Read through for the steps and tips/tricks to care for your henna and get the darkest stain
1. Be Careful as your henna dries. It will take around half an hour for the henna paste to completely dry. Make sure that you do not smudge your design while it is drying and keep your design away from clothing, hair/ anything else that could rub on your design and smudge it.
2. Keep the henna on as long as possible. The longer you leave the paste on, the darker the stain will be and the longer it will last. Leave it on for a minimum for 1 hour. Overnight is even better-especially for brides.
3. Take extra steps for an even better stain (optional)
- Applying a mixture consisting of equal amounts of lemon and sugar when the stain is dry, but before it starts cracking and peeling off will help keep the paste on even longer and lead to a better stain.
- Keep warm! Keeping your hands warm will allow for a better stain to develop. This can be done using steam/ a blow dryer.
4. Remove the henna. Once you are ready to take your henna off (after leaving on for as long as possible and following the after care tips), brush/scrape it off. Do NOT use water to remove the henna. This will prevent the henna from getting as dark as it can be. A butter knife can also be used to scrape off the dried henna. After the henna is off use a skin safe oil such as coconut/olive/almond/jojoba to hydrate the design.
5. Protect the stain from water. It is important to protect your stain from water-especially in the first 12 hours after paste removal. This does not mean that you cannot wash your hands! However, this is the stage when the stain is setting in and progressing so extensive exposure to water and soap can prevent your design from reaching its full stain capacity. Don’t scrub/exfoliate your skin while the henna is fresh, and pat dry instead of rubbing. Use gloves while washing dishes, and even to wash hair/while showering.
6. Keep skin hydrated. Applying a natural oil such as coconut/olive/almond/jojoba to the stain will deflect water and protect it while bathing, ensuring a darker stain.
6. Watch the color develop. The colour of your henna right after removal will be bright orange. It will get darker over the next 48 hours, turning to a reddish brown colour. Your henna will be the darkest 48 hours after paste removal. Thus, it is recommended for brides to get their henna 2 days before their wedding day.
7. Take care of your stain. Avoid chemical solvents such as dish soap, bleach and other cleaning materials. Also avoid using hand sanitizer, as it can lead to the demise of the stain.