Mehndi or Henna designs, has been a part of Indian and Arabic cultures since times immemorial. The paste of Henna leaves is used to draw beautiful, intricate designs on the bodies of women, sometimes men. It is an essential part of wedding rituals. Often the groom’s name or initials are drawn, cleverly hidden within the pattern. Mehndi is a symbol of good energy, luck and sensuality.
In India, it is commonly believed that shade of Mehndi on the bride’s palm is a reflection of her husband’s love for her. The darker the shade of the Mehndi is, the more will her husband love her. As a result, there is a demand for darker shades of Mehndi. This has led to the use of artificial dyes and pigments. These pigments often contain chemicals which might be harmful to the skin. It can lead to severe allergy and blistering. Hence, one should avoid buying ready-made cones as they usually contain chemicals. It is best to prepare the Henna paste at home.
There are various natural methods to get a darker color of Mehndi.
1) Apply lemon and sugar syrup on the freshly dried Mehndi
A syrup made of sugar and lemon does not help directly in increasing the color of the Mehndi, but it helps to keep the Mehndi on the skin for a longer period. It keeps the henna paste wet and prevents it from cracking. Thus, it stays longer on the skin and the chance of getting a darker color is higher. Generally, Indian women apply Mehndi at night and let it work its magic overnight. This gives a richer, darker color when removed the next morning.
2) Scrape it off to remove
After keeping the Mehndi on for at least 12 hours, it is advisable to scrape it off using a spoon or a blunt spatula. It will darken over the next few hours. Rub both hands together for faster removal. Any contact with water will lighten the color and hence it is better to not wash the Mehndi off. Less contact with water ensures not only a darker shade, but also a longer lasting Mehndi.
3) Apply pain balms
While going to bed, applying pain balms like Vicks, Amrutanjan balm, etc., helps to darken the color overnight. One can also apply balm before applying the Mehndi for a better result.
4) Warm hands up:
Warmer body temperature gives a richer colour to the Mehendi. One can rub their hands together or warm them up over fire or gas stove. One can also heat a pan and put some cloves or granular clove powder in it and take the vapor on the hands.
5) Finally, apply oils or Shea butter paste
After removing the Mehndi paste, apply oil. It can be a hair oil, body oil or even cooking oil. This will lead to oxidation and give a dark color. At first it would be orange in color, which would gradually turn to maroon and then finally to maroon brown color and even dark brown-black, which is the desirable color.
Note: Applying soaps and shampoos after the Mehndi reduces the chances of getting a darker color. Therefore, brides are advised to not wet their hands unnecessarily or use surfactants after applying the Henna paste, so that they can get a better shade of Mehndi.
Ready to use Mehndi cones promise a good, dark color, but at the cost of safety. These often contain chemicals unsuitable for application on human skin. One must be extremely careful while buying Mehndi powder as well. Read the label carefully to check the list of ingredients the pack contains.
There are a number of healing and therapeutic benefits of Henna. It has antiseptic and cooling properties. It relieves stress and soothes the mind and hence, its widespread use in weddings. Due to its antiseptic property, it is believed to protect the couple from viral diseases. Henna is also extremely useful in aroma therapy. It improves blood circulation and calms. It also helps in healing minor accidental cuts or burns that can happen during the wedding rituals. So now go ahead and select some good Bridal Mehndi Designs for the bride and beautiful Mehndi Designs for her friends and enjoy the wedding.