By Olivia A.
It’s no secret that tattoos are something reserved mostly for adults. But for over 5000 years, ancient civilizations such as Egypt have been using an alternative for dying their skin and hair: henna. This old practice was adapted as a cosmetic, and a spiritual experience. It is used as a form of expression for many people. In India, South Asia, and Africa, a bride has her hands decorated with beautiful designs in henna right before her wedding to symbolize prosperity and happiness. It is also a fun way to try something new and have it wash away in a couple of weeks!
Henna is a plant called “lawsonia inermia”. It is grown mostly in India. The leaves are processed and crushed to get it into a powdery substance. Lemon, sugar and some herbs are added so make it paste-like. If you’re making the henna on your own, freeze the henna to keep it fresh for your nest usage. It looks kind of gross, but that’s only because it’s all natural.
If you’re not interested in making the henna yourself, there are other options on how and where to get this intresting trend. Local World Market’s are sure to sell it in a piping tube (they look like the ones you use to frost cakes). Another option is to go to the Venice Beach boardwalk. Little booths are set up right near the bike path. Vendors have hundreds of designs to choose from and you can even ask them to do something special of your choice.
At first is feels a little weird having it applied to your skin, but it’s an exotic and refreshing way to cool down on a summer day. It feels a little cold at first, then it starts to hardened and cake up on your skin. It takes about thirty minutes to flake off, and then it leaves a rich brown stain. You can get your henna done anywhere on your body. A popular place to get a henna is on your hands because that is the traditional way. New henna trends such as glitter and gems really make a statement.
You’re probably thinking, “How do I get this thing off?” It takes at least a week or so to come off on its own, but sweating a lot and interactions with pools and the ocean can speed up the process. So next time you want to try something new and exciting, check out henna tattoos!
Editor’s Note: It is highly recommended to have your parents’ permission to get a Henna Tattoo. Some do not wash off up to three weeks depending upon the strength of the plant dyes used.