Henna, when mixed with assorted additives, provides a rich color to both hands and hair. Know the art of making and applying mehndi by surfing through the recipe for preparing henna paste, given here.
Henna Paste Recipe
The dark brown color of henna is not unfamiliar to anyone. The rich, dark aromatic color that this natural coloring powder, when mixed with water and other additives, provides has a long history to its credit. Largely used in the South Asian and North African countries, henna is used to color hands, feet, hair, and of late, to create sensual body art on other parts of the body, like navel, legs, neck, and back. Prepared from the crushed leaves and twigs of the henna plant, henna, or mehndi as it’s known commonly, leaves a color ranging from orange to red to dark maroon, which stays on for 4-5 days and fades gradually within 1-2 weeks. It makes a great alternative for people who wish to create beautiful designs on their body without getting a permanent tattoo engraved. Also, when used in the hair, it makes the hair healthy, thicker, and shinier, and provides protection against the harmful effects of the sun. While you spend scores of money at the parlor to get your hair colored and hands decorated with intricate designs, you can prepare henna paste at home as well, with a simple recipe. Read on to know how to make henna or mehndi paste.
Making Mehndi Paste for Hands
- ¼ cup (20 g) fresh Henna Powder
- ¼ cup (60 ml) plus additional Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed and strained to remove pulp and seeds)
- 1½ tsp Sugar
- 1½ tsp Lavender, Tea Tree, Cajeput or Revensara Essential Oil
How to Make
- Using a fine mesh cloth or sifter, sift the henna powder to get rid of chunks and impurities that can cause blockage while applying mehndi to your hands.
- Transfer the sifted henna powder to a large mixing bowl.
- Pour lemon juice and mix thoroughly using a whisk, until all the lumps have been cleared and you get a mashed potato consistency.
- Add in sugar and essential oil. Stir well to obtain a silky texture, similar to the smoothness of latex paint.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it at room temperature for 24 hours. Letting the henna paste rest will help in drawing out the dye from it.
- Once the dye has been released, a separate brownish layer will form on the surface of the henna paste. To check the difference between the brown surface and the green henna paste beneath, you can pull off some of the surface layer with a spoon.
- Once the henna paste forms a brownish layer, your henna paste is ready for use.
- Separate the brownish layer with a spoon and discard.
- While whisking the henna paste, add more lemon juice, ¼ tsp at a time, until you get a flowing consistency, similar to that of yogurt. Make sure that you do not add too much of lemon juice, which will make the paste too thin and runny.
- Carefully pour the henna paste into a plastic henna cone or baggie.
- Give the top of the henna cone 1 or 2 twists and secure it tightly with a rubber band.
- Roll the rubber band downwards towards the henna, till the henna touches the tip of the cone and the base of the rubber band. This will pack the henna paste firmly, ensuring that the henna flows out smoothly.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, and wipe them dry.
- Apply some rubbing alcohol using cotton ball. Create your own design on your hand by applying gentle pressure on the cone.
- Allow the henna to lightly dry and apply one light coating of spray gel.
- When the gel has dried, apply another coating of spray gel.
- Wrap the design with gauze and keep it protected for at least 12 hours or overnight.
- Unwrap the design and coat it with wax lip balm, coconut oil or olive oil.
- Gently scrape off design with a blunt knife.
Making Mehndi Paste for Hair
- 100-300 g Henna (depending upon the length of your hair)
- Lemon Juice or other Acidic Fruit Juice
- Natural Plant Powder (indigo, amla, or cassia obtava)
- Spices or Essential Oils (such as ginger, cinnamon, tea tree, lavender, etc.; optional)
- Humectant or Moisturizer (such as conditioner, egg, or olive oil; optional)
How to Make
- For medium length hair up to shoulder blades, you can use 100 g of natural henna. If you have shorter hair, use 50-100 g, or if you have longer hair, use 200 g. Similarly, you can buy natural plant powder to obtain the desired color. Henna powder, when mixed with indigo, gives brown color; when mixed with amla gives auburn color and adds curls and shine; and when mixed with cassia obtava provides gloss and sheen to the hair.
- Place henna powder in a large ceramic or stainless steel bowl.
- Pour in some acidic liquid, a few drops of essential oil, and a moisturizer in the henna powder. Give it a gentle stir.
- Add water, a little at a time, mixing continuously with a whisk to remove all lumps and achieve a muddy consistency. Make sure that the mixture is as thick as mashed potatoes, running from the spoon nicely; however, it shouldn’t be runny.
- Cover the henna mixture with plastic wrap and store it in a warm place for several hours or overnight.
- You will know that the dye has oxidized and is ready to use by judging its color. The henna paste should have taken a dark brown color compared to the original green color. The paste will develop a dark brown skin on the top with the green color beneath.
- Apply henna to your hair, starting from the roots and covering the ends and hairline adequately.
- Pile your hair on top of your head, pulling all the hair back from the forehead. Cover your head with plastic wrap or old towel.
- Allow the henna to sit in your hair for about 2-4 hours, or even longer, and rinse it off with water. If you desire, you can apply shampoo and conditioner as well.
- Air dry your hair and avoid washing or wetting it for the next 24-48 hours.
Beautify your hands by applying a creative design on your hand or nourish your hair with the health and color of henna – the choice is yours! Good luck and happy henna’ing!!