How to Protect the Paste & Wrap the Henna Design

Learn how to protect the paste and wrap the design from expert Lisa Butterworth in this Howcast video about henna and mehndi art.

Transcript

I'm Lisa Butterworth sometimes known as Kenzi and I'm a henna artist and the owner of a henna supply business, kenzi.com. Today I'll unleash your inner henna artist and have you drawing henna designs all over your friends and anyone else who will sit still. Once you've applied your henna paste it'll take about half an hour for the henna paste to dry. You'll know it's pretty much dry when the surface of the paste is no longer shiny and it's kind of matte. When it gets to that point but before it starts to crack you want to apply some lemon sugar to the paste that's on your skin. So it's just equal parts lemon and sugar. You can even use water and sugar. The tradition is lemon and sugar and actually in Morocco they use garlic and black pepper in their mixture because they think these have warming qualities and that mixture is called ---. Just lemon and sugar should be fine and you just take the cotton ball and you soak it in the lemon sugar and just gently dab it on the drying paste. You don't want to push down on it too hard just kinda use the weight of the cotton ball to get the lemon sugar all over the design. This keeps the design from drying too fast and flaking off. If it flakes off it's not going to stay on your skin any longer. And then about a half an hour after that if you need to you can wrap the henna design up. I like to use something called Hypafix. It's basically a gauze tape. So it's a very flexible gauze on one side and you peel the paper off the back and it's sticky and it sticks very well to henna and is very good for wrapping up your paste. And then once you put the Hypafix on you can also put a glove over it. I like these Chinese gardener gloves. They're really stretchy and they fit pretty much any sized hand. So you can wrap your henna with paper towel or toilet paper or the Hypafix tape and put a glove over it to keep everything in place and also keep the area warm. It's important to keep the skin warm where the henna has been applied. This will help you get a darker stain. If you do henna anywhere else on your body you can use these same things. You can use the lemon sugar and wrap it with Hypafix. You can also use an Ace bandage to hold it in place instead of the glove or a very tight shirt if you're doing it on your arms or leggings if you're doing it anywhere on your legs. I would not recommend putting a plastic bag or plastic gloves over any areas that have been hennaed. This will trap the moisture and it will cause the henna to actually melt and run all over the place and when you take everything off it's going to look really ugly. One thing to remember is that different parts of the body stain differently. The hands and the feet stain the best because the skin is the thickest. So these areas you only need to leave the paste on for about six hours. And then the farther away you move from your hands and your feet the less well the henna takes. So I would say for your arms and your legs only the leave the paste on for about eight hours. Anywhere on the torso, the chest or the back or the stomach, you need to leave the paste on for at least twelve hours. In addition to how long you leave the paste on you also need to keep water off of it for twelve hours after you remove the paste.

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