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How to get a deeper, darker colour with henna

Written by    Last updated: October 10, 2006

The auspicious results of having a darker coloured mehndi pattern means that brides will go to considerable lengths to ensure the longevity and depth of the colour, not least because it means a holiday from housework for as long as the henna lasts!

Mehndi

For a deeper and longer lasting bridal mehndi follow the tips below:

  • Use good quality henna, which will be naturally darker
  • Have a bath or shower just before and don’t apply any oils or lotions on the skin
  • Wear suitable clothes and shoes so that the design will not smudge or rub off. Wearing flip flop sandals and loose clothing can make things easier
  • Schedule your mehndi 2‐3 days prior to the wedding to allow the colour to deepen
  • Keep warm as the natural dye in henna requires warmth to be activated ‐ sit in the sun or by a heater
  • After the henna is dry apply a sealant made with sugar and lemon; the sugar helps the pattern stick and the lemon helps to reactivate the henna
  • The area is then carefully wrapped with tissue or gauze and finally covered with a plastic wrap, which keeps everything in place and helps generate humidity, which further enhances the staining power of the henna
  • After 6 hours the paste is gently scraped off with a spoon
  • Avoid getting water on it for 12 hours ‐ if you shower, coat the design with a vegetable based oil and wear gloves if you have to do the washing up
  • Finally, you can further extend the life of your henna design by applying pure cocoa butter, shea butter or any balm with beeswax in it

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