Re: new to trying henna

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Posted by Maureen on July 30, 2002 at 04:38:29:

In reply to: new to trying henna posted by Karin on July 29, 2002 at 21:41:58:

: Although I liked the simple design I did, it was very 'chunky'
: looking (lines too big). How do you decide the texture/consistency
: of the henna before you apply it? How tiny does the tip need to be?

Your tip impacts the size of the line you get, but so does how much
paste and the consistency of the paste. A small tip with a thin
paste can let a lot of paste out that can flatten out and run and
feather into the lines of the skin. Too much oil in paste can also
cause that bleeding and feathering effect. Choosing the tip you want
to use has a lot to do with the design you are trying to create.
Thinner the line...smaller the whole in the tip. Thicker the line
desired...larger the whole in the tip. I don't think there is anyway
around getting a few tips and playing with them to see the lines they
create and allow that to teach you which one is best for the job.
What that will also do is allow you to play with different
consistencies of paste and learn to work with your paste to get it
the right consistency for the tip you are going to use based on the
design type you are wanting to create. It is all connected.

It dried and : started cracking/flaking off within half an hour. I
decided then
: since I can try again, to wash it off and was surprised at how
: it washed off. I read that keeping it on longer results in a
: tat, but how do you keep it on longer if it's cracking and flaking
: off?
There is a step in the henna process called "sealing" your paste.
The most common sealant is a lemon and sugar mix. Just lemon and
sugar mixed to a syrupy consistency and applied over the paste before
it is so dry that it is cracking and falling off...but not before it
has dried sufficiently to not run when you apply the lemon sugar
sealant. The sealant keeps the paste moist and prevents the cracking
and falling off as you experienced. Adding sugar to your henna paste
also prevents some this cracking and makes the paste adhere to the
skin much better than pastes without sugar mixed in. Sealing is an
important part of your process. As well as wrapping in tissue and
then plastic wrap to keep the area with the paste design warm and the
paste moist and also to protect the design as the dye is staining the
skin. These things help you to keep the paste on for the prolonged
period of time needed for the dye to stain the skin and also
maintains the design in a warm and cozy environment it likes.

Your paste can be washed of easily...that is true. If you have a
fast staining paste, though, you may already have a stain beginning
that will continue to develop of the next day or so. Not seeing a
stain at paste removal does not always mean there is no stain there
that will develop. So sometimes when you take the paste off because
you don't like the design and then apply another one, you end up with
two overlapping designs.

Also, ordinarily when you have applied your paste and kept it wrapped
and allowed your stain to develop, you will not want to wash the
paste off. Try scraping it off instead. I use a butter knife
(without the surrogated edge) to scrape my paste off and then apply
either rose oil or a vegetable oil. You will not want to get your
design wet for about 24 hours. Getting water to it earlier can
interfere with your stain development.

Thanks in advance, I hope all my questions are not *too*
: elementary :o)

There are no questions "too elementary." Yours are starting off
questions that everyone has. It takes a lot to get to the point that
you can present the question. And the best way to get there is to do
what you have done. Start playing with your henna and then ask the
questions that arise out of your experience. As you play and learn
your henna powder and paste and tools you will have more questions to
ask relevant to what you experience. What is great is that your
questions asked and answered helps other people.

Take care and keep posting.



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