Basic Henna Facts

Henna (known aslo as Mehndi) is a paste made from the ground leaves of the Henna plant, essential oils, sugar, and lemon juice or water.  This paste is applied to the skin in much the same fashion as icing a cake and will eventually fall off, or be removed, to reveal a temporary stain that will remain on the skin for 1-3 weeks.  The stain begins as a bright orange color and will oxidize over the next 48 hours into a darker, richer, reddish-brown.


Historically henna has been employed for a variety of aesthetic uses.  Many cultures revere henna as a sacred plant that repels the Evil Eye and have developed special patterns specifically for this purpose.   Henna has long been used in rituals of blessing, purification, protection, and sacrifice.  The application of henna is often referenced in the Bible, in the Koran and within Mythology.


The longer the paste remains on the skin the darker the stain will be; we generally recommend anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.  Where the henna is applied also determines how dark the stain will be, the palms of the hands and soles of the feet will generally stain the darkest. Henna stains will usually last an average of 1-2 weeks depending on the location/duration of the application and will fade as the skin exfoliates. 


Henna Paste;

newly applied design.

Fresh Henna Stain;

after paste is removed.

Mature Henna Stain;

24-48 hrs.

Prenatal Henna

Women have used henna during pregnancy and their postpartum for hundreds of years, and its use is inherently safe with few rare side effects.  However, it is important to note that as a women experiences pregnancy her physical tolerance for topical substances may change; a material applied to the skin before pregnancy could very well cause a reaction in the same woman during pregnancy. It is with this in mind that caution must be taken in the application of henna prenatally.


It is advisable to check with your doctor or midwife to be sure henna is safe for you to use while pregnant.  Although it is rare, henna may cause contraindications in women with some high-risk pregnancies or if they suffer from conditions such as Anemia, a G6DP Deficiency, Jaundice, or Hyperbilirubinemia.


Prep and Aftercare

Skip any lotions or oils on your skin the day of your booking.  Allow the henna paste to remain on the skin a minamum of 4-6 hours (8-12 hrs for Prenatal Henna).  Your artist may seal the henna to your skin with lemon-sugar or with cloth bandage tape.  Once the henna is removed from the skin, avoid contact with water for the first 12 hours; NEVER wash your henna paste off, simply pick it away or rub it off with your fingers.  After the first 12 hours, apply coconut oil to the stain to maintain it's integrity and prolong it's duration.