Though it's an ancient practice, the temporary body art is starting to become quite trendy. Even Vanessa Hudgens was spotted sporting a beautiful henna design on her hands at the premiere of her beau Zac Efron's movie, Charlie St. Cloud.
Our copyeditor Jill was recently in an Indian wedding, where it's a tradition for the bride and bridesmaids to get mehndi, which is the application of henna, right before the big day. All of the bridesmaids got henna on their hands (those are Jill's hands in the photo -- it's been almost a week since she had it applied), and the bride had it on her arms and legs (it depends on what the bride wants as to how much henna she and her bridesmaids get).
The artist uses a plastic cone with a hole cut into it and applies it to the body -- think of how you decorate a cake. The longer you keep the henna on your hands, the darker and longer the stain will last. Eventually, the henna becomes hard and you can flake it off. It will last for about 7 to 10 days, depending on how long you keep it on. Also, the higher your body temperature, the darker the stain. You shouldn't wash your hands for 5 to 6 hours after the application, though a full day is ideal.
The actual ink is made from the henna plant, which has been ground up and mixed with water, coming out in a dark, mud-like consistency. It's got the look of a tat, but washes off in about a week.
I love the intricate details -- it's pure art.
Would you ever get henna? If so, what part of your body would you get it on?
Image via Brittny Drye