How to Have a Henna Party

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Henna is a South Asian traditional dye used to decorate women's skin like a temporary tattoo. Often women will get henna tattoos on their palms and feet when they marry. A modern Western tradition is putting henna tattoos on a pregnant woman's belly for a baby shower. Of course just about anyone can get a henna tattoo these days at a music festival for a small fee. Follow these steps to throw your own henna party.

Things You'll Need

  • Henna kit
  • Henna artist
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Lemon juice
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Decide if you will hire a henna artist or do-it-yourself. If you want to hire someone, ask around at places that sell henna or even ask at your local Indian restaurant if they know anyone for hire. Another option is to try online (see Resources) to find henna artists in your area. If you don't want to pay someone or you just want everyone to participate and paint each other, then find a DIY henna kit and practice designs beforehand.

  • Make fun invitations with henna designs on it as a prelude to the events to come. Use calligraphy and sparkles to dress it up. Make sure to include all the pertinent details. If it's a special occasion, remind guests to bring gifts.

  • Ask everyone to bring a dish with an Indian or Middle Eastern theme such as chickpea curry, humus or dolmas. Provide drinks and baklava for desert.

  • Make sure your guests know to wear clothes that can be rolled up for tattoo placement, depending on where they would like it.

  • The longer the henna is kept on the darker it will get. You can douse the designs with lemon juice and then put them in front of a heater or blow dryer to speed up the process. Have stations so everyone has a chance. One person to paint, another to be painted and one to operate the blowdryer. Make sure there is someone with a free hand to paint the last person. If you must shower, cover your tattoo with petroleum jelly to make it last longer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure everyone eats before they get a tattoo or it might be difficult to use utensils while the tat is drying (depending on where it is.)
  • Avoid henna dye with the chemical p-phenylenediamine (PPD) because it can cause an allergic reaction.

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