The answers to frequently asked questions...
If you can't find the answers you need here please get in contact with Nadia and she will get back to you asap!
What is henna?
Henna, the Persian name for Lawsonia inermis, is a flowering desert shrub native to Asia and the Mediterranean coast of Africa.
It is thought to have originated in Egypt and was brought to India and other countries by merchants and nomads. For more than 9,000 years henna has been used to dye hair, leather and textiles red and for the art of mehndi.
What colours can you get henna done in?
Your peak henna stain from fresh natural henna should always be somewhere between a milky tea colour and a deep conker brown colour (depending on where on your body it is). Henna is NEVER any colour other than this. Real henna CAN NOT be pink, blue, white, purple or black. If you have seen ‘henna’ that comes in these colours – it is not real henna, it is a chemical based skin dye and it could be very harmful for your skin.
You may see some ‘Mehndi By Nadia’ designs that contain colours, these colours are just biodegradable, cosmetic glitter gel, they do not stain the skin, they just sit on the surface like face paint.
What is the difference between ‘henna’, ‘mehndi’ and a ‘temporary tattoo’?
Mehndi [men-dee] noun - ‘the art or practice of painting elaborate patterns on the skin with henna.’
Henna is the product (plant leaf) , Mehndi is the art of applying henna.
A temporary tattoo is any temporary design that leaves a stain on the skin, this could be henna but could also be glitter glue, tattoo transfers, Jagua ink, or a sharpie! ( I don’t recommend putting any of these on your skin apart from Henna!)
How does henna stain my skin?
Henna contains a tannin dye molecule, Lawsone, or hennotannic acid, that is small enough to penetrate a skin cell. If you put henna paste on skin, the dye molecules will penetrate down the columns of skin cells. The skin cells closest to the henna paste will have the greatest dye saturation. The skin cells farthest (deep down in the layers of your skin) from the henna paste will have the least dye saturation. As your skin cells renew, the top layer sheds and new skin cells are formed underneath, after 2-3 weeks all of the cells containing henna will have shed—time for another henna design!
How much does henna cost?
A henna cone costs from £2 you can buy them here.
A pouch of henna powder costs around £5, you can buy that here.
To have your henna design piped onto you buy Nadia will cost from £5, you can have that done here.
More elaborate designs that take more time will of course cost you more than £5, but Nadia’s prices are very reasonable and she can work to whatever budget she is given. The average full hand design is around £15. If you would like a more exact quote please send a picture of the type of design you would like to Nadia via social media and she will get back to you with a price.
Can you come to my home for a private henna appointment?
Yes, Nadia would love to travel to your home for a henna appointment. She can come to henna you at home if you live somewhere in East Anglia (sometimes she can travel further if you ask nicely). Nadia is a travelling henna artist and she covers all of Norfolk and some of Suffolk on a regular basis.
There is however a minimum spend for home appointments. This going to be at least £30, but could be up to £100. This depends upon the date and location. There may be a small travel charge to cover petrol costs. Please contact Nadia for an accurate quote.
Do I need to pay a deposit to book your services at home?
You will need to pay a deposit for your private henna appointment, this can be done via PayPal or bank transfer and the amount will go towards the henna you have on the day. This cannot be refunded but can be reallocated to another date. There is more info here.
Do you hold henna parties?
Yes, Nadia loves a good henna party! This will usually be charged by the hour, for a minimum of 2 hours @ £50 per hour. Within this time you will have at least £100’s worth of henna done. Additional hours will be charged at the same rate.
Can you henna all skin?
Yes, all skin is fine to be henna’ed unless you are an anaemic child with a G9PD deficiency. Some skin takes better to henna paste than others though. Those with very thin skin naturally or because they are on steroidal medication will only every achieve a very light stain. Dark skin stains beautifully but there will be less of a contrast between the henna stain and your skin tone. The only place on the body I would not recommend henna’ing is the face, the skin is so thin there that the stain never really darkens or lasts. Those with sensitive skin, dry skin or allergies to Essential Oils would be best to have a patch test done 24 hours before the appointment.
What is in your henna paste?
Nadia’s beautiful natural henna paste contains;
Organic Henna Powder (100% dried henna leaves)
Essential Oils (Either Lavender or Cajeput with possibly a small amount of Sweet Orange or Rose Geranium)
Brown Sugar and Filtered water
Can you tell me the recipe for your henna paste?
Of course, with every henna powder purchase I provide a recipe card with my perfected henna paste recipe!
Or you can just follow the instructions below;
This recipe makes 15 + henna cones; you may want to divide the ingredients for a smaller batch, especially if it’s your first time!
100 g - Nadia’s Henna Powder
30 ml – Cajeput, Lavender, Tea Tree or Eucalyptus pure essential oil
20 - 30 g –Brown Sugar (more during dry summers)
230 ml approx –Warm water or black tea or lemon juice
1) Measure Henna, Essential Oil and Sugar into an old Tupperware
2) Add the liquid a little at a time and mix with a spatula until you reach mashed potato consistency. Then put a few drops of water on to the top. You may not need all of the liquid at this stage and don’t worry too much about lumps.
3) Put the lid on the Tupperware and leave in a warm place to ‘dye release’ - this could take between 2 and 24 hours. It’s the essential oil or ‘terp’ in the mix that allows the lawsone (dye molecule) to break through the henna cell walls.
4) When the henna is ready you will notice the liquid sitting on top has turned orange, and the paste is browner on top than below the surface. Dab a little paste onto your palm, and leave for 5 mins, when you wipe it off there should be a bright orange stain underneath. If not, leave for a little longer.
5) Mix henna again until you have a smooth paste, and add a little more liquid if necessary. You are looking for a whippy ice cream consistency! Spoon out a dollop of henna and let it fall back into the pot, it should take about 4 seconds to fall but still hold its shape on top of the rest of the henna.
Now you are ready to fill your applicator of choice, if you haven’t mastered cone rolling yet then you can buy empty ones from Nadia’s or online here.
Can I get henna done as a tattoo trial?
Some people like to have henna done in a similar place and style to a tattoo they might like to have done. This is a great way of trying a tattoo before it is made permanent. You just have to realise that henna is very different to tattooing and the design will not be exactly the same but it is a great way to trial a tattoo if you are not sure.
Why do some people say henna is not safe?
Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation surrounding henna. Real, natural henna paste is very safe and even therapeutic for you. Fake, chemical laden henna can be toxic and cause permanent scaring. It is important to understand the difference. When buying henna it should always come with instructions to store in the freezer, as natural henna is a perishable product. If it doesn’t, it has nasty chemicals added for preservation and to stain the skin even after the henna has perished. This is what people are talking about when they say it is not safe. Just google ‘Black henna reaction’ to see what unnatural henna can do to you. These tattoo’s are often done whilst on holiday and contain PPD, a harmful chemical found in black hair dye that most people are very allergic to. You can also build up a sensitivity to it, so just because it was ok once, it might not be next time. You can find out more about natural henna on my website here.
Can I get henna done when I am pregnant?
Henna is a beautiful way to celebrate your pregnancy. It is very safe to have natural henna done like Nadia’s henna available from this website, but if you are having it done by any other person make sure you know the ingredients before. This should simply be pure ground henna leaves, water, sugar and lavender essential oil. This is the only essential oil I would recommend using during pregnancy, some other essential oils can bring on early labour!
Nadia often henna’s baby bumps at baby showers or mothers parties. It is a wonderful ritual that creates a sacred memory for mother and baby to look back on in the future. See more here.
Do you do henna crowns for people who have lost their hair?
Henna crowns are one of Nadia’s absolute favourite things to do with henna. She is offering anyone’s first henna crown FREE to empower those experiencing hair loss; through Alopecia or Chemotherapy for example. Many people have said it helps them to 'heal' and regain confidence. Please spread the word if you know anyone who would benefit from a 'henna crown'. And direct them to this website here. Nadia has some beautiful photos of henna crowned ladies on her social media. Or take a look at this site to see where Henna Crowns all began.
I have purchased henna from or from ‘Nadias henna happiness studio’ on Norwich Market - How should I store fresh henna cones?
· FREEZE IMMEDIATELY - Fresh henna will perish once it has been mixed and dye release has occurred.
· Within 7 days at room temp the staining power of your henna will have diminished. Freezing will stop this from happening.
· Paste can be frozen and thawed up to 3 times if necessary and can be kept frozen for up to 6 months.
· Henna cones take 30 mins to defrost in a warm place.
· To begin; pinch out the dry plug of henna from the cone tip and apply pressure… and you’re off! If you would like a slightly fatter line just snip the tiniest bit off the tip. (1mm at a time!)
How long do fresh henna cones last for?
If you don’t follow the ‘freezing instructions’ above then henna cones will only be at their best for around 4-5 days.
How long does Nadias dry henna powder last for?
Henna Powder needs to be kept away from sunlight and in an airtight container; this way it will last for a few years without diminishing.
Do I need to make an appointment for a henna tattoo at ‘Nadia’s Henna Happiness Studio’?
No need to make an appointment but you might want to check my opening times here, and my special closures here. (Nadia often has festivals and events during the summer which means she cannot open her henna studio on Norwich market). If in doubt send Nadia a message or text and she will let you know if she is open on that day.
Can I have my bridal henna / bridal mehndi applied by Nadia?
Nadia would be privileged to apply your henna/mehndi for your wedding day. Please see some of the packages she provides here, and contact her as soon as you have a date in mind to secure your booking. If you have any questions that you cannot find the answer to in these FAQ’s please do not hesitate to ask. There are some bridal testimonials for you to read here.
I want henna for a special event, how long before should I have it done?
Henna reaches it’s peak stain between 48 – 72 hours after application. I would therefore recommend for a Saturday wedding to either have your henna applied on Wednesday evening or Thursday day-time ideally. It is best to follow the bridal preparation tips below.
I am having bridal henna / bridal mehndi, what can I do to prepare beforehand?
For bridal henna it is important to achieve a dark, rich long lasting henna stain. This can very easily be achieved if you follow the advice given here.
Nadia recommends having any beauty treatments done before applying your mehndi. That means nails, waxing, threading, hair washed and showered for the next 24 hours all done and in your pyjamas before Nadia arrives to do your mehndi! It is also recommended that you have a good exfoliate of the areas to be henna’ed before too, but don’t apply any oils or creams as this will create a barrier to the henna stain. Make sure the house is nice and warm and you have a comfortable chair to sit in whilst being decorated. Bridal henna can often take between 3 and 8 hours so make sure you are settled in for the evening and your phone can be manned by another member of the family. Once your henna is applied and dried Nadia will either apply sugar sealant or mefix tape to your henna paste. This will need to be kept on for at least 12 hours, and the henna stain should not be washed for 24 hours at least. See ‘How can I achieve the best possible stain?’ below for further guidance.
How long does a henna stain last for?
There are a lot of variations which will affect your henna stain and how long it lasts for. Variations include humidity, body area, skin type, body temperature, length henna paste is left on for, how soon the stain is washed etc. For Nadia’s natural henna the quickest a design has ever disappeared is 7 days, the longest it has stuck around for is 1 month. The place quickest to disappear is probably on the chest, especially if applied in cold weather, not left on for long and washed within 12 hours. The longest stain tends to be on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, especially if the paste is left on for 12 hours in hot humid conditions and not washed for at least 24 hours after application.
How can I achieve the best possible henna stain that is dark and lasts for a long time?
Some skins take henna better than others; those with tough thick skin on the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet will get the darkest henna stain. The way to maximise the length and depth of the henna stain for any skin type or area of the body is to stick to the following advice;
Leave the henna paste to dry on the skin naturally over a long period of time (don’t force drying with a hair dryer). Apply henna when you are lovely and warm and ideally when the weather is quite humid. Keep your hands warm under blankets, or cover it with Mefix or with a sugar sealant when the henna paste is dry. Leave the henna paste on for more than 12 hours, 24 if you can stand it! When you take the henna paste off the skin don’t wash it, just scrape it with an old credit card or pick it. Apply some coconut oil or any natural moisturiser and don’t wash the area for a further 24-48 hours if possible. Keep the area moisturised as often as often as you can, and avoid contact with chemicals like washing up liquid and shampoo, also avoid soaking the area like being in the bath or washing up bowl for a long time. Following this will achieve the best possible henna stain with Nadia’s natural henna cones.
Do you sell your henna cones?
Yes, you can buy Nadia’s homemade natural and organic henna cones online here, and they will be sent out to you next Monday in packs of 5 or more, or you can purchase them from Nadia’s henna happiness studio individually during opening hours.
Where can I learn how to apply henna?
There are lots of YouTube videos and Instagram tutorials to learn henna from. However if you would like a more in-depth, hands-on learning environment then check out the date of my next henna workshop here. You will receive a lot of practical information as well as insider tips and tricks, tailored advice and the tools to continue your henna journey. Henna workshops have so far always been in Norwich, and a maximum of 10 people. If you live a bit further afield and have a group of friends who might like a henna workshop please get in touch and we can arrange something a little more local!
My kids are home schooled and I want them to learn henna as part of their art classes, can you help?
Yes, Nadia has taught the art of henna in one-to-one lessons as well as groups for children of school going age. Henna is a great activity for home schooled kids in Norfolk, it teaches patience, concentration, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, culture, art and design amongst many other things. Get in touch to plan something.