HENNA DESIGNS (MEHNDI)
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HENNA MAKES BEAUTIFUL TEMPORARY TATTOOS, WHICH ARE EASY AND INEXPENSIVE TO DO AT HOME. FIND OUT MORE TODAY.
Henna (Mehndi), also a centuries-old tradition in India, is used to create intricate hand art designs. The paste of a ground plant, naturally in a reddish-brown dye, is used to create temporary ìtattoosî which last between 1-3 weeks. In India, henna has traditionally been used on women before special occassions, holidays, and weddings. In addition to using henna on the body (usually hands and feet), henna has also been used on the hair to color gray hairs to a reddish-brown, and to deeply condition non-gray hairs. It's an excellent alternate for pregnant women who would like to maintain their appearance, but cannot use the harsh chemicals found in mainstream hair coloring kits.
Turmeric is a yellow spice used in much of Indian cooking. It has also been used as a Ayurvedic beauty agent. Turmeric not only has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, but also corrects hyperpigmentation and softens the skin. For these reasons, many Indian brides use a turmeric treatment to prepare for their wedding day - it leaves skin even-toned, shiny, soft, and supple.
Madonna, Sting, and Demi Moore have recently ìdiscoveredî what Hindu brides have known for centuries: henna paste decorates the body with temporary tattoos. Usually applied to the hands and feet, the body becomes a canvas for patterns of scrolls, vines, or flowers that last for a few weeks.
Henna paste, or mendhi, takes from a few minutes to a few hours to apply depending upon the bodily location and the desired detail of the design. After the drawing with cones or syringes is finished, the paste dries to allow the color to become absorbed by the skin. While this takes only 10-15 minutes, the paste should be left on the skin for another 6 hours to achieve the most lasting affect. A sugar and lemon mixture dabbed on the dried mendhi deepens the final color. When fully dry, the crust falls off on its own. Gentle toweling removes any last bits. The tattoo lasts longer with moisture but gradually lightens through natural exfoliation of the skin. Harsh soaps, chlorine and commercial exfoliation speeds the fading of the design.
Celebrations, such as childbirth and birthdays, may include mehndi, but it is Indian brides who traditionally display the most elaborate designs covering their feet and hands. Applying the paste is a celebratory pre-wedding ritual to bring love and good fortune to the couple but it has neither religious nor sacred meaning. Occasionally brides choose to mendhi much of their body and include the name of their groom amongst the designs. It is his right and duty to carefully search for it on the wedding night.
In addition to being used to apply temporary tattoos, henna has been used to color wool, silk, animal skins and menís beards. Mummies dating to 1200 B.C. show evidence of henna use on hair and nails of pharaohs. Today the deep-colored paste is used by women to give luster to their hair as well as hide the grey.
When an Indian woman asks her husband if he has mendhi on his hands, it doesnít mean she really thinks he is decorated with reddish-brown body art below his wrists. She is referring to her bridal days when she wasnít expected to work while the mendhi could still be seen and is asking if this is also HIS reason for laziness.
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