Mehndi is a traditional form of body art that originated in India, achieved by applying henna to the skin to create decorative patterns. Traditionally mehndi body art is worn to celebrate occasions, and is worn by both bride and groom for weddings. Henna initially stains the skin in a light orange color, and it is left on the skin for at least a 24-hour period to become very dark. However, you can speed the process and achieve a deeper color with only a six-hour wait.
Things You'll Need
- Henna kit
- Metal-tipped squeeze bottle
- Design reference
- Measuring cup
- Lemon juice
- Cotton ball
- Eucalyptus essential oil
Mix your henna according to kit instructions. Look for a kit with a high quality henna powder. Purchase other supplies recommended in the kit instructions that you need to mix with to make your henna paste.
Apply the henna to your skin, using a squeeze bottle with a metal tip. Draw the design onto your skin, referring to a photo of your design if necessary.
Make a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and a pinch of sugar. Dab the mixture over the henna on your skin, every 15 minutes using a cotton ball. The lemon juice helps keep the henna paste moist for best adhesion to the skin. The stronger the henna adheres, the deeper the stain on the skin.
Scrape off the dried henna with your fingernails after about six hours.
Warm your skin by applying eucalyptus essential oil to the henna stained area. Stronger body heat contributes to darkening of henna, and eucalyptus warms the skin.
Place your hands under a hairdryer or other heat source for faster darkening.
Avoid washing this area of skin after removing the henna for at least 24-hours. Soap and water can interrupt the staining process.
Tips & Warnings
- To get the darkest henna stain, leave the henna on your skin overnight. Dab a good amount of the lemon juice mixture over the area, cover the area with plastic wrap and put either gloves or socks on to keep from staining your bed linens.
- Do not use henna hair color on your skin. Make sure the henna you purchase is for the skin.
- Remove henna from your skin immediately if you feel extreme itchiness or irritation.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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