The other night I was invited to the cutest art gallery/store to mingle and try out henna. The body art has always impressed me and I’ve been eager to learn more about the intricate, natural and non-permanent form of self-expression.
According to Silk and Stone: “The art of henna (called mehndi in Hindi & Urdu) has been practiced for over 5000 years in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. There is some documentation that it is over 9000 years old. Because henna has natural cooling properties, people of the desert, for centuries, have been using henna to cool down their bodies. They make a paste of henna and soak their palms and soles of the feet in it to get an air conditioning affect. They feel its cooling sensation throughout the body for as long as the henna stain remains on their skin. Initially, as the stain faded away, it left patterns on the skin surface which led to ideas to make designs for decorative purposes. In the ancient Egyptian times mummies wore henna designs and it is documented that Cleopatra herself used henna for decorative purposes. Henna was not only a popular adornment for the rich but the poor, who could not afford jewelry, used it to decorate their bodies as well.”
The henna artist had a very steady hand and took at least ten minutes working on each design. She put the henna paste in a cake decorating-like tube and squeezed through a very small hole. The art dried in a puffy, crusty substance and it was recommended to let it dry at least four hours before peeling it off.
I fell asleep before four hours and woke up to crust all over my bed. Megan said to remove before putting in the washing machine or it will ruin sheets. I applied olive oil when I showered to prevent the henna from washing off. Henna slowly fades and lasts approximately two weeks.
Have you tried henna? Would you like to try it?
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