New to Henna: Processing time

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pheres
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Joined: 2011-09-05 08:14
New to Henna: Processing time

Hi....I'm new to henna and have been reading all I can.  However, I am finding limited info on how long henna should stay on to process well.  So...my question is this:  After sealing and/or wrapping how long should the henna be left on?  If I henna in the evening and seal and wrap for overnight...can it be removed in the morning? I tried to henna myself once so far with a pre-made paste that came with a henna book from the bookstore.  The henna cracked and dried and flaked off in about an hour and left minimal design.  As a matter of fact I was able to scrub off all remnants of the design the next morning in the shower. (I am fairly sure that this henna was too old for proper use and the instructions did not include sealing and/or wrapping). I have since ordered the "real deal" Henna School kit from Mehandi.com, been reading up on recipes, sealing, etc.  I want my next experience to be a good one, so any info given is greatly appreciated!

Jen
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Joined: 2010-04-26 06:47
Re: New to Henna: Processing time

 Yes, it sounds like you had old, sad henna. The cracking comes from a lack of sugar in the paste.

You should leave the paste on for a bare minimum of 4 hours. Eight is better.

I don't seal or wrap hardly ever anymore, except for on brides where color is critical, or on myself when I will sleep in the paste, and I don't want to wear all the crumbs.

You'll have all the help you need here, but you'll be amazed at how much information there is to be found in your henna school!

desertholly
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Re: New to Henna: Processing time

Short and simple reply:  If you sleep in it, yes you can take it off when you get up in the morning.  Just shower before you henna, so you don't end up showering right after you take the paste off.  If you've ordered from here you will be delighted with the results after the bookstore henna experience.  : )

Eliz. R.
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Last seen: 6 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2011-06-13 17:43
Re: New to Henna: Processing time

The longer you leave it on, the darker it'll tend to stain. Some artists use this property to get a two-toned design. There are other factors, such as the thickness of the paste. The longer it has a bit of moisture, the more dye seems to get into the skin. (Too much moisture can spoil the design, though.) The more heat, the darker it'll tend to stain. I think heat even has an effect after the paste is removed, as the stain darkens.

Wrapping overnight tends to help with moisture and heat. That's why many of us tend to henna at night, wrap, and remove in the morning. I don't think there's much gain in going any longer than overnight. Other methods (heat, terps, etc.) are more useful.

Water tends to encourage exfoliation, and it sometimes reduces the oxidation (darkening). That's why many prefer to remove the henna dry, and keep the area dry until the stain darkens. I tend to unwrap in the morning, then let it dry out, then scrape off the dry paste. If I must shower, I'll use some handcream to protect the stain a bit. (Though handcream and oils/fats in general can block the oxidation.)

My feet tend to take the stain so well that I don't bother with the extra care, but just wash off the paste. It's all a matter of how much trouble you want to take to get the darkest, longest-lasting stain. Tradeoffs. If you start with a good henna and focus on the areas that take stain well, you'll tend to get good results without the extra care.

Best wishes!

pheres
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Re: New to Henna: Processing time

Thank you everyone for your input. For my first attempt my henna came out really well!  I did a freehand henna design on my calf with rather fine lines yesterday morning and sealed it and left it on all day and overnight. Last night I decided to do a foot as well since I had a lot of paste left over in my cone (I had thrown it in the fridge). For the foot design I did another clip of my cone for a bit wider line.  I did a pattern along the side near the sole of my foot, little swirlies on my toes which went into a viney flower on the top of my foot. I sealed and then put on a loose cotton sock for bedtime.

This morning the calf pattern had mostly flaked off overnight (was not covered and left on much longer).  The foot pattern stayed intact with no flaking at all until I put on flip-flops this morning. It is now starting to flake and I can tell it came out well and is much darker than the calf design. I'm thinking...because the part of the body, better heat retention, heavier lines, plus the sock on the foot? Maybe a bit of all of these things! Both designs look good!

The only issues I had were in application. I didn't pre-sift my powder since I used a good quality and it didn't seem to have any chunks.  I did; however, squish my paste through a knee-high when I filled my carrot bag. I used a carrot bag to fill mylar cones.

In application, here is what I noticed: Sometimes I could make neat straight lines. Other times the cone would push a gloppy thick spot in my line.  Also, sometimes, my lines would lay down perfectly and other times it would break and leave "skips" that I would have to go back over. I tried on plain paper with same results. I don't think my paste was too thick.  Would pre-sifting the powder prior to mixing have helped this? Or did I not use enough sugar? I did not use table sugar.  I had ordered a sample of dextrose and used about 1/4 of the sample with the 25g of henna powder that I mixed, but I didn't have any idea about what ratio to use as it came without instructions. I also don't know anyone else that does henna outside this forum.  All my education has come from The Henna Page, books, this forum and my Henna School kit. So any tips on application and mix are greatly appreciated!

All in all...I'm happy with my "first attempt" results. But I would like to refine my recipe and application issues for my next batch.  Also, if anyone knows, I wonder if I could scoop out the rest of my next batch from my frozen leftover cones and add more sugar for future applications..if that would help...or am I stuck with using this paste "as is"?

Thanks again for your input!

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