1. Leave henna for a longer time:
Wash off the henna after 7-8 hours. If you can afford to keep it longer, leave it for about 12 hours. Do not wash with water; instead scrape it out by rubbing your palms together till the dried henna falls off! Within a few hours you will see the rich colour develop
2. Dab lemon sugar mixture couple of times:
Boil some sugar in water and allow it to cool. Now decant this mixture into a bowl. Add a few drops of lemon juice and apply the lemon sugar mixture a couple of times on the henna once it has dried. The sugar keeps the mehndi in contact with the skin for deeper penetration, while the lemon juice acts as a catalyst for dye release and deep penetration of colour.
3. Wrapping up the design:
Many also suggest wrapping the henna design as it gives a rich and darker colour. While you can do the wrapping yourself, but there is a danger of spoiling the design. It is best you ask the artist to do so, or have somebody else do it in her supervision. You can use medical paper tape to gently wrap up the mehndi.
4. Run your hands over the fumes of the cloves:
Try ‘bhaap’ for a splendid and rich penetration of the mehndi design on your palms. Before you hit the bed, first apply the lemon sugar mixture mentioned above. Now heat a few cloves over a tawa and run your hands over the fumes of the cloves, but carefully! Let the fumes dry up the lemon and sugar mixture. You can either scrape the henna off after this, or leave it on until dusk.
5. Apply balms after scrapping the crust:
Indian brides use balms like Vicks, or Tiger Balm, on henna after scrapping the crust off. It is said that these balms stimulate the colour development and penetration into the skin.
- Do not wash your hand with soapy water, doing so can lead to your mehndi fading in portions and will look ghastly.
- Do not shave your hands after henna application as it may scrape the upper layer of your skin and also the mehndi.
- Do not wash your hands immediately after application. Steer clear of water for a good 6 hours. If possible avoid a shower for at least 12 hours post application.
- Do not over use the sugar and lemon mixture; else the mehndi will turn a deep brown colour.
- No matter what, do not use a blow dryer to dry the mehndi on your palms and legs! This may make the henna bleed and ruin the design.
- Avoid drinking too much of water or any juice just before application.
- While good light is necessary for the henna artist to see her strokes, avoid sitting under direct sunlight.