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Read about history of Mehandi, henna as traditional art, black henna facts and risks, mehndi designs and other related information.


History Of Mehendi

Henna body art, the art of painting the skin with wonderful henna paste in attractive designs, is the latest fashion fad among the gen X, though it is a centuries old tradition and it is increasingly being followed even by westerners. Henna tattoos and body art is quite exotic by western standards but in eastern culture it is a regular feature in social and religious ceremonies. One of the most important benefits of henna is that it is not permanent and so one doesn't get stuck with one design and pattern for life. For many, getting body art with henna is a natural form of expressing their thoughts and feelings. Many people, including actors and models are opting for henna body art as it is safe and looks so sensual. Not just on body, henna is also applied on hair for the natural red highlights and also to put a permanent stop on all kinds of hair problems like dandruff, hair loss, etc. To create beautiful henna art on your body, all you require is henna paste and a dab of creativity. To know more on the history of henna continue reading the write-up.

Henna As Traditional Art
  • The tradition of using henna for adorning the body had been prevalent for many centuries. Ancient Egyptians were believed to have used henna for a wide range of purposes, like staining their nails, hands and hair. Even in the Assyrian, Babylonian, Sumerian and Semite civilizations, henna was used extensively as dyes. In countries like Morocco, Turkey, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, getting the body painted with henna is considered to be very sacred as it is believed to bring luck, prosperity and happiness. In fact, in Morocco, pregnant women get their ankles colored with henna to shield them from the 'evil eye' during child birth.
  • Marriages and henna in the Indian subcontinent have had a long relationship and the tradition can be traced back to several centuries. There are special mehendi ceremonies held prior to weddings where the bride-to-be is adorned with henna designs. The mehendi ceremonies are considered to be auspicious and, it is believed, strengthen the bond between the husband and wife. Henna was also used in religious ceremonies in ancient Egypt and Greece.
  • Basically, there are four categories of henna tattoos. The Middle Eastern style, comprising mostly of large floral patterns, is heavily influenced by Arabian paintings and carvings. The African style is characterized by geometrical designs and big outlines. The third category is the Indian and Pakistani style, which are highly intricate and elaborate. Lastly, the Southeast Asian or Indonesian style is an amalgamation of both Indian and Middle Eastern designs. All these styles are an integral feature of any traditional henna body art and, nowadays, their allure is only increasing. Among the rising henna art are Celtic designs with deeper and significant meanings, which look magical and is considered divine.
Black Henna Facts And Risks
  • Black henna is not the natural henna as it is generally made from other plants and artificial substances. Black henna is mostly used in popular tourist destinations and people get tattooed with it without knowing what harm it can cause. The reason why it is considered injurious is because of its Para-Phenylenediamine (PPD) content, which not only stains the color of the skin to black instantly but can also trigger several allergic reactions. Sometimes, black henna can even lead to permanent scarring.
  • Some people even develop rashes, red sores, itching all over the stained area. The toxic chemical is also linked to severe edema, difficulty in breathing, renal failure, asthma, cancer, etc. Thus, one should be careful while getting a henna tattoo and it should be done only with the natural henna. Natural henna when made into a paste appears green while PPD based henna paste appears jet black. Checking the ingredients of the henna packet will also give you a fair idea whether it is pure or adulterated with chemical dyes.