Henna is usually done on Malay or Indian brides, but it has also been trend that’s been ongoing for hari raya. Whether you get them done by henna artists, or at small stalls at the bazaar, you’ll have lots of fun choosing from the variety of designs. But first, let’s find out more about henna!
What is henna?
Henna paste is what henna artists use to draw the design on ones hands. Henna is derived from the henna plant.
The henna paste is usually made out of henna powder, but you can also grind fresh henna leaves and make it into a paste.
Henna stains not just skin, but the hair too- making it an all-natural dye. Typically, the stains range from a bright orange to dark red, depending on the amount of time the henna is left on, and the ingredients other than the henna paste consists of (i. e. essential oils, mixture of different henna powders).
Henna artists nowadays usually use a paste that’s packed tightly in a cone with a very sharp tip to ensure precision when drawing the design.
We spoke to henna artist, Eka Syafiqah of eshennafix, who kindly provided us with some insights on what the current trends are in the henna world. Eka has over 11,000 followers on her henna artistry Instagram and she does henna for brides at least three times a week. She has also done henna on Mediacorp artists like Azzah Fariha, and Malay newscaster, Hazlina Halim.
DV: So what’s the most asked for design from your customers as of late?
Eka: Nowadays people love the contemporary designs like nets, mandalas and hand chain-esque designs.
These designs look more like an accessory instead of just a regular henna design. It can be tricky for us artists though! Personally I think floral designs are evergreen, and from my observations, many customers like contemporary flower designs, for example paisleys.
Generally, customers want something unique and personalised. They love it when you do something completely different and new especially for them. Usually I will ask my customers what design they would like, and they would usually tell me, to “just doodle”. I’ll ask them what kind of designs they’re inclined to and I’ll just “freestyle” a fresh design that’s inspired by them. They’ll usually end up really loving it!
DV: How do you know if you’ve received a good henna service?
Eka: Firstly it’s important to be sure about the type of henna that’s being used on your hands. Home-made henna are usually the freshest and reaps the best stain results! Instant henna can sometimes be harmful, so if you have sensitive skin, be careful if you’re opting for colourful henna.
Secondly, henna service, to me, is more than just the henna. The experience the customers get when they get their henna done is equally important! Were you comfortable and well-attended to while doing your henna? Did you have fun? Did you enjoy your henna experience? If all answers are YES, then THAT’S definitely a good henna service! A plus would be your henna artist educating you on the after-care steps when removing your henna to ensure the best stain results. I personally educate my customers a little bit on how henna works on our skin as I think it helps make them appreciate the henna more, and come on, it’s a cool fun fact to share with others!
Above all, I think you know you’ve received a good henna service when you get it from an artist who does it from the heart.
Eka’s Tip: Instead of washing off the dried henna, scrape it off instead! Try your best to avoid contact with water and put some oil over the henna stain i. e. olive oil.
Eka will be doing her hari raya henna services at the Henna Booth and Bake Sale @ Maqayla this Saturday, 11 July 2015 from 12 noon – 6pm. Maqayla is located at 430 Upper Changi Road, East Village #01-83. Prices range from SGD8 – SGD15 per hand depending on the design.