How To Tell If It’s Jagua or Black Henna

In my previous article about the differences between jagua gel and black henna I explained how these two products are different from each other as far as safety and main ingredients. Please read that article here if you haven’t yet done so. I think you will find it very informative.

In this article I’m going to focus on the physical aspects of jagua gel and black henna so that you can tell them apart when purchasing for personal use or if you decide to get a jagua tattoo from the local artists at a public venue.

When purchasing jagua gel online:
  • Make sure you purchase from a reputable company that clearly states that the product is jagua.
  • Read the ingredients and about the company.
  • If in doubt call the company to ask about the product.
  • Do not purchase henna from Ebay unless your trust the seller.
  • Ebay is a great open market for many items but when it comes to henna it is crowded with unscrupulous sellers who don’t really care about their customers health.
  • Do not purchase premixed henna cones online unless you trust the seller. A great number of pre-mixed henna cones sold online ship from India or China and those are the ones that are more likely to be chemically altered. advertising
When getting a jagua tattoo from the local artist:
  • Ask the artist about the product.
    An artist using jagua will be more than happy to tell you that he’s using a safe product, while people using black henna are usually very vague with their answers.
  • Texture –
    Jagua gel has the texture of hair gel – soft and smooth. Black henna is usually a grainy liquid or a thick paste if mixed with natural henna.
  • Smell –
    Jagua has a pleasant fruity smell with hints of rubbing alcohol. Black henna usually smells like hair dye (not very pleasant).
  • Application –
    Jagua gel is usually applied with a plastic applicator bottle fitted with a fine metal tip.Some artists will use mylar or cellophane cones to apply the jagua gel. Black henna is applied with a tiny brush or tooth pick. If it has been mixed with henna paste, black henna will usually be applied with a cone.
  • Stain –
    Jagua is a natural product that stains through the process of oxidation, a process that can take 2-3 days to complete. This means that when you first remove the jagua gel from your skin your design may be very faint, almost invisible, but it will get darker with every minute and every hour that passes by reaching its darkest stain in 2-3 days. Since black henna is chemically based, it usually stains right away. The moment you remove the paste you’re left with a jet black stain. When in doubt do a small dot test. Leave it on for five minutes then wash it off. If it stains right away, it’s most likely black henna and not safe to put it on your skin.