Henna also referred as Mehendi is an ancient body art. It is used in creating intricate ethnic or contemporary tattoo designs and exotic patterns on various parts of the body.
Q: What is Henna?
Henna is a plant (bionomial name - Lawsonia inermis) found and grown in South Asian and North African countries. It is used since ancient time to color skin, hair, fingernails, leather, and wool. The name Henna is also used for dye or paste derived from the leaves of the plant, and for the art of temporary tattooing from those paste.
The English name "henna" comes from the Arabic حــنــا, pronounced ħinnā.
Henna is a paste made out of crushed leaves and twigs of henna plant. The paste can also be made from dried leaves of the plant by mixing it with hot water. When this paste is applied in skin (just like writing from a marker) and left for few hours, it leaves orange to dark maroon stain in the skin which fades away in 7 to 14 days.
Q: How long it takes to apply henna body art?
It depends on the intricacy of design and expertise of the henna artist. For me, a simple palm size design takes 5 to 8 minutes. Henna design on hands of a bride may take anywhere from one hour to two hours. After henna is applied, the paste dries of in 5-10 minutes. We spray lemon and sugar juice to moist the paste again so that it gets good color to the skin.
Q: Is henna safe?
Natural henna (henna dried leaves mixed with hot water or some natural oils) which is completely safe for all type of skins. I have applied henna designs on thousands of people of all ages and have received no complaints. Henna paste used by me is made of henna leaves and some traces of eucalyptus and clove oil. If you are allergic to eucalyptus oil, we advise not to get henna.
If you are buying henna from market, please make sure you get proper information regarding it's origin and contains.
Q: Is Henna available in colors other than orange?
Natural henna produces orange to dark maroon stain. The darkness depends on your skin, the body part where henna is applied, quality of henna and care you provide. That is the only color Henna can produce. I would stay away from Henna (claimed to be producing black color). Most likely it is composed of some chemical additive which could be harmful to skin.
Along with Henna, you can add glitter within henna design which is completely safe. Please check picture posted. Glitter used by me is safe on skins for kids as young as 3 yrs