1. Wash your part of the body (where you are getting tattoo) very well with soap & dry it.
2. Apply eucalyptus oil if available (Tiger balm works too).
3. Leave paste on skin for as long as possible. But remember to keep the paste moist. The longer the better.
4. Keep spraying lemon sugar syrup every couple of hrs. Make sure you do not apply too much else the henna paste will be dilute & may smudge the tattoo design.
5. HEAT is a friend of henna. Warming your henna design with the henna paste still on your skin will help in achieving a dark stain. You can warm your hand/ foot over the stove, or in front of the fireplace or a space heater, or even use a heating pad.
6. Apply more sugar-lemon juice syrup. Heat again. (Be careful & do not burn yourself, a gentle warm temperature is good enough).
7. As long as the henna paste is moist, it will keep staining…heating makes u sweat and hence moistens the paste.
8. Tape your henna once dried with Mefix tape, to keep the henna paste on the skin and to protect the design from damaging & messing cloths & various households. If leaving on all night, be sure to keep tattoo WARM ALL NIGHT...the moment your skin gets cold, henna stops staining.
Caution:- Do not sweat too much!!
9. After 6-8 hours, do not wash off with soap and water. Scrape the paste off gently. Once the paste is dry, it will come off very easily without any struggle.
10. Avoid direct contact with water for the next 24-48 hrs. Keep stain coated with henna balm, coconut oil or vaseline to create a barrier.
11. Avoid direct sun light for as long as the henna paste is still on the body.
What factors determine the darkness of henna stains?
1. Time Duration:
Natural henna MUST be kept on the skin for as long as possible. A minimum of 4 hours is suggested, while it is recommended to keep the henna paste on overnight (8-10 hrs) for a really rich stain. The longer the henna paste is kept on the skin, the more time it has to release its dye and go deeper into the layers of skin.
2. Body temperature:
If your hands are usually icy cold, your henna stain may not turn out dark. The palms are generally warmer than the rest of the body which is one of the many reasons why your henna stain will be the darkest on the palms.
Make sure that the room where the mehndi will be applied is comfortable temperature-wise, preferably slightly warm.
Since henna stains the layers of skin, if you have exfoliated right before having henna applied, then henna may not have enough layers to be absorbed into and might result in a stain that is not optimum. Therefore it is recommended to do waxing, shaving, massaging, etc. a day or 2 before getting your henna done. Your body sheds skin cells continuously, some people have a faster rate of exfoliation than others. Two people can have a henna design done on the same part of body, follow the same after-care, and still one person's stain may fade faster than the other's.
4. Body Part:
It is just not possible to get a henna stain to be as dark on the arm as on the palm. The reason is the difference in the skin composition. The palms of hands and soles of feet have considerably thicker skin (more layers of skin cells) than any other part of the body.
5. Water Contact:
Keeping fresh henna stain away from water for the first 24 hrs is very important. The more you wash dishes, wash your hands, swim, the faster your skin cells will exfoliate, hence taking the henna stain along with them. Chlorine in pool water will have an adverse effect on your henna stain. If your henna stain was not very dark initially and had not stained deep into the skin, then it will also fade away very quickly.
Once your henna stain is deep and dark after 48-72 hours of application, To have a beautiful dark henna stain, and expect it to stay that way for the next 1 month is just not possible. We cannot stop our skin from exfoliating! Henna stain lasts anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks. By 3 weeks, your henna stain will either be gone, or become very light.
TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID BLACK HENNA:-
If you don't have lots of instructions on how to take care & why is it important to keep the tattoo away from moisture, it is a RED flag. Natural henna needs lot of care to get dark color but black henna leaves black stain without any care at all & moisture doesn't effect the stain either.
BEACHES ALERT- Most of the artists (I am not saying all) uses black henna or a mixture of natural & black henna as the air is very moist near beaches & it makes it impossible to get a good stain.
Is Henna safe on pregnant woman?
YES! 100% Natural henna is completely safe & as a matter of fact pregnant woman are recommended to use henna on their belly as henna absorbs all the heat from the body & gives a cooling effect.