Re: Women of color and Henna

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Posted by Maureen on May 22, 2002 at 05:40:12:

In reply to: Re: Women of color and Henna posted by Kenzi on May 21, 2002 at 21:14:05:

Hi Kenzi,

There is a color perception issue and then there is kind of how it

There are at least two different things at work here. One is
contrast. There is a contrast between the color of the henna dye and
the color of white or paler skin and with tan and brown skin. And
there is certainly great contrast on tan and brown skin...enough that
people of color should feel confident they obtain henna stains and
designs. The example you use would hold better if we were talking
about an opaque substance. But the transparent quality of henna dyes
creates a different color science issue. The greatest contrasts are
between colors or the greatest intensity. Sometimes, white skin
under the transparent stain can produce a lighter stain than the
stain produced brown skin under the transparent stain. The intensity
of the color of the henna stain is usually increased because of the
skin tone of people of color. The undertones of the skin of people
of color usually also shift the henna stain to more reddish,
burgundy, berry colors. It is possible for the resulting stains on
white skin to have no more contrast than a stain on brown skin. The
undertones of the skin of people of color is a huge factor in the
resulting color of the stain. The stains I have gotten on myself and
other people of color are as deep and often deeper in color than
those I get on white skin.

Bottom line is that people of color and people who are not of color
(for want of a better phrase) all can get excellent stains from
henna. There is no reason for any person of color to think that
something different and unique has to take place in order for them to
get great stains. Get fresh good henna powder...a good and effective
recipe...terp or not...and great stains will happen. If staining
hard to stain body parts, use a terp. That applies regardless of
skin color.

Sometimes I think this becomes about aesthetics. If one thinks the
only "good" stain is one reflected in the contrast of henna on light
skin, they will miss the beauty of the aesthetic of the henna stain
as reflected in the contrast of the henna stain on dark skin that is
equally "good" and equally "excellent."

This is perhaps were we are differing.



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