Sunday, 19 April 2009

Henna hands

A friend is about to approach a big milestone birthday which, naturally, she wants to ignore. We weren't going to let her get away with that, so she conceded and held a henna party for her girlfriends. I'd been to another henna party of hers a couple of years ago and had my hand hennaed with a gorgeous flower design, so I was keen to have it done again. Last night, about 30 women left with beautiful designs drawn on their hands, feet, and wrists.

It took about ten minutes for the henna artist (my friend's sister-in-law) to decorate my hand. I wanted something delicate and flowery and she quickly went to work. The henna dries after about 10-15 minutes, then it needs to be dabbed with cotton wool dipped into a mixture of lemon juice and sugar. This fixes the henna and helps reduce cracks in the design. The longer the henna stays on the skin in this state, the deeper the stain will be. I felt like Michael Jackson sleeping with a rubber glove on, but it did the trick; the henna is almost perfectly in tact this morning.

Shortly, I will remove the henna by dipping cotton wool in vegetable oil. This loosens the paste so it should wipe away easily and help boost the colour. The colour will darken over the next 24-48 hours, during which time I need to avoid getting it wet. (Rubber glove in the shower, here I come!) Then, I will be left with a lovely deep red/brown design for the next five days or so.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a step towards a tattoo. While I was keen to make this one of my 101 goals, and I love how pretty it looks, I'm also pleased that it's temporary.


Sab said...

That is soooo cool. I've had a henna tattoo before, but I didn't know about the lemon or the oil. And it was never very dark very long.

LazyKing said...

My mom loves this fake tatoo. Since she went to Morocco, she is crazy about it, loool. Anyway it looks good on her :)
@Sab, if you want it very dark, you have to go to and african or arabic store to buy it there.

PS: thanks for commenting on my blog, you rock girl!!!

La'Tonya Richardson said...

I want one! I like the idea of the henna, instead of a permenant tatoo. Something I don't have to commit to, and not painful as H*%#! I also like the 101 things in 1001 days. I turned 40 last year and had a list of 40 things to do. I've got just under a month left, and a lot of things unaccomplished. I need more time!!!

Café Chick said...

I've had lots of comments this week about my henna design. I'm thrilled that it has lasted so long; it's still pretty clear today, even though it has faded a bit - one week on!

Evelyn said...

I had no idea that there were so many steps to getting a henna design! I've thought about doing it..... but that sounds COMPLICATED! It is beautiful, though.