Ways To Get A Darker Henna Color
Being able to understand the way henna works and how it reacts with different things will lead to dark henna color and spectacular henna stains! To get a darker stain from your henna follow these methods:
The quality of the henna mix:
The most important part of applying henna is getting good quality henna. If the henna itself is bad, the stain will also be bad. When applying henna to the skin you want to get BAQ (body art quality) henna. The way you make your henna mix also affects the color of the stain. Freshly mixed henna will stain better than an older henna mix. This is why creating your own henna mix will ensure a better/longer lasting color than a pre-mixed henna. Try our quick and easy recipe for a dark staining henna mix. Keep in mind that when creating your own henna mix you must leave it for a sufficient amount of time to allow proper dye release.
How clean the area of application is:
Henna dye bonds with the protein in skin cells. This is how the henna is able to stain the skin. Make sure that before applying the henna paste to the skin there are no oils, moisturizer/lotion, sun screen, or even sweat. If there is, they will act as a barrier and make it difficult for the henna to bond with the skin cells to create a darker stain.
The area of application:
Henna is able to stain darker on thicker skin than it does on thinner skin. Essentially, the thicker the skin, the darker the henna will stain and the longer it will last. So the palms of your hand are a great spot to apply the henna!
The amount of time the henna remains on the area:
The amount of time the henna remains on will also depict the color of the henna. If it is left on longer, the stain will not only be darker but it will also last longer. This is because when the henna paste is left on longer it is able to stain more layers of skin cells. Which means that as the top layers of skin shed away, there are still more layers of skin that are stained beneath them. The henna should remain on for at least 4 hours, but remember the longer it is left on the better!
The temperature of the body:
Usually people who have a high body temperature tend to get the best henna stains. This is because when the skin cells are warmer, they expand so they can release some heat. However, when the skin cells are cold they do the opposite. Instead of expanding they contract in order to to hold in heat. So when people have higher body temperatures, there is more space for the henna dye to penetrate their skin cells. One way you can add heat when applying henna is by using a wrap once it dries.
How the henna is removed once dried:
A mistake many people make is washing off the henna once it has dried. This is something you do NOT want to do. In fact, the longer you can go without getting water on the henna the better. When the henna touches water it slows down the oxidation process where the henna stain darkens. The best way to remove the henna is by gently scraping it off. If there is a little left on after you can gently remove it with olive oil or lemon juice.
How well the henna is maintained and cared for:
After removing henna avoid water for as long as possible, 8-12 hours is ideal. Remember to avoid using anything that will exfoliate the skin or it will prevent the henna tattoo from lasting long. Avoid going to the pool/beach, or washing dishes, and using any soaps/lotions.
Remember the henna takes time to get dark:
Once the henna is removed, it will be a bright orange color. This is not the final color! After 24 hours it becomes a dark reddish brown. If taken care of properly it can get even darker. The henna will continue getting dark for about 24-72 hours after removal.