Henna is a permanent dye. It only fades because of the normal regeneration of the skin.Hindu brides have acknowledged for centuries the fact that henna paste adorns the body with temporary tattoo designs. Commonly henna tattoos are applied to the hands and feet, the body becomes a canvas for tattoo designs of whorls, vines, or flowers that hold up for a few weeks.
Festivities, such as childbirth and birthdays, may include menhdi, but it is Indian brides who traditionally exhibit the most ornate henna tattoos covering their feet and hands. Applying the tattoo designs paste is a celebratory pre-wedding ritual to convey love and good fortune to the couple but it has neither spiritual nor divine meaning. Sometimes brides prefer to mendhi much of their body and include the name of the groom among the tattoo designs. It is his right and obligation to carefully search the tattoo designs for name on the wedding night.
The art of henna tattoos application is commonly practiced by females. Henna tattoos are traditionally applied to the hands, including the fingernails, and the feet for ceremonies and celebrations such as weddings and festivals, especially religious ceremonies.
The earliest documented use of henna tattoos for body art dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Mummies exposed in archeological excavations have displayed signs of henna tattoo designs, not merely on the hands and feet, but as a hair dye and perhaps even a conditioner. There is evidence that pharaohs were frequently hennaed and that specifically hennaed hand tattoo designs could have been perceived as a status symbol among the ancients, signifying prosperity. In other parts of the world where henna tattoos are fashionable, it’s used without regard to social or economic boundaries. Peasants are just as likely to have henna tattoos as royalty.
The tall shrub like henna plant, Lawsonia inermis, grows in dry, arid climates. A great deal of the world’s henna supply arrives from Egypt, Sudan and India, but it’s cultivated in a few African and Middle Eastern nations as well. In Pakistan, the plant tends to be known as “Mendhi.” The leaves and flowers are harvested from the plant. The flowers are frequently used for perfume, and the leaves are hung to dry. It’s essential to keep them out of direct light. Permitting them to air dry in semidarkness will preserve their dyeing qualities for tattoo designs.
Because it’s challenging to form the intricate patterns of henna tattoos from coarse crushed leaves, henna is generally traded as a powder made by drying, grinding, and sifting the leaves. The dry powder is mixed with lemon juice, strong tea, or other mildly acidic liquids to make a paste, which can be utilized to create finely detailed body art tattoo designs. The henna mix must sit for 6 to 12 hours before use, in order to release the lawsone from the leaf matter which is required to apply tattoo designs. Essential oils with high levels of monoterpene alcohols such as tea tree, eucalyptus, cajeput, or lavender will improve skin stain characteristics when the tattoo designs are applied.
Henna paste, or mendhi, tattoo designs application can take many hours depending on the body location and how intricate the tattoo designs are. Once the application of the tattoo designs is completed the paste dries to allow the color to be absorbed into the skin. While this takes only 10-15 minutes, the paste should be left on the skin for an additional 6 hours to attain the most lasting tattoo designs. A mixture of sugar and lemon patted on the dried mendhi tattoo designs intensifies the final color. When the tattoo dsgns are completely dry, the crust falls off on its own. Gentle toweling gets rid of any last pieces. Henna tattoos hold up longer with moisture but gradually lightens due to the natural exfoliation of the skin. Harsh soaps, chlorine and commercial exfoliation accelerate the fading of the tattoo designs.
Besides being used to apply temporary tattoo designs, henna has been used to color wool, silk, animal skins and mens beards. Mummies dating back to 1200 B.C. bear witness of henna use on hair and nails of pharaohs. Today the deep-colored paste is applied by women to give luster to their hair in addition to hiding the gray.
It’s vital that the new tattoo designs don’t get wet in the first 12 hours. The water will automatically stop the tattoo designs color development. Aftercare of new henna tattoo designs is very much like that of real tattoo designs. Avoid soaking in the bathtub, and use only mild soap. Be certain to keep the tattoo designs clean and make a point to pat the area dry rather than rubbing.
While there are few, if any, negative effects of natural henna paste tattoo designs, pre-mixed henna body art pastes may contain ingredients that are added to darken or alter the stain color. The health hazards involved in pre-mixed paste can be substantial. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) views these to be adulterants and therefore illegal for use on skin, especially as tattoo designs. Some pastes have been found to include: silver nitrate, carmine, pyrogallic acid, disperse orange dye, and chromium. These have been observed to induce allergic reactions, chronic inflammatory reactions, or late-onset allergic reactions to haircare products and fabric dyes.