Henna is the common name for lawsonia inersis, a plant that produces a natural dye that has been used by humans for thousands of years.
Henna leaves are harvested, dried, and ground into a fine powder, which is then mixed with water, specific essential oils and sugar, to create a pure and natural staining henna paste.
This paste is carefully applied to the skin, and allowed to dry and stay in place for several hours. After the dried paste is removed (through rubbing or scraping), a pale pumpkin-coloured stain is revealed, which gradually darkens to a darker shade over the course of 1-3 days. Henna stains range from a light caramel colour, all the way to a dark chocolate stain, depending on a few variables, such as how long the paste remained on the skin, where it was applied on the body, the quality of the henna paste and the individual’s skin chemistry.
Depending on how well a person takes care of their henna body art, it can last from 1-3 weeks and will gradually fade away as the skin naturally exfoliates.