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What is Henna?
The Henna plant (Lawsonia Inermis) is a shrub that grows in hot climates and can be found in most middle eastern countries such as Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco and India. The leaves of the plant are dried and crushed to a fine powder to make Henna powder. This is converted into a paste after incorporating ingredients such as mehndi oil, hot tea or coffee, yogurt etc. This paste is used as a natural hair dye or to stain the hands traditionally for festivals or celebrations.
Is Henna Mehndi safe?
The history and origin of Henna uses are hard to track. There is some historical evidence that mehndi as a ceremonial art originated in ancient India. Others believe the moguls introduced the use of Henna to India in 1200 AD. Archeologists have found a mummy of an Egyptian pharaoh with Henna stains on his fingers and toes. Henna has been used for over 5000 years as a cosmetic and for its natural healing properties. It has the ability to draw the heat out of the body through the skin and create a cooling sensations. It is considered to bring good luck and good health to those who wear it.
As with any cosmetic product a patch test should be done to rule out the possibility of an allergic reaction if you are unsure. It should b kept out of reach of small children and mush not be used around the eyes, mouth or open sores.
How is Henna Mehndi made?
The Basic Henna Mehndi Recipe:
1. Put 2 table spoons of Henna powder into a vessel that will not stain.
2. Add eight to ten drops of mehndi oil.
3. Mix in a small amount of hot tea or coffee until it reaches a smooth tooth paste like consistency.
4. Let this mixture set for atleast an hour in an opaque sealed container. For potent color leave the mixture over night.
5. When you are ready to apply the Henna design, check the consistency of the paste. If its too dry add some more mehndi oil or water. If its too wet, add a tiny bit of Henna powder.
Basic Citrus Henna Mehndi Recipe:
1 Put 2 table spons of Henna powder into a vessel that will not stain.
2. Mix in enough strained lemon or lime juice to the Henna powder to make it the consistency of smooth cookie dough.
3. Add eight to ten drops of mehndi oil.
4. Cover with plastic and let it set for about half an hour.
5. Uncover and slowly mix in hot tea or coffee until it reaches a smooth toothpaste like consistency.
6. Store in an opaque sealed container over night
7. Check the consistency and adjust as needed.
Henna powder, Tea leaves and Mehndi oil can be bought at any local speciality store.
How long do the designs last?
The natural Henna designs last from 1-4 weeks depending on the depth of the Henna stain, on what part of the body the design was done and how often it is exposed to friction from rubbing soap and/or water. Henna works the best on warm porous parts of the body like the palms of your hand and bottoms of your feet. It can be applied wherever your heart desires.
How does the Henna stain my skin?
Henna stains the outer layers of the skin so the less you rub or was the longer the design will last.
What colors are available?
Henna naturally stains skin from a bright orange to a dark brown. However, with modern scientific technology the color of the Henna powder can be cosmetically altered to create a rainbow of colors to choose from.
How long should I leave it on to get a good color?
The longer you leave the Henna paste on the darker and deeper the design will be.