The bridal henna ceremony, the mehndi, is a festive and vital ritual in the wedding process. We reached out to our henna and mehndi experts to bring you some of pearls of wisdom:
Tip 1: Ask for a trial consultation to examine the quality of the artist’s work to ensure it is clear and clean as well as beautiful. During the consultation, test the henna paste to confirm that it gives you a dark color. This should be done at least a month before the wedding date so that the sample henna has time to disappear completely. Base your choice of artist on quality of work rather than highest or lowest rates.
Tip 2: Get your bridal henna day scheduled at least 2 or 3 days before the wedding date. Although the palm area stains quickly, the arms and the feet take longer to darken.
Tip 3: Set aside one full day or at least half a day for your bridal henna session. Depending on your design, it could take several hours to apply the henna and an additional 8 hours or so of keeping the henna in contact with your skin to get the optimum results for your big day.
Tip 4: Choose your henna day wardrobe carefully because you will not be able to use your hands at all for several hours after you get your bridal henna. Depending on your choice of design, your henna day might be long; plan to wear a skirt to facilitate using the restroom and a loose upper garment for changing for bed.
Tip 5: Remove your contact lenses just to your appointment.
Tip 6: Keep straws handy so that it will be easy for others to keep you hydrated.
Tip 7: Complete your manicure, pedicure and waxing of your hands and legs before your henna appointment.
Tip 8: The henna paste should be kept in contact with the skin for at least 8 hours for optimum color results. An exception is the palm of the hand which stains quickly – in about three of four hours, depending on the paste.
Tip 9: You will also get a better color because the henna stays intact and in contact with your skin throughout the night. Do not use plastic or saran wrap as this contributes to sweating and hence a smudged design.
Tip 10: To remove henna, scrape it off with a butter knife or a rough towel. Rub natural cooking oil over the area. Do not wash the area for at least two to three hours. Chlorinated water bleaches the henna color, so stay away from the swimming pool, and any other chorinated water, during this time. Do not use soap in the area for as long as you want the color to remain. Use gloves to wash yourself and your hair if necessary.