Doha 16th August 2013: The commercial outlets continue to sell the dye and salons use it with scant regard to the rules more than a year after Qatar regulated the use of black or coloured henna because of an ingredient that could cause severe allergy on prolonged use.
Henna is a very popular beauty product in the country. Its sales increase during Ramadan and Eid as many people also tend to use it for the henna design and tattoo during this period.
The study was conducted last year on the harmful effects of black/coloured henna that contain a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD) by the Laboratories and Standardisation Affairs Department at the Ministry of Environment. PPD is a chemical substance that is widely used as a hair dye.
Local businesses were only allowed to import and sell natural henna in the market after the ban was introduced. Henna dealers were also asked to put warning stickers on each packet informing people about the black henna that it should only be used as a hair dye.
The government had last year required all women’s salons to put up a 20X40 board advising customers not to use black/coloured henna on the skin, eyelids and eyelashes.
However, the henna, which is available in different brands of black and brown colour, are being widely sold in many hyper and supermarkets across the country. The level of PPD they contain was not clearly specified.
Most people don’t know if they’re allergic to PPD until they have already received lasting damage from a reaction. In mild cases, reaction caused by the use of black henna hair dye only involves dermatitis to the upper eyelids or the rims of the ears. There may be marked reddening and swelling of the scalp and the face in severe cases. Severe allergy to PPD can result in contact urticaria and rarely, anaphylaxis – a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death.