Boho Henna by Sama Henna
Fun fact about me: I do not have any tattoos. It is not that I don’t like them, I appreciate the art and sentiment behind them. I have prevented myself from getting them as I know that once I start, I won’t stop! I love the look of sleeves, so I would for sure get one or both arms done. In the meantime, I am enjoying the art of temporary Henna tattoos. I think it would be a good idea to have it done in a similar design and scale before actually going forward with a permanent tattoo.
As many of you know, I have had Henna done a few times now (including by a gypsy at a market in Spain) and enjoy the process from choosing the design to rocking the ethnic vibe. With each blend being slightly different and the prep effecting the final outcome, you will get a slightly different result each time.
I recently collaborated with a local Henna artist who not only is a very skilled freehand artist, but she also makes her own Henna from scratch, using only the most natural ingredients. I have put together some tips for a successful Henna tattoo. Stay tuned for my post with the final product and see how I styled a boho chic weekend look to complement the design.
1 | Prep your skin - Be sure to shave or wax the area where the tattoo will be going, unless you have very fine hair. Hair will prevent the paste from penetrating into your skin. Make sure the area is clean, and do not apply lotions or oils after showering/cleaning the area. Make sure the skin is dry and free of sleeves or any clothing that could smudge the design.
2 I Research Styles - There are so many intricate styles and design to choose from, each shape having its own significance. Look up different traditional shapes and mix them with modern patterns like lines or dots to make it your own. Some artists will also use different colours or add temporary embellishments if it is for a special occasion. The part of the body where you have the design also holds significance. Hands and feet are the most common due to their unique symbolism. The inside of hands/palms represents an offering from you to the world, where the outside of your hands is a symbolism for protection. Henna on feet is thought to strengthen the bond between your body and the earth, as they are our contact point with the earth. Do some research on the meaning behind the area you choose to have the art.
3 I Have Patience - It may take a while for more complex designs to be executed and dry (it is moist when applied). Staying as still as possible will help the artist work their magic. This design took a little over an hour from start to finish. The more complex, and thicker the designs, the longer it will take to dry. Once it is dry, you can spray a mix of lemon and sugar juice over it to help get a better stain. It will take up to 15 minutes for it to dry again. Your skin may have a tingly/stinging feeling when this happens, it is the lemon coming in contact with dry skin and will stop as soon as it is dry.
4 I Timing - Sama recommends an evening application, as it will have more time to set in when left over night. I wore a loose plastic glove over my hands with a hair elastic around my wrists, keeping the flaking from going all over my bedsheets. The longer you leave the product on, the better then stain will be. The next day you can leave the gloves/plastic socks on to wash your hair (as ingredients and chemicals in shampoo will take off the colour) it feels strange to wash your hair with plastic gloves, but it is well worth it! Take the gloves off and gently wipe away the remaining paste. If you are doing it for an event, be sure to have it done with in day or two of the event so the design is as rich in colour as possible. Depending on your skin and cell turn over, the colour will fade within 1-3 weeks. To keep it lasting longer, use moisturizing soap and try not to scrub the skin in that area. Moisturize liberally.
5 I Enjoy it while you can - The design will darken for 36 hours after having it done. It is cool to see how it enhances over time before fading away. Henna is traditionally used in the Eastern Mediterranean to celebrate and give luck to young women. It is great to experience the process of an ancient art.
Photography | Meagan Weatherby Photography