• » Body Art with Henna

    Body art, be it tattooing or mehendi, is fast turning into a style statement and catching the attention of fashionistas. Body art with henna is especially a rage in themed parties as, because of its temporary nature, people can flaunt designs based on the theme, and also have an option to change their designs once the original one wears off. Using henna to decorate the body originated in the Indian subcontinent where it has a very strong social and religious tradition. Historians also claim that the Egyptians used it to color their finger nails, fingertips, soles of feet and palms of hands. Thus, it can be seen that henna has had a quite a long history in body art. Nowadays, the allure of henna lies in the fact that it is natural, harm free and temporary and the bright color looks fabulous in intricate designs. Henna was introduced to India by the Moguls in the 12th century. Not just on body, henna painting is also done on wood, paper, canvas, and animal hides.

    Advantages
    • Henna body painting usually lasts for 4 weeks at the maximum, thus allowing you to modify the designs quite frequently. So, with henna, one is not stuck with one particular design but can go for different ones at different times.
    • Unlike permanent tattooing, this is not a painful procedure and even doesn't take much time. The best advantage is that, unlike tattooing, you don't need to shell out too much money to get the most beautiful designs.

  • » Tips on Using Henna for Hair

    The ever increasing pollution, dust and stress levels at work place leave our hair looking so drab and lifeless. Besides, clear skin and perfect body, hair is also one of the most important aspects of our body that should be given our utmost care and attention. Today, various forms of media including newspaper and television are filled with numerous advertisements related to hair products. But, are they all really safe as they presume to be? If you are doubtful about using hair products or the commercial hair dyes available in retail stores then, the best and only option to go for is the natural henna, one of the wonderful gifts bestowed upon us by Nature. Many people suffer from hair related problems such as hair loss, dandruff, etc. Henna, besides being used to treat all these above problems, is also used widely across the globe to dye the hair. Know more about the uses of henna and how it can aid in getting healthy hair. Scroll down the write-up further.

    Dyeing Hair Naturally
    • People suffering from gray hairs, hair fall, etc depend on henna to get rid of all their hair related problems. Those who are fond of coloring their hair can also try their hand at henna, which is considered not just a natural dye but also an effective conditioner that gives an ultimate glossy shine to the hair. Be it teenage girls or middle-aged ladies, the use of henna is universal and doesn't come with any kind of limitations.
    • Henna, besides coloring your hair, also reduces the occurrence of dandruff. If your hair is tangled, it helps to loosen the curls and aids in making it more manageable and thick.
    • Unlike other dyes, henna is transparent i.e. it doesn't color but instead covers the hair shaft with natural red color. Thus, you don't need to fear any harmful coloring side effects since it is 100% safe.
    • In case, your hair is losing its sheen, all you need to do is prepare a mixture of dry henna, lemon juice ,water and apply it on the hair. After one hour, wash it off and see the difference yourself! You can reduce gray hair substantially if you use henna regularly.
    • Apart from the above benefits, henna has been used from time immemorial to treat skin diseases and other disorders such as mouth blisters, headache, jaundice, leprosy, etc. However, a newbie to henna must make sure to buy natural henna powder to get the deep red color. Wear a pair of gloves while applying henna paste on your hair and also, make sure to wash the hair thoroughly before coloring it.

  • » Mehndi as a Tradition

    Mehendi, the art of applying henna on the skin, is one of the most beautiful ways to adorn your body with beautiful patterns and elaborate designs. During weddings, the bride is adorned with exotic patterns and designs and in eastern cultures it forms an integral part of the marriage ritual. Sometimes the groom is also applied henna but not as elaborately as the bride. In some countries like India, Pakistan, Morocco and some from the Gulf, mehendi becomes a ritual that provides sanctity to special occasions such as functions, marriages, religious events, etc. In marriages, special mehendi ceremonies are held where everyone soaks up in the festive ambience and enjoy themselves to the fullest. Depending upon the culture and custom, the mehendi ritual is celebrated in different ways in different regions. In any occasion, the tradition of applying mehendi, hold more significance because of its symbolization, rather than the beauty of its design. Scroll down the article to know more on mehendi tradition, designs and tips for traditional occasions.

    Henna Designs And Dresses
    • Traditionally, there are four categories of henna designs, namely, Middle Eastern, North African, Indian and Pakistani, and Southeast Asian. While Middle Eastern designs comprises mainly of floral patterns, the North African designs heavily uses geometrical floral patterns. The lively Indian and Pakistani designs are intricate in details and are very elaborate. The Southeast Asian designs are a perfect blend of both Indian and Middle Eastern designs. Whatever be the design, the main idea behind getting your mehendi done is to know its significance and make your skin look appealing.
    • Thus, there are various attractive designs available from which you can choose. You can take your pick from simple designs, suitable for small functions to elaborate and decorative designs for special occasions. Some of the most common and sought after henna designs are peacock, lotus, flowers, birds, leaves, sun, etc. For weddings, special bridal designs are selected, which are quite exotic and elegant. In brides, the henna designs are painted on both the hands and feet in intricate detail and for this special mahendi artist are hired. Arabic and floral patterns are also equally popular these days and more and more people are going for it. There are also a few mehendi parlors and an increasing number of beauty parlors, which offer henna design packages, especially during the booming wedding season.
    • As henna is temporary and harmless, it is a favorite among women. Henna goes very well with traditional outfits like ethnic kurtas, saris, embroidered suits, etc. It plays a significant role during the time of Karva Chauth too, an occasion where married women fast from sunrise till the moonrise to pray for the longevity of their better half. Celebrated mostly in North India, in the month of October, this occasion allows women to dress in their wedding clothes, apply mehendi and fast until they glimpse the full moon. Thus, mehendi and marriages go hand in hand and are quite inseparable.

    Mehendi Tradition In Weddings And Celebrations
    • In weddings and religious festivals, the application of henna, mehendi, is an auspicious ritual. In the Indian subcontinent, this tradition had been carried on for centuries. The henna plant was brought to India by the Moguls during the 12th Century and since then mehendi has crept into the social and religious fabric of the country. In the Mediterranean, during the Bronze Age, women used to decorate their bodies using henna in social celebrations.
    • Henna is considered to be a symbol of fertility and so the mehendi ritual during weddings is considered sacred. Adorning the bride with henna also symbolizes prosperity and happiness. In Hindu marriages, the groom's name is sometimes inscribed within the complex mehendi design in the palm of the bride. It's believed, that if the groom is unable to find the name in the intricate pattern, the bride will be more dominating. In Muslim weddings, the bride is decorated with henna, before the wedding night, called the henna night.

  • » Henna Patterns and Techniques

    The eye-catching henna designs, besides being exotic to look at, can be easily created on any part of our body. The best part, however, is that these patterns are temporary and hence, can be changed from time to time. Traditionally, henna was exclusively used in wedding and celebrations for mehendi. Even now weddings in eastern countries, especially in the Indian subcontinent, have elaborate mehandi rituals. But, nowadays, it is increasingly being used in body art. Decorating the palms, with elaborate henna patterns is increasingly becoming a fashionable choice. And intricate henna patterns never fail to attract the second look. Compared to tattoos, henna patterns are painless and won't burn a hole in your pocket. It is the best choice for a different look. The technique of creating henna patterns is simple. All you need to possess are an ample quantity of quality henna paste, patience and loads of creativity. Know more about henna patterns and techniques by scrolling down the write-up farther.

    Mehendi Designs
    African Designs
    These types of mehendi designs are usually loud and comprises of thick lines with big patterns. African designs sometimes include geometrical shapes and floral outlines that look very attractive. In Africa, many people use black henna, which is considered to be unsafe for it contains synthetic chemicals that can cause allergies.

    Arabic Designs
    Arabic designs are classy and look very elegant. The designs mainly use floral patterns, which are often minutely detailed. One of the most happening and popular Arabic designs are vines and leaves with charming flowers. The main advantage of such designs is that they are less time-consuming and can be easily created.

    Indian Design
    Indian mehendi design is the most complicated and elaborate that one can ever stumble upon. In weddings and religious occasions, people opt for this type of pattern since it looks very artistic and decorative. As the fill-ins are quite complicated, this type of designs is a time consuming activity but completely worth it.

    Tips And Methods For Mehendi Art
    • The best way to create mehendi art is through a plastic henna cone. Henna cones are easily available commercially. You can also buy henna cones that comes packaged with readymade henna paste. The cone, with a sharp pointed tip, makes it easier to create intricate patterns with the henna.
    • While applying henna from the cone, sometimes the henna tends to overflow. So, it's wise to keep a paper towel or an old cloth handy to wipe off the tip of the cone. Also, take care to press the cone gently so that excess henna doesn't spill out.
    • Once the design is complete, allow the paste to sit on the skin for at least three to five hours. This will ensure darker color and the design will also stay for a longer duration. Apply a lemon sugar solution, gently with a cotton swab on the design so that the paste won't dry out quickly.
    • Once the paste has dried, you should remove the paste carefully. You can sprinkle a bit of eucalyptus, avocado, sesame, mustard or olive oil over the design and then use your fingernails to scrap off the hardened paste.
    • After scrapping off the paste add a dash of oil on the entire design. It is better not to wash the mehandi for at least twenty four hours. It's generally not advisable to wash or scrub the area of henna design for long hours.
    • To select attractive and beautiful designs you can either search them online or go for henna design books. If the mehendi artist is applying the henna, then you can always seek his/her help as they generally have a good repertoire of designs. An easier and cheaper option is to buy henna stencils. With these you can apply the henna by yourself.

  • » History of Mehndi

    Henna body art, the art of painting the skin with wonderful henna paste in attractive designs, is the latest fashion fad among the gen X, though it is a centuries old tradition and it is increasingly being followed even by westerners. Henna tattoos and body art is quite exotic by western standards but in eastern culture it is a regular feature in social and religious ceremonies. One of the most important benefits of henna is that it is not permanent and so one doesn't get stuck with one design and pattern for life. For many, getting body art with henna is a natural form of expressing their thoughts and feelings. Many people, including actors and models are opting for henna body art as it is safe and looks so sensual. Not just on body, henna is also applied on hair for the natural red highlights and also to put a permanent stop on all kinds of hair problems like dandruff, hair loss, etc. To create beautiful henna art on your body, all you require is henna paste and a dab of creativity. To know more on the history of henna continue reading the write-up.

    Henna As Traditional Art
    • The tradition of using henna for adorning the body had been prevalent for many centuries. Ancient Egyptians were believed to have used henna for a wide range of purposes, like staining their nails, hands and hair. Even in the Assyrian, Babylonian, Sumerian and Semite civilizations, henna was used extensively as dyes. In countries like Morocco, Turkey, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, getting the body painted with henna is considered to be very sacred as it is believed to bring luck, prosperity and happiness. In fact, in Morocco, pregnant women get their ankles colored with henna to shield them from the 'evil eye' during child birth.
    • Marriages and henna in the Indian subcontinent have had a long relationship and the tradition can be traced back to several centuries. There are special mehendi ceremonies held prior to weddings where the bride-to-be is adorned with henna designs. The mehendi ceremonies are considered to be auspicious and, it is believed, strengthen the bond between the husband and wife. Henna was also used in religious ceremonies in ancient Egypt and Greece.
    • Basically, there are four categories of henna tattoos. The Middle Eastern style, comprising mostly of large floral patterns, is heavily influenced by Arabian paintings and carvings. The African style is characterized by geometrical designs and big outlines. The third category is the Indian and Pakistani style, which are highly intricate and elaborate. Lastly, the Southeast Asian or Indonesian style is an amalgamation of both Indian and Middle Eastern designs. All these styles are an integral feature of any traditional henna body art and, nowadays, their allure is only increasing. Among the rising henna art are Celtic designs with deeper and significant meanings, which look magical and is considered divine.

    Black Henna Facts And Risks
    • Black henna is not the natural henna as it is generally made from other plants and artificial substances. Black henna is mostly used in popular tourist destinations and people get tattooed with it without knowing what harm it can cause. The reason why it is considered injurious is because of its Para-Phenylenediamine (PPD) content, which not only stains the color of the skin to black instantly but can also trigger several allergic reactions. Sometimes, black henna can even lead to permanent scarring.
    • Some people even develop rashes, red sores, itching all over the stained area. The toxic chemical is also linked to severe edema, difficulty in breathing, renal failure, asthma, cancer, etc. Thus, one should be careful while getting a henna tattoo and it should be done only with the natural henna. Natural henna when made into a paste appears green while PPD based henna paste appears jet black. Checking the ingredients of the henna packet will also give you a fair idea whether it is pure or adulterated with chemical dyes.

  • » Mehndi Art In The West

    Mehendi, the art of painting henna designs on the skin, is not just popular in Asian countries but has also found a new fan base in western countries too. Using henna tattoos to adorn various parts of body have caught the attention of the younger generation and has become one of the most favored fashion statements. While in India, getting a henna tattoo is considered auspicious, in the west, people do it mainly to enhance their glamour and fun quotient. Besides being temporary, it is also a painless procedure and a good alternative to permanent tattoos. The body art not just accentuates one's beauty, it also oozes sensuality and aesthetic appeal at the same time. Girls and boys who want to flaunt their individuality and express themselves artistically rely on henna art. It's been a traditional motif in weddings in eastern societies. To know more about mehendi art in the west, scroll down the write-up further.

    Popular Indian Henna Body Art
    • We all know how yoga, which originated in India, has taken the world by storm, with both Indians and foreigners practicing it reverently. Mehendi, the colorful designs that you see on the palms and body of people, is also another fashion accessory that has found many takers in western countries. In fact, it has become so popular that there are exclusive mehendi artists today and the demand for them is slowly gaining momentum. Some beauticians also conduct henna workshops to make people aware about the uses and how to make the best out of it.
    • Getting the body inked has been a passion for human beings since time immemorial. The toes and fingers of Pharaohs were stained with henna before mummifying them. In Arab countries, including Morocco and other central Asian countries, people paint their skin with mehendi on special events such as during the time of pregnancy, engagements, family get together, etc.
    • Applying henna patterns in myriad designs on the whole body is eye-catching and this form of body art is considered to be very safe as it is free any kind of harmful chemicals. Famous international beauty icons like Demi Moore, Naomi Campbell, and Madonna among others have shown their strong fondness towards this 5000-year-old mehendi art by revealing their body parts decked up with exotic henna designs.

    International Mehendi Body Designing
    • Mehendi body designing is, nowadays, not just confined to women but is also increasingly undertaken by men who want to look cool and unique. While girls usually opt for designs like butterfly, flowers, etc, guys can choose from a wide range of designs such as skulls, zodiac signs, tribal art, scorpions, fish and lots more.
    • Getting a henna tattoo done is definitely not as complicated as it may seem. You can depend on mehendi or tattoo artists to get your body tattooed. Or you can just buy henna cones, kits and bottles to apply yourself. Those who are running short of time and looking forward to look fashionable in a jiffy can buy instant henna tattoos.

    Tips for Removing Henna Art
    • Before you get another henna body art, it's important to remove the old one. Generally the tattoo gets faded and disappears on its own after a couple of weeks.
    • Scrubbing and constant washing of the design hastens the fading of the henna pattern.
    • Another easy way to get rid of your henna art is to soak the skin in salt water for approximately twenty minutes.
    • For some people, applying hydrogen peroxide with a cotton ball over the area of design works out well.
    • Using exfoliating creams are another best way to remove henna art in case you really don't like the design.
    • To lighten the dye, you can dab a bit of lemon juice or rub it with alcohol. But don't overdo it as it may lead to skin irritations.

  • » Mehndi Application Procedures

    Mehendi, an age old art, has always been an integral part of functions, wedding ceremonies and religious events. Nowadays, it has become one of the best ways to adorn oneself and look alluring. Today, not just in India but even in western countries, one can find artists who exclusively work with henna, creating tattoos and intricate designs on the body. Certainly, mehendi art has come a long way from only being a part of social functions to becoming one of the most sought after beauty adornments. What's more, the wide range of designs, from Indian, Arabic, and African to contemporary patterns will surely leave you spoilt for choice. Although, most people know what mehendi is all about, very few people know how to apply it perfectly. If you are looking to try your hand at henna designing then it will be best if you learn not only how to apply it but also how to make a mehendi cone. Scroll down the write-up if you want to know the various aspects of mehendi application process.

    Tips To Apply Henna
    • It is very important to wash the skin thoroughly before applying the henna. Make sure that your skin is free from grease and dirt or else the stain won't last for long.
    • After creating the design with the mehendi cone, dip a cotton swab in lemon juice and sugar syrup, and dab it gently over the pattern. This will make the stain darker and long lasting. Also, the lemon and sugar will prevent the paste from drying too quickly.
    • Avoid using any kind of oils and creams on the skin before you apply Mehendi, as this will block the pores and make it harder for the stain to stick to the skin.
    • Leave the design to sit for at least six to seven hours and then scrape off the dried paste with the help of your fingers or butter knife.
    • To preserve the design for a longer duration, it's wise not to wet the stained area or wash and scrub it too often just after the application of mehandi.

    How To Make Mehendi Cone
    • Using mehendi cone is one of the easiest ways of applying henna on the skin. The cone comes filled with henna paste and has a tiny hole at the end of it through which the henna can be squeezed out gently. The cone is easily available at all the beauty stores.
    • To use it, the cone is usually placed between the thumb and forefinger, and squeezed gently so that a thin line of mehendi oozes out and the design created. To prepare your own mehendi cone at home, all you need are a few things such as henna paste, plastic cover and cello tape.
    • Cut the plastic sheet in to a square and keep it aside. Make sure the plastic sheet is not too light. It should be thick enough to be capable of holding the henna paste and light enough to be rolled.
    • The next step is to roll the plastic sheet into a cone or funnel shape. Make sure that the end of the cone is pointed sharp. Now, with the help of a cello tape, stick the side edges of the cone.
    • Fill up to 3/4th of the cone with fresh henna paste using a small spoon. Avoid over filling it for the cone may burst or start leaking at the sides.
    • After filling, twist the open end of the cone and seal tightly with a tape. Your cone is now ready to be used to create wonderful henna designs. To use the cone use a sharp scissor to cut the tip of the cone.

  • » Tips for Making Henna Paste

    Henna, the wonderful plant with multiple uses, has found many takers and has aided many people in various ways. Today, a wide range of henna tools and products are available in the market, with which one can easily make striking patterns and designs. Besides skin decoration, henna is also used widely in hair and skin care. The demand for henna has grown so much that many beauticians even hold mehendi classes to teach people about basic henna recipes and designs. So, if you want to reap the advantages of henna, the first thing that you have to learn is how to make a paste. Although, you can buy it from beauty stores and salons, the dark green paste can be easily made at home with few simple ingredients and henna powder. Making henna paste can be a fun activity and you don't need to invest too much money or energy in it. To know how to prepare henna paste in a simple way, read out the following write-up.

    Ingredients: 20 g fresh Henna Powder • Coffee (as required) • ¼ cup Lemon juice • 1 ½ teaspoon • Essential Oils (as required) • 1 tablespoon Sugar • A plastic Bowl

    • To get luscious dark color on the skin it is best to select good quality henna powder. Be careful not to pick up fake henna powder or the ones loaded with chemicals. Henna is sold in air tight packets and so you must open it only when you are about to make the paste. If you are not using the entire power then make sure that you store it in air tight containers.
    • Since henna preparation includes coffee, the first step would be to boil it in a cup of water. Make sure that you boil the coffee for a longer time to make it strong. Keep the coffee aside.
    • In a bowl, mix the henna powder and lemon juice. Then add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Adding sugar is vital to keep the paste from drying too quickly.
    • Continue mixing until the henna forms a fine thick paste with even consistency. All the ingredients combined with the powder should be churned well. While mixing, see that there are no lumps formed.
    • Into the henna paste slowly add the coffee and mix until it becomes silky smooth. Then add a dash of any essential oil to the paste. If the henna paste looks a little hardened and rough, then add more coffee into it.
    • Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap tightly and store it in a warm place for about six to ten hours.
    • If the henna paste is thin and not consistent, don't hesitate to add more henna powder. The henna paste should have the consistency of toothpaste. You can store henna paste in fridge for almost two weeks safely and if kept in the freezer, it will last for nearly two months.
    • While applying henna, see that your skin is clear and free from any kind of creams, oils, lotions or dirt.
    • The longer you keep the henna on your skin, the darker the color of the stain will be. A minimum of four hours is required for a dark stain but keeping it overnight is considered to be the best.
    • While removing the dried paste, do not use water. Instead apply oil and then scrape it off with your fingers or use a butter knife.