla as well.

If you want a deep red color you could even put in some beetroot. Since all these are natural products none of them will cause any harm to your baby. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and add a lot of products. The inclusion of 2-3 ingredients is more than enough.

Applying Henna on Skin During Pregnancy

Applying mehendi to grace a special occasion is a common tradition in many households. It is believed that henna brings good fortune and happiness. In some customs, women apply henna patterns on their belly as well to celebrate being pregnant.

Pure natural henna in no way affects or harms the baby. In fact, it has many beneficial properties. It extracts the excess heat from your body and cools your system and even keeps you safe from various skin diseases and fungal infections. It heals cracked cuticles and even conditions the nails.

Henna art in hands

Just like for the hair, henna could be applied as it is, on the hands as well. If you want your henna to develop a darker color and stay put for longer you could add clove oil and or even tea water. You can also add lemon juice and essential oils like lavender oil and tea tree oil.

If you are thinking of preserving your pregnancy memories by donning a Henna tattoo on your belly or any other part of your body, think of all the side effects associated with it. It is definitely not worth the risk associated with it.

Henna mixed with any dye is not safe for the baby due to the presence of chemicals in it. Moreover, there are chances of contracting Hepatitis B and HIV if the needles are not sterilized.

Precautions When Using Henna in Pregnancy

Although henna doesn’t pose any threat to the expecting mother or the baby, there are certain precautions you should exercise like-

  • Test the henna first by applying it on a small portion of the hair or skin and let it sit there for 30 minutes or so. If you don’t develop any reaction then you are good to go.
  • If you are applying henna to your hair, avoid doing the procedure yourself. Since it takes a while to apply henna and the process is too tedious.
  • Sit in a comfortable chair during the process of henna application and also make sure the room is well ventilated and cool.
  • Take help while washing off the henna from your hair. Make sure you do not exert yourself.
  • While applying henna to your hands, don’t cover it. Let the henna breathe so that it keeps your body cool.
  • If you experience nausea, joint pain, bleeding or discharge or elevated blood pressure while applying henna or soon after consulting the doctor immediately.
  • If henna didn’t suit you before, chances are it won’t suit you while you’re pregnant as well. It is better to stay from henna if you are allergic.

Applying henna on hands and hair is fine during pregnancy as long as you are using natural henna and you have no allergy to it. But chemical dyes are something you should definitely avoid during pregnancy.


1. Can I Put Mehendi While Pregnant?

Yes you can. However, opt for the natural ones made fresh from henna leaves. The store bought ones may not be a great option.

2. Can Traditional Henna Powder Give me a Cold?

Henna is a natural coolant that has been used for generations to cool down your body naturally. Immunity is low during pregnancy. It is best to not leave henna on for long hours or overnight.

3. Can I Get Skin Allergies Due to Henna?

It depends on the henna. If you are using the store bought chemically altered ones for instant colour, yes they definitely can. The traditional ones – not so much.

4. Can I Dye my Hair Using Henna When am Pregnant?

Yes you can. Henna is a safer option than chemical based dyes. However, keeping it on your scalp for many hours may give you a cold.

5. Can the Henna I Use Regularly Still Give me a Rash When am Pregnant?

Yes it can. Your body is very sensitive during pregnancy. It will react differently to chemicals, even the ones you are used to.
Read Also: Is It Safe To Get A Tattoo During Pregnancy?

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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