Henna Tattoos (also known as Mehendi) is a traditional Indian Free Hand Body Art and the paste is created from henna plants which are about 3 to 5 feet tall. It is used to create intricate ethnic or contemporary designs and exotic patterns on various parts of the body, though traditionally it was applied to the hands and feet of ladies preparing for auspicious ceremonies. The application of Henna is completely natural, non-permanent, painless and without any side-effects and so is completely safe to use with everyone including children.
The appeal? Painless temporary tattoos. What was in this month might be out the next, so with Mehendi a lifetime commitment is not necessary as the designs fade within 4 weeks.
Ingredients… the colour in Henna..
Henna is a natural product, a plant, growing in size from 3 to 5 feet and can vary slightly from region to region. Its leaves are then dried and ground to make the henna powder. The ingredient in henna that makes up the dye properties is called lawsome (lawsonia inermis). Since it is a natural product, there are no known side effects.
Henna's dye component, hennotannic acid, does not pass through into the dermis, it only stains the dead cells in the epidermis. Hennotannic acid naturally makes the brick/red/brown stains; it usually takes many hours to get a good henna stain on the skin, and that stain is quite harmless.
Pure, 100% henna, with the help of heat, moisture and time, leaves a reddish brown stain on skin, first light, then darkening during the next 24 hours. The shade various according to the quality of henna used, the ingredients of the paste and the methods used when applying, and sometimes the colour can darken to almost black.
Your design should last at a minimum of 1 week usually lasting up to 4 weeks depending on the thickness of the epidermis of your skin and on where the design is located.
Leave the paste on as long as up to 8 hours (or more if you can stand it). The longer the paste is kept on, the darker the design will be. After you peel of the paste, dip a Q-tip in some olive or Avocado oil and take off the remainder of the dry paste. Do not expose your new design to water in the first 24 hours after the design has been applied as the colour is still in its darkening process. The less exposed to water, soap or rubbing, the longer the designs will linger.
A bit of History…
A comprehensive and authoritative history of henna use may not yet exist in a single volume, but references, allusions and clues are scattered through books on art, history, sociology, poetry, religion, mythology and other subjects. Henna has been used to decorate the skin and hair for nearly 5,000 years -- and has been found on the hands and feet of Egyptian mummies!
Henna, also known as Mehendi, is the ancient art of bodypainting. Mehendi originated in the India, Middle East, North Africa. Patterns vary from culture to culture. In India, hands and feet are covered in intricate, lacy designs. In North Africa, more geometric patterns are preferred.
Black Mehendi - Warning!
All products claiming to be "Black Henna" have other ingredients than henna added in them. A chemical dye called Phenylenediamine, referred to as PPD, is often used to create a fast-taking, jet black result. This is a very dangerous toxin and unfortunately is very harmful on skin, often causing a so-called chemical burn. This is much like a strong allergic reaction, varying amongst individuals, but our advice is for you not to take the risk. Please stay away from these products and stick to pure henna. Henna simply doesn't penetrate far enough into healthy unbroken skin to cause problems. Allergic reactions to henna are very rare, it is safe to use and the result is beautiful.