The art of henna tattoo has been around for centuries, offering women from an array of cultures the chance to express themselves in a unique and beautiful way. The stain that is used for making henna designs is one-of-a-kind; and because of that, it takes some knowledge to maintain it correctly. When you understand the dos and don’ts of this ancient art, then you will be able to enjoy your gorgeous self-adornments for quite a bit longer.
What exactly is Henna?
Lawsonia inermis, or henna, is simply a flowering plant that is indigenous to Egypt, India, and other regions in the Middle East. The word “henna” actually only refers to the dye and designs that are prepared from use of this plant. The dye is often used for more than just the hands, however. Traditionally, henna designs were placed on the skin, in the hair, upon the fingernails, and even on certain fabrics such a wool, leather, and silk. It was because of the versatility of this dye that henna tattoos became so popular among women from cultures around the globe.
During and after the application of your henna tattoo, you will want to practice some patience. The longer you let the powder or paste sit on your skin, hair, or nails, the better your results will be in the end. Try remaining in a relaxed state for a couple hours after you have your henna designs applied. While you wait, dab the work with a mixture of sugar and lemon to help it last for a few extra days. In fact, some people actually believe that doing this will help to improve the intensity of the design; but that is still up for debate by others.
After a couple of days you might notice that your color is beginning to fade. Don’t worry! All you have to do is expose your henna designs to some steam and the pattern will quickly darken. Soon after the henna tattoo is applied and you apply steam or hear, you will notice that your stain becomes a reddish brown color. This is the ideal outcome; and this process will help you to enjoy your beautiful work of art for much longer. *Note: be careful when exposing your hands, hair, or nails to steam. Make sure that you use safe practices to avoid any burning.
Get off your Soap Box
Although it is important to keep yourself clean, when you have a henna tattoo you will need to step down for your soap box for bit, at least in the area with the henna designs. Abrasive soaps, chlorinated water, or cleaning agents may hasten the fading process. Anything that is considered “alkaline” will help darken the designs, however. Keep in mind that once the stain peaks at its darkest color it will seem to fade out. This is due to the stained dead skin cells exfoliating from the area naturally. If excess fading occurs, simply ask your henna professional for more information.