The gift of henna
Celebrating with an ancient traditional art
Henna is a temporary body art using a paste made from the leaves of the henna plant. Several years ago, I began offering belly henna to my doula clients. Since then, my work as a henna artist has expanded, and I now offer henna services beyond those included in my doula packages.
I make my own henna paste using all natural ingredients, that include henna powder, sugar, water, essential oils, and sometimes lemon juice. I can make custom blends suited to my clients' needs and sensitivities.
I prefer to work from a set of designs which I have practiced, but I am open to design requests, with the understanding that I will need advanced notice for a design that is new to me. I reserve the right to refuse any design request. See my henna Instagram account, @thegiftofhenna, for some examples of my work.
In the cultures with long henna traditions, it's used for celebration, to adorn the body for special occasions such as weddings and holidays. It doesn't have to be for a special occasion, though...it can be a very uplifting way to adorn and care for yourself on any day of the year.
Henna (also known in some regions as "mehndi", "mehandi", "heena", and many other names) is an art that is has been shared across many cultures and peoples. The areas with the oldest henna traditions form a belt reaching from Africa and the areas touching the Mediterranean Sea, through the Middle East, and across South Asia.
One thing that I love about henna is that it is a woman-centered art form. It is sometimes worn and practiced by men (The men in my life love receiving and wearing henna!) but for the most part it is taught and shared woman to woman.
In each place, there are particular styles and techniques that have become popular. I strive as I practice this art to do so with respect and to honor the roots and history of this beautiful art form. I hope that as you wear your henna, you will do so with mindfulness of the rich history that has brought henna to you in this moment of time.
Natural henna takes hours to leave a good stain, and the stain is always some shade of brown. It's never black. Henna stains all skin tones. The initial stain is bright orange, and it darkens over about two days.
I always recommend that you only receive henna from someone who makes their own fresh paste or buys fresh paste from another artist. Store bought henna pastes contain little actual henna, and in some cases (especially with "black henna") can cause permanent damage to the skin.
I am still learning my craft. At this time, I don't feel qualified to do elaborate bridal henna. If you would like something simple for your special day, I would be happy to talk with you!