Indian wedding tips with Neeta Desai Sharma who shares expert advice for getting the best dark tones from your henna or mehndi application. If you have heard the myth that your Mehendi has to be done a day before your event well think again, it is best to get it done 2-3 days before.
Desai explains that Henna or Mehendi reaches its peak colour approximately 48 hours after it has been removed. She also encourages you to check with the artist if the henna paste is naturally mixed or are they store-bought henna cones.
“Pre-made cones are usually full of chemicals and the colour can be dicey. If the artist is mixing their own Mehendi please make sure you follow only their instructions as they know what works best to achieve optimal stain.”
Here are more expert advice for your Mehendi ceremony that you should consider,
- Bridal Mehendi paste has to be on for a minimum of 6 hours. If I do the bride’s Mehendi in the evening, I ask her to keep it on all night. If it is done during the day, the bride can take it off at night.
- A lemon-sugar solution needs to be applied 2-3 times. If this is overdone, it can lead to killing the Mehendi stain sometimes. If the mehndi is done in the evening I ask the bride before she goes to sleep to wrap the design in toilet paper like a mummy.
- Old school belief is that Mehendi should be wrapped in plastic bags. This is a myth. With plastic wrapped around the hands and feet, there is no air circulation and this releases a lot of moisture which can ruin the design. Toilet paper lets the air circulate and it also makes the bride feel secure that the design is not going to fall all over the sheets.
- If the bride gets cold easily it is advisable for her to sit in a warm area to get her Mehendi done. Mehendi brings down the body temperature and allows for a comfortable atmosphere. The warmth helps the Mehendi dry faster too and there are fewer chances of accidents happening. The more heat you give your Mehendi the darker it gets.
- When the Mehendi is removed it should not be washed but scraped off. Once scraped off, put some oil (preferably mustard for the heat factor) and massage it gently over the design. This will remove all the stickiness of the lemon sugar. You can wipe this off with a paper towel.
- Keep the Mehendi away from water for a minimum of 2-3 hours after it has scraped off.
- Palms get the darkest in comparison to arms and feet.
- If the Mehendi quality is not good, then even with all the instructions stated above, your Mehendi will not get optimum color.
- For a wonderful design and stain, it is always good to hire a reputable artist who mixes their own Mehendi and leads you through a thorough process of aftercare.
Dangers of using poor grade henna
“One of the biggest malpractices involved in bridal Mehndi designing is artists using store-bought cones. They are full of chemicals and often cause reactions that sometimes have proved to be even fatal. Another one is where artists try to pass on other artists’ work as their own and then don’t deliver the desired result. I make my own henna using premium products. With designs, I always direct my brides to my Instagram where all designs are my own”.
That’s not all of it. There’s a horrendous trend of “Black Henna” swaying naive brides with the misconception that it’s an ancient art. The reality is that it’s such a hazardous substance that it has been banned in a number of countries.
Neeta informs, “Everything about the henna I and many other henna artists do is natural. It’s from a natural plant and henna actually has a lot of healing properties to it. Black henna is dangerous. It can cause kidney and liver damage, poisoning and, in extreme cases, people have died from it.”
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Source inputs: Banu Designs | Instagram