Scientifically referred to as Lawsonia Inermis, the henna plant of the family of the Lynthracee has stunned and touched so many people since the beginning of recorded human history, and most probably been growing on earth longer than we ever thought it has. Its primary function is the red dye it produces, called the Lawsone. This dye is captured by the plant leaves and is in a 0.05% concentration of the henna powder made from the plant leaves. When mixed properly, the lawsone gives its maximum strength and the receptacle (skin, wood, hair) get its red/brown color. When diluted, the lawsone gives a light red color which is in orange.
Henna was probably discovered by chance upward to 4000 years ago by humans who had wet hands and touched dried henna leaves and got a coloring out of it. Since then it’s been everywhere and everywhen humans existed and celebrated life with it. In this fashion, henna will exist with humans for the rest of eternity as the joyous plant of celebrations and happiness.

close up henna leaves

close up henna leaves

What is henna?

Henna is a natural plant; henna paste is made from the ground shrub of the plant leaves. The henna powder is mixed with lemon juice and Eucalyptus oil to make the fine henna paste I draw with. It’s all natural and safe for the skin.

The henna design will be light orange at first, and then it will darken to a deep brown color within the first 48 hours.

Keep in mind that henna on skin is heat activated. The longer you leave the paste on your skin, the darker and longer the henna tattoo will be. The end result of the henna tattoo varies upon the individual & where he/she has the design.

Areas of the body close to palms, soles, wrists and ankles will stain darker than other parts of the body.

Parts of the body that have significant fatty tissue between blood vessels and the outside layer of the skin will stain least. It is recommended to re-apply henna paste within the first 24 hours to get a very dark imprint on these areas. As a general rule, reapplying henna over a previous design will darken it. Results can sometimes be close to a black color.

You may also re-apply henna at the end of the 2 week period (or before) to extend the life of your henna tattoo. However, there is a saturation point at the 4-5th reapplication. At which time, your skin won’t be stained on that specific space until it clears from its previous henna.

Henna has been used on hair for dying and conditioning purposes & on nails. It can be found in hair shampoos, dyes, conditioners and rinses. Henna dye products are also used mixed with indigo or other plant material to obtain a greater color range. Extracts of henna are also used to stain wood and to dye leather and fabrics.

henna plant with its fruit

henna plant with its fruit

How to Mix Henna? a new series on mixing henna with photos.

henna mixing step 1

henna mixing step 1

What are the ingredients to avoid when mixing henna?

Water – Dilutes and lessens strength of dye

What to do with left-over henna paste?

When the paste is made, you can use it for up to 3 days without refrigeration.

However, we strongly recommend freezing the excess paste for future henna sessions.

To reuse your frozen paste, simply put the bottle into hot water for 5-10 minutes to reactivate it.

For stronger results on re-heated paste, add some more powder and Eucalyptus Oil in your mixed paste, let sit for 2-3 hours. This boosts up the color of your henna tattoos!

Can you preserve your henna paste?

Your hand mixed henna paste will be potent to give good color for about 3 days if kept at room temperature.

If double bagged and frozen, the henna paste can be kept for over 3 years.

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