What is henna?
Henna is a small shrub (Lawsonia Inermis). The leaves of this plant are dried and ground into a fine powder. Henna powder is made into a paste that can be used to dye natural surfaces such as skin or hair. This art of applying henna paste to the skin to create a design that will stain, is called mehndi or henna tattoos. These designs last anywhere from a few days to a week or more. It depends on how long the paste is left on the skin, what part of the body the paste is applied, and other factors like aftercare.
Henna grows in various regions throughout Africa and Asia. There are numerous traditions involving henna from many different cultures. Some common henna traditions include decorating the bride for weddings and belly blessings for moms-to-be. There is no single point of origin for the traditions of henna, but it has been used for thousands of years! The oldest records of henna use are in mummies from ancient Egypt and ancient stories from India.
What's so important about "natural" henna?
At Human Canvas we emphasize all natural and orgaic henna. This is because there are products out there labeled as "natural" henna BUT are in fact CHEMICAL PRODUCTS THAT CAN CAUSE PERMANENT SKIN DAMAGE. Natural henna is very safe with hardly any allergic reactions. It is only orange-red-brown in color and there is no such thing as "black henna." Internet searches for "black henna" can yield graphic results: be warned! If you see articles in the news about scars from "henna," they are inevitably referring to chemical henna. We are always willing to answer questions about natural vs. chemical henna and can provide safe alternatives for any of your body art requests.