1. Leave the henna paste on your skin for at least 6-8 hours. Overnight is even better.
2. Seal dried paste onto the skin by lightly dabbing with cotton ball dipped in lemon sugar syrup. Be careful not to allow the syrup to puddle up. Adding too much could cause the dye to run.
3. HEAT is a friend of henna. Warming your henna design with the henna paste still on your skin will help in achieving a dark stain. You can warm your henna design in front of the fireplace or a space heater, or even use a heating pad or a hair dryer. But please don’t go nuts with this. There’s no need to burn yourself.
4. Apply more sugar-lemon juice syrup. Heat again. Repeat process 3-4 times.
5. As long as the henna paste is moist, it will keep staining…heating makes you sweat and hence moistens the paste.
6. You can unroll cotton balls and stick them onto the sticky henna design. Wrap with a loose sock, toilet paper, or medical bandage…anything will work, to keep the henna paste on the skin and to protect clothing and furniture. If leaving on all night, be sure to keep your henna design WARM ALL NIGHT…when your skin gets too cold, the pores in your skin close and the henna stops staining. You can wrap up your henna design with layers of tissue or cotton balls and then a layer of plastic wrap to retain heat. Just be careful that you do not sweat too much or the plastic wrap will cause your beautiful henna design to smudge. Plastic wrap can sometimes cause you to sweat too much overnight.
7. When removing the henna paste, do not wash off with soap and water. Scrape the paste off gently. You might use a little coconut or olive oil to help taking the paste off. I like to use a plastic card (like a credit card) to help scrape off the paste.
8. Avoid excessive direct contact with water for the next 24 hrs. Keep stain coated with olive or coconut oil to create a barrier.
9. Your henna stain will be a light/bright orange at first and will darken to a deep reddish-brown over the next 48-60 hours. This gradual darkening of the stain is a sign that the henna paste is 100% natural!
10. You can also just leave the paste on for 4-6 hours and not follow any special steps and still get a good stain. The above instructions are for a SUPER dark stain!
11. After you have removed the Paste, keeping your skin well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and applying a good lotion such as one containing shea or cocoa butter will slow the exfoliation process of your skin and help extend the life of your Henna Tattoo. You can also apply a little olive or coconut oil to your design anytime just before showering to prevent any heavy exposure to water.
Lemon juice + sugar syrup:
Dissolve 3 tsp of sugar in 3 tbsp of bottled or fresh lemon juice. Adjust quantities to make a thick maple syrup like consistency.
• WHAT NOT TO DO:
- AVOID Scrubbing the tattoo area with a loofah or brush or anything that exfoliates your skin. Your Henna design will fade away as quickly as your skin exfoliates. So any precautions you can take to prolong this will help your Henna stain to last a little longer.
- AVOID soaking your fresh henna tattoo in a bath, hot tub, swimming pool, the ocean, etc. Long exposure to soaking the skin area in water can cause the henna to be pulled out of your pores. Normal showering is fine.
Enjoy your beautiful henna!!