Henna Tattoo Designs For Feet BiographySource(Google.com.pk)
he information on this page comes from four sources:
Basic information came from books (1) by Loretta Roome and (2) by Carine Fabius.
Most of the detailed information was gleaned from (3) the Henna Page Discussion Forum (HPDF). This is an incredible resource. The people contributing share their advice, thoughts, and experiments (some of which are pretty rigorous). I would have liked to cite the original sources, but so much of the experiences get shared, adapted, and expanded by others that it's hard to give credit to individuals. (The key contributors become obvious after about ten minutes of reading that forum.) Specific citations or quotes are listed by contributor's name and date/time stamp (GMT, I believe), or by message number (http://www.bioch.ox.ac.uk/~jr/henna/discuss/messages/00000.html).
(4) Personal experience. I won't ever be a professional artist, but I've tried many of the variations I list.
How I'm personally defining the different uses.
WHEN to use various ingredients
These are the things one can do to the skin before a mehndi application. A day or three ahead of time, it can be useful to scrub and repeatedly moisturize the skin. On the day of the application (or at least a few hours before), clean off all oils and lotions so that the henna can stain the skin.
Optional, except for cleaning.
Immediately before a mehndi application, clean the skin. There are also some ingredients that can be rubbed into the skin up to an hour ahead of time. These may increase circulation, and thus increase warmth. There may also be some chemical functions.
This is the henna itself. There's no substitute for good-quality henna, and no other ingredient is going to turn poor henna into good henna. The henna is wet to make a paste; this is usually done with an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice. Almost all other ingredients are for texture, scent, or other variations relevant to the particular application (skin type, location, and design) and personal preferences.
I consider these more tools than ingredients because they're used more for their mechanical properties than their chemical properties. If I ever do a page on tools & techniques, I'll include these with the more mechanical tools. For now:
Tools: Drawing Guidelines
Lots of different items can be used to draw guidelines. These include makeup and other pencils, various inks and paints (with some cautions), and mechanical means such as twist-ties and elastic bands. Some of these also serve as masks (intentionally or not).
Tools: Masks and stencils
Some items are used to protect parts of the skin from the henna stain. Waxes, oils, petroleum jelly, peel-masks, wheat paste, and liquid bandages have all been tried. The success depends on the particular use. Tape and other mechanical means are also used.
Quick data on wax: Beeswax melts at 120 degrees, paraffin at 145, and some other waxes at higher temperatures, such as 175 degrees. Not sure about cosmetic-grade paraffin (that has a melting point designed for use on skin). Use caution so you don't burn skin! Brush or apply thickly. Apply henna paste (paste does not have to have a fine texture, as you're not squeezing it through a small opening). Wax can be brittle and crack or peel off, especially in large continuous designs - can be kept flexible if kept warm.
Quick data on other masking liquids: Henna stains through New Skin, peel-masks, and Glove in a Bottle, but ends up lighter than on bare skin.
Other: tape seems to be effective (depending on permeability), but can be uncomfortable and can leave an adhesive residue, or pull skin and hair when removing.
Some ingredients, along with mechanical means such as flexible papers, can be used to make transfers. In general, these are not as satisfactory as direct application of the paste, but can be useful for uniformity or awkward places.
Optional, but usual.
Something is usually applied over the henna to help keep it in place and intensify the color.
Assorted ingredients can be applied just after the henna paste is removed. These are intended to darken the design, speed the darkening of the design, or improve skin texture.
These are intended to protect the skin and make the design last longer. They're mostly oils to slow exfoliation.
After a while, a design can fade unevenly, or other things can happen to make it desirable to remove the mehndi design. Time is the best fader, but some things can be done to speed exfoliation and thus lighten the design (or mistakes).
WHAT the basic function is
The henna is what stains the skin. See Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 02, 1999 at 21:27:18 or Catherine Cartwright Jones on October 21, 1999 at 15:35:52 for details - dead, dry-ish skin stains better, and skin that exfoliates slowly keeps the design longer. (Also see SeeSee on August 10, 1999 at 18:48:46.) The hennotannins bind with proteins.
Acids and perhaps other ingredients (or at least the effect of the ingredients, such as increased heat) can speed or slow the colorant release from the henna. The colorant (hennotannins that bind with proteins in the skin and then darken) are only released from the henna in the presence of an acid, such as lemon juice. The colorant needs to be released from the henna at a time when it can then go into the skin.
After the dye is in the skin, it slowly oxidizes. This darkens the color. If the dye oxidizes before it is in the skin, it won't stain well. (see Catherine Cartwright JOnes on July 31, 1999 at 00:41:52)
The only way to get rid of the stain is to get rid of the skin cells containing the stain. Exfoliation removes the upper (dead) layer(s) of skin cells. Different skin types (in different areas as well as on different people) exfoliate naturally at different rates. Palms and soles exfoliate slowly, and so they maintain a mehndi design longest.
Adding fluid can pump up skin cells. This can sometimes slow exfoliation. It can also make the outermost (dead) skin layer somewhat more transparent, and thus make a mehndi design look better.
Various textures are desired for the different treatments, and especially for the henna paste. The texture should be varied to suit the particular use. For example, flexibility is useful for skin areas that are bent, stretched, or twisted frequently. Stringiness may be more important for fine designs on an area that will not be flexed while the paste is on. Knowledge and skill in adapting the textures to suit the particular application are important for a professional mehndi artist.
Affects how you apply the treatment. A smooth paste is crucial for squeeze-type applicators with fine tips, and a smooth sealer is needed for fine designs. Smoothness is relatively unimportant for dip-style henna or nails. Only moderate smoothness is needed for stick-designs. (Alternatively: if your paste isn't as smooth as needed for a squeeze-design, you can usually still use it with a stick.)
texture: moisture / drying speed
Moisture helps get the colorant into the skin, but it also leaves the paste susceptible to adjustment and smearing. The speed of your work and the drying time end up closely related. This is one of the variables that must be adapted to a particular application. Moisture content and drying time are also important variables in a sealer.
Paste and sealer must stay in contact with the skin to work. Stickiness helps adhere the treatment. It also can keep the treatment from cracking. (See also moisture.)
Skin that bends, stretches, or twists needs a flexible treatment or immobility for the duration.
texture: stringy (tensile?)
Fine lines can be made by stretching a string of henna paste. Stringy or gummy paste, sometimes achieved with okra, can help keep the threads intact as the paste is stretched into fine lines. Moderate stringiness can also deter cracking in regular lines.
Provides the hennotannins that act as a dye (see Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 09, 1999 at 12:37:42). The dye degrades with time, so freshness is important. For most uses, the henna needs to be finely ground into a powder and well-sifted (by the user, generally) in order to make a smooth paste. Both hue and saturation vary widely with the particular batch of henna powder. HPDF contributors have several recommended on-line sources [Henna powder, pre-mix paste, or mud from: Castle Arts, LifeArt Mud, Frontier Herbs], as well as "your local Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store". Beware old henna in the local store, however. Henna kits seem to be overpriced and the henna can be old, but some have reported good results. One HPDF contributor suggests a rough guideline of 1 oz. henna powder to 2 oz. liquid (sondarya on October 14, 1999 at 03:38:10).
Provides moisture and acid. The acid releases the dye. This is apparently the most common liquid in North American pastes. (In Middle Eastern regions, the water may be acidic enough to promote dye release.) For most uses, juice should be strained to remove pulp. HPDF report no detectable difference between fresh and reconstituted lemon juice. Lemonade mixes (frozen or powdered) have also been used, with varying degrees of success (check other ingredients, especially sugar vs. corn syrup in the frozen mixes - sugar dries, corn syrup may not). Some of these have enhanced citric acid.
(Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 01, 1999 at 02:42:01:) "rainwater dye release is ok. At suburban American room temperature henna will release a little dye with just water (7 brown dots in a 50X microscope field in 4 hours) but an acidic paste mix is far more efficient (30+ brown dots and a general color change in 4 hours)" Also see microscope (Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 05, 1999 at 00:42:59 and Catherine Cartwright Jones on September 07, 1999 at 02:08:29)
Moisture and acid; a less-fragrant substitute for lemon juice. (Does not appear to be very popular for mehndi, though often used for hair.)
Acid for dye release, texture. (See E. on September 04, 1999 at 09:25:47 + discussion following.) One report (Lotus Flower on September 06, 1999 at 06:03:43) of too much citric acid preventing stain and affecting paste texture.
Darkens the henna stain; adds fragrance. Clove powder can be added to paste or sealer, if a fine texture is not required. Cloves (whole or powdered) can be boiled in liquid that is then used for paste or sealer. Clove oil can be added to a pre-treatment, paste, or sealer. It is found in New Skin (liquid bandage), some topical anesthetics (especially those used for toothache), some teas, and occasionally other commercial products. Note that clove oil (from oil or from the cloves) can produce an allergic reaction in some people, and undiluted clove oil can produce a rash.
"Cloves contain gallotannic acid, which is a companionable cousinto hennotannic acid. The addition of clove in one form or other makes the henna a tad blacker." (Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 01, 1999 at 16:02:35)
Clove oil can be ordered online from http://www.frontiercoop.com; see 11595.html. Also available in health food stores.
Adds moisture. Hot water also adds heat to aid dye release. Tap water may contain all sorts of chemicals that can affect the henna, so filtered or distilled water is sometimes recommended. For a paste, the water is usually boiled with other ingredients, then strained, then mixed with the powder and further ingredients.
Promotes exfoliation. Having your hands (or skin) in water, particularly water containing chlorine or cleaners, tends to make the skin exfoliate faster and fade the design.
Adds tannins and increases acidity somewhat. Adds moisture, fragrance, and perhaps texture. Tea is also a traditional paste ingredient, probably because it's a handy hot liquid to mix into the henna powder. (The heat helps dye release.)
Adds moisture, fragrance, and perhaps texture. May add some initial color, but does not darken the actual stain. Another traditionally hot liquid (see Tea). Some HPDF contributors report alertness or sleeplessness due to the caffeine absorbed through the skin. (The caffeine effect could possible increase circulation and thus heat, but that's theoretical.)
Lime (limestone - calcium carbonate?)
Probably promotes oxidation. (Lotus Flower on September 06, 1999 at 06:03:43 - don't use alone.)
Dried Limes or Lemons
Add acid (dye release), texture, fragrance, initial color. Dried limes produce a red color in the water when boiled.
Most commonly mixed with lemon juice and used as a sealer. The sugar dries to make a coating that protects the paste below. Sugar also adds some stickiness to a paste. It can be cooked to change the texture (see the candy section of a general cookbook) or heated gently to dissolve more sugar into a given amount of liquid (affects drying time).
If outdoors, the sugar can attract insects. Wrap, or substitute New Skin or a peel-mask if this becomes a problem.
Preservative; also smooths, adds stickiness, and slows drying time. Good for texture adjustment. Honey can slow the dye release from the henna, so you may need to let a honey-paste age (3-5 days?) to get a normal stain; see the HPDF (12184.html thread) for details. Mixing in the honey after the paste has developed will probably not affect the color or timing.
Adds stickiness and stringiness to the paste, slows the drying and reduces cracking of the dried paste. Okra is boiled in water or water-based mixture, then strained.
Fenugreek (menthi seeds)
Fragrance; adds stickiness and stringiness to the paste. Fenugreek seeds or powder are boiled in water or water-based mixture, then strained.