Henna is a plant whose dried leaves have the ability to stain. When mixed properly, henna paste can dye the skin safely lasting from a few days to 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 to schedule an appointment: Make a henna appointment 2-3 days prior to the big day for the darkest stain with the most definition. For example, the best time to get henna is Wednesday - Thursday for a Saturday event.
Getting henna on 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 + Wedding Henna Suggestions The bride can fully enjoy the party if her henna is done before guests arrive but non-full coverage bridal henna (up to 3 hours) is fun in a party setting. Select a friend or two to recruit as a guard to assure 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 + takes longer, increasing cost.
Full Coverage Bridal Henna on all three sizes of the arms from the elbows down and front + back of hands can take 4-8 hours. Full coverage from the knees to the toes takes 3-5 hours. It's a long day for the bride + 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 + 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.
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: When the henna paste is dry (before cracks form) it can be sealed with a water/ sugar solution (1/4 teaspoon sugar dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water). Gently dab 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 will destroy your designs. Sealant + wrap are free services for appointments. Keep warm and leave on overnight to intensify the stain.
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.