Q: What is Mehndi?
A: Mehndi is the Sanskrit word for henna. This term is used as a noun to describe the henna plant itself, the paste made from the plant which is used for coloring skin hair and crafts, and the body art designs themselves. Mehndi is also used as a verb when describing the process of applying henna to the skin. Henna, mehndi, '3lan, hina, mehandi, are all words used in various languages to describe the plant, the art, the process. I chose the word mehndi for my business name because it was the word I was first introduced to in the art form.
Q: Is henna safe?
A: Yes! As long as the henna is all-natural, pure, and unadulterated with chemicals or other harsh additives. My henna paste is made with only pure Pakistani Jamila and Indian Rajasthani henna mixed with lemon juice, fructose, essential oils of lavender, tea tree, and orange, and orange blossom or rose water. My henna is safe for anyone ages 2+ as well as pregnant and nursing women. If you have citrus allergies, a water-based paste can be made instead of one with lemon juice.
Q: What is Black Henna? Do you Use it?
A: Black Henna or PPD henna is a very dangerous chemical product that contains little or no henna at all! It is a paste made from black or deep brown hair dye, and other chemicals that is applied to the skin to create a black or very deep burgundy stain in a very short amount of time (less than 15 minutes for a complete stain). PPD has been linked to leukemia, kidney failure, and death! Not to mention the chemical burns, scarring, and blistering that is far more common with PPD reactions. Once an individual has had a negative reaction to PPD, he or she may never use PPD-containing products, such as most salon and drugstore hair colorants, again without an adverse reaction. It is lifetime sensitivity. It is illegal in the US, Canada and EU to apply PPD to the skin. I will not use any PPD on you, ever!
Q: What about the colored henna I see in your photo gallery?
A: The colors you see are cosmetic grade glitter or mica applied over the wet paste to give some sparkle and color to it while it dries. The glitter or mica come off with the paste and do not effect the stain color at all.
Q: Where can you apply the henna on the body? Who can get henna done?
A: Henna can be used to dye the hair or for body art on the skin. Most areas of the body are ok for henna application, but the hands, feet, arms and legs will get the best stains. The scalp, face and torso can also be hennaed, but the results will typically not be as dark. Anyone over the age of 2 can get henna, but it is traditionally a feminine art form. For religious reasons, I only personally apply henna for the hair or body to female clients, and boys if they are under age 10. I don't apply henna to anyone in the area between under the navel and the top of the knees.
Q: I heard henna is bad for your hair, is that true?
A: No. On the contrary, pure henna mixed with natural ingredients is very good for your hair. Pre-made boxed henna hair dyes in some stores are adulterated with metallic salts and other nasty additives which are bad for your hair and cause big problems if you go back to using chemical hair colorants later. That is where the "henna is bad for hair" myth started. Natural henna hair color can be used over old chemial colors without damage to the hair. Henna permanantly bonds with the keratin in your hair and therefore needs to grow out in order to be out of the hair. Henna is very fade-resistant in comparison to chemical red or brown dyes and is a natural hair conditioner. Hennead hair is stronger, shinier, thicker-feeling and more manageable than chemically treated hair. Even totally fried chemically-treated hair is left softer after just one henna treatment. Plus, henna is safe to use on your hair even while pregnant, unlike chemical hair colors!
Q: I don't want to be a redhead, but I want to use an all-natural hair color. What are my options?
A: Henna can be mixed with indigo or cassia (other plant-based dyes) to create a range of hair color shades from strawberry blonde to brown all the way to jet black. Henna can be applied weekly until the desired depth of color is reached and it will not damage the hair or cause muddied ends or "grabbing" on the damaged areas of the hair. This is especially helpful in coloring resistant grey hair.
Q: I have grey hair. Will henna cover it? Will I look like a clown?!
A: Yes, henna can be used to cover grey hair. Typically the grey hairs will be a lighter, brighter version of your base color, and not clownish at all! The secret is to keep the henna on your hair for at least 3 hours so the color can develop and you'll avoid the clownish-blaze-orange look. For instance, if you have medium brown hair with some grey and you apply straight henna, your base color will be auburn and the greys will become fiery highlights. With a mix of indigo and henna, the brown will be a richer and warmer brown with golden-brown highlights. To cover the greys more fully to match the base color, its best to apply henna two or three times in a 2 week period to achieve the depth of color you desire and then touch up the roots and ends as needed. Its a little time consuming, but so worth it for healthy hair and being able to avoid chemicals!
Q: How long does mehndi last?
A: The average body art mehndi stain lasts anywhere from 5 days to 3 weeks depending on the part of the body it is applied, how long the paste is left on the skin, the skin-type of the customer, how well the aftercare instructions are followed and even the weather. Hands, feet, wrists and ankles tend to stain the best. Henna for the hair is permanant as it bonds with the keratin in the hair.
Q: How long do I need to leave the paste on my skin for a good stain?
A: A minimum of 2 hours will give you a medium reddish-brown stain that will last about 5-7 days. I recommend a minimum of 4 hours to get a darker and more long-lasting stain, 6 hours minimum if you have dark or mature skin, and for all designs on torso or the upper extremities. I advise customers to sleep with their henna wrapped on their skin for the deepest burgundy-brown stains that last 2 weeks or more.
Q: Yikes! I scraped off my henna paste and the stain is orange!! What's wrong?!
A: Nothing. Henna stains start as a shade of light to bright carrot orange right after the paste is removed and mature over the next 24-36 hours to be a shade ranging from brownish-red to burgundy-brown. The stain then slowly fades back to a yellow-orange over the course of the next week or more. This is normal and due to exfoliation of the skin and is sped along by the use of harsh soaps, perfumed lotions and simply washing in chlorinated city water.
Q: How can I make my stain last longer?
A: Keep the paste barely moist and on your skin for as long as possible, at least 4 hours or more. Keep your body warm during this time, heat helps the stain deepen. Then avoid soap and water on the area for the first few hours after paste removal. Keep the area moisturized with simple oils or moisturizers like grapeseed oil or shea butter. Avoid scented products which contain alcohol. Do not scrub the area, go swimming in a pool or take tub soaks, especially avoid epsom bath salts as they fade designs rapidly.
Q: My stain didn't get dark and I followed your directions exactly. What happened?
A: The most likely reason is that for some reason, certain individuals just don't stain well. This can be due to anything from your skin being too oily or too dry, or from taking certain medications, or even hormone fluctuations. I will be happy to test the paste on my own skin to ensure it isn't the paste and then work out something with you on an individual basis to make things right.
Q: Where do you get your designs?
A: I collect design books from artists whom I admire. I also create my own designs with inspiration from other artists, textile patterns, handicrafts, books, tattoos or anything that strikes me as being good material for a mehndi design! I can also create custom designs to fit your needs. For religious reasons, I don't create designs depicting people or animals, or using another group's religious symbols.
Q: Do you do group events? How about private appointments?
A: Yes and yes. I am available for corporate events, school and holiday events, birthday parties, bachelorette parties, baby and bridal showers, Ladies Nights, you name it! I also can come to your home for a private appointment or small group event. I also do fundraisers for non-profit organizations. Contact me for more information about your specific needs.