We all know that the darker your mehndi design, the more your husband will love you, but how can we obtain that coveted color? Here are our top tips for darker mehndi designs:
1. Use high quality henna
In most cases the light henna comes from using poor quality or old paste. Make sure your henna artist uses high quality fresh ingredients and you are on your way to the darkest henna possible.
You might want to buy the henna from a reputable source that offers high quality products.
2. Triple Sift Henna
By triple sifting the henna powder you ensure you reduce the probability of having lumps or dry spots in the paste.
3. Use Sugar in this Dark Henna Recipe
Use the following recipe to obtain a dark paste
- Henna 100g
- Sugar 8 tsp
- Eucalyptus essential oil 15ml
- rose water, blossom water or distilled water
4. Use a Jagua-Henna Blend Paste
Jagua is another natural dye that darkens the patterns further and we highly recommend that you add it to the mix when you prepare the paste.
5. Avoid Using Metal When You Mix the Paste
Make sure you use only wood and plastic spoons to mix henna. Metal will change the paste chemistry.
6. Do a 5 Minute Dye Release Test
Apply the henna on your palm and leave it for 5 minutes. The mark should be bright orange, a sign that if you leave it for 12+ hours you will obtain a very dark henna. Over 48 hours the paste stain will become black mahogany or a dark brown.
7. Use only Rose, Blossom, Rain, Distilled or Purified Water to Make Mehndi Paste
Regardless of the area you live in, chances are the tap water contains chlorine. The higher the concentration of chlorine in the water, the brighter the henna. To play safe, use rain, distiller or purified water to prepare the henna paste.
If you have to use tap water, please boil it and/or leave it in a bowl for at least 24 hours so that the chlorine can evaporate.
8. Avoid Henna That Contains Preservatives
Many manufacturers add preservatives to increase the shelf life of their henna pastes. Unfortunately, that alters the chemistry of the paste. To create dark mehndi designs you will need fresh henna.
9. Remove Dead Skin Cells
Using a towel, or exfoliating gloves, scrub your hands thoroughly to exfoliate dead skin cells. That will help you avoid whiter patches.
10. Make Sure Your Skin is Clean and Do Not Use Lotions or Oils
It is proven that an oily skin is not conducive to dark mehndi designs. That is why henna is rarely applied on women’s face. In antiquity, women dyed their lips (and sometimes their teeth) with henna, but the face skin contains sebaceous glands that makes the skin oily so the designs are never applied onto face.
Clean thoroughly your hands and feet and you will enjoy a beautiful looking henna.
11. Thoroughly Wash Your Hands and Feet With Soap Before Applying Henna
Oil does not allow the henna to bind to the skin and the greasy spots will look brighter. As such, make sure you wash your hands and feet thoroughly before applying henna.
12. Use Alcohol to Remove Oils From Your Hands and Feet
Before applying the paste, use a towel and rubbing alcohol to remove the oils from your hands and feet.
13. Apply it on Your Palms and Feet
Because your hand and feet have a thick skin and few sebaceous glands the mehndi designs are darker.
14. If Your Skin is Very Dark, use White Henna
Henna has been used successfuly for thousands of years by people with dark skin. Alternatively, you might want to use white hanna. White henna will dissapear after one day as any other body paint.
15. Freeze the Paste
if you don’t use the paste immediately, please freeze it as this is a natural product and it degrades over time, especially in warmer climates. By freezing it, you can increase its life for many months.
Henna is a natural substance that will degrade if left at room temperature, so the best fill the henna cones and freeze them.
16. Use a Sugar and Lemon Sealant
If you boil a cup of lukewarm water, add three teaspoons of powder sugar and squeeze two lemons, then mix the solution thoroughly. Use a mister to spray the liquid on your hands and feet. Alternatively, tap cotton balls on the design. The acid helps make the imprint darker.
It is very important to ensure the henna has dried before applying the sugar and lemon solution. If you are not patient, the design will smear.
17. Use this Sugar Lemon Recipe
Use a tablespoon of lemon juice (freshly squeezed or in bottles) and two teaspoons of powdered sugar.
18. Microwave the Sugar Lemon Sealant
It is very important to mix the lemon and sugar so that the sugar is fully dissolved. The heating time should not excede 15 seconds. Once you remove the sealant, stir it to eliminate any sugar lumps/granules.
19. Ensure the Paste in the Design is Dry
You need to make sure the paste is dry and not soft to the touch, especially in the areas where a thicker layer was applied.
20. Apply the Sugar Lemon Sealant With a Cotton Pad and Remove Excess
Once the design is dry, apply the sealant using a cotton pad (used to remove makeup) and make sure you remove any excess solution as that would damage the design or it sill stain the pattern. Dab the cotton onto the drawing.
21. Cloves Steam Will Further Darken the Pattern
Once you apply the sugar solution and it is dry, boil about 40 cloves in water and place your hand above the pan so that the steam surrounds the design for about a minute, leave it to cool for a minute and steam it again. Make sure you don’t overdo it and keep a safe distance between the hands and the pan.
22. Cloves Heat Also Helps
Heat about 40 cloves and hold your hand above the pan. Once again, make sure you don’t get burned!
23. Use a Blow Dryer, or Stove Top to Heat the Designs
24. Leave it on for 12-18 Hours
It is a fact that the longer you leave the paste on, the darker the pattern becomes. You must leave the pattern on for at least 12 hours. Make sure you throw the paste directly in the garbage to avoid staining your carpets, floors, table, etc.
25. Wrap the Design in Tissue
To protect the mehndi design, you want to wrap your hands and feet in a tissue.
26. Do Not Use a Plastic Wrap as Your Sweat Will Damage the Pattern
The challenge with plastic is that your skin will not perspire so the sweat will damage the pattern. As such, make sure you use a tissue.
27. Apply Henna a Second Time
If you can ask your henna artist to apply the paste the second time, the result will be darker. Still, there is a downside to this. The henna design has to be simpler so that the artist can replicate it on your hands and feet.
28. Never Use Water to Remove Henna Paste
After you wait for 12-16 hours you are ready now to remove henna. You could scrape the drawing with a BLUNT knife or a spoon handle. There will be parts where you cannot remove the paste, especially in complex patterns and thin lines.
29. Do Not Wash with Water
Please avoid using water and soap as that will inhibit the oxidation process.
30. Use Distilled or Filter Water to Wash Your Hands and Feet
In most cities the tap water contains chlorine which bleaches the skin and design. Use distilled or filtered water and if you don’t have access to that, boil water and let it cool, then use the boiled water. Chlorine dissipates through boiling.
31. Avoid Getting a Tan
If you have a fair skin, please avoid getting a tan as you want to preserve the contrast between your skin and the design.
32. Apply Essential Oils and Balms
After removing the paste, if you apply mustard oil, Tiger balm or Vicks VapoRub the menthol will interact with the henna design and it will darken it further. You can also apply coconut oil, almond or olive oil. After 15 minutes, use a paper towel to dab and remove the oil. The oils condition and moisturize the skin and avoid skin exfoliation. Generally, when dead skin exfoliates, henna also becomes lighter or patchy.
33. Use Gloves or Plastic Bags When You Take Showers
You might have to take a shower now and then, but make sure you don’t expose the henna to water. Use gloves and bags and tie them using hair ties.
34. Watch these Videos on How to Get Dark Long Lasting Henna Designs
35. Use Black Henna
This last tip is controversial as many women suffered skin irritation, chemical burns and blisters because of the paraphenylenediamine (PPD) component in the paste.
While we don’t endorse using black henna, if you decide to do it anyway, please do a test first. on a very small area of your feet place a drop of black henna and observe your reaction. If you feel a discomfort, or a burning /tingling sensation, irritation or worse, remove the paste immediately. If the reaction get worse, see a doctor immediately.
Please note that in Great Britain, in 2012 a woman died from an alergic reaction to black henna. That happening while using a hair dye 5 years afer having a black henna tatoo.
We want to thank you for taking the time to read all the 35 tips and we wish you a long and happy marriage! Please be gentle with your hands and feet and do not “push” your skin to extremes in the quest for a darker henna.
Here are a few more videos on how to obtain a dark henna design.