Mehandi – A fashion ornament

Mehendi (Henna Tattoo, also known as Mehndi) is an ancient Indian Body Art. Mehandi, is a simple, beautifully spiritual form of body decoration used for thousands of years by peoples of India, Africa & the Middle East.
It is completely natural, non-permanent and painless. Once thought only for women, men are finding it a nice alternative to permanent tattoos.

With all the popularity of body ornamentation, it makes sense that mehandi is showing up on bodies everywhere. Fair hands decorated with mehendi have arrested the attention of lovers and inspired the poets for ages. Henna is commonly used in Western culture as a hair dye, but in the Middle East, India, and parts of Africa it is used to decorate the body. Mehandi, or henna painting, is an ancient Indian art that stains the skin with a mixture of henna powder, lemon, tea, eucalyptus and water. Traditional designs are drawn onto the hands and feet with what looks like a pastry bag, and unlike tattooing, the designs can last from two to six weeks.
The most auspicious occasion justifying Mehandi artwork is the North Indian wedding, where both bride and bridegroom apply henna, as well as several members of the bridal party.
Mehandi came into use because of its cooling healing effect in a hot weather conditions and in India, it was also a way for a bride and groom to get to know one another before an agreed marriage. A variety of traditions underlie the use of Mehandi, including wedding games and legends. For example, the groom's name is usually written somewhere within the bride's Mehandi; if he cannot find his name within the complicated design, the bride is said to have the command in the marriage.
The Mehendi night is common in the Gulf regions of Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE. Here, the celebration is generally held a few days prior to the wedding, and is strikingly similar to that of Indian culture.
Many brides believe that the deeper the color of the Mehendi, the deeper the love they will receive from their in-laws, in particular the mother-in-law, whose blessing is particularly important to an Asian bride.
Mehendi is also an excellent conditioner for hair and used to colour premature grey hair. Mehendi has a cooling property and helps to cool the body in summers.

How to Apply Mehendi? 

You can make your own powder by drying henna leaves in shade. It might take weeks for them to dry to a crisp and you need to grind them thoroughly. You may also buy henna powder from the market. 

Take.... 
1. Henna powder sieved through a muslin cloth. 
2. Well strained strong tea decoction. 
3. Eucalyptus oil (few drops). 
4. Strained lime juice. 
5. Sugar (one table spoon). 

Take the henna powder in a bowl, add the tea till it becomes a thick paste (similar to a dough). Add eucalyptus oil, sugar and lime juice and mix well to make it into a smooth and thin paste. 
Leave it covered over night or during the day if you prefer to apply in the night. 

Make a cone.... 
Take a thick plastic cover or use any thick freezer bag - cut it into shape of rectange 7" X 4". Roll the cone by recognizing the tip region with a position just about one inch from the long end of the four-sided figure. Roll this into a cone and adjust the width of the tip. The entire procedure takes practice, and hence don't give up. Following this, take a piece of glue tape and, placing it at the tip of the cone, fix the tape downwards of the cone. Now, pack the paste mehandi cone. Take a spatula and pick up a mehandi to drop the mehandi paste into the cone. Depending upon the volume of your cone, fill up the cone until it is about half filled. Now close the cone with care and put the adhesive tape on it. Now your mehandi cone is ready for your designs.
You also get readymade cones from the market. 
You should leave the mehendi to dry on your skin and keep it on for as long as possible (4 to 6 hours if possible - you may go to bed also with it).
Let imagination fly... 
Now have fun. What ever you draw is beautiful and is a master piece in its own. 

 

About henna designs
There are three main types of designs: African, Arabic and Indian
African designs: These are bold, big designs with thick lines. They usually have floral and geometrical patterns stimulated by African subjects idea. In Africa some people use black henna; this type of henna is not safe because they are not natural and it contains artificial chemicals, which will be allergic to many people.

Arabic Designs: Large floral designs are the highlight of Arabic designs. The most frequent ones are geometrical and normal floral patterns.

Indian henna: These are the most complicated and elaborated types of designs; the patters look almost like lace. The lines are fine and the patterns use the typical Indian ritualistic patterns.

What Are Its Advantages

Henna powder is a pure preparation made out of dried Henna leaves. It is a purely vegetable product. It is extremely useful for hair. It is ground to a pure fine powder while maintaining its natural ingredients. Its advantages are enumerated below :

  • It is a pure natural product and is free from chemical ingredients.
  • It gives natural and attractive light brownish colour when applied to grey hair.
  • It dispels heat, cures neurosis and has a soothing effect.
  • It lasts for a long time and fades gently.
  • It gives natural shining to hair.
  • It gives coppery, carrot-red shade to white hair.
  • It is harmless to body system and causes no irritation to skin.
  • Its application gives body and texture to hair
  • It is a good hair conditioner.

It makes hair very soft and healthy

 

 

The preface of Mehandi into Euro-American culture is a very recent occurrence. Today Mehandi, as fashionable alternative to tattoos, is an in-thing in the West. Hollywood actors and celebrities have made this painless art of body painting famous
worldwide these days.

 

Tattoo fact and statistics in US

A 2006 a study done by the  Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that's almost one in four. And the survey showed that about 36% of Americans age 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo!

According to the American Society of Dermatological Surgery, they stated in 2005, that of all the people they treat with laser and light therapy, only only 6% are getting a tattoo removed.

In July of 2002 "tattoos" reached its highest ranking ever, coming in as the number two most requested search term on the internet. "Tattoos" was requested more often than Britney Spears, marijuana or Lopez, illustrating that skin ink is more popular than "sex, drugs and rock n' roll!"

How do tattoos make people feel?

Among Americans with tattoos, 34% said having a tattoo has made them feel sexier. Interestingly, more tattooed females (42%) feel this way than males (25%).
Additionally, those with tattoos said that having a tattoo has made them feel more rebellious (29%) while others said a tattoo makes them feel more attractive (26%). But tattoos apparently won't do much for your intelligence or your physique, as few Americans reported that tattoos make them feel more intelligent (5%), more healthy (4%), or more athletic (3%).

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