Friday, April 22, 2016

Black Henna? No such thing! Henna paste on & paste off! The real color of henna tattoo.


I receive so many calls from people wanting black henna. It is surprising to me that after all the public service announcements about the dangers of "black henna" that people are still confused about this topic.  There is no such thing as black henna. th
To the left is a photo of henna paste on the skin.

This paste on the skin can appear to be black henna.

I make fresh henna paste for my clients. This assures you will have the best finished color.  How well you care for your design determines the quality of the finished color.

Keep the paste on for at least 3 hours. The longer the paste stays on the darker your finished color will be. If you will walk in the sun, or at least stay active so that your blood circulates and you are warm, the henna will give a better color.

Also, after you take the paste off, please keep a layer of olive or coconut oil on the design area. This will keep the henna warm, and keep water out of the skin.  Keep your hands out of chlorine water, avoid scrubbing your hands,

If you take good care of your henna tattoo you can have a finished color that looks like this!

This is the color about 24 hours after the paste has been removed.

Henna takes 48 hours to give its darkest stain on the skin. Many clients will sleep in a sock or mitten to help get a dark color.

I offer you a plastic food service glove to help you "sweat" the henna design.

This is an art form that comes from very hot climates - Africa, India and the Middle East. Air conditioning is not common.

In the USA we seem to think that 72 degrees is the ideal temperature...... however 85  - 95 degrees is the best temperature to keep then pores open. If you sweat a bit, this is also good, it keeps the paste moist on your skin.

If you scrape the paste off and do not see color right away, do not be alarmed. Many people have a very light stain at first.

Please: No Lotions, No Hand Sanitizers! No petroleum products on your skin before or after henna. These often chemical products will pull the color away. Natural lotions only.

See you Saturday at Midnight Sun. 12:30??

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Henna Tattoo Tips & Aftercare.


I am very pleased with the results of my 5 minute test of my henna paste. Henna powder harvested 2015 stains very quickly, giving a deep reddish brown on my finger tip with no special care taken at all.

After care.
If you want to get the best henna tattoo possible here are very helpful pointers!
  1. Be sure your hands are clean!
    1.  Do not wear body lotion.
    2. Do not have hand sanitizer on your skin.
    3. Leave your henna paste on at least 3 hours.
    4. Remove your henna design by gently scraping the paste from your skin.
    5. Use olive or coconut oil to remove any excess paste.
    6. Keep a natural oil (not grape seed) on your henna for the first 3 days.
    7. Put oil over your design before taking a shower.
    8. Keep your henna out of water (chlorine in tap water can bleach the color.)
    9. Remember -  heat is good for henna. Walk in the sun, sweat a bit. 
    Henna works by penetrating the layers of the skin. The longer the paste stays on the skin the darker the finished color will be.

    • How long will my henna tattoo last? 
    If you follow the instructions above, you should get very good color because you are taking care to keep the stain in the skin. The complete design should show for at least one week. Henna will then begin to fade as skin cells regenerate. 

    • How long will it take to do a henna tattoo?
    In general a $15 design can be done in 10 minutes or so. The time it takes to apply depends on where you want the henna tattoo, how complex a design you choose, how large a design you choose. 

    If you are on a budget - just tell me how much you want to spend and what style of henna you prefer. I am sure to create something you will enjoy and can easily afford. 

    • What else should I know?
    Henna is for the hands and feet. You will always get your best finished color there. The henna will provide a lighter stain on the arms and legs. I prefer not to do the back nor the upper arm. I will - however you will not get the same deep stain as you would on your hands. 

    I look forward to decorating you this year!! Henna is offered most every Sunday from 12:30 - 5:00 in the lovely ambiance of Midnight Sun, 10055 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL. 32204.

    Saturday, March 26, 2016

    Rainy Day Henna? and it's 75 degrees? Call to see if there is henna today.

    I realize that many people think that the photo on the left is "henna tattoo." 
    It is - the first part of the process. This is a photo of henna paste on the skin. 

    Henna is not black! A henna tattoo begins with with application of paste on the skin. The photo page left is the beginning of a process and not the finished henna tattoo. 

    Henna is a Heat Activated Body Art. 

    This means that is needs to be warm outside for the dye that is in that henna paste to stain your skin. Henna is most often applied in Africa, India and cultures of the Middle East. It is hot there. Few places have air conditioning. 

    A good henna tattoo happens when it is at least 85 degrees, and you are prepared to sweat a little bit. When it is hot, your pores open and the stain can penetrate your skin more deeply. If you are glistening - the paste will not dry up as fast, rather it will stay damp and active. 

    If it is raining hard, that is heavy thunderstorms,  I do not come out to offer henna. Bright, hot, sunny days are best for a sucessful henna tattoo. Hot cloudy days will do, but 90 degrees is a good hot. 75 degrees is not hot. I now have a very good crop of henna that makes a paste that leave a good stain if left on only 5 minutes (on the palm) on a 75 degree day. 

     Rainy days make it more likely the henna paste you see above will get wet. Water ruins the process. In fact, putting oil on your skin after the paste comes off help you get a good henna tattoo. 

    If you look at the second picture- you will see good henna tattoo. The black paste on the skin and the finished henna 48 hours later (the reddish brown colored stain) on the right. 

    This dark color is a quality color. This is what henna is all about. This kind of color takes fresh powder, a good paste, and client who is willing to take care of their process and a bright, bright, sunshiny  day! 

    I hope this helps all who are waiting for henna. The reddish color you see is what we are waiting for. 

    All too often I hear people say "henna doesn't work on me." If you have poor circulation, then you may not get as dark a stain as a young, healthy person. 

    However, if you follow the instruction on your after care sheet, and wait with me for the weather to heat up just a bit more.... we will make some art! 

    I look forward to the start of henna season!! 


    Wednesday, April 08, 2015

    White Henna Tattoo - Is not Henna Tattoo - It is Gilding.

    I had a phone call today from someone asking me if I did "white" henna tattoo. I appreciate that many people do not understand what henna tattoo is, and so they can be misled.

    Henna tattoo is made from the crushed leaves of the henna plant - you can refer to the Wikipedia notes on henna for a deeper understanding. True henna tattoo will always be a shade of reddish brown, red, brown, perhaps a pale orange if the powder is very old.
    By definition, you cannot have "white henna." However you can have "gilding." Gilding is a process that uses a henna cone, usually a hair gel of some kind, and a glitter powder. The gilding can be any number of colors - white, blue, green, basically any color of body glitter can be used to make the paste. Again, here is a link to buy the ingredients you need to make a white tattoo.

    The gel paste may be applied using a cone - which is a similar method to henna tattoo - however it is not henna tattoo, it is white gilding and will last as long as you do not wash the gilding off. Perhaps people are using a fixative to keep that gilding on a bit longer, or mixing some new ingredient into the paste to make it last longer.

    It is traditional to gild a finished henna tattoo so that the bride can have her authentic henna tattoo embellished to match her outfits. There are photos of gilded henna  in a variety of colors, including white on my website. Just click the link above to see examples.

    As a gilded design is a short lived design in general, and as there has not been much demand for gilding, I no longer offer it on a regular basis. If you would like white guiding, in a traditional henna pattern, I am happy to oblige.

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Fresh henna paste is ready - an introduction to the process of making a good paste.

    Henna paste that gives the deepest, longest lasting color, takes me 48 hours to prepare. It is possible to get a good paste in 24 hours, but the best paste, in my humble opinion, is given time and temperature for the henna leaves to release their dye.

    On Wednesday morning I began the process by melting two "cubes" of prepared henna tea (I learned to mix a tea over 10 years ago, and have been adjusting it ever since,) adding some lemon juice, and after letting that cool, I added three henna powders to the liquid.

    It is important for me to select a good texture for the paste on the first day. I find it better to make a bit thicker paste on the first day, that way I can adjust it with essential oils and other liquids to make it the consistency that I prefer to work with on day two.

    After mixing the tea, lemon, powder and a touch of cajeput oil on day one, I put this in a stainless steel bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, but that wrap in a plastic bag, and put that on the porch to cure in the sun.

    The warm summer sun on the porch helps the henna to release the dye. On the morning of the second day, I check to see if the dye has been released. This can be determined by just looking at the paste in the bowl. The past will be darker and you may see a reddish liquid at the bottom of the bowl.

    On the second day I add a combination of essential oils ( called "terping") to help the paste continue to release the darkest dye, as well, to make the paste into a workable texture. I have learned over the years that a more liquid paste is easier to apply, stays wet on the skin longer, and gives a darker color.

    I now use about 8 oils in the blend, although not all the oils each time. Sometimes I mix the batch with fewer. Oils that I have use are:

    • clove
    • cajeput
    • basil
    • neroli
    • naioli
    • cardamom
    • tea tree
    • geranium
    • lavender
    You can visit other sites to see lists of other oils. I am satisfied with the nice reds I am able to get on the back of the hand using this method. 

    If you have a look at the video below, you will see a nice, fluid paste that goes on well. I like to use this viscosity myself. I hope you find this post helpful. 

    You may see colors of the results of this recipe on my FaceBook page.