Henna (2 of 3)


Henna is a kind of temporary tattoo native to the Asian subcontinent. Artists pipe designs using cones filled with paste made from crushed henna leaves. After leaving the paste on for a couple hours, rubbing off the dried henna will leave a beautiful stain that lasts anywhere from a couple days to about two weeks. Patterns differ depending on geographic location, with Arabian designs tending to be more geometric instead of floral, making each design special. Depending on complexity, designs can take anywhere from five minutes to a half hour, but the breathtaking results are always worth the wait.

 Traditionally, my sisters and I get henna done for the holidays, and my earliest memories include hanging out with my cousins at night, waiting for our henna to dry. During the pandemic, I decided to try a few designs of my own, and while it did take a few tries, it was time well spent. I find it therapeutic and enjoy seeing the delight on peoples’ faces when they scrape off the dried henna to reveal an intricate design.