Henna, or mehndi, is such a massive part of not only Divali, but Hindu culture, that we knew we couldn’t celebrate the festival without including it in this weekend’s issue.
Just take a stroll through the Indian Expo or the Divali Nagar, and you’ll see various booths and artists offering henna designs.
We reached out to Kelly from Henna Hearts to showcase a few of her different henna designs, and we were so impressed that we knew we had to share her skills with you in XX! Meet the talented artist!
XX: How long have you been doing henna?
KELLY FRASER: I’ve been doing henna for about two years now.
XX: Where did you learn? And how are you so good?
KF: I’m fully self-taught! But lots of practice makes for good work. I’ll be honest, I messed up a lot of family members’ hands for months before I could do a somewhat neat design!
XX: Henna is a true artform! where do you get your inspiration?
KF: I’ve always loved and enjoyed doing art, and henna is just about a form of it.
My main reason behind [starting Henna Hearts] was seeing a page online called ‘Henna Threads’, that did henna on the heads of cancer patients. I thought that was beautiful and it made me want to do henna too!
XX: What is henna even made from?
KF: Henna is a dye prepared from the plant “Lawsonia inermis,” also known as “Hina” or the “henna tree”.The henna paste is made with the henna powder, water or lemon juice, sugar and essential oils.
True henna only comes in two shades: the natural brown shade you often see, and black – which tends to be pricier. Henna that’s done in white isn’t true henna dye.
XX: How long does it take to do a typical henna design?
KF: Well, that depends on the design itself. Two people can come for what they both think is “typical henna”, but one can take only 20 minutes, whereas the other can take up to an hour.
It also depends on the size of the area that you’ll be doing henna. If it’s a smaller hand or arm, it’ll take less time than say, a larger hand. If you’re doing other areas of your body, it’ll take longer than just your hand.
XX: How long does henna tend to last? How can you make it last as long as possible?
KF: Henna can last up to two weeks. However, to make this happen, the instructions on caring for your henna MUST be followed.
These instructions include keeping the dried paste on overnight, applying sugar water or lemon juice when the paste is dried, not removing your dried paste with water, using coconut oil when removing the hardened paste, and avoiding exfoliating on the particular area where the mehndi is applied.
XX: Where can people reach you to get their mehndi done?
KF: Anyone interested in having Henna Hearts do their henna can contact me through social media: @henna_hearts on Instagram, and Henna Hearts on Facebook.
I also have a contact number listed on both pages, so customers can feel free to call or WhatsApp me to get in contact.