Sealant

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HennaforMorgan
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Sealant

I have been wondering if anyone has found the perfect sealant.  I have heard of lemon/sugar, but doesn't it remain sticky rather than firm up ( not to mention atract bees in the summer?).  I also don't know the reatio of each. When my daughter, Morgan, was alive she used Elmer's glue to seal, but it took FOREVER to dry.  Then she tried adding 1/2 Fructis Hair Spray Gel to the glue and that has helped, but I get a flaking around the henna and premature lifting of the henna.  CCJ has mentioned Frozen stiff, but unless I am doing something wrong, the henna seems to crack and fall off prematurely.  Is there anything I am missing?

Malynda
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Re: Sealant

Hi, Morgan's Mom!

I used to use a 1/2 glue + 1/2 hair gel seal with great results.  Plain white glue and cheapo, off-brand gel in the upper strength catagory, applied thick and then set under a hair dryer = no peeling or popping up.  I liked this seal because I could wear henna paste while out and about and it was visible.  However, I've switched to 3M paper medical tape... no mess, no fuss, no painful depilatory effect when removing.

It tickles me to see you carrying on this part of Morgan.  She was such a voice of encouragement and inspiration :)

HennaforMorgan
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Re: Sealant

Oh Malynda, you remember Morgan!!  That tickles me!!  She loved doing henna so much, hoped to have a business someday.  I wish that I had asked more questions when she was here, like what worked best, or how do you do this.  It has been a lot of errors and trials the past 3 years, but I think she would be proud of me.!  Someone from the Henna Page made her a very pretty silver necklace with henna designs on it and I wear it always around my neck. 

    So you prefer tape over an actual sealant?  I have tried the Vet Wrap elastic wrap, but found it was too elastic and would pull the henna off prematurely.  I just brought 2 rolls of the 3M tape home from work today.  It would make drying/sealing  time much faster.  Do you even use it on larger designs? 

  I 'm not sure why the glue flakes off, maybe not thick enough or too thick, i guess i just need to work on it some more.  Thanks for writing!!!   Darlene

Jen
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Re: Sealant

 Darlene, are you putting some sugar in your paste? This will make it more flexible even when its dry, which will help keep it from crumbling too.

HennaforMorgan
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Re: Sealant

Jen, yes I do use sugar.  I live in Michigan so right now it isn't very humid.  I add 6-8 Sweet and Low packets to about 1/4 cup of powder or 1 1/2 tsp of dextrose.  I don't think it is the mixture, do you find that maybe SOME people react differently to the sealants than others?  I tried Frozen Stiff last night like CCJ uses and within about 45 minutes the henna was pulling away from my skin and then cracked off in places.  GRRR!  I still have a good stain this morning though.  I just don't like to henna someones hand and then have it fall off in an hour or have the sealant look flakey after it dries,  Maybe I need to not use the hair dryer and send people on their way beofre it is dry?  GRRR, So many possibilites -- MORGAN!!!!

Mani
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Re: Sealant

Hi Morgan's Mom!  So glad to see you here!  You can definitely add more sweet stuff to your paste.  To 1/4 cup of henna powder, I use 1 tablespoon of sugar or sweetner.  If it is very humid the amount can be decreased, but especially in the winter time, more sugar helps a lot.  I live in a dry climate and have been lucky to never have to bother with sealant.

estavash
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Re: Sealant

Is it possible that your use of the hair dryer is drying the henna too much and causing the cracking and flaking?  I've never used a hair dryer on my henna, since I've read that dye absorption is best when the paste still has some moisture in it... so anyway, it's just speculation.  Maybe somebody here who also uses a hair dryer could shed some light on this?

Ellen

 

HennaforMorgan
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Re: Sealant

Thank you Mani!  I will give it a try!  So without any sealant on how long does the henna stay put, say on a hand or ankle? 

Darlene

Mani
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Re: Sealant

As long as I'm not being super active, the paste will stay on easily for at least 4 hours.  On a hand, the less that hand is used, the better as the paste is more likely to fall off earlier on the knuckles and wrists.  Ankles and calves are easier because the skin doesn't bend and twist the same as it does on a hand or wrist.  Advise your clients that the more they move the area that the henna paste is on, the more the paste will crack and fall off.  The same is true for henna with sealant over it.  The sugar in the paste adds some elasticity and sticking power, but care should still be used.  I hope this helps! 

HennaforMorgan
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Re: Sealant

I guess I try so hard to have people's paste to stay on AT LEAST 8 hours to get a dark stain and that is why I have worked so hard at trying to perfect the sealant thing.  I did use some of the medical paper tape and I like that.  I  always feel bad if someone comes back to me at a Relay for Life event or something and they say their paste is starting to peel after a couple of hours.  Am I being too unrealistic or hard on myself?  Also is not using a hair dryer to dry the paste pretty normal? 

HennaforMorgan
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Re: Sealant

So Ellen, do you just put the paste on the skin and send them off with no drying or sealing? 

estavash
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Re: Sealant

It depends on the situation... I prefer to use medical tape if I'm working on just one or two people, but at parties I generally ask them to stop back as soon as it's dry so I can spritz it with lemon sugar, then send them on their way.  Some come back and some don't.   Kids and teens almost always want their henna with glitter, so I just pouf glitter on the wet paste and leave it at that.  

I'm not nearly as experienced as many on this forum, but I do have a small monthly gig that draws repeat customers.  I have a few teens who come back every month for more henna with glitter, and they've always expressed satisfaction with the depth and duration of their stain despite what I would consider poor aftercare.

Ellen

 

Malynda
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Re: Sealant

At festivals, it's henna and go.  I know my paste will stick long enough to stain well and I avoid lemon/sugar sealant because a) it's an unnecessary, sticky mess b) it attracts insects and c) I am usually very busy and haven't a booth babe to handle spritzing.  Like Ellen, I use medical tape for private appointments.  She also brought up a good point:  Glitter!  It works as a sort of seal in that it keeps the henna more moist underneath, improving stain saturation.  It also encourages people to keep the paste on because it looks sparkly and pretty, i.e. making them less likely to get curious and pick it off prematurely.

desertholly
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Re: Sealant

Hi Morgan's Mom!  Good to see you on here. Morgan was such an inspiration.  Her Aslan drum is one of my all time favorite henna designs.  I agree with Mani, you can do with more sugar in your paste.  Are you using Jamila henna?  It does tend to crumble, flake, and pull away easily.  I like to mix mine about 2:1 with some rajasthani henna. That helps with the sticking.  Then I add about 1 tsp sweetener to 1 Tb. henna powder (VERY dry climate where I am). I tend to put in 2:1 fructose to ultra fine table sugar.  I like the fructose for the Jamila and the regular sugar for the raj, to keep it from getting too stringy.   My paste will usually stay on all night long with minimal wrapping.  I do use lemon sugar spray at some events, but not where there will be bees, etc.  I like the Henna Caravan spray for the convenience.     Glitter is super good for events.  Helps a little with the sealing issue, and looks so good.  Also for active events such as relay for life, you might consider designs that don't have too many super-fine lines in them.  Might help a bit.  If they made spray-on elmers.... : )

HennaforMorgan
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Re: Sealant

You ladies are wonderful!!!  I have been trying so hard to keep the henna paste on for hours and it appears that I don't need to be doing this!  Sealing really is a pain in the bum and takes so long, now I just need to convince all my henna babes that we don't need to be doing this.  Morgan seemed to feel it was a necessity.  She had lots of glitter but we stopped using it since it took so long to dry the paste we were spending a lot of time with each client.  I wonder if using the hair spray and then sprinkling some pretty glitter might be the way to go!?   I was also looking at a video on the consistancy of the finished henna product and it seems very thin, like cake batter.   Mine is more like molasses.  Do you supposed that may be another reason it cracks prematurely, I do mix Jamila and Raj 50/50?  I have never had complaints on my henna, just hard on myself I think.

   I love that drum too, desertholly.  Curt, her husband has it and hopefully is displaying it on his wall. 

Mani
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Re: Sealant

Jamila and Raj with adequate sweet stuff should have pretty good elasticity and sticking power.  I feel that in all but the most arid climates, sealing is not necessary.  If you do decide to use hairspray and glitter, put the glitter on top of the wet henna paste first, poof off the extra with an empty glitter poofer, then spritz with the spray, otherwise you end up with a hairspray-shaped glitter blob. 

Mani
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Re: Sealant

Also, at events such as Relay for Life, people are going to be more active, which means it is nealy impossible for the henna to stay on the skin for 8 hours (especially on hands and other bendy bits).  With a good mix, 2-4 hours is reasonable.  If people are coming to you with flaking paste which has been on for a couple of hours, check the stain.  So long as it is coming up bright or dark orange, it is fine for the paste to be coming off.  I would only worry if the paste were flaking after an hour or less (with good care) and if the skin was not staining.

Oh, and I remembered something about my early experiments with spray gels, etc...  It seemed like as they dried, they would shrink, which made the paste peel up very easily.  A thicker coating helped, but then there was the risk of  the lines bleeding a bit.

HennaforMorgan
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Re: Sealant

Thanks Mani!  You have been a big help! :>)

AgnesAnne
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Re: Sealant

I'm a hobbyist, and have done a few fundraising events. I've used fructis bamboo infused hairspray once the henna was dry to the touch but thicker areas felt "soft" underneath.

When I'm not so rushed I use elmer's gel type school glue wiht a litlle water to thin it. I use a paint brush to dab and swipe it on thinly. It flexs nicely wiht the skin and keeps the henna moist. I like how it peels of in larger peices too.

Both seem to work well while folks are wandering around looking at stuff or doing laps.

HTH,

gm

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