PRECARE, AFTERCARE & HENNA SAFETY
Precare –Preparing for your Henna Session
If you plan on wearing the henna for an event make sure to book us 2 to 3 days before because the henna will be much lighter on the first day and will take a few days to reach optimum dye release.
If you are getting your palms done make sure somebody will be able to drive you home after your session.
Your Henna session might take longer than planned and you will have to wear the paste for an average of 3 to 8 hours preferably so make sure you are mostly free of responsibilities that day.
Take a shower since you won’t be able to wash for at least 8 hours since the oxidation process continues after the removal of the henna paste.
Your skin should be clean and free of any oils or creams before applying henna.
If you book us for a Belly Blessing make sure to wear comfortable pants (like yoga pants) that can roll down easily under your belly and a snug camisole (you will be hot during the session and it will hold your design in place afterwards). Wear clothes you don’t mind staining (Although this rarely happens it is better to take precautions).
Let us know if you have any allergies to lemon or essential oils, or other health issues. If you are pregnant henna is not advised if: you are extremely anemic or if the baby has G6PD deficiency.
Please talk to your Dr or midwife if you are not sure.
Your henna stain can last 1 to 3 weeks with the proper care:
-Leave paste on for a minimum of 3 to 8 hours for the palms and 8 to 12 hours for the rest of the body. Overnight makes for best results.
-Remove by scraping off, not washing off.
After scraping off what you can with your nails or a credit card, you can rehydrate your henna with a think layer of olive, coconut or any good quality vegetable oil to remove persistant dry henna bits and sticky lemon sugar seal left after scratching it off. Leave the oil on a few minutes and than scratch if of again , than wipe again and again with an old towel you don't mind discarding until it is completely clean. I know at this point, you just want to throw your hand under the sink, but please don't! Your henna won't last as long and won't be as dark if you do. At this point you need to go without water for about 8h to 12h. Hang in there, it will be worth it!
Make sure to scrape off the dry paste over a sink or in the bathtub to make sure you won’t spread bits of henna all over your house, susceptible to staining fabrics and furniture.
Since henna stains fabric, designs can be wrapped in toilet paper (NO plastic wrap, although most of the time we offer to seal your design with cotton bandages) before going to bed to protect sheets. You could also put on a large cotton sock, a gardener's glove, large cotton glove or tie/tape a piece of natural fabric over your design.
-Design will progress from being light orange to reddish brown or dark brown over the next 48 hours. (so do not worry if you get a very light color at first, it is normal!) Henna stains the feet and the palms darker than the rest of the body. Henna may stain your arm lighter than your hand from the wrist up. Knuckles maybe darker.
Henna/ Mehndi Aftercare Instructions
-Keep design warm while paste is on (you may sit next to a heater, drink hot tea, wrap your design in a blanket, sit in the sun) and ideally for the first 12 hours after paste removal to help darken the design.
-Henna darkens by oxidization and thus needs to be exposed to the air. Applying an oil, cream or rub will create a barrier between the henna stain and the air, stopping the darkening process of the henna.
-Avoid getting the henna design wet for as long as possible (preferably 12hrs) after removal of the paste.
-To keep your design longer avoid exfoliants on the design, such as contact lens solution, tomato juice, lotions containing alpha-hydroxy acid , chlorine.
Pools and hot tubs cause designs to fade quicker. If you had your hands hennaed, wear gloves to wash dishes.
- Once the oxydation process is done ( min 12 hours after henna removal), to slow fading, protect your design during water contact by using natural oils such as olive or coconut (NO Vaseline).
-Henna looks different on everyone. Body chemistry including stress and hormones, temperature and location on the body affects the stain.
~Henna will generally stain darkest at your finger-tips and palms and fade as it goes higher up your arm. Or, it will stain darkest at your toes, and soles of your feet, and fade as it goes higher up your ankle and leg.
Have fun and enjoy your henna design!
Scar caused by black henna
The Danger of Black Henna
First of all, there is no such thing...
Most of the photos you see on this site or online of black henna designs, portrays the skin with the henna paste still on. When removed after 4h to 12 hours, a reddish to brown stain (that will keep darkening over the next few days) is leftover but there is no such thing as a black stain. The darkening process largely depends on extended exposition to sources of heat, is darker on palms and feet and can be made darker by moderately re-hydrating the henna with steam and lemon sugar during the length of the wear (the longer the better). These methods are the only safe ways of obtaining a variably dark stain while remembering that henna will stain everyone differently, depending on one's chemistry.
When people advertise using "black henna," it is usually made from a synthetic chemical called para-phenylenediamine or PPD, which is found in hair dye. This chemical is very toxic to the skin and can cause blisters and chemical burns. The result can be a permanent scar in the shape of your tattoo. An adverse reaction to PPD can also cause one to become extremely sensitive to certain chemicals for the rest of one's life. There is a reason why hair dye manufacturers recommend that you avoid getting the dye on your scalp and hands!
Henna only comes in one color and that is a shade of brown to reddish brown. If someone is using "black henna" and tells you to only leave the paste on for an hour or less, beware! Real henna stains take a good 4-6 hours or more to develop. When you remove real henna paste, the design will initially look bright orange for the first half day, then slowly darken to brown during the next 48 hours.
If you see someone offering "black henna," it is best to avoid it unless you know for certain that it is safe. I have heard of many instances where the "black henna" artist will claim their product is safe when it's not. Some don't even know the ingredients of their own product because they buy their henna premixed from unreliable sources. Don't be afraid to ask what is in the paste. If the artist cannot or will not give you an answer, stay away! It's not worth the risk.
There ARE safe versions of "black henna", but they are more than likely Indigo or jagua and not henna. Indigo is a safe, naturally occurring dye that will stain the skin blue, but it will only last for a day or two at most.
For more on the dangers of "black henna," click here for a great deal of useful information from Henna Tribe.
Dr. First discusses safe henna tattoos. Natural henna only stains the skin orange, red or brown.