Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do You Charge?
$80 per hour with a 2 hour minimum. Brides receive a FREE 1 hour consultation via phone call. If you are planning on hiring me for an event, keep in mind that it's as many people as I can fit in per hour! The more people in a short time frame, the smaller and/or less elaborate the design in order for me to try and fit everyone in. For example, 20 people in 2 hours would have smaller/less elaborate designs than 20 people in 3 hours.
What IS Henna?
Henna is known by various names: mehendi, mehndi, marudhaani, heena, and hinna, to just name a few. It is a plant grown most often in India, the Middle East and various parts of South-East Asia. Henna may also be grown in parts of northern Africa and Mediterranean Europe.
The henna plant thrives in semi-arid zones. Henna produces a red-orange dye molecule, lawsone, which bonds with protein. This dye has been used on skin, hair, fingernails, leather, silk, and wool for thousands of years-Egyptian mummies have even been found with henna in their hair! Henna powder is made by the drying and pulverizing of the leaves of the plant.
Safe henna paste does not contain any added dyes, and the only additives are natural. Sometimes certain oils are added to the paste to make the dye release better-thereby leaving a darker, longer lasting stain. ALWAYS ask whether the henna artist uses oils, and if so, ask what kind of oils they are. A natural henna artist will be able to tell you ingredient-by-ingredient what is in their paste.
Is Henna Like A Tattoo? How Does It Work?
Henna, unlike ink tattoos, stains the skin layers with the dye molecule lawsone. A needle is not used, nor is the skin punctured, pierced, or broken. The dye from the paste sinks straight down, and the more skin layers there are, the darker the stain. This is why areas with thicker concentrations of skin, like the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet, are dyed darker and have the longest lasting stains. This is also why you want to leave the henna paste on as long as possible-to allow the dye time to sink into as many skin layers as possible. The henna design will gradually lighten as these skin layers are exfoliated through every day life, like washing hands, wearing gloves, using cleaners and solvents, handling papers, etc
Do You Use 'Black' (PPD) and/or 'Emergency Henna'?
NO!! I do NOT use black or so called 'emergency' henna/mehendi. These contain harmful chemicals that can create various adverse and, oftentimes, life altering effects.
Black henna actually contains little, if any, henna and is made up of a chemical called para-phenylendiamine (PPD), which is found in synthetic black hair dye. PPD is unsafe, and it is illegal to apply to the skin as it is a toxin and possible carcinogen. Many people experience itching, a burning sensation, blistering, hair loss and even scarring due to PPD application.
Black henna is most commonly seen outside the United States, usually in tourist areas. However, it IS gaining appeal in the United States and can often be found on the boardwalks and beaches of tourist destinations. Black henna is often marketed to tourists as a fast, lasting temporary tattoo that generally only needs to stay on the skin for anywhere ranging from fifteen minutes or less up to twenty minutes, and that it will leave a black stain and last for over two weeks. 'Emergency' henna/mehendi does not usually have PPD in it; but it does contain various types of dyes and other possibly harmful chemicals.
**For more information, please visit Black Henna Info
What Goes Into Your Paste?
I use all natural, and when possible, organic materials in making my paste. No artificial dyes, colorants, or chemicals go into my henna.
-Henna Powder (free of artifical dyes and colorants)
-Cajeput and/or Naioli Essential Oil (Cajeput is a relative of the tea tree)
**Paste for clients with medical needs and/or sensitivities will be adjusted accordingly**
Do You Make the Paste Fresh?
Yes!! I make the paste around 24 hours before an appointment/event to ensure the freshest henna and that the dye is at its peak capability. Paste may be put in the fridge right before peak dye release to ensure that you will receive the best color by the time of application.