Before your appointment:
- Make sure your skin is clean and exfoliated. You shouldn’t wash it for at least twelve hours (the more you can keep it out of the water the better).
- Browse online or take a look at my gallery to find ideas of designs you like. I can either incorporate different elements from images you find, copy something, or create a completely unique design.
During your appointment:
- I will mix the henna twenty-four hours in advance. The lemon juice needs to break down the henna particles to release the dying elements. If you don’t wait long enough or wait too long you will not get a good stain.
- Sometimes I will sketch out the general idea for your design to make sure everything is even and symmetrical.
- Then I will apply the henna. It is in the form of a paste so it will be raised on the skin.
- Let the henna dry completely, but not so much as it begins to crack. Dry time is usually 15-30 minutes depending on how thick the paste is applied, humidity, temperature, etc. If you are in a rush you can dry it with a hair dryer, heat also augments the stain.
- I will then “fix” the henna by dabbing a lemon sugar solution over the design. The henna needs to be moist and tacky on the skin to continue staining. Also, it helps keep it from flaking off and releases more of the dye.
- In some instances I also wrap the henna in either non-sticky sports wrap or slightly sticky paper tape. Please let me know if you have any kind of an adhesive allergy and I will not use the paper tape, just lemon juice.
- Leave the paste on the skin for at least two hours, best case 6-8 hours. The longer you leave it on, the darker your stain will be.
It takes approximately 24-48 hours to achieve a dark stain. Your design will be a lighter orange at first, then darken into a reddish or chocolate brown as your skin hits the air and oxidizes. The deepness of the stain is relative to where the stain is applied. The darkest areas are the palms and bottoms of the feet. If properly taken care of mehndi can last up to three weeks. Typically stains about 1-2 weeks.
How to take care of your henna:
- Don’t wash your design for at least twelve hours.
- To remove the paste, pick it off or allow it to flake naturally.
- Avoid strong and antibacterial soap and gels.
- Avoid swimming or taking long baths.
- Keep the area moisturized, but wait 48 hours or there may be a delay in the stain darkening since it is not exposed to air.
- Don’t rub the area hard. Henna permanently stains the top layer of skin, but fades as your body naturally exfoliates itself. Reducing abrasive factors lengthens the life of a stain.
- Apply oil or vaseline to the stain (after 48 hours after application) before getting it wet so the water beads off to prevent exfoliation.
These factors influence the stain:
- Where the design is (in reference to the thickness of stratum corneum layer of skin which is made of keratin and stains most easily)
- Body temperature and skin quality, everyone is different!
- How often you wash your hands
- The soap you use
- Ingredients in the henna (some essential oils, called terpenes, can be added to the paste to increase the quality of the stain, but also make it deteriorate faster)
HERE IS THE PROGRESSION OF HOW THE STAIN DARKENS OVER SEVERAL DAYS AFTER APPLICATION:
Here is a video of what a henna appointment with me looks like, start to finish! It starts with a consult and then I sketch a few things out, then apply the henna.