Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Strategies for a long-lasting design of henna

All too often I receive e-mails from people who wonder why they got a nicely colored henna design while their friend's design did not get beyond a light orange (the message comes of the other way around as well). Plainly and simply, people are different from one another and different skin types take dyes differently. When you compare your design with a friend's don't just consider ethnicity differences, consider the skin quality differences which go with the ethnicity. At the same time, feel free to experiment; your skin might need more or less essential oils to get a good design. Work at it, get the best henna powder, do your work till you get the chemistry right.

So, to optimize the quality of your mehndi design, choose a place on your skin that is free from oils. Make sure it is clean, dry, and hairless. Do not add lotion to the skin before putting henna on it; your henna will slide right off, or it will at least result in a coloring less vibrant than you would otherwise be able to attain. Furthermore, certain parts of the body work better than others due to variations in oiliness of skin and body temperature. Usually the palms of the hand and soles of the feet work optimally for mehndi design. I also like to apply mehndi to the back of the hand, wrists, lower arm, tops of feet and sometimes the shins. The best skin prep for a henna design is a light swipe with an alcohol swab or witch hazel; if you don't have these, just wash your skin well with soap and water.

Please note that you will have less luck with an armband or navel mehndi design than you will have with an anklet or bracelet. If you choose to put the mehndi on a cool body part (versus the hands), the time that it lasts can vary. For example, the inner side of a mehndi armband tends to be darker-stained than the outside of your arm. That is not to say that the mehndi stain will definitely be bad if you get it done as an armband or such; you just have to make sure that you leave the mehndi on as long as possible to get the most out of your design. Also, if you choose to apply mehndi, you always stand the risk that the color will not come out as dark as you want it to. The darkness of the mehndi depends strongly on skin type and where you apply the mehndi. Mehndi will always come out better on the palm of your hand than on the back; however, on the palm of the hand, the mehndi washes off more quickly.

The Drawbacks of Mehndi as a Long-Lasting, Temporary Design

Whether or not to get mehndi is also an important decision because of other properties of henna. For example, henna leaves have a very distinctive scent, and after the mehndi dye is removed from a person , his/her skin will still retain this scent. Many people like the scent, which usually resembles a combination of eucalyptus and henna and various other essential oils, but it is very strong and can become bothersome and distracting. Additionally, other enhancing products, such as tea, coffee, cloves, lemon, and lime, are sometimes added to mehndi -- and all of these ingredients can increase the scent. The good and bad thing about the scent of henna is that the oil scents usually wear off after a few days; the henna scent stays for the first 4-5 days. A way to alleviate the scent problem is to place the mehndi on a part which you don't hold near your face too often, such as the foot. People who are sensitive to perfumes should definitely think twice before getting mehndi done, although the scent probably won't remain with you for the ENTIRE two weeks of the stain's duration (most often the scent lasts for a few days into having the stain. I for one, love the stain of henna, and sit around smelling my fingertips whenever I have a design, but not everyone feels the same way I do!

Before choosing to get mehndi applied on yourself, you should also carefully consider whether it's the right time. Henna designs are expensive, and you probably should be willing to keep the paste on your hands for an extended period of time - at least 2 hours - if you wish to get a dark, long-lasting stain. Plus, will henna get you in trouble with work? As for me, I wear henna wherever I go, but as a hennafanatic be prepared to get comments - great ones at first, but more questioning ones later on. As the mehndi starts to fade it may look blotchy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you! We appreciate your feedback!