What is Henna or Mehndi and why is it so popular?
Henna is a tropical tree or shrub called Lawsonia inermis,
that posses natural dyeing and conditioning properties. The paste made
from the dried and powdered leaves of the Henna Plant is used in creating
intricate ethnic or contemporary designs on various parts of the body.
Though traditionally applied to the hands and feet of women, where it
has long played a significant part in the wedding ritual across cultures,
Henna is now becoming a fashion statement in the Western Culture, as
a temporary tattoo. When left on the skin for 8 or more hours, the henna
dye stains the skin into a beautiful reddish brown color, that lasts
for upto 2 weeks. It is safe, non-toxic, temporary and painless.
Mehndi is the term used for the traditional art of henna
painting on the hands and feet of women. Mehndi decoration is still
carried out in India, Africa, Morocco, Middle East, South East Asian
cultures and is gaining tremendous popularity in the West as Henna Body
Decoration or Henna Tattoos. Henna’s association with health,
beauty, wealth, joy and celebration has made it a fashion statement
in the female domain throughout history, and to mark the important transitions
in a woman’s life - puberty, marriage, pregnancy and childbirth.
It cools the body, calms the nerves, acts as a sun block, conditions
the skin, beautifies the person, and is considered to bring wealth,
health and happiness to the wearer.