Is it just us or does your love for henna fade away as the deep pigment turns a revolting orangish-yellow, accompanied by a peculiar stench? Mahogany-hued mehndi-laced palms aren't solely pleasing to the eye, but as per folklore, are a marker of your spouse's love—"the darker the henna, the deeper his love," age-old beliefs claim.
While you'd find a ton of chemically-infused dyes on the market that can get the job done, brace yourself for the rashes, allergies, and skin irritation that lie ahead, courtesy of the toxic compounds present in these off-the-shelf products. But what if we told you that there are harmless, seemingly simple ways to darken your mehndi using natural, toxin-free ingredients?
Below, we elucidate the many ways in which you can darken your mehndi on your big day:
Good Ol' Lemon and Sugar
The delicate application of this magic mixture goes a long way in retaining the deep hue of henna. Soak a cotton ball into a mixture of sugar and a few drops of lemon juice and gently dab onto the dried mehndi. While lemon juice acts as a catalyst for dye release, the sugar particles ensure that the henna stays in contact with the skin for a longer period of time, facilitating deeper penetration of the pigment.
Heating a few clove buds on the stove and running your henna-laden palms over the fumes can also aid in darkening the colour of your mehndi. The aromatic spice is said to allow the dye penetrate deeper into the skin, locking in a dark hue.
Once you've gotten rid of the dried shards of mehndi, apply mustard or eucalyptus oil on your hands for a deeper, darker colour. The inherent heating property of this ingredient helps bring out the rich hue of the henna.
If an aunt ever told you to apply Vicks Vaporub or Tiger balm on your mehndi-laced palms, she was right on the money. After scrapping off all the henna remnants from your hands, apply a generous layer of balm. Leave on overnight and wake up to an astonishingly dark colour. The active agents present in and the heat generated from the balm can stimulate pigmentation and help darken the hue.
Brewed Tea or Coffee
Instead of mixing the liquid henna with water, turn to brewed tea or coffee for a deeper tint; the natural brown-ish hue of the tea leaves seeps into the henna, giving it a richer, darker appearance.
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Listen up, it's time to ditch the toxic dyes and bank on these natural alternatives instead.