Henna, the glorious dye that has been used for 6000 years (or so) for hair and skin is still alive and well in Egypt!
WHAT IS HENNA?
Henna is a flowering plant: a tall shrub (or a short tree!) with the proud formal name of “Lawsonia”. This plant is found naturally in:
- North Africa
- West and South Asia
- and North Australia The leaves are dried and pounded into a powder and the mixed with a mild acid (like lemon juice) into a paste. After it is left to stand for a few hours, it can be used to stain skin, hair, fingernails and fabrics.
HOW TO APPLY HENNA:
There are a variety of tools that can and have been used:
- a stick
- a twig
- a syringe
- a cone
The longer it is left, the darker it becomes and the longer it lasts. It is best applied on the hands and feet, as here the skin is thin and will look darker and last longer
Henna is never black in its natural form! It has a brown-reddish color. Sometimes different chemicals are added to the henna to turn it black, but these can be harmful and should be avoided.
WHEN IS HENNA USED:
Henna is generally applied on “happy days”:
- and when good luck is needed
MEN AND WOMEN?
Henna is most often used for Brides, as the patterns and decorated hands and feet are thought to be very alluring for the Groom! However, Muslim men often use henna in their beards and hair (when they are going grey). This is considered a commendable tradition in Islam.
HOW LONG DOES A HENNA TATOO LAST?
This is only temporary, and depends where it was put, how long you left it to dry, and how often that area is exfoliated. In general it will last between 1-2 weeks at most.