Guest article by Akanksha Mitesh Gaur
Mehndi / Henna in Indian tradition is typically applied during special Indian weddings and festivals like Karva Chauth, Vat Purnima, Diwali, Bhai Dooj and Teej. During festivals, many women have henna applied to their hands and feet and sometimes on the back of their shoulders too, as men have it applied on their arms, legs, back, and chest. For women, it is usually drawn on the palm, back of the hand and on feet, where the design will be clearest due to contrast with the lighter skin on these surfaces, which naturally contain less of the pigment melanin.
History and Significance:
Henna was originally used as a form of decoration mainly for Hindu brides. Muslims of Indian subcontinent also apply Mehndi during their festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.For over five thousand years, henna has served as a symbol of good luck, health and sensuality in the Arab world. The plant has been associated with positive vibes. Generations of women have used a paste made primarily of dried ground henna leaves to cover their hands and feet with designs ranging from simple shapes to intricate geometric patterns designed to ward off evil, promote fertility and attract good energy.
Henna as a beauty product:
Mehndi / henna has been an important part of Ayurvedic herbs since traditional times. One of the best known beauty aids, Henna is a wonder product for the hair.
The greatest benefit of Henna is that, it’s an excellent conditioner for the hair. Endowed with protective and restorative powers henna has the ability to bring back health to damaged hair and restore the natural acid-alkaline balance to the scalp.
It works as an anti-dandruff and treats the scalp well. Henna is naturally antifungal and antibacterial and the regular use of henna has helped with issues of dandruff and scaly scabby scalp. People in India still use Henna to color their hair.
Basic Henna Hair pack
- Good and Pure quality Herbal Henna( free of chemicals)
- 1/2 Lime Juice Or Vinegar Or 3 tbsp Curd ( I always use curd avoid lime and vinegar)
- 1 egg white (optional)
- 1 cup Beetroot Juice (optional..if you want Burgundy color)
- Mix Herbal Powder(1tbsp Manjistha Powder+1 tbsp Bhringraj + 3 tbsp Amla Powder + 1 tbsp Shikakai Powder
- 2tbps Tbps tea powder
Mix all ingredients together and soak it overnight. Apply it next morning to your hair for at least two hours. Shampoo as regular.
Henna tattoos are gaining popularity in western world too. One can try this on any part of body – face, back, hands, arms, tummy, feet etc. They are safe and temporary. usually the color starts fading away in a week. It also depends on how much it gets in contact with water.
About the guest:
Akanksha is a professional henna artist from Denver. She is a regular at all the Indian wedding events organized in Denver. To know more about her work, please check her Facebook page.
My sincere thanks to her for sharing her art here on my blog.
This article is a part of Ethnic Series which I’m doing on my blog.