You're probably in the henna biz and still trying to figure out the tips and tricks to henna. I was once in your shoes boo!
On the surface, it looks relatively easy, but there's actually so much work and figuring out to do.
You might be wondering "where to buy henna from" or "what's a good henna recipe?" - I'd know cause these were all questions I asked when I first started out in the henna business.
Bottom line is, you need to start with good quality henna powder and paste to be able to create remarkable work.
Because I took deliberate time, research and effort, I'm able to create henna pieces like this (referring to the image below), guaranteeing that level of stain each and every single time.
So if you go and buy out your first henna powder or kit, or mixed up your very first henna recipe, here's how to determine if it's good quality!
1) It's Triple Sifted
Henna powder is made by crushing a plant until it's completely powdered. If it's not crushed well, you'll end up with twigs and debris that will really dehance the quality of your henna paste. So you really want to make sure that the powder is triple sifted. If you're not too sure that it is, just get one of those home sifters and do it yourself until you know for certain your powder is free of any unwanted things.
2) It's Green and Smells Earthy
You want to make sure that your powder is a rich green in colour and has a nice earthy smell to it. Without these 2 components, it's either not fresh or just poor quality.
3) It Doesn't Break When You're Designing
I personally prefer stringy henna because it allows me to draw long nice drapes without the frustration of it having to cut off in the middle. The more difficult it is to squeeze your henna paste out of your cone, the more challenging it will become to have clean polished lines.
4) Hard to flake off Once on the Skin
This is why I add sugar in my henna recipe, to make sure it doesn't flake off from the skin once it's dry.
There are ways to prevent henna from chipping off with good aftercare, however, high quality henna paste will usually not flake off at all.
In fact, good henna paste will be very difficult to chip off from the skin (life the image on the left). Sometimes I'll sleep overnight with my henna and not a single piece would have flaked off.
5) It Passes the 5 Minute Spot Test
The 5 minute spot test is one of the best indicators to tell if your henna paste will give a rich brown colour. What this involves is after mixing your henna recipe, place a small spot (or dot) on your palm and wait for 5 minutes before scraping it off. Once it's off, it should give a bright orange colour. Obviously the more vibrant it is, the higher the quality of your henna paste.
Image Sourced from: Rivka Malka
6) Goes through Colour Progression
Natural henna will never stain immediately. It takes 3 stages of progression (as seen in the images above). First, the wet henna paste needs to be kept on for a minimum of 6 hours (I often say even overnight), then once the paste is removed a bright orange colour should appear. In the course of 36 - 48 hours, the stain should reach to a nice rich brown colour.