Mehndi is the application of a temporary form of skin decoration, popularized in the West by Indian cinema and the entertainment industry, the people in Nepal, Bangladesh and the Maldives also use mehndi. Mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West in the late 1990s, where they are called henna tattoos.
Mehndi in Indian tradition is typically applied during special Hindu weddings and Hindu festivals like Karva Chauth, Vat Purnima, Diwali, Bhai Dooj and Teej. In Hindu festivals, many women have Henna applied to their hands and feet and sometimes on the back of their shoulders too. It is usually applied on the palm, back of the hand and on feet, where the design will be clearest due to contrast with the lighter skin on these surfaces, which naturally contain less of the pigment melanin. Some Muslims in the Indian subcontinent also apply Mehndi during festivals such as Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.
In this article we will see the precautions to be taken while applying Mehndi. We will also see some of the easy steps of Mehndi (Henna) Application.
Care to be taken while applying Mehndi (Henna Tattoo):
Always apply Eucalyptus or Mehendi oil with cotton wool before putting the mehendi on you hand or feet. Make sure your hands are free of any lotion, cream, ointment, that you may use regularly, if your hands are cold try to warm them a little before applying mehendi. Mehendi cools your body, so if you have fever/temperature do not apply it. The color comes the darkest on the palm and sole, the other areas the color come lighter in comparison. If you have oily skin than clean it with a tissue, which is absorbent. Soft skin doesn't tend to stain well like, belly, forehead, arms, chest, thigh etc. But it depends on every individual.
Always have a rough cloth handy to clean your cone tip or stains. We prefer using pillows below the hands to raise the height of the hands and feet to avoid strain on the back. Other parts of the body can be applied in any position you find comfortable. Make sure you are comfortable while applying mehendi as it definitely helps you design better and more important doesn't tire you much. A fine cone tip cleaned at regular intervals gives you the best results. If you make a mistake while applying mehendi, remove the design immediately and clean it with water or eucalyptus oil with cotton. As mehendi starts staining from the first minute. So it's better to correct immediately.
Quick and Easy Steps of Mehndi (Henna) Application:
1. Gather henna, paper towels, a damp wash cloth & toothpicks (to remove mistakes), a straight pin (to remove any clogs in your cone or nozzle), and mehndi oil (optional).
2. Wash area well. Do not use a lotion based soap. Dish soap works great and a swipe of rubbing alcohol helps.
3. If your henna is not fresh mixed, mix henna thoroughly. Carefully knead cone or tube for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then make a VERY small cut at the tip of the cone or cut a larger opening and squeeze the paste into an applicator bottle.
4. For cones, squeeze out about 1/4 inch of paste (this will get rid of any watery henna from the tip) and any henna exposed to air.
5. Hold tip close to skin (or touch skin lightly) and slowly squeeze henna applicator, creating designs. Experiment with techniques. The thicker your lines, the darker the color. If you make a mistake, quickly wipe off henna with a damp cloth or paper towel or use a straight pin or toothpick to remove the mistake.
6. Allow henna to dry for 4 hours. Ideally you should leave your henna on for 4-12 hours. The longer you leave the henna on the deeper and longer lasting your henna stain. You can also apply a henna sealer after the henna is set, but before it is dry. This will allow you to keep your henna on for hours (even overnight) to produce a much darker color.
7. Gently scrape off dried henna without using water. If you have stubborn bits of henna, use olive oil to remove it rather than water. If possible avoid water for the rest of the day.Your henna tattoo stain will continue to darken over the next 24-72 hours.
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