The best henna when choosing.
There are many types of henna powders out there. For henna to be used on the skin, you must use fresh high-quality body art quality henna also known as BAQ. It must have gone through testing processes and be certified so as not to cause any skin irritations.
Commonly used is henna to dye the hair. It is usually a different quality henna powder.
There are a variety of henna out there, some which have had quite bad news about them. Especially ready made ones. You may even find that some of the other henna powders out there are too good to be true. You see all the instagram posts about how dark the stain is etc and when you buy it yourself you find that when you try it yourself it is not as dark as theirs! Well, there are many factors to be considered for this,
It could be that their skin tone is different so please dont compare yourself to theirs.
Sometimes the henna artists will mix the blend with other powders known as ‘mixing the blend’ and ofcourse the henna is usually left on for a longer time period.
So to be extra safe incase of anyone having alergies out there, please make sure they have passed factory tests and gained relevant certificates (you can find out this by looking at the labels they have displayed) and always do patch tests everytime you use a new henna even if its one youve been using for a long time because its a scientific fact that your skincells replace themselves every 2/3 weeks so your new skin could have a different reaction especially to a new/old harvest of henna.
How to darken a henna stain the honest way.
If you yourself choose to darken the henna stain (as not everyones skin colour is the same) then there are many ways which we will come to at a later stage. For quick measures you could also add other plants to it but since you're doing it, atleast you know what has been inside it! just make sure thats the only plant thats in the packet and again not mixed with something else.
Why do people add sugar when making henna paste?
Well, adding sugar to your henna powder makes the henna stay wet against the skin longer, stick to the skin better, and makes the henna more stringy. It also helps add to darken the colour.
The role of water or lemon juice
In order to get the best stain from organic fresh henna, you need to mix it with either water or lemon. People even use tea!
Lemon juice is acidic which allows the lawsone dye to be released from the henna slowly.
Both methods are fine but water releases stain quicker in the organic henna powder where as lemon juice and tea takes abit longer to release dye.
Oils for henna
Both lavender and tea tree oils have monoterpene alcohols (also known as terp) This helps release more of the lawsone dye in the henna leaves resulting in a darker stain. Adding lavender oil also adds a lovely relaxing scent to your henna and keeps your henna paste from expiring. Essential oils are very potent and strong. You should just stick to using the minimum amount of oil you need to create a good mix. Never add more than 1 ounce (30 mL) of oil per 100 grams of henna. Lavender oil is usually the most safest option for pregnant women aswell. Always read the labels before use though.