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How to Get a Dark Henna Stain in 4 Easy Steps

I’ve applied henna all over my body, and when it comes to stains there are many factors to consider. Sometimes a henna plant is naturally redder than others, some people’s skin tans more than others, and the final stain color is determined by additives such as thickeners, essential oils/perfumey oils, and chemical dyes. If you’re looking for a truly natural brown henna stain that will last (I have yet to get any of those jobs), I recommend following these steps.

Before everything else, you’ll need to get your hands on some fresh, Body Art Quality henna powder or freshly made henna cones from a reputable artist. We use henna cones or henna powder from Chemical Free Hair Dye Suppliers in India. If you’re mixing your own, you’ll also need pure Essential Oil, raw cane sugar, and purified water.

If you’re going for black henna, then olive oil or coconut oil should be substituted at the end for the purified water. Olive will lighten your stain into a rich, dark brown, and coconut will lighten your stain to a medium reddish-brown. Used mixed together, they can give the brown pigment of an over-dyed black denim. When using just coconut oil , a good color to go for is a natural coffee brown, because if used mixed with other stuff like coffee grounds, tea leaves and egg whites like we do in this Instructable, it’ll yield the deep richness of that hot beverage that it’s named after! The key to getting a nice looking henna tattoo and having it fade gracefully is all about

1st Step: To ensure a smooth, even stain, you want to ensure that your skin is completely free of oils. Your skin should feel a little dry and look a bit flaky. This ensures that the henna can bind to the skin and penetrate deep into the dermis where there are plenty of capillaries. This enables your body to get as much of the nutrients from the henna as possible.

2nd Step: Once dry, lightly mist the henna with a sugar sealant or seal the design with a breathable fabric tape such as Mefix.  The longer it remains in place, the better. A minimum of 6-8 hours is recommended. Traditionally henna is left on overnight and you will get a darker, longer lasting stain if you leave it on for 12-16 hours (especially on difficult to stain parts like the upper body).  You can also wrap your mehndi in tissue if you don’t have Mefix tape. Avoid cling-wrap, which can capture your sweat and cause a total henna meltdown.

3rd Step: gently pick off the henna paste, or rub it off with a paper towel after 6-8 hours (or overnight). Never wash it off or you will halt the staining process. It should be a bright orange color when you pick it off. If you have used tape to seal it, you have to peel off the tape.

4th Step: You have to avoid water for 12-24 hours and this time duration generously oil your design with a rich, vegetable or beeswax-based oil. It will oxidizes your design throughout the day.

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