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WHAT IS HENNA?
Mehndi (aka henna) is a form of body art from Ancient India, in which decorative designs are created on a person’s body, using a paste, created from powdered dry leaves of the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis), essential oils and lemon juice.
Mehndi in Indian tradition is typically applied during special Hindu weddings and festivals. Typically, for women, it is usually drawn on the palm, back of the hand and on feet. For men, their arms, legs, back and chest. The design will be clearest on lighter skin areas, which naturally contain less of the pigment melanin.
Henna paste is usually applied on the skin using a cellophane cone, paint brush or a small bottle. After about 15-20 minutes, the paste will dry and begin to crack. During this time, a mixture of lemon juice and white sugar can be applied over the design to remoisten the henna paste so that the henna will stain the skin darker. When the henna has been removed (or flaked off), the design is pale to dark orange in color and gradually darkens through oxidation, over the course of 24-72 hours. The final color is a reddish brown and can last anywhere from one to three weeks depending on the quality and type of henna paste applied. Mosturizing with natural oils, such as olive, sesame seed, or coconut, will also help extend the lifetime of the stain. Skin exfoliation will cause the henna tattoo to fade.