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What is Henna?

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

Henna, also called Mehndi, is a dye prepared from the plant Lawsonia inermis, or the henna tree, which produces delicate small pink, red or white flowers. Mehndi as we know it today comes in a powder form that can be bought from trustworthy stores and online.

The most common reasons people use henna are as a natural hair dye and as temporary body art. Henna body art has been termed “henna tattoo” but should not be considered a traditional tattoo. The practice of henna body art is a deep-rooted tradition that has been significant part of many cultures for thousands of years. For this reason, the term “henna tattoo” can be found offensive in some cultures. It is simply a term coined for marketing convenience. The beauty from Henna stains is not permanent but can last maximum of three weeks. In Hindu marriage it is believed the deeper the stain color, the deeper the love.

Some lesser known facts about this amazing plant:

· It is a natural coolant! Henna paste has been used on soles of feet in summer months to provide respite from intense heat (it does leave a stain and make the feet red but is well worth the benefit!)

· Promotes long hair growth (and you thought it was just for body art)

· Combats dandruff

· Natural hair dye

· Slows graying of hair (why wouldn’t you use Henna?!)

Traditionally henna has been part of many cultures and countries including India, Bangladesh, Morocco, Yemen and most middle eastern nations. Once a trade practiced only by a designated class in society, henna art has gained great popularity. There are now women owned small business henna salons and this art has gained a market globally.

The henna technique can also be practiced on any other surface including canvas! If you have ever wanted to learn how to do this technique yourself, check out my learning page for available classes or contact me directly to learn more.

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