Henna is a plant. This information is always surprising to some seeing as how to stains with such intensity. Henna is derived from India and the stain comes from its leaves. The henna powder reacts with the essential oils leaving the potential for it to stain. Henna has been used in many different cultures throughout the middle east and Asia, being a way to decorate the body with different blessings and aesthetic purposes.
It is important to know that all-natural henna is brown in color. Black henna is not all natural and should never be used on the skin. This can be confusing though because henna can stain almost black when applied to the finger tips, palms and bottom of the feet.
There are a plethora of ways to apply henna, however I like to use a cone. The time it takes to do a henna completely depends on the design. At my markets the small designs I do usually take about five to ten minutes to complete. If you are wanting a design that is large and intricate I would recommend making a private appointment!
Once the henna paste is applied I spray it with a lemon juice and sugar mixture. This will help the paste stay on the skin when it dries, the longer the paste stays on the skin the darker the stain will be and the longer it will last. I recommend leaving the paste on for a minimum of four to six hours.
All-natural henna is completely skin safe. It is important to ask your henna artist what is in their paste. My paste is organic and all-natural, composed of henna powder, water, sugar, and essential oils. If you have an intolerance to a certain oil within the paste or have open cuts on your skin henna should be avoided.
Henna can last up to two weeks. To put it simply, the longer you leave the paste on your skin the longer the henna stain will last and the darker it will get. Henna stains your skin so you need to allow it time to sink into your skin. Before your appointment read over the pre care instructions, that will help you understand what to do before your appointment because that helps a lot to in the longevity of your henna. Also, once you have flaked away the paste it is important to follow the henna after care instructions to get the most you can from your henna design.