Making Of Henna Paste
To make a good henna paste: you *must* have good henna powder to work with.
Make sure that your henna is filtered well. It should not contain any twigs or fibers, which commonly appear in coarser grades of henna that are intended for the hair.
• Boiling Water
Lemon or Lime Juice – Henna only releases its dye at a low pH, so adding something acidic to your henna will help to improve and catalyze the dye-release process.
Eucalyptus oil or any Mehndi Oils or Nilgiri Oils, which are combinations of various Essential Oils. You can balance out the strong scents of these oils with milder Floral Oils. Be careful when using essential oils; they may irritate the skin.
Tea or Coffee
Sugar/sugar syrup – Sugar increases your paste’s ability to absorb moisture. It will prevent your paste from drying too early. People also use sugar (glycerine as well) to increase paste stickiness.
Tamarind Paste – You can boil tamarind paste in your tea or add it straight to paste to improve paste stickiness, acidity, and stringiness.
Fenugreek seeds (Known as Methi ka dana in India). Boil these seeds in your tea concoction and strain them out before adding to you henna; they give henna a better consistency. Boiled Okra juice creates the same effect.
Yogurt or Egg – traditionally used in hair henna, you can experiment with these in your skin henna as well.
Here is a general mehndi recipe :
For one mehndi cone, which can cover two hands fully, take 1 heaping teaspoonful of mehndi powder in warm water, in a stainless steel container(although some people suggest a plastic, glass, or ceramic container), add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of tamarind paste, and as much lemon juice as needed, blending them all thoroughly. After getting out all of the lumps, allow the paste to rest for few hours, covered tightly (get out all air bubbles).
Then add a half-teaspoon of essential oil to henna, and mix thoroughly.
Next, cover the container and allow at least five hours to pass.
You’ll know that the dye has released when the top part of the henna is brown and brown liquid is seeping out of the paste.
The trick to making the paste is that you have to add the right amount of liquid such that the mehndi is neither too thick nor too thin. Generally, mix a 3:2 proportion of liquid to powder.
A way to judge whether you have the right consistency for the paste is to take a spoonful of the mehndi paste, hold it over your container, seeing if the mehndi falls back gently into the container. If it falls loopily, the mehndi is of the right consistency. Really good henna will fall in “strings.”
Stringy and fine mehndi paste will allow you to create fine lines. Make sure that you keep extra liquid and extra mehndi powder to correct for any mistakes. Always be sure to remove any lumps from your henna paste; mixing the paste thoroughly is a crucial step to having a good quality and easy to use paste.
For henna to stick to your skin, add sugar as it increases the water absorbance of the henna . Also, applying lemon-sugar solution with a good proportion of sugar increases the henna’s adherence.