Allergy Patch Testing

Allergy patch testing might be considered ridiculous for anything as natural as henna,indigo, and cassia obovata. Although it’s true that all of these pure plant hair dye products are exceptionally safe to use – let’s face it, they’re a life saver compared to the chemical alternatives – the fact remains that we also have to acknowledge that in this day and age of allergies, allergic reactions, and haywire immune systems, a patch test is generally regarded as sensible . Remember that even though these colour dyes come from plants, they could, potentially, cause allergic reactions as well. Don’t assume that because something is “herbal”,“natural” or “organic” it means allergy free. Very few people, if any, will experience allergy symptoms from pure henna, pure indigo, and pure cassia obovata but it’s best to test and to be safe.

First time users are reminded to start out with the Renaissance Henna Natural hair Dye Kit which comes with a detailed instructions booklet for absolute beginners.

Allergy patch testing is a method used to determine whether a specific substance causes allergic inflammation of a patient’s skin. Any individual suspected of having allergic contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis needs patch testing :

Allergy patch testing

How to do Allergy Patch Testing

Pre-mix a small quantity of henna powder – about 5 gms (one teaspoon) – according to the instructions in the Renaissance Henna Natural Hair Dye Kit, and apply the paste to the inside of your arm or elbow crease. You can tie an old piece of material (cotton or muslin), or some plastic wrap like cling film, around the arm to keep the paste in place. Henna will stain the skin red / red orange. Wash off a couple of hours later and wait 48 hours. If you experience no irritation in that time then it’s reasonably safe to assume you can use it without any problem.

Next, do an indigo patch test. Mix up about 5 gms (one teaspoon) of indigo hair dye powder into a paste according to the Instructions in the Kit and wash off after about an hour or longer. Indigo may stain your skin a bluish colour. Wait at least 48 hours. If you experience no irritation in that time then it’s reasonably safe to assume you can use it without any problem.

Similarly, do a patch test for cassia obovata. Leave on for  an hour or longer and wash off. Cassia obovata should not stain at all, but if it does stain it should be an exceptionally light yellow to light orange colour and it should wash off or fade within about 24 hours.

The skin stains are nothing to worry about. Provided you’re not allergic to these plants, the application of henna, indigo, and cassia obovata is probably good for you. If you do not experience any irritation, it’s fine to go ahead and use Renaissance Henna natural hair dyes and natural hair conditioning products.

Always do a Henna Hair Colour Strand Test and an Indigo Hair Colour Strand Test

Although a strand test may not be a fantastic indicator of your end result colour – it’s usually a lame indicator in comparison to the real thing – it’s still essential. You want to be sure that you are not averse to the likely colour or range of hair shade colours that you might achieve with henna hair dye or henna plus indigo. The best strand test result is achieved by testing a small area of hair  as close to the nape of you neck as possible ( that way it’s unlikely to show if the result is not what you want ). Get someone to help you section your hair, apply the paste, and cover it (try cling film / saran wrap, wrapped around it) to avoid staining the rest of your hair. If you don’t like the idea of testing your hair this way, then wait till you have a trim and ask your hairdresser to put aside enough of your hair for testing. If your hair isn’t long enough for this kind of strand test or cut hair test, then collect enough hair from your hairbrush for hair colour testing, but keep in mind your hair colour prediction results may not be as accurate..


Are Natural Hair Dyes Safe ?