So ever since I went to Dubai last year, I’ve become slightly obsessed with Henna (or Mehndi). For those of you who don’t know what Henna is, it’s a reddish-brown paste made from the leaves of the Henna plant, which has been used for thousands of years to make hair dye and temporary body art. In some cultures (especially in the Middle East and India), it is common for women to decorate their hands and feet with intricate henna designs during festivals, celebrations and weddings.
Basically, think of it as a tattoo without the commitment.
Obviously I’m in no way a professional henna tattoo artist, so if I can manage to make some simple designs, so can you!
NOTE: Nowadays, henna often contains chemicals. If you have sensitive skin, test a small bit of henna on your skin beforehand to make sure you don’t get an allergic reaction.
What you need
- Henna cone
- tissue paper
- sheet of card paper / cardboard
- Henna dye is usually sold in cone-shaped tubes. To apply it, you simply cut off the tip of the cone and squeeze the paste onto your hand (a bit like piping icing onto a cake) to create a pretty pattern. Before decorating your hand, practice on a piece of paper until you can confidently create simple designs.
- If you want you can use my design, or you can try creating your own (google images provides plenty of other amazing examples). Just remember, if you mess up you can’t wipe it off!
- Once you have applied the henna to your hand, leave it to dry. This might take a while, so if you’re impatient like me, wait about 10-15 minutes until most of it is dry, then carefully dab the rest off with some tissue paper.
- Once the henna is dry, wash it off with water and you will be left with a (slightly lighter) tattoo on your hand.
- The henna tattoo will last about a week, although according to my Mum (who is Indian, by the way), putting lemon juice on your henna will make it last longer.