• First thing first - get good quality henna pasteGetting henna is a great experience and you want to make sure that you are getting good quality henna. This is very important. Not just for getting good color stain but also to confirm that there is no harmful chemical added with paste.
If you are not sure, please ask the artist where they got the henna paste from and if they know what the ingredients are. If henna paste is not of good quality or paste is not made properly, whatever care you take after, you will not be happy with results.
• Clean the area where henna will be appliedJust wash the area where you want the henna so that there is no residual sweat or dirt in that area. Simple wash from water and soap will do. Dry it with clean cloth.
Tip for brides: If you are a bride and going for full bridal henna, take a shower and be patient. It may take upto four hours to get henna on both hands and feet. If you are OK with smell and not allergic to, apply eucalyptus oil in the area where henna will be done.
• Let henna settle and dry - but not too dryThis is the part and makes big difference on how good stain you will get. After application, keep your henna design away from touching any object, your cloth or anything else. Normally it takes 20 min. to 30 min. to dry the henna paste. But it will vary depending on weather/humidity of your area.
Drying the henna on natural air is good, as it will take time to get the stain. This is the time when Lawsone molecules of henna bond with protein cells of your body. But, if you are in hurry, you can use hairdryer and blow hot air to dry it faster or you can get near fireplace, space heater, or anything which is safe and provides heat.
Once henna is dry, you are free to move but don't rub anything against design as it will scrub the paste off. Now the trick to get best color is, keep the henna moist and also keep it on.
• Keep the henna paste ON as long as you can - and - keep it moistDon't get confused here, when I said to dry the henna paste and now I am saying keep it moist. When it is applied, Henna paste is like toothpaste. After application you want it to dry enough so that design stays in the place and it gets henna juice in your body. If it dries completely, henna paste starts flaking off. Once it is off the skin, you wouldn't get any more color out of it. You want to get as much as color out of henna paste and keep it in the place.
• Apply Lemon juice and Sugar mix on the henna designThe best, simple and proven formula to get more color out of henna paste is mix of lemon juice and sugar. Just squeeze 20-30 ml of lemon juice and mix it with one spoon of sugar. Take a cotton ball and dab it over henna design before henna paste starts flaking off. You also want to make sure that paste is settled and semi-dry at this time, otherwise you may smudge the design. This does miracle in many ways:
• Lemon juice and Sugar mix helps keep the henna design in place
• The moisture of Lemon juice and Sugar mix helps get color particles out of henna to your body
• It also stops henna paste from flaking off of your skin
• Keep it warmWe have seen better henna stain color in warm climate and people who are warmer. Perhaps the reason is warmth of skin helps getting henna particles into your body.
• Keep the henna ON for minimum one hourThe longer you keep henna paste on with above recommended tips, the better color you get.
Tip for brides: You should do at least 2 rounds of applying Lemon and Sugar mix before henna completely dries. Go to bed with henna ON.
Henna will flake off on your bedsheet and cloth. But don't worry, dry henna will not stain cloth. Be careful though, if it gets water or moisture on cloth with henna paste, it may stain it.
Extra tips for henna care
• Don't wash the henna paste but scrub it offThis is mainly for brides or ceremonial henna. After many hours of keeping paste ON, you are ready to see the beautiful design without paste, don't rush to water to wash it off. Use a spoon or steel bowl to scrub the remaining paste off your skin. Do not wash in water or soap. You will see orange to light maroon design. It will be not too dark yet, but don't worry, keep reading this article.
• Keep henna away from waterHenna does not like water. If you have henna on your palm, keep you hand washing to a minimum till the event for which you have henna applied. In any other area of your body, avoid washing that area and do not apply soap for getting dark stain.
If you have to wash that area, keep it to minimum and dry it immediately.
• Wrap the henna or notIf you are worried that you henna paste can get smudged because you are in crowded area or due to your work, you can wrap the henna paste after 20-30 minutes of application. I would advise to have at least one coat of Lemon and Sugar juice before you wrap it.
For wrapping you can use simple plastic, saran wrap, a cloth or even your socks :). Just be careful that you do not mess your henna design when putting the wrap.
If you can keep your henna paste safe otherwise, wrapping is completely optional.
• Apply natural oilAfter scrubbing the henna paste off (or taking shower), you should avoid the moisturizers or creams which are not natural. You should apply any natural oil, like olive oil or coconut oil.
• Expect best henna color after 24 hours of applicationYou did all the above and after 8 hours you scrubbed the henna paste off. Woooo!! You do not see dark maroon color. Don't get disappointed. Henna particles are in your skin and they are working. You will see color improving in next 8 to 12 hours.
This is the reason, it is advised to get your henna at least a day before the event.
This is it friends!! Good luck on your next henna venture. Please let me know if you have any question on this or any other henna related activity. You can also post comments below.
Quick summary of henna care steps1. Make sure your henna paste is good quality and trusted source.
2. Clean the area before getting henna applied.
3. After henna application, let it settle and dry.
4. Apply Lemon + Sugar after it is dried.
5. Keep henna paste on as long as you can. Minimum one hour to up to 12 hours.
6. Scrub the remaining paste off. Keep it away from water and soap.
7. Henna keeps giving color even after paste if off. You will see best color in 18 to 24 hours.
8. Enjoy your henna!!