People often question me about my henna so I thought I’d write a simple guide on how to use henna for beginners. Henna is a natural dye derived from a plant (the Lawsonia inermis, also called hini). It’s sometimes referred to as mehndi, which is the Indian word for henna. This ancient form of body art has become increasingly more popular over the last few years, in the UK.
The henna cones I use are ready made and are a dark brown paste. The paste is made from the powdered dry leaves of the henna plant. There is no other natural colour of henna. Some places sell what they describe as black henna. This should be avoided at all costs because in order to create the “black henna” high levels of a dangerous chemical dye is required which can lead to permanent scarring. You can read more about the risks on the NHS website.
These are the cones I use, I buy them here and they’re perfectly safe and natural.
There are many different designs you can look at for inspiration on Pinterest. I, personally, prefer to freestyle mine because I’m pretty rubbish at following instructions. I’ve been using henna for three years and I find the whole process really relaxing. It’s not so easy to do it on yourself because there’s a bit of a technique to holding the cone and applying the perfect amount of pressure for the paste flow.
How To Use Henna
When you first apply the paste, it comes out as a really dark colour. Once you’ve finished your designs (the more intricate they are and the more details you use, the better they look), it takes around 30 minutes to dry. Once it’s completely dry, the paste just flakes off in crumbs leaving your henna in an orangey/yellow colour. The next day, it turns to dark brown and lasts for a couple of weeks. I think it’s great for children during the summer holidays because it’s so pretty, it’s natural and doesn’t last too long.
If you want to remove it sooner, you can use lime juice and sugar as an exfoliant, but I’ve never had any success in completely shifting a fresh design.