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lilylove 02-28-2009 01:15 PM

I remember there was a tribe, but it seems to be closed now. So I thought I would start a new one

I've been playing with henna lately. I have a lot to learn, but I'm really having fun!

I have a few questions too

Pumpkincat 03-03-2009 06:34 PM

those are very lovely! I have played with it a bit as well. I have no pictures tho

rainbowmoon 09-11-2009 03:43 PM

There used to be a big HUGE mehndi mamas thread but I can't find it! So I'm starting a new one!

I am just a newbie (only done it once or twice before years ago..) What supplies are essential? Kits you recommend? I am going to shop for supplies soon! I would also love to chat about designs, mehndi experiences,etc. here! TIA!

rainbowmoon 09-15-2009 03:42 PM


I would also like to know if it's possible to use the mehndi ink in a way that would be washable. (For the sake of practicing designs as a beginner)

lunamegn 09-16-2009 03:28 AM

Hi! I've been doing henna off and on for around 9 years.

My "kit" is one or two jacquard .05mm tips, henna powder, cotton pads, sometimes sugar and lemon. Lately I've been using baby wipes to wipe off the skin before I apply the paste and then a little eucalyptus oil.

I've been working more on my recipe for making the paste.

It's really fun, I love apply henna to people and just chatting people up. I do have little photo books with pictures and designs and I have people go through and pic one they like and I use that as a starting point for a design and go from there. Each one is different and unique. I love it! It's like a meditative experience for me.

Here's a few of my designs.

lilylove 09-22-2009 01:02 PM


I've been playing with henna for a couple years and just started doing it for profit at a small farmer's market, and through private appointments.
Here's my flickr set

Essential items would be good quality henna powder, (most henna found in stores is poor quality, old or possibly contain unsafe additives.) quality essential oils, water or lemon juice, and sugar.

A good place to order a kit from, is (as a bonus she is a WAHM!)
A great place to read and learn is at

You can practice by drawing designs with pencil, or using the paste on paper, but there really is no substitute for just practicing on skin. You can wipe off the paste as soon as you are done to minimize the stain and put a balm or lotion on first to keep the dye molecules from penetrating to much.
Good luck, it's a really fun medium!

almadianna 11-17-2009 12:57 PM

I found two mehndi mamas threads and merged them so you are all together.

Kidzaplenty 11-18-2009 09:25 AM

ewe+lamb 11-18-2009 09:38 AM

Ooooh I love henna - I make up my paste with henna that my dh's family brings back from North Africa for me, roll my own cones - I can't do it the maroccan way with the blunted off syringe, I mix the henna with a little water, lemon juice, syrup or honey - whatever is there and a drop or two of lavendar essential oil I find it makes lovely stringy henna paste and I manage some really long lines with it, we did lots this summer but haven't got pictures - which I must start doing. I love the site - she is wonderful with great advice and free download books. I did try making up a juice for getting a really dark tint to the henna, it was black tea tea bags, fenugrec and cloves and then left it to blend nicely for around 12 hours the colour was indeed very dark but didn't last too long as I had expected it to. Anyone else made up a juice for colouring?

lilylove 11-18-2009 08:34 PM

I've read of others using infusions and a variety of juices including a liquid made steeping dried limes and cloves. I have had excellent results with lemon juice, sugar, molasses, a good amount of high terp oils (like cajput) and of course really high quality henna.
I like cones too

rainbowmoon 11-22-2009 05:29 PM

I'm still ISO henna supplies. I have been hesitant because of all the info. about "bad" henna out there.

Thanks for the links, I will check them out!

On the face paint forum I go to it was brought up that Henna is not approved by the FDA for using on skin here in the USA. Has anyone ever had any trouble because of that? I plan to offer it as a service but I am kind of wary now of advertising it.

lilylove 11-23-2009 11:27 AM

I wonder if the reason it is not approved for skin is because the trend is still relatively new in the US(so not a big push yet to get it approved) and black henna has many worried about henna in general. I have never heard of an artist having a problem about it not being approved and there are hundreds of henna artists in the US . Most cities will issue business licenses for it, I've heard, and you can purchase insurance for a henna business.
Black Henna is henna that has a chemical such as PPD, Para-Phenylenediamine, added to the paste. PPD can cause severe reactions, including blistering and permanent scarring.
Always buy henna from a reputable source. The are several great websites that sell kits. is one of many! Most reputable henna artists use surprisingly simple and safe ingredients in their paste. I use henna powder (the dried powdered leaves of the henna plant), sugar and or molasses, essential oils (usually cajput and lavender blend) and lemon juice. Simple and safe.

rainbowmoon 11-23-2009 11:38 AM

I am sure many people don't even know it's not approved for skin. I don't think it's actually a bad thing, it just hasn't been tested by the FDA is all so there is no regulation whatsoever in products. I know when I was a hairstylist I applied henna right down to the scalp though. If there was something wrong with it I am sure it would be a "rule" with the state board but as far as I know it's not.

I will check the kits out at the link you mentioned! I also joined that message board!

I am going to obtain insurance on my business for sure! Have you looked into it at all?

Are there any good sites with designs suitable for a beginner? Or a book you might recommend?

lilylove 11-23-2009 12:14 PM

I haven't looked into insurance yet, I don't do enough work to bother with that yet. As my children get older and I can do more work I will have to start looking into it.
Yeah most herbs are also not approved, for the simple fact that they have not been tested. There is not much of a demand to push these sort of things through testing for the FDA.
You can get free patterns from both the and For good old fashioned books, my absolute fav is 'Mehndi, The Timeless Art of Henna Painting' by Loretta Roome.
You can also purchase ebooks full of designs of all types. From small books that are focused on very specifics styles to large in depth books of all kinds. Both TheHennaPage and Henna Caravan sell ebooks.

rainbowmoon 11-25-2009 10:34 PM

what do you think of the beachcombers supplies? are they ok?

lilylove 11-25-2009 11:02 PM

Hmm, I don't know. The kits look iffy on ingredients and freshness.
This looks fine though, as the powder is fresh and Jamila is a well known brand that a lot of henna artists use.

rainbowmoon 11-25-2009 11:07 PM

Thanks for the info.!!! Yeah I kind of thought the beachcombers kit was iffy. In any case I've decided to just go with the HennaCaravan kit as it just has everything and seems the best! I'll check back soon when it arrives!

rainbowmoon 11-25-2009 11:17 PM

btw, what essential oil do you like to use best? (I ordered lavender but was curious if using one is better than the other) or is it just scent preference?

lilylove 11-25-2009 11:50 PM

Well, different oils have different 'terp' contents (monoterpene acids). Terp helps achieve a better stain. Lavender is decent, Tea tree is good and Cajput, a member of the melaleuca family, is really good. I usually use a mix of cajput and lavender, or tea tree and lavender for pregnant mothers.

rainbowmoon 11-26-2009 01:23 AM

thanks yet again for the info.! What does cajput smell like?

lilylove 11-26-2009 09:09 AM

No problem
Cajput smells similar to eucalyptus and tea tree.

FloridaBorn 11-28-2009 07:59 PM

Hey everyone, I'm Darla and new to this board. I'm expecting my first child in mid July.

I'm also a professional henna artist! Here's my page:

lilylove 11-28-2009 08:58 PM

Hello Darla, welcome to MDC.

Your work is gorgeous and I absolutely love your style!!!

Congrats on your pregnancy!

rainbowmoon 11-28-2009 09:18 PM

Hi Darla! I love your page! I am ohhhing and ahhhing! Welcome to MDC!

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first kit! I'm hoping it will be here by mid week! What should I practice first? Any tips for simple designs to try? I am guessing I should try practicing on my legs or feet to begin? I ordered the Arabesque CD from Henna Caravan so I hope it's good! I am definitely eyeing the Mehndi de los Meurtos and all the others too!

FloridaBorn 11-29-2009 12:10 PM

Thanks for the great compliments lilylove and rainbowmoon!

In addition to looking at some of the henna patterns you may find online, the best thing I have found is to look in Indian or Persian art books so that you can absorb and appreciate that particular style. Doesn't have to be Indian/Persian, that's just what I enjoy best.

I don't follow any particular pattern, and make the design up as I go. I describe it as "having learned a visual alphabet and can now draw whole sentences!" Deconstructing an intricate design by finding simpler individual shapes and patterns is helpful practice because you can then do a similar design in the future without having to always look at a separate resource.

Definitely practice on skin with henna. Trying out designs with a pen on paper won't give you the same effect because henna is a 3D medium and meant to be used on a 3D body! Henna lines are thicker than pens. If you've run out of skin, you can also practice on fruit, toilet paper or towel rolls, things like that...

Hope this helps!

CorasMama 11-29-2009 01:38 PM

I used to practice on skin with toothpaste.

My favorite sources for henna are kenzi and magical mehendi.

rainbowmoon 11-29-2009 02:00 PM

Thanks for the tip Darla! I am going to try to locate a few books from the library too. (to see if I want to buy them mainly). I know there are at least 2 on my want list thus far!

Corasmom- I have never heard of those brands! Seems like there are a lot of different types and products out there. I need to learn about them all and see what I like best I guess.

CorasMama 11-29-2009 05:30 PM

They're not brands as much as sellers. Kenzi gets hers shipped directly from Morocco, sifts the heck out of it (I never ever get clogs), and Magical Mehendi sells a couple different kinds. They both sell oils, as well.

I'm not a fan of cajeput, I think it stinks. I've never tried ravensara, because I've heard it smells in a way I wouldn't like, and also it's $$$ (as is cajeput, tto is the cheapest of the terp-containing oils.)

My usual oil blends are tto and clove for men, tto and sweet orange and clove for women, tto and lavender for either, and lavender only for pregnant women. I'll do tto plus geranium bourbon and/or rose, because some women like it, but only upon request because I hate the way it smells. My favorite is tto and sweet orange and clove. Oh, and cassia is another I add sometimes.

rainbowmoon 11-29-2009 06:55 PM

Thanks for all the info Corasmom. Btw, can neroli be used? I really like geranium too so I may have to play around with the oils eventually. For now I am going to use lavender and TTO. oh and I like clove and cinnamon oils too!

Ammaarah 11-29-2009 06:58 PM

Oh fun! I remember the old thread (I think I started it, or one of its incarnations at least, LOL.) I just started doing henna again for this Eid (Islamic holiday) and I've missed it so much. I developed bad eczema a couple years ago and fell away from henna but I've found it doesn't irritate my skin so I'm doing it again.

I mainly like Gulf style henna (lots of flowers, swirls, fancy leaves) but I'd love to learn the geometric North African style someday. My Indian girlfriend was over the other night and she hennaed one of our friends with awesome, intricate Indian wedding style henna. It was so beautiful!

I prefer Rajasthani henna. It's super-stringy and stays moist a long time so no cracking and not much flaking, and you get a nice stain. Maybe not as dark as Jamila but beautiful. I used to buy from Henna Muse but unfortunately I don't think she's selling anymore.

I have my first paid henna "gig" next weekend and I'm excited. Should be fun.

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