The Art of Henna

Henna, paste made from the leaves of the henna plant, is used throughout the Middle East for centuries for the congenital art of adoring a woman's body parts: hands, feet and hair.  it is an impromptu body decoration that looks like a tattoo without its risk.  It is meteoric, easy and painless.  Most importantly, it is observed as a body decoration without the use of chemicals.

The Art of Henna

The Art varies from country to country and spans different cultures and religious traditions.  This variation in style differs between different cultures.  Generally Arabic henna features large, floral patterns on hands and feet;   while Indian Mehndi uses fine and lacy-like floral and paisley patterns covering the entire hands, forearms and feet.  African henna designs are large and bold with geometric patterned angles.  African Mehndi patterns are mainly black, while Asian and Middle Eastern Henna patterns are reddish brown.  Generally, heat generated one's body influences the depth of the red color.  Depending on the intensity of body head, the color ranges from a bright red to brownish red and to almost black.

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Henna Preparation

Henna is a small shrub called Lawsonia inermis, which is also known as Henne, Al Khanna, Mehndi, an Egyptian Privet, etc.  It grows in hot climates and is mostly found in many countries of the region; Iran, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Syria, Egypt, Morocco and North African countries.  The leaves, flowers and the twigs of the plant are ground into fine powder is then mixed with hot water.  Various shades are procured by admixing with the leaves of other plants, such as indigo, tea, coffee, cloves and lemon.  Sugar and oil are also added to the admixture to strengthen the color and longevity of design.

Once the Henna powder is sieved through a nylon cloth, it is mixed with strong products.  The admixture components are secret that beauticians try to keep to themselves.  Henna must be mixed evenly to obtain a fine paste and then kept for a minimum of one hour to a maximum of 24 hours before application.  It is then stirred and once again and a few cloves are oil added to increase the redness of the color.  The paste's consistency should be just right if it is to be easily squeezed out of the application cone.

Henna Links........ Excellent place for PPD free black and coloured henna paste place to buy henna products including coloured and black henna pastes.
How To Grow Henna - Design ideas
More than Mehndi -an article from Bradenton Herald Internet Plus
Jane's Place-Great collection of designs and links
Body Art: Marks of Identity - American Museum of Natural History
Coconut Oil - Info about Coconut Oil
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