There is a decorative cosmetic paste that is known in the Arabic world as Henna. Henna is not consumed, as it is used for decorative purposes only. There is a plant in which Henna gets its namesake. The leaves from the plant is what creates the henna. A green powder-like substance is created from the henna leaves when it is pummeled. Water is added to the henna, and is then applied to the body. Most often, the henna is used to create very ornate and decorative designs on the hands and tops of the feet. After a short period of time, the henna will take on an orange hue once applied to the skin. The stain that remains on the skin from the henna will stay on the surface for an upwards of three weeks. Henna is used in the Arabic world by women. The beautiful and intricate designs are used as a form of glamorizing a woman. Designs are usually applied to younger women, but older women as well often don the beautiful applications. The henna designs are applied on the young women mainly during their weddings, but often times, other women will wear it as a sign of being romantic towards their partner. Although henna is seen as erotic to many people of the Arabic culture, those women that wear the henna designs do not cover up their designs. In fact, they wear the exposed body area with much pride.
There is also a henna that is out called ” Black Henna”. Black henna can be dangerous when purchasing from out on the market. Even though the label on a box that an individual purchases is called “Black Henna”, it may very well indeed be black hair dye. Black hair dye is to by used on the hair only. Often times, when black hair dye is purchased, there is a warning that comes with the dye that states that the dye should be applied with gloves ( these are usually provided) and to try not to get the dye upon the scalp ( if it is very strong). With this being said, if the false “black henna” that was purchased is indeed hair dye, and is applied to the skin, it can cause severe scarring. The dye will blister the skin, as well as extreme itching. There is no such thing as a “black henna”. There is only one true henna, the henna that is derived from plants. True henna will never scar, or leave black print behind on any part of the body.
That henna is often mixed with other parts of the henna plant, such as the berries, which in turn create different hair colors. The leaf- based henna is applied first, then the secondary henna is applied to the hair. The combination of the two henna on the hair will dye the hair follicles different shades of color. This is one of the most natural and oldest methods for dying hair.
Henna is a safe, non-toxic way of decorating the hair and body. It is an elegant representation of exotic beauty. Henna has been around for centuries, and will continue to be just as popular in the Middle Eastern cultures for many years to come.