Have you seen pictures of baby bumps adorned with beautiful and intricate designs and thought, “What is that? Is it safe? How long does it last? Where can I get one?”
That is belly henna, and you don’t need to look further than right here! I am one of few henna artists in the area offering belly henna, and I can answer your questions!
So, what is henna?
Henna is a shrub that grows in arid climates along the equator in Africa and South Asia. The plant is harvested and milled into a very fine powder. The super-fine henna is sold as body art quality henna, which is what I use in my paste. The less fine henna is used in hair and other beauty products.
So what goes on my skin?
Henna paste is made by mixing the henna powder with a liquid, usually lemon juice or water, and adding some form of sugar, and sometimes essential oils to help with the stain. My paste is always made with fresh organic henna powder. I never use the pre-made cones as they are not forthcoming with their ingredients list, and are known to contain harmful dyes and preservatives.
How does henna stain my skin?
Inside the henna powder is a plant molecule called lawsone. Lawsone is what is responsible for the henna’s staining abilities. We use liquid and oils to break down the molecules, which gives the henna more staining power. When mixing the henna, there is a period of time where the henna paste must be left to develop until it reaches its peak dye release state. This is when the highest amount of lawsone is available in the paste, and will leave a nice dark stain.
What essential oils do you use? Are they safe for pregnancy?
Different henna artists use a number of essential oils in their paste. The most common oil used for belly henna is lavender oil, which is entirely pregnancy safe. If you have a sensitivity to lavender or any essential oil, or would just prefer to not have the oils, just let me know ahead of time and I can mix henna without oils especially for use on your sensitive skin.
How long does it take to apply belly henna?
Typically, it will take between 1-2 hours. It may take longer if the design is particularly intricate, or if your baby decides to have a dance party during the appointment! To get the best stain, you will need to leave the henna paste on your belly for a minimum of 4-6 hours, longer if possible. The longer you leave the paste on, the deeper the stain will get into your skin, and the longer the stain will last.
How long does the stain last?
With good stain care, a belly stain will last up to two weeks. The stain will be at its peak darkness at about 48 hours after the paste is removed. The longer you leave the paste on, the deeper the stain will get into your skin, and the longer the stain will last.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment or have any more questions, feel free to contact me!
By: Sherri-Lyn Cranston