It's just as important to know the steps to take before having a design done. It really does help! Removing body hair on the area to have henna applied. Hair, tends to get in the way of a clean design, the paste doesn't stick as well with hair in the way. If you plan on having a Manicure or Pedicure done, this should be done in advance. ALL SKINCARE should be done 3 days in advance to application of paste or body paint. Shower the day of and exfoliate, removing excessive oil and dirt helps to open the pores and lets the keratin in your skin bind with the natural dye. Avoid lotions, oils and perfumes that may clog the skin and prevent the henna from
Application + Drying
Henna and Jagua paste is like mud when applied. It's a bit cool because of the essential oils and consistency. It takes about 15-30 minutes to dry completely, dependent on weather. For best stain results. Leave paste on 4-6 hours. It will naturally flake off, but can be remoistened. Apply a small amount of lemon and sugar to keep it from flaking off. Do not wrap with plastic, or any material that will cause you to sweat or smear the paste. It will stain how it's applied. If smeared, scrape off that area, or whole design. To prevent a smudgy stain. Make plans accordingly, take the time to relax after design has been applied.
Scraping It Off
After paste has been left on, or starts to flake off. Scrape off the henna with an old card or butter knife. Using your fingernails will cause it to stain under the nail bed. DO NOT immerse in water. As the henna will act like mud and create a mess. It's best to scrape the flakes off over a trash can, toilet or outside. It will stain, fabric and tile if left to sit too long, even when dry. If hair has not been removed prior to application, it can be difficult to scrape off and may pull and tug hair.
Apply Balm + Avoid Water
Applying a balm is the best way to protect your henna design. Handmade balms are best with essential oils already added in can darken your stain even more. Coconut oil or any skin oils are great as well! Lotions will do in a pinch, however most are just waxy and sit on the top of the skin. Oils and balms absorb into the skin really providing a great repellant against water. Do not exfoliate the stain. Pat area dry and do not scrub. Avoiding water and sweat is the best way to hold a stain. Swimming is not recommended if you want your stain to last. This is why, pre-care and showering beforehand is important, so you can avoid water. Continue to apply balm. Before and after water, and continuously for best results.
Taking care of your design afterwards is incredibly important. It's what will make your natural stain last! With proper care it can last 1-2 weeks and sometimes even 3 weeks dependent on placement. Avoiding water 12-24 hours afterwards will help the longevity of the stain. As it provides more time for the dye to bind without interruption. Heat can help open the pores and help darken as the stain can oxidize faster.(Heat should only be applied to henna and never to Jagua) It still takes a full 24-48 hours to have a full darkened stain. Some medications can affect the stain, as well as the fact that all skin is different, some folks just don't accept a stain very well. Letting the henna take its course is best, naturally exfoliating out of the skin.