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Henna, or as it’s more commonly known in South Asia, Mehndi, holds a place of great importance in numerous cultures around the globe. Often associated with Indian nuptial traditions, it’s also a fundamental part of bridal ceremonies in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Horn of Africa.

It is a natural art form created from the leaves of the henna plant, turned into a paste with the addition of water or lemon juice. Sometimes, essential oils are also added to enhance the reddish-brown stain it leaves on the skin.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of henna, exploring its traditional use, safety concerns, and some essential tips for your henna ceremony.

The Product: Safety First

Henna has evolved from its natural roots, with demands for richer and varied colours leading to the introduction of chemicals. One such chemical, PPD (paraphenylenediamine), has become particularly controversial for its potential health risks, including severe allergic reactions.

When choosing your henna artist, don’t shy away from asking about the ingredients in the paste. If possible, ask for a sample to test how your skin reacts. Remember, natural is always better, especially if you’re pregnant or have young children involved in the ceremony.

Before the Henna Ceremony

When planning your henna application, ensure that you allocate 24-48 hours before your wedding day. Applying the night before will not permit the colour to darken enough, while applying too early may cause the colour to fade.

Keep away from activities that might interfere with the colour darkening process. If you’re planning other pre-wedding ceremonies, such as a Maiyyan or Haldi, schedule them before the Mehndi. The same applies to waxing and manicures.

During & After the Henna Ceremony

  • The Right Time: Choose a day without interruptions, preferably in the morning or in natural light.
  • Application: Allow the Mehndi to dry completely before applying a mixture of lemon and sugar. This sticky concoction will bind the paste to your skin, enhancing the stain.
  • Wrap it Up: Creatively wrap your hands and feet using materials like tissue paper or socks. Avoid plastic bags as they may cause sweating, hindering the staining process.
  • Intensify the Colour: After unwrapping and removing the dried paste, apply a warming agent like oils or vapor rub to deepen the hue.
  • Be Patient: The henna may still appear light at this stage, but don’t worry! Give it time to darken, and don’t hesitate to enlist family and friends to help you avoid getting your hands wet.


Henna is more than just a beautiful design; it’s a symbol of joy, beauty, and spiritual awakening. It connects us to ancient traditions and adds a unique flavour to modern celebrations.

If you are looking to incorporate this beautiful tradition into your wedding or other significant event, remember to approach it with the care and reverence it deserves. Always opt for natural henna, plan ahead, and enjoy the process.

At Jermaine Chandra Photography, we specialize in capturing these beautiful moments and would be delighted to be part of your special day. Contact us to learn more about our bespoke wedding packages tailored to your unique celebration.

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