Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Mehndi (also called Mehandi) is the traditional art of painting the hands, feet or body with a paste made from the powdered, dried leaves of the henna plant (Botanical name : Lawsonia Inermis). It stain's a usually cherry-red to brown color but this can vary with time left on and a range of other factors

You may see it written as mehandi, mehendi, mendhi, henna, al-henna, and a myriad other names and spellings. All of these words describe the same timeless art form, body painting for festive occasions. However you spell it, mehndi is pronounced meh-hen-di (with a soft, dental d sound like "thee").

Mehndi is the traditional art of henna painting in India and the Middle East.

Translating the word "henna" literally means "to become queen."

Traditional Uses
In Indian mehndi, a person applies designs traditionally to a woman's hands and feet. For particularly auspicious occasions, men apply mehndi as well. The most auspicious occasion warranting mehndi artwork is the Indian wedding, where both bride and bridegroom apply henna, as well as several members of the bridal party. Henna on any occasion symbolizes fertility. At the wedding, henna artwork additionally symbolizes the love between husband and wife, and the stain's long-lasting nature symbolizes the enduring nature of their love.

Mehndi came into use because of its cooling therapeutic effect in a hot climate, and, in India, it was also a way for a bride and groom to get to know one another before an arranged marriage. A variety of traditions underlie the use of mehndi, including wedding games and legends. For example, the groom's name is usually written somewhere within the bride's mehndi; if he cannot find his name within the intricate design, the bride is said to have the control in the marriage. Also, a dark mehndi design for both bride and groom signifies that the two will have a strong relationship. Within the past few years, mehndi has become popularized in the West by musicians and Hollywood personalities alike, and is now a quickly rising trend among women and men in world culture.

Mehndi usually lasts for at least one to two weeks. I have heard of people saying that mehndi can last from two to four weeks; however, this figure is misleading because the length mehndi will stay depends on a number of factors.

  *How often you wash your hands
  *What kind of soap you use
  *Your skin quality and heat in your body
  *Location of the mehndi on the body
  *The ingredients you add to your henna paste

Henna works by staining the outer layers of the epidermis, permanently. The reason why your stain itself is impermanent is because of a magical, mystical, mystery. Or not. Your skin exfoliates off, right? So the deeper your mehndi stains, the longer your design lasts. Thus, it is important to be aware of the contributing factors to a henna design's latency. Strong soap and hand-washing shortens the life of a henna stain because it exfoliates your skin. Therefore, after getting mehndi applied, do not wash your skin for at least twelve hours, and do not use any harsh antibacterial soaps as long as the stain remains upon your skin. If we take our exfoliation theory farther, we note the palm of one's hands exfoliates much faster than the back of the hands; thus, henna on the palm lasts less than half as long as henna on the back of the hand.

Adding essential oils adds another dimension to henna; while the oils, which contain terpenes, can increase the stain quality of the henna, they will greatly compromises the staining depth of your henna, and thus will make the stain disappear in one week rather than the normal 1-3 weeks.

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