What is Henna & Mehndi?dees-henna-hand.jpg
Henna is a plant that grows in hot climates and can be found in most Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt and India. The henna plant can grow 8 to 10 feet high and its leaves are dried, crushed and ground into a powder. The natural dyeing properties found in Henna are tannins, this is what allows the henna (when mixed with other ingredients) to temporarily stain the skin. While henna is the plant, Mehndi is the traditional art of decorating the hands, feet, & shins with a Henna paste.

How much does it cost to get a Henna Design?
This will vary due to a number of factors. On average I charge anywhere from $10-$30 depending on the size of the design & it’s complexity.

Where Is Henna applied?
Henna is traditionally placed on the hands, feet, ankle, shins, wrists are the best. You need thick skin in order to get a good dark stain. That is why you see it on hands and feet. This is where your thickest skin is. The farther up your body you go the thinner your skin gets. Less skin, less stain. Try to stay away from hairy areas, often times the henna won’t make it to the skin and it hurts when removing the paste.

What Is The Difference Between Pre-Made Paste And Making Your Own Paste?
The difference between pre-made paste and making your own paste is that you don’t know how fresh the pre-made is, nor what is in it, and therefore it could have lost its ability to stain. When you mix your own and use FRESH henna powder, you know what is in your formula and that it is fresh. This makes the stain better and will last longer.

What is Black Henna?
Black Henna is not henna at all… but rather a paste containing potentially deadly chemicals and dyes. The main “bad” ingredient is PPD (Para-phenylenediamine). Please read more on Black Henna and the potential dangers by clicking here… this is the Henna Page and it has a full write up on Black Henna. Here in Canada, our government has passed legislation to make PPD black henna illegal, due to the dangers… and have defined natural, safe henna as legal. Yay Canada! If you are unsure of the contents of the henna paste to be applied, ask the artist… if they do not know what is in it… Run Away!

How Can I Make It Darker?
Henna loves heat. Once the paste has been applied, use a blow dryer to warm it up. Be careful not to have the heat turned up too high as you may burn yourself. Using lemon/sugar to get the henna to “stick” to your skin is one method, another is glitter glue. This is a combination of peel off facial gel and skin friendly kids glue. I add a bit of glitter to give it some bling.

How Long Does It Last?
Henna will last longer and be darkest on areas where there is thick skin. From your elbows to your fingertips, from your knees to your toes are all areas that have thick to thicker skin. Upper arms, lower back etc. are all areas where the skin is thin and therefore there are not many layers of skin for the henna to absorb into. These areas will also loose the design quickly as it will take only a couple of exfoliations for the henna to disappear.

Is it Safe?
If you are unsure about sensitivity or concerned about an allergic reaction to natural henna, henna powder, oil blends, or possibly the adhesive backing on the stencils - do a patch test by applying a small amount on the area to be decorated and watch for a reaction over the next 24 hours, if one occurs avoid further use. Also, henna products shouldn’t be used around the eyes, mouth, broken skin, or taken internally. Again I Reiterate - Black Henna is not henna at all… but rather a paste containing potentially deadly chemicals and dyes and is not legal in Canada. Never use Black Henna EVER

Where Is Mehndi Available?
You can do it yourself or check festivals, fairs, tattoo shops, and salons. Or contact me and I will set up an appointment with you

How Long Do I Leave The Paste On?
This is entirely up to the person wearing the paste and depends on how long/dark they want the design to be. I encourage all my clients to leave the paste on for more than 6 hours. 1 or 2 hours is really not enough time to give a good stain. Patience is very important to a good stain …remember the longer the better. If leaving it on overnight, apply lemon/sugar, or glitter glue. Allow this to dry. Then wrap with Toilet paper and if you want saran wrap on top of this. I am always a little uneasy about the plastic wrap in case it doesn’t allow the henna to dry and then it may smudge. Trial and error.

Why Is Henna So Popular?
Mehndi has for centuries been practiced but has recently been popularized by musicians (Prince, Gwen Stefani), Hollywood personalities (Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore), plus the popularity of permanent tattoos. Henna/Mehndi is a temporary, pain free, self expressive body art.

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