The term Henna refers to a plant, form of temporary body art, and permanent dye for hair and nails. Use of henna is not linked to one particular culture or religion and has been used as a form of decoration for more than five thousand years.
The henna plant (Lawsonia Inermis) grows across northern Africa, the Middle East and India. The leaves are dried and ground into a powder, then mixed into a paste before being applied to the skin or hair.
I mix my own henna paste using lemon juice, essential oils, and sugar. Most designs are one of a kind as they are applied free hand with a hand made plastic cone. The paste is applied and allowed to dry, which can take 10-20 minutes depending on the ambient conditions. For the best stain I recommend that you keep the paste in contact with the skin for 6-8 hours. The depth and longevity of the stain is affected by the length of time the paste has to penetrate the cells of the epidermis.
Once the stain has set the paste is removed and the dyed cells allowed to oxidize. It begins as a light orange stain and over 48 hours develops into a rich burgundy or brown. The stain then slowly fades over the next 7-10 days as the skin exfoliates.
Natural henna stains variants of red and brown, NEVER BLACK! So-called "black henna" doesn't often contain henna at all but does contain high concentrations of PPD (p-Phenylenediamine). Serious contact dermatitis occurs due to use of PPD which can lead to permanent scarring and lifelong sensitivities. Tattoos with PPD as a main ingredient are not permitted in Canada but many destination vacation areas do not have such regulations. I was shocked to see how many Tattoo studios on the LasVegas strip were proudly advertising temporary BLACK henna tattoos.
For more information about henna or the dangers of "black henna" go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henna
Pre-natal Henna is my favorite appointment. The opportunity to adorn an expectant mother is magical. Any time you work on a clients skin you make an energetic connection but with pre-natal work I get to connect with baby as well. Each appointment is as unique as each infant, some sedate if baby is resting and Mom the only one in the room, others challenging if baby is active, it's siblings are involved or if Mom is visiting during a shower or blessingway. No matter the surroundings pre-natal Henna is a relaxing experience with Mom having the opportunity to rest for an hour while being enveloped in the aroma of henna and lavender.
Pre-natal appointments are done in the comfort of your home and generally take an hour depending on design. Design is discussed and pre-planned with Mom to allow for any special imagery to be incorporated.
Occasionally I have the opportunity to assist with a clients personal journey. Applying henna with intention for healing, protection or luck are some examples and I am honored to do so when asked. Henna crowns, fertility blessings and my intuitive henna are some of these blessings.
Most of my art incorporates or is inspired by henna and it all comes from the heart. "Pre-tenna" on river rocks, whimsical mixed media, intuitive spirit paintings, and whatever else catches my fancy! 😄