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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mehndi Party | Some Mehndi Facts You Need to Know

Bridal Mehndi (Henna) Facts

So you are planning for your bridal mehndi (henna) party. It would be good to know what exactly mehndi is, so that you are more or less prepared for your Night of Henna!

Mehndi( henna) is a small shrub called hawsonia inermis and is found in Iran, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and North Africa.Women in Indian rural villages actually pick fresh mehndi leaves and prepare them for the application. They grind the leaves until it is a powdery form. Some people also grow it in their home gardens, as we do! It is also readily available in retail stores in a powder form.

There are different types of mehndi (henna) available. Black, brown and red. While the color of the actual Mehndi dye is deep green, once it is removed, the dye leaves a color that varies from light orange to a deep brownish-black.

How to Make Mehndi (Henna) Paste:

1) Make sure that your mehndi powder is a bright green. If it is a dull green, that means it is not of a good quality. But be careful because not all bright green henna powders are 100% henna. Some can have additives with colorings. A good indicator is usually is the henna stains the skin a light orange within a few minutes of touching the skin, then it's probably good.

2) There is no standard formula to make the mehndi paste. Different henna artists will have their own preferred method of making the henna paste. However, there are basic ingredients that you can use to make the paste. Use fine mehndi (henna) powder. Filter the mehndi powder through a nylon cloth, to remove the large fibers from the mehndi, which can get in the way when applying the paste. This powder can be mixed with oil (such as eucalyptus, nilgiri, or mehndi oil) and water, to make a thick paste. You have to add the right amount of water when making the paste so the Mehndi isn't too thick or too thin. You will also need to add some lemon or lime juice to get the color to set. Lemon juice is also added to the paste to intensify its red color. You can also add tea or coffee to darken the mehndi dye (stain).

The Mehndi (Henna) Application Process:

The finished paste is placed into a cone. During the process of laying out the design, the cone does not touch the skin, but rather, the henna is laid out onto the skin like a fine thread. The flow of the henna must be controlled in order to produce an even line, and requires skilled hands.

After the henna design is laid out on the skin, a mixture of lemon and sugar is dabbed over the design to set it. The longer the design is left undisturbed, the deeper the color will be. If possible, you should leave it on for at least 5 hours. Later the henna is removed by scrapping it off, revealing a reddish color where the henna touched the skin. The color left behind darkens over the next 12 hours or so.

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