If we are to believe the old wives’ tale, then the darker the bride’s henna stain or mehendi, the more her husband loves her. While this may be just an interesting myth, it is a fact that intricate and elaborate patterns look best when the henna stain is dark rather than orange. So if you’re looking for ways to make sure your mehendi is dark and prominent, read on.
Leave it on Longer
Before your mehendi session, ensure that your hands and legs are clean and avoid using oil or any kind of lotion. Once the artist is done, leave on your mehendi for at least 12 hours and make sure you do not let water or soap touch it for additional 24-48 hours. The longer you leave it on, the darker it stains! When you shower the next day, cover your hands and legs with plastic to protect the henna from water. Once the waiting period is up, you can gently scrape it off with your fingernails, a blunt knife, or tissue paper.
Apply a Sugar and Lemon Mixture
Once your henna has dried, you need to apply a solution that will help darken the stain by increasing its acidity and keep it wet enough to penetrate your skin. Boil three tablespoons of sugar in water, allow it to cool, and then add an equal amount of lemon juice to get a thick syrup-like consistency. You can either dab this on carefully with cotton balls or use a spray bottle to conveniently mist it all over. Do make sure that your henna has really dried before applying this mixture or your beautiful designs will smear.
Use Heat and Cloves
Once you’ve applied the lemon and sugar mixture, you can use either of the following two methods. The first one involves heating water in a pan, putting in a few cloves, and then using the steam to further darken your henna stain. Steam for about 40 seconds, pause, and then again steam for 40 seconds; do not overdo it. If steaming sounds intimidating, then simply roast a few cloves on a frying pan and keep your hands over the pan to let the vapours get absorbed. You need to be careful not to burn yourself or melt the henna while trying out these methods.
Apply Balms or Oils
Once you’ve scraped off the mehendi, you’ll see the henna has left a bright orange stain. Don’t panic, as this stain will darken the next day, especially if you apply Tiger balm, Vicks Vapour Rub or mustard oil. The menthol in the balms will further darken the stain over the next few days. Mustard oil will not only turn your stain a shade darker owing to its heating properties but will also remove traces of the lemon and sugar mixture.
So whether you’re attending a loved one’s wedding or you are a bride-to-be yourself, use these 4 tips to get a dark and enviable henna stain that will further enhance your beauty.