Henna is a form of dye used for doing body art. For about 5000 years, the ritual of body artwork with Henna has been in practice. A perfect tradition that is enjoyed by all classes of people. It is made by crushing the henna leaves and making a paste out of it. The paste is applied to the palm and foot soles in different patterns and designs.
The henna paste dries up, leaving a stain on the skin. The henna stain reaches the darkest colour tone in a few hours. This stain exfoliates and fades gradually over three weeks. The paste of henna leaves possesses natural cooling characteristics.
Hence, it is popular in torrid places to control body temperature. At present, the culture of Henna or Mehendi is practised beyond core communities. A henna artist is trained to paint beautiful designs on different occasions. It is one of the must-haves at any festival, wedding or ceremony.
Significance of Applying Henna
Applying Henna is a part of most wedding rituals in different Asian countries. Henna is used to decorate the hands and feet of young women. Henna bears an auspicious significance in weddings. It is a ritual well known for bringing prosperity to the newlyweds.
The implication of darkening henna stains is a strong bonding and promising outcomes. Henna also symbolises good health. The designs made with Henna are not permanent; they are temporarily set on the skin.
Why does Henna turn Black in colour?
The darker the Henna the more beautiful it looks! When Henna is applied to the skin, the stain appears light at first. But over time, the stain darkens to almost black. The darkening results from the presence of the pigment called lawsone, and this pigment bonds with the skin cells, keratin and collagen and turns darker.
Homemade Remedies for Darkening Henna Stains
The longer the Henna is left on the skin after drying up, the darker the stains become.
- Heat application can also darken the henna stains on the skin. Using blow dryers is quite a common homely way of applying heat. It recommended maintaining safety during heat application.
- Using a cling wrap can also do the trick. Cover the area where Henna is applied with a cling wrap. This would trap the heat and intensify the henna stain.
- Some common kitchen ingredients also contribute to darkening the henna stain. Ingredients like mustard oil and chilli powder help darken the henna stain on the skin. However, you have to be very careful about the amount of use. The excessive application might result in skin irritation.
- You can apply different essential oils for darkening henna stains. These oils can be clove oil, eucalyptus oil or lemon oil. Mahalabiya is also an excellent essential oil chosen for this purpose. The monoterpene contents in the essential oils are responsible for the darkening of Henna.
- Coffee provides a browning tint naturally. If you mix coffee in the henna paste, it will enhance the darkening.
- Beetroot juice also enhances henna stains. Beetroot juice is generally used for pigmentation in cosmetics. So, like coffee, you can also add beetroot juice to the henna paste.
- Adding black tea dedication to the henna paste can also do the job. It contains the concentrates of tannin that darken the Henna.
Steps to make the Henna Stain Last Longer
It is recommended to leave the Henna for at least 2 hours. This helps to get the intensified colour and long-lasting stains.
After putting off the Henna, you can dip your hands and feet in cold water. Coldwater blocks the skin pores and therefore seals the colour.
After the Henna gets dried, apply oil to it and let it soak. This enhances the colour intensity and the stain long-lasting.
It is recommended to keep the area of application covered from exposure to sunlight. Sunlight might make the colour fade fast.
Applying sugar after peeling off the Henna also intensifies the shade. It also makes the henna stain long-lasting.
Turpentine oil, a distillate from pine resin, also darkens the Henna & makes it last a longer period of time.
It is imperative to prevent any exposure to moisture while applying Henna. It is essential to keep the body parts dry when applying Henna. It not only enhances the colour but also makes it long-lasting. Washing hands with it is not advisable. It fades the hue fast. Using cold water is preferable.
You can use a hair dryer for drying the Henna. But it is essential to keep it on a low heat setting. Also, the hairdryer should be held at a safe distance. Having the dryer too close might result in colour bleeding.
After applying Henna, it is suggested not to shave the involved area. Shaving peels off the skin cuticle and affects the Henna. Using lightning products is strictly forbidden. For example, bleaching on the area of henna application would lighten the stain.
How to become a Henna Artist?
A henna artist is appointed to make Mehendi designs for women on several occasions. Nowadays, the profession of henna artist is highly booming. Becoming a professional henna artist requires an apt interest in painting and creativity, and an aspirant needs to develop overwhelming artistic skills of high calibre.
As beginners, the aspirants take a few art classes that help build basic drawing skills. One of the main criteria for becoming a henna artist is to practice more and more. Different books and art tutorials are available, which are also helpful for professional careers as henna artists. Many aspirants also go to take advanced drawing lessons for further improvement.
The career option of a henna artist generally does not require a specific school or college graduation. Though skills in maths, business and marketing are needed for running your business. As a henna artist, you have to have good communication skills to deal with clients. The henna artists should also know about making their henna dye.
Henna is applied as a form of self-expression, and it also bears the essence of inspiration. Women in certain circumstances use Henna to decorate themselves rather than wear jewellery. Henna at present is applied on every happy occasion as a part of the celebration. Therefore the profession of the henna artist is also growing.