Henna is a plant whose dried leaves have the ability to stain. When mixed properly, henna paste can dye the skin safely lasting 3 weeks depending on placement + aftercare.
Henna body art (often referred to as henna tattoos) is fun and pain-free. No needles are used. Henna is applied on top of the skin similar to decorating a cake. Sometimes it tickles.
Island Girl's henna paste is blended in-house using the finest organic ingredients. I apply all henna freehand - without stencils - so custom ideas are most welcome. Have a permanent tattoo idea but want to try it temporarily first? I've created many henna 'tattoos' for folks wanting to test their idea.
The paste is removed after several hours creating an orange stain that takes 2 days to reach the darkest, rich auburn color. The stain gradually fades as the skin exfoliates.
Henna only stains the keratin (top layers of skin). Tougher skin is best for a dark, long-lasting stain. The palms of the hands and soles of the feet stain the darkest. Yes, you read that right! Thinner skin creates a lighter stain that fades fast. Stain duration is determined by body temperature + chemistry, skin type, lifestyle, where the henna is applied and how well the client takes care of it. Water (especially chlorinated) is the fastest way to fade a henna stain.
When: Make a henna appointment 2-3 days prior to the big day for the darkest stain with the most definition. For example, for a Saturday event, the best time to get henna is Wednesday - Thursday.
Both palms? Arrange for a chauffeur + someone to assist with ordinary tasks like change clothes, pick an item up, eat, drink... and be merry!
The best stain ever! Achieve the best henna stain by leaving the paste on overnight. Henna needs to be wrapped with unrolled cotton balls, bath tissue, gauze and tape. No plastic wrap. This is a free service for appointments.
Bridal Henna: It's becoming more popular now to do the bride's henna the day before the henna party. This lets the bride fully enjoy the party (moving, dancing, mingling, hugging, etc.) without worrying about her henna getting damaged. Plan for the bride to remain seated and undisturbed while getting henna. In a party setting, one or two of the bride's friends will be recruited so no one comes close enough to cause the bride to move or bump into the artist. Freehand art on a moving target won't be perfect and takes longer, increasing cost.
Dense henna coverage on all three sides of the arms from the elbows down plus front and back of hands can take 4-8 hours. Dense coverage from below the knees to the toes takes 3-5 hours. It's a long day for the bride and the artist. It's recommended to do this in a relaxed setting with 1 or 2 close friends to enjoy the day and help the bride to eat, drink and other tasks.
The more of these steps taken, the better results for the darkest stain possible. These instructions are specific to Island Girl's organic henna.
Waxing/ Shaving: Hair must be removed from any area receiving henna 2 days before henna application.
Manicures/ Pedicures: Should be done 2 days before you receive henna. Soaking and polish remover will fade your henna stain.
Spray Tans: Henna cannot penetrate a spray tan - resulting in NO stain.
Bathe the area before receiving henna. Do not apply cream, lotion, moisturizer, sunscreen, or makeup on area to be hennaed. Please do not wear perfume or scented products to your appointment.
Plan to leave the henna paste on your skin. 6 hours, or longer, is ideal. There are no stain guarantees if removed sooner.
Optional sealant & wrap: Sealant and wrapping are free services for appointments. Keep warm and leave on overnight to intensify the stain. To seal and wrap your henna at home: Wait for the paste to dry. Before cracks form, seal with a water/ sugar solution (1/4 teaspoon sugar dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water). Gently dab sealant on dry henna with a cotton bud. Use sparingly! After it's sealed, wrap design with unrolled cotton balls, bath tissue, gauze + tape. DO NOT USE PLASTIC WRAP. It creates too much moisture and can destroy your designs.
AVOID WATER. Keep the design area dry from time of henna application until 12 or more hours after the paste is removed.
You will receive a detailed Aftercare sheet at your appointment. Here are some highlights:
Do not use water to remove paste. It will diminish staining effect. Vegetable oil helps remove stubborn paste.
Stay dry. Once the paste is removed, do not wet the area for 12 or more hours, if possible. Staying dry darkens the stain.
Moisturize. Use a natural veggie oil (olive, coconut, shea butter) as a moisturizer on the stain 2-3 times/ day. No commercial moisturizers. Most are 'rejuvenating' a.k.a. speed up exfoliation.
Avoid: Gloves, manual labor, anything rubbing the design + contact with water (especially chlorinated) as long as you want to maintain the stain. All of these cause henna to fade faster.