Henna paste is made from the henna plant (Lawsonia Inermis) which is dried, and ground into a powder. Once sifted the powder is ready to be made into a paste for body art (or hair dying) purposes. It works by staining the top layer of the skin (epidermis) as it sits on your skin. The longer the paste is on your skin, the richer the stain. Once the paste is removed, the stain will oxidise over the following 48 hours at which point the colour will attain full maturity.
Question 2: Where is henna and henna body art from?
The henna plant itself originates from Egypt and is now grown throughout India, Pakistan, Morroco and Yemen. While records of its physical trade throughout history exist, visual evidence of henna used as body art with the discovery of ancient mummies with hennaed hair is dated around 5000 years ago. Though commonly associated with the Desi (South Asian) cultures, historically henna body art has also been used in Jewish and Christian culture, as well as through regions of Egypt, Morroco, Yemen, Persia, the Mediterranean and Europe. In recent years the use of henna for body art has now become a truly global interconnected practice – with industry leading professional henna artists working in every continent, coming from all demographics and cultural backgrounds.
Source: Noam Sienna (Henna by Sienna)- Leading Henna Scholar
Question 3: What are the ingredients in your henna paste?
The henna paste by Nakreze Mehndi is freshly mixed for your appointment and contains organic Rajasthani henna powder, Lavender essential oil, sugar and water. A custom paste can be mixed for your appointment, tailored to any sensitivities you may have.
Question 4: How should I prepare for my henna appointment?
Prior to your henna appointment, you should ensure that the skin you will be adorning is washed, clean and free from moisturizers. Where applicable you may need to remove your contact lenses, ensure you have eaten and wearing comfortable clothing. It may also help to be freshly showered as you will need to avoid contact with water for 24 hours after henna application. Any hair removal or waxing, and manicures should be done 2 days beforehand. For private appointments, your henna design can be dried, taped and covered. For feet henna designs, flip-flops/sandals are advised.
Question 5: Does it hurt to have henna?
Not at all. At most people report a slight tickling sensation as they are being drawn on and while the henna dries on the skin. Henna has a cooling effect on skin so you may find that you will feel colder once the paste has been applied.
Question 6: Can I bring my own design?
We at ‘Nakreze Mehndi’ take pride in creating freehand, original designs that are unique and beautiful. You are welcome to bring your own design requests for inspiration, but please be aware that we will not infringe on the copyright of another artist’s original work, unless explicit written permission has been given.
If you have drawn your own original design and/or require a stencil/transfer process, you must have booked a consultation to highlight this. Creating a custom stencil or transfer is a very detailed and time consuming task – often doubling the amount of time you will need. Once you have discussed this in your consultation, we are then able to have the stencil/transfer ready for use when you arrive at your application appointment.
Question 7: Why would I need a consultation?
For bridal henna and bespoke individual appointments, a consultation is a basic requirement. It will be essential to establish your design and style preferences to form a brief for your custom design. It will also provide an opportunity for a trial henna strip for colour and aftercare purposes.
A complimentary 30-minute consultation is available for bridal henna bookings which can take up to 6 hours of work. For such a special occasion, it is important to ensure that you find the right artist to spend such a length of time in preparation before your big day.
For your Tattoo Trial, a consultation is compulsory for us to be able to discuss your design ideas and decide if it will be drawn freehand or with the use of a prepared transfer. We will also perform a very important skin patch test as a safety precaution.
Question 8: How do I take care of my henna after application?
- Seal the henna and leave on for 6-8 hours
- Keep the henna warm and dry
- Scrape the henna off – Never wash or wipe off
- Avoid contact with water between 6 to 24 hours
- Avoid harsh soaps, exfoliants and scrubbing of your henna design
- Protect your henna design with essential oils or olive oil when bathing
- Note that chlorine from swimming pools, tanning lotions, sunscreens can all cause accelerated fading of your henna
- Allow 2-3 days for the colour of your henna to fully mature.
Question 9: What colour will the henna be on my skin?
The final colour of your henna varies depending on the placement of your henna. The palms, backs of your hands and feet tend to yield the strongest colour as the skin is thickest (and sometimes warmest). The closer the placement is to the torso, the lighter the final colour is likely to be. Diligent aftercare is key to maximising full colour potential. However it is very important to note that stain development varies widely with individual skin chemistry – some people simply stain lighter than others. In other cases, regular medicines can affect stain quality.
For an excellent resource for understanding how henna stains different areas of the body, I have found Catherine Cartwright-Jone’s Henna Page to be the best infograph yet.
Question 10: Is henna safe for use during pregnancy?
Though belly henna is a fairly new idea, henna has been safely used during pregnancy for sacred Bangle ceremonies (‘Blessingways‘) for many years. *All natural* henna is recognized by medical professionals as safe for use during pregnancy and even suggested as the alternative to hair dyes. All henna by Nakreze Mehndi is natural and freshly mixed appropriately for use during pregnancy.
Question 11: Is henna safe for use during chemotherapy?
In recent years, Henna Heals have increased the profile for henna body art during chemotherapy or radiation therapy. For these purposes a simple, natural and safe henna and water paste can be used – this can prevent aggravating any citrus or sugar sensitivities in the skin. Nakreze Mehndi will work with you to discuss your situation and ensure that your henna experience is a relaxed and comfortable one. A full list of ingredients is available if you wish to ask your specialist for advice. Please email for more details.
Question 12: What is “black henna”?
There is no such thing as “black henna” – As henna is a plant, it is only brown in tone and NEVER black. Products that are sold and used as “black henna” are chemically created dyes contained paraphenylenediamine (PPD). PPD is widely used for hair dyes and is not approved for direct use on skin. It is a known and prevalent allergen with sensitising qualities such that while some people may use it and have immediate and horrific permanent scarring, others may use it for years with no obvious external reaction while the body slowly develops a sensitivity to it. It is proven to affect internal organs through external use. Regular users of PPD can find over the years that they develop skin conditions or other more serious and sudden reaction, causing them to be hospitalised*. Despite this, many cones claiming to be “black henna” are still imported/exported and sold.
Question 13: Do you use store bought of imported henna cones if requested?
All henna paste used for our henna art is all natural fresh henna by Nakreze Mehndi as well as the powder product. We do not and will not consider the use of any store bought, shelved henna that is imported from other continents. As henna is a plant, the henna paste we create is perishable and can only be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until use. If left on a shelf at room temperature it can last for a day at most before the quality of the paste begins to deteriorate, thus affecting it’s consistency and staining quality. Put simply, it is not possible for natural fresh henna to be able to survive the imports procedure.