Expert Style Tips

Henna Facts by Zahra Virji of Zara Henna

  1. How did henna emerge on the scene? Traditionally, henna dates back to Egypt in the time of Cleopatra (the lines around her eyes were henna). The art was highly linked to wealth and showed your status in society. Slow making its way to the the Middle East, henna became very common for its therapeutic benefits, such as extracting heat from one's body and also as a way to condition hair. Once henna made its way to India, it took on more pretty patterns reflecting nature, like flowers and vines, as well as architecture.

  2. What is henna made of? It is a plant that grows in very hot and humid climates. Most of the henna produced today comes from various parts of India. Once the plant has flowered, the leaves are ground into a powder. This is then developed into a henna paste by adding various ingredients. The most common ingredients used to achieve a dark henna stain are: eucalyptus oil, black tea/coffee, various essential oils and sometimes something as simple as water.

  3. When is henna used? It can be used any time! However, it’s most often linked to weddings as this is a common practice in the South Indian culture. It is not linked to any religious belief or custom. Traditionally brides wore henna to beautify themselves, and the application process meant they would not need to do any work once the henna was on. It also meant that they would benefit from the cooling and calming effect of the henna.

  4. Who receives henna? Anyone can get it. In today's world henna is seen as a must-have fashion accessory and a form of entertainment. You can find henna at events such as dinner parties, birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, anniversaries, fundraisers, corporate parties and, of course, weddings!

  5. Are there different designs for certain occasions? For weddings, brides will tend to get a more intricate design. However, in general, people are going for the less-is-more style now. It is a developing art form, similar to fashion. Alternatively, some individuals still like to go traditional and have images of gods, the bride and groom, peacocks, nature, etc.

  6. How long does henna last? Do the colors change at all? The color peaks about two days after application. It will stay that color for another three or four days, and then after a week the designs will start to fade. Two weeks later the designs will be gone. It’s important to note that you should never wash your henna off – let it crumble off instead. It will take its own beautiful course in terms of developing the stain. You don’t want to be shampooing your hair or washing your hands for several hours after application! The key for achieving a good henna stain is to stay warm! The warmer you are, the darker your stain. It’s all about body temperature.

Zara Henna

ZAHRA VIRJI OF ZARA HENNA Zara Henna was started by Zahra Virji. Zahra has been applying henna for more than 10 years as a hobby, but has been managing Zara Henna since 2013. We cover any and all events: birthdays, Bar/Bat mitzvahs, parties, corporate, charity, fundraisers, and, of course, our main focus, weddings, as well as cake decoration. Zara Henna delivers a unique henna experience as we design around clients to make the experience personal and individual. We can cater five artists per event, and we work with planners to create the best setups to impress guests.