If you've never heard of henna, or are new to the wonderful henna plant, this is the place to be! Here we will touch on the history of henna, when and how it is used in modern day, and a basic understanding of how henna works.
Henna has first been recorded as dye for the hair and cloth. People as far back as Egyptian (17th Dynasty, 1574 BCE) died their hair, eyebrows, and beards with henna for a bright red look. The prophet Mohammad is said to have had his beard dyed red with henna and put black kohl under his eyes. Along with this, the henna helps produce a rich red for fabrics and clothing. The popularity of henna is still on the rise with characters like Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy who referred to her red hair as a "henna rinse". Still now, even commercial dyeing companies use henna for their reds or red undertones for hairs and fabrics.
Henna today has continued with tradition and has transformed. Today henna can be applied simply as a fashion statement or fun vacation memory to take back home with you. People even test out permanent tattoos by first getting a henna to see if they like the placement and idea for their tattoo. In addition to these more modern uses for the henna plant, there are many that keep the more original traditions alive. During weddings for many cultures in South East Asia the bride, her mother, and the bridal party are adorned with henna. This shows that traditional celebration, and also allows for creativity in what people might depict in their wedding henna. Even some grooms and men at the wedding do henna now days!
In my opinion, the beautiful art of henna is for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Children, women, men, and all the rest. The great thing about henna is how safe for the skin it is, and makes it so accessible for anyone!
Because of these ingredients, we also have to keep henna refrigerated or frozen to keep it from going bad. Do watch out for any henna that is kept on a store shelf. Even if the label says all natural, there is at least a natural preservative included or worse; a dye called PPD. Preservatives and PPD can cause serious and sometimes permanent damage to human skin, especially for those with sensitive skin. A great way to tell if your henna paste is good and natural is to smell it! If it smells faintly of chemicals, thats not an organic paste. If the henna smells over the top strongly of an essential oil, it might be natural henna that has gone bad by being in the heat or sun.
I hope you can now understand some of the magical properties of henna. Henna has brought me and many I know a great amount of healing and good into our lives. I am blessed to share this art and culture with you! If you're looking for more information about henna, come back soon. Posts on henna, jagua, graphic design, social media management, and tricks to running a business will be in the near future!
I am first + foremost, a creative. I love to take an idea and create it into something tangible. To build + organize a design, an idea, or a goal + see it actually materialize by my hands is something hard to describe. I will always cherish + cultivate my ability to do this. Here is a little about what I have learned + maybe peeks at my artistic life journey so far.