Henna is the Persian name for a shrub native to Asia that thrives in warmer climates all over the world. The henna leaves are used to produce a paste that leaves a stain on the skin.
To obtain a better stain keep the area very warm, and leave the paste on at least 2 hours (longer as possible). The final color will depend on your skin and body chemistry with darker colors appearing on the hands and lighter color on the arms. Avoid contact with water as much as possible during the first 24 hours after paste removal as water can interrupt the oxidization and darkening processes of your henna stain.
When the paste is applied to the skin it feels cool, this is due to the natural cooling properties of the henna plant. You may feel tingling/tickling, that is caused by the essential oils such as cajeput which is used in making our paste. Henna feels much like lotion and does not hurt at all. Application of henna paste can be quite relaxing and enjoyable, especially in the summer months as it is cooling and soothing to the skin.
Protect your design and help it to look its best:
- Avoid water for the first day. Use lemon juice or vegetable, olive or coconut oil to remove any residue instead of water.
- Gently cover your henna/Mehndi with a natural vegetable oil before bathing or swimming to protect it from water. Any eatable oil all work well. Avoid using any petroleum products such as baby oil or Vaseline as they will contribute to the demise of your stain.
- Avoid excess rubbing of the area, frequent washing with soaps, petroleum products (sunscreen, Vaseline, baby oil) and the rubbing of clothing on the design will cause your henna design to fade more quickly.
Once you have removed the dry henna paste you will see an orange-yellow stain left on your skin. The stain will deepen into a reddish-brown tone over the next 48 hours. Natural henna will always leave a stain in the range of orange – red/brown that can vary with each persons body chemistry, the area of body chosen, and the length of time the paste remains in contact with the skin. The longer the paste is in contact with your skin, the darker the color and the longer lasting it will be. It will last the longest, 1-2 weeks, on thicker, dry skin such as hands, and will fade more quickly, 3-10 days, on thinner skinned areas such as arms. As your skin exfoliates and regenerates your Henna will completely disappear.
Natural henna is one of the oldest cosmetics ever used and is extremely safe for both adults and children.