So, what's henna?
Henna is a reddish-brown dye made from the powdered leaves of a henna tree. When you're getting a "henna tattoo", it's the process of applying that dye to the skin to produce what appears to be a tattoo-like stain.
What's the origin of henna?
For the last 6,000 years, give or take, Eastern countries have been using henna for all kinds of things. The Egyptians discovered that it could be used to help chill out in the summers because of its' natural cooling properties. Many cultures began to use henna medicinally to treat ailments of the skin and then as a form of decoration. In India for example, a woman soon to be wed will traditionally be painted with henna all the way down both of her arms before she becomes a bride. In Morocco, it is common for pregnant women to receive henna as a symbolic blessing on her and her child. There are many ways that different countries and communities use henna!
Is henna safe?
All natural henna, when mixed with high quality essential oils, is considered generally safe for use by everyone. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should ask for a henna blend consisting of only lavender which has been deemed the safest for that specific use. Those who experience an allergy usually do so to the additives being mixed with henna- such as the lemon juice used to help the henna adhere to your skin. Someone who is allergic to citrus or has a skin condition shouldn't get henna, just to be on the safe side... although adverse reactions are rare. If you are in doubt, I can easily provide you with a list of ingredients to share with your medical professional to help you decide.
Speaking of additives, the time when it is indeed not safe to use henna is when PPD is added. The way you know this is if anyone tries to use black henna on you. It's only black because they have added unnatural dyes to it and that is when you run far, far away and never look back. Three ways to tell if henna might be black if you can't tell just by color:
1. It smells really horrible, like chemicals.
2. It's being administered through a cone that has a bar code. There are plenty of suppliers who make pre-made cones for sale with natural henna but these super extra large cones are factory made with extra chemicals for preservation that are no bueno.
3. The artist tells you it can stay on your skin and give you a great stain in any time under 2 hours. Natural henna takes at least 2 hours to set at a minimum.
All that being said, a respectable henna artist won't touch black henna with a ten foot pole. the only exception to this is when an artist uses body paint called "jagua." It's like a liquid temporary tattoo, and should not be mistaken for either natural henna or black henna.
What does Hello Henna use for henna then?
I use supplies purchased from reputable suppliers only. A standard batch of my henna paste will include finely sifted natural henna powder,water, lemon juice, sugar, and essential oils. I use a variety of the following essential oils on a normal basis... Melaleuca Cajeputi, Wild Orange, and Lemongrass being my signature blend. It smells heavenly and leaves a gorgeous stain.
Where can henna be applied?
I'm happy to apply your tattoo anywhere on you that wouldn't be covered by your average swimsuit. Although, you should know that henna shows up the darkest and lasts the longest on your hands and feet. These areas are where your body has the best circulation and body heat, two elements that directly affect how dark your stain will become.
What is the process of receiving henna like?
In one word: relaxing. Receiving henna is completely painless as it is just an application of paste being applied to the top of your skin. It's perfect specifically on warm days because it will feel “cool” and because you will also be able to show it off a ton. All you need to receive a henna tattoo is show up at the HH location with clean skin, sign a brief liability waiver that all henna artists use (it's a community standard), the ability to hang out while you get your artwork done, have the patience to let it dry for a few hours while you go about the rest of your day. You're tattoo will be sealed with lemon and sugar so you can just let it flake off naturally.
How long does a henna tattoo last?
Anywhere from 1-3 weeks. It's a dark brown stain but will go through various stages of red and light brown throughout the darkening and lightening process. Where you get the tattoo and how often you expose it to water or clothing can also affect the length of the stain. You can't easily wash it off once it sets.
Can I bring my kids with me to my henna session?
The short is answer is yes! However, henna is usually designed to be a tranquil, relaxing experience... like something you would expect in a massage or facial. I do require that all kiddos who come for the visit remain in the tattoo room as it is located within a quiet yoga studio with sessions running daily. They are welcome to come, so it's completely up to you.
Speaking of kids, how old does one have to be to get a henna tattoo from you?
5 and over with signed parental consent and ongoing presence.
13 and over with signed parental consent + verbal consent during drop off.
16 with signed parental consent.
How much do you charge for henna services?
No one loves a good deal more than yours truly. That's why I think everyone should be able to get a high quality piece of artwork without having to hijack the sangria budget! I have a price list with current rates that is below the average for most henna artists... so everyone can get something they love. I charge an hourly rate, so when you request a session, I'll let you know upfront what the cost will be before we book.
How far out do I need to book my appointment?
I typically needs at least one day notice for sessions except for when open sessions are posted online as available.
How do I contact YOU?
By clicking Contact Me above, through the Hello Henna Facebook page, or by calling 850-221-6016.