Henna tattoos have been a part of several cultures for hundreds of years and it seems that this is a tradition that has surpassed time. Henna is used in temporary body art because of it's natural, non-chemical skin staining properties. Find out how henna works so you can adorn different temporary designs on your gorgeous body.
A practice with an ancient background, henna tattoos have been traced back to the Bronze age when women used henna to create beautiful designs on their body. The designs were meant to emphasize their beauty, and it seems that this tradition has remained a part of certain cultures like India and countries from the Middle East.
What is henna?
Henna or in Latin term “Lawsonia inermis” is a flowering plant which grows in certain regions from Africa and southern Asia. Henna contains molecules that are known for their skin staining properties. The dye produced by henna is known under the name of lawsone and it is an all natural dye which doesn't contain chemicals. The dye adheres to the protein found in the skin, hair and nails, this is why it has been used since ancient times for dying. Henna is a temporary dye, as it only colors the surface of the skin, fading in time. Henna tattoos are preferred by most women as it creates temporary body art which fades and leaves the opportunity for other designs to be created without causing skin trauma or permanent effects.
How does henna work?
Henna tattoos are created using a henna paste which is layered on the skin in the desired design. Because fresh henna leaves cannot stain the skin, dried crushed leaved are used to create the paste. The dried leaves are mixed with a mildly acidic liquid like, lemon juice or strong essence tea which help release the dye found in the henna leaves. The mildly acidic substance also helps the dye stain the surface of the skin better, leaving a visible mark on the skin. After the henna is mixed with the mildly acidic substance it is left to sit for up to 12 hours. This will ensure the dye will have the right amount of power to stain the skin. After the required resting time the henna is applied in the desired shape, and allowed to penetrate the skin for several minutes.
The longer the henna is allowed to remain on the skin the better the result will be as the lawsone will migrate until the skin absorbs all it can. A few hours should be sufficient for the skin to absorb the lawsone found in the henna paste. The henna will start to gradually dry once it has been applied on the skin so after a few hours it will start to scab. The henna can be easily removed using the fingers, and after removal the skin will show a red orange pigmentation given by the lawsone found in the henna paste.
The pigmentation will darken usually in a few days until it reached a dark red-brownish pigmentation. After the henna reaches it's top pigmentation, it will gradually start to fade. The whole process can take up to two weeks until the henna is completely removed.
Is henna harmful for the skin?
Henna in it's natural state is not at all harmful for the skin as it is a natural product. It is crucial to understand that premixed henna can be mixed with other ingredients which are considered to be unhealthy for the skin. This is why it is best to create your own mix, to avoid purchasing altered henna compounds. The henna powder should have a green coloration, other colors of henna powder are not recommended as they can be mixes which can cause certain allergic effects.
What designs can be created with henna?
Henna can be used to create any designs one desires from intricate and sophisticated oversized designs to simple small designs which are meant to have a subtle effect. The size and the sophistication is determined by the wearer. With a little bit of skill and talent gorgeous designs can be created to enchant and pleasure the eyes. Just like for any body art, tattoo care is necessary to prevent accelerating the fading process. Skin exfoliators and harsh cleaners can accelerate the fading of the henna tattoo, and I bet everyone would like to prolong the henna tattoo acquired.
Tags: henna, henna tattoos, henna art, henna designs, body art, ancient tatoos, temporary tattoos, temporary body art, body art, henna painting
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