Henna 101 by Elizabeth Magill

What is Henna?
Henna (Lawsonia inermis), is a plant that has been used for thousands of years as a safe and beautiful form of body art. The henna plant is a flowering, shrubby tree that is found in hot, arid environments. The art of applying henna is often referred to as mehndi. This ancient art is believed to have originated in Egypt, India and Morocco.

The henna plant needs an arid, hot environment to thrive and grow. It is naturally occurring in Northern Africa, the Middle East, and India. Optimal growing conditions must supply constant heat and low moisture. It is not able to grow in our local conditions due to the relatively low temperatures in the evening and winter months.

Henna leaves contain Lawsone, a dye that stains the skin a reddish-brown color. The leaves of the plant are dried, powdered, made into a paste then applied to the skin. Once the paste has been left on the skin for several hours, it creates a stain that can last between 1 to 3 weeks. Natural, unadulterated henna is very safe and can be applied on those with the most sensitive of skin. Henna can be applied on patients undergoing chemotherapy, expecting mothers, allergy sufferers and those with eczema and other sensitive skin disorders.

Mehndi has a rich history full of ancient traditions that are still celebrated today. Among these is the very prominent tradition of bridal henna (Mehndi Ceremony). Elaborate henna designs are applied to the hands, forearms and feet of the bride-to-be before her wedding. These designs often contain the grooms name, creating a fun way for the couple to bond while he searches for it.

Belly blessings are another form of popular henna traditions. Henna is applied on the belly while the mother is pregnant to bless the birth, mother and child. These designs often contain traditional design elements and symbolic elements that represent the parents and other siblings.

Henna crowns are a more modern trend and have become very popular in women that have lost their hair from medical conditions such as Alopecia or chemotherapy. These designs vary widely and can contain traditional design motifs or elements that are symbolic to the wearer. Henna crowns are often donated to these patients by professional henna artists.

Applying henna is a versatile, unique form of art. While traditions may vary across the world, henna can be applied almost anywhere for any reason. More and more people are interested in receiving henna before a festival or concert, during parties, or as a way to treat themselves or a loved one.

How is henna paste made?

Elizabeth Magill
ICHNA Certified Henna Artist
Evergreen Henna evergreen.henna@gmail.com


Private appointments start at $55. BOOK WITH ELIZABETH

You can also drop-in to Lotus between noon and 3 pm on April 21, 2019 for $10-$40. Learn More

My name is Elizabeth and I am the owner/creator of Evergreen Henna.  I first discovered henna at the age of 15.  I have always been a lover of all things body art, so when I discovered my first henna cone in a clothing shop, I immediately went to work hennaing myself and my friends.  Henna has grown to be one of my greatest passions.  I spend my free time researching henna, creating unique designs, and hennaing my friends, family, and referrals.  Having very sensitive skin myself, making my own henna paste with the safest, highest quality ingredients is a priority for me.  I am excited to finally turn my eight- year hobby into a business.  I look forward to the opportunity to meet new people and to create henna designs to fit each person’s individual style.  When not doing henna, I enjoy playing video games, yoga, coffee, and tea!