Friday, 27 January 2017

For my love of Henna

Henna Design in progress @Millenium Park
Henna, Laali, Laale. Kunshi, Mehndi, soo many names. Whatever name it's called in your part of the world, this post is dedicated to my love for it.
Henna Design on my hands and feet
I believe its such a beautiful artistic expression and i love it more 'cos i can always switch it up every once in a while. I never knew about Henna Body Art till i ventured into the Abuja (North Nigeria) during my NYSC in 2008 and it was love at first sight for real. I had to get it done ASAP and there has been no looking back after that. I even tried to design it on myself using the Rani tube henna, sadly i am not not gifted at this art; Maybe with a lot of practice sha i can get better.
If you follow my blog i'm sure you are aware i am quite a fan of most things Northern Nigeria has to offer-language, food, meals, fashion sense, etc. So this probably isn't surprising.
To the best of my knowledge, in Nigeria, Henna Art used to be seen mostly on Northern Women/Young girls (regardless of religion) and Western Muslim Women/Young girls with the most elaborate designs done on Brides-to-be but it has now been adapted by many Nigerian ladies regardless of tribe,culture and religion. Some get it done just for their wedding ceremonies, festivals and other similar events & celebrations while others, like me, get it done to have it beautify our body. 
Here's a few things you should know before getting a Henna Design on your body:
  • The Henna mix is essentially a dye and can be formed using solely the leaves from the Henna plant or with a mix of other plants,materials with similar dyeing properties
  • Henna is also used for other things asides body art 
  • Some people are allergic to ingredients used in making the henna paste (especially people with sensitive skin), so please do a lil patch test to know if your skin can handle it
  • Some Henna Artists use harsh materials for their mixtures which may burn the skin
  • Henna Artists typically customize their paste mix to their individual preference and desired color 
  • It takes a while to fade off depending on the potency of the ingredients in the paste mix (3Days-2Weeks)
  • The more you exfoliate/scrub your skin, the faster it will fade off
  • It takes even longer to fade off your nails
  • You can adorn any part of your body (hands, feet, back, tummy,etc.) with a henna design
  • You can allow your Henna Artist freestyle or you can find a design online for them to replicate for you
  • The Henna mix can stain your skin in variations of Black, Brown or Red 
  • Your Henna design can be very simple or elaborate. Its totally your choice.
  • Your Henna Artist can switch up a design by using different colors, adding glitter or stones. It all depends on your preference
  • The skill of the Henna Artist varies per individual, some are really good and do a very neat job while others have shaky hands and it shows up in the art
  • Wear something you don't mind getting the henna paste on when getting your henna design done 'cos it stains clothes and is difficult to wash off
  • Choose a comfortable position to get you henna design done so you don't numb from lack of blood flow and so that it can dry without you staining yourself and things around you
  • You need to let the Henna mix dry very thoroughly before peeling and washing it off for the color pigmentation to be bold
You can typically get henna done at a friend's wedding where its part of their custom or get the contact of a henna artist from them for a home service (its pricier though especially in Abuja). Some spas also offer it as a service, check out 'The Henna Place' (Lagos).
When i'm really 'craving' it and there's no wedding in sight i go to Millenium Park, Abuja to get it done. There's a lady there called "Mama Twins", she does a good job with the design but it doesn't stay on your skin for too long. Her price ranges from N500-N1500 depending on the design you want and how long you want it to last on your skin.
You can reach her on these no.s 08187379628/09032090260.
Some Instagram Accounts i like:
I had to rummage my Pictures Folder to find some of the henna designs i have gotten over the years. Enjoy!
Please Ignore my pretty toes🙈Focus on the beautiful design


2015 (Zanzibar, Tanzania)
 2016 (Millenium Park)
Please Share it! :)

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