FAQ's: There is just so much to learn about henna! Hopefully this page can answer some of your questions~
How long should I leave the paste on for?
~ If you're looking for the darkest stain that lasts for as long as possible, its best to keep the henna paste on for a long time. If you keep the henna paste on the skin for only 5-10 minutes, it won't stain dark at all, and may only last a couple days. If you keep the paste on the skin for 2+ hours (I like to leave mine on overnight i.e. 8+ hours), you will get a much darker stain that lasts for much longer. The henna needs time to sink into your skin cell layers. The more time you give it, the better and longer-lasting the stain in the end.
How long will the stain last for?
~ The answer to that question depends on a few factors. How long the paste is left on for, the air temperature when the paste is applied (henna stains darker in warmer temperatures), and how often you wash the design & let it touch water (excessive hand washing, swimming, hot tubs & saunas should all be avoided if possible) will all be factors to how dark and how long the henna will stain for. To keep things simple, try to leave the henna on for as long as possible, and avoid water for the life of the stain, especially in the first 24 hours while it is oxidizing.
Should I be worried about the henna flaking off and will this affect the end stain?
~ Henna will naturally start to flake off after drying. This is normal. Try your best to not scratch off the rest of the paste that is still on your skin. Let it come off on its own time. In this sense, henna can be very forgiving, as you will not at all notice the parts that have flaked off first when the stain has fully developed. This is the hardest part of the process but you'll be happy in the end when you have a beautiful stain that lasts for days!
Why is the stain orange & light yellow in color when the paste is first removed? Will it get darker?
~ The quick answer: YES it will get darker. You just need to wait a bit. The henna stain needs time to oxidize and darken in color after the paste is first removed. The concept is similar to that of an apple. When an apple is freshly cut, all you can see is the white interior, yet as some time passes, a brown color starts to appear. Henna works in a similar way. The height of the henna stain (the darkest color) comes around approx 24-48 hours after the paste is removed. Thus is why its always good to have it applied 2-3 days before any special event when you want the stain looking its best.
How do I keep the stain looking good for as long as possible?
~ The simplest answer: Keep the henna paste on for as long as possible and don't wash it too much! When you have to wash your hands, concentrate on washing only the palms. When you have to take a shower, apply some olive oil or coconut oil on the stain BEFORE you let it touch water. This will create a barrier so the water is less likely to affect the stain. If you want to be even more careful, keep your hand of the way or even cover it with a plastic bag (assuming the henna has been applied on the hands).
What is the best way to remove the paste?
~ Stand over a garbage can and scratch the paste off with your fingernails. Sometimes the paste can be quite stuck to your skin. In that case, take a bit of olive oil or coconut oil and apply it over the design. Take a butter knife and very lightly scrape the henna in one direction. This should make it much easier to remove.
What's in your paste?
~ The main ingredient is high-quality body art henna. The other ingredients are water, sugar & essential oils (I often use eucalyptus & lavender, as well as tea tree and rose geranium, depending on the mix). Simple & clean! Please be careful when obtaining henna from unknown sources. Freshly mixed henna is only good sitting at room temperature for just a few days. After that, it looses its staining ability. Sometimes henna is being sold at stores and sitting on the shelves indefinitely. Often times, other chemicals or preservatives are being added to that henna to prolong its shelf-life. Natural henna should only have a few simple ingredients; make sure you know exactly what's in the paste before using it on yourself and others.
What is white henna and do you offer this service?
~ White henna is not actually henna but a safe-for-skin body glue. It doesn't stain your skin at all. It "sits" on top of your skin and only lasts for just a couple days. White henna is most ideal for events on the day it's applied (weddings & other special occasions). Yes, I do offer this service here. If you'd like it to last longer than a couple days, I would suggest getting natural henna instead.
What is black henna & do you do this as well?
~ Black "henna" is not actually henna. It is a dye that contains a chemical called PPD. Some people can have severe allergic reactions to this chemical which can cause permanent scarring of the skin in the worst cases. I do not use black henna nor work with anyone that does. Please make sure your artist never uses this as its just not worth the risk!
How long have you been doing henna for?
~ I've been doing henna since 2011
What got you started into henna?
~ I started doing canvas art with henna designs many years ago (since approx 2005). For years I concentrated on canvas art and never picked up a cone. When I finally decided to do so, the design work came relatively easy as I was already familiar with it. The hardest part was learning how to apply the henna and make a quality paste. The rest is history! :-)