Henna Art by Heather DeRigo
W E L C O M E !
Thank you for your interest in my Henna Art. I hope my site will provide you with all the information and inspiration you need regarding the aspects of my work as a professional Henna Artist, as well as providing a comprehensive platform of General Information about Henna.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Here is a brief glimpse into my background as a Henna Artist and the values and ideals I strive to uphold with East to West Henna.
I graduated from Art School with honors and had already been doing freelance Art for many years as well as teaching Art in schools along with group classes and private lessons for most of my adult life.
I began my journey into the world of Henna in 2012 when I married my husband from India and had Mehndi/Henna done for my wedding. I instantly fell in love with this Art form and vowed I would learn it and practice it to the level that I could create with it as unlimitedly as I could draw or paint. While spending more than a consecutive year in India the first time I visited, I took advantage of the opportunity to have Henna done on myself often - from seasoned, masterful henna artists there and I invested in a lot of practice. When I returned home a year later, I took some classes, familiarized myself with 'all things Henna', experimented a LOT with different henna paste ingredients and mixes, different applicator options, different styles and more. As I continued my practice, I steadily and progressively began to have people ask me to do it for them. As that grew, I followed my instincts and passion to create East to West Henna.
I absolutely LOVE creating and sharing this unique form of Art with everyone I am honored to do Henna for. It is a fun way to express one's self creatively- a wearable, natural art -without the commitment, toxicity and invasiveness of traditional permanent tattoos. Henna is not just for women, but also men and children - and for ALL ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Applying Henna to a client allows a special opportunity to connect with that person in a way that is quite unique. Due to the close nature of applying Henna on someone, as well as the 'sometimes-lengthy' application times for those getting extensive Henna, such as Brides -it affords the opportunity to have meaningful conversation with the client, which often leads to new friendships and strengthens and builds our communities.
I grew up with the strong ideals of a Natural lifestyle- that only natural substances are best for what you put in or on your body. I feel it is very important that what I offer as a product in my Henna services is fully safe and pure. I hold strict standards for using only 100% Natural Henna exclusively. I make my own henna paste using the highest quality ingredients that consist simply of the freshest, body art quality henna powder, purified water, lemon juice, natural sugar and therapeutic grade essential oils (such as Lavender). This ensures the safest, dark-staining and long-lasting henna possible.
As a professional Henna Artist, I understand the cultural and traditional uses of henna as well other important knowledge about Henna and it's application and use.
I love to create custom designs in a variety of styles- for all types of events such as Weddings, Graduations, Bridal and Baby Showers, Festivals, Corporate Events, Private Parties and more-
as well as for regular individual clients.
For larger groups or events, East To West Henna offers the option of additional artist management. With my team of quality henna artists, I can easily do the booking and paying of additional artists needed for your event.
I strive to bring each and every client the very BEST in their Henna experience- whether they are new to Henna or not- with the highest professional standards, a welcoming and fun henna application and high quality, henna designs!
I look forward to serving you!
What is Henna?
Henna is a flowering plant, a tall shrub or small tree that produces a red-orange dye molecule called lawsone. It is native to tropical an subtropical regions of Africa and southern Asia. The lawsone released from this plant is what creates the henna stain. The leaves of this plant are dried and made into a fine, sifted powder. Water and/or lemon juice and essential oils are added to create a paste which is placed in an applicator such as a cello cone or squeeze bottle.
Preparing for Henna
Henna stains the best on clean, dry skin. Please do not apply any lotions or oils within a few hours of application to the area where you want your design. Exfoliating the skin is beneficial, but should be done at least 24 hours before application to avoid sensitivity. If excess hair on the arms is present, removing the hair by shaving helps for an easier and smooth application of the design, however, like exfoliating, it should be done at least 24 hours in advance of the henna application.
For Brides, it is best to get your nails done before the henna application.
Tanning of the skin should be done after the henna application.
For Brides or If getting a lot of henna- it is best to have someone to assist you during and after your appointment- things like eating, using the restroom or even scratching an itch may be difficult during the application process.
It is a recommended to wear comfortable clothes, eat a light snack, use the restroom, take out your contacts, etc BEFORE the henna application.
Henna takes anywhere from 10 – 30 minutes to dry to the touch, depending on the environment and amount of henna applied. So this initial drying time is very important to remain still so that the henna design remains undisturbed. Once dry to the touch, the henna will need to remain on for 4-6 hours to ensure the darkest stain possible.
If getting Henna elsewhere, Always Avoid “BLACK HENNA” or store bought henna cones because of the use of chemical additives or hair dyes that contain PPD (paraphenylenediamine) to obtain a black stain. PPD can cause long-term damage to internal organs such as kidneys and liver, can blister and permanently scar the skin. Chemical dyes stain the skin within 30 minutes and are dark immediately. Black henna products are not safe or natural and should never be applied to the skin.
Taking Care of your Henna Design
Once the Henna application is complete, a natural sealant may be applied which consists of lemon juice, sugar and perhaps an essential oil for fragrance. This helps to keep the henna paste stick to the skin longer and prevent cracking of the dried paste so to keep the paste on the skin longer. The longer the paste stays on the skin, the darker the stain gets. Usually after 6 hours is enough though and leaving it on longer doesn't usually show a darker stain.
When removing the dried henna paste, it should be scraped off- never washed off. The side of a business card works well and is quite handy as I list my aftercare instructions on the back of it as well for client convenience.
Water can inhibit the still developing stain, so for at least 48 hours- avoid water and soaps, lotions and sunscreens on the tattoo area. Swimming pools also usually contain chlorinated water which will also prevent the stain from maturing- so avoid those as well in the first 48 hours.
You will notice a pumpkin orange stain color at first, but it will continue to darken over the next 2 days until it reaches stain maturity at about 48 hrs after application, giving a rich, dark mahogany brown color.
After that - you can now begin to preserve your henna tattoo by using natural oils such as coconut, olive, sesame or shea butter. Natural Tattoo balms also are effective. Avoid lotions and creams with synthetic chemicals, brightening ingredients or that contain enzymes that assist in the exfoliation process as these will bring a speedy demise to your henna stain.
If taken care of well- your henna tattoo usually will last about a week and a half to 2 weeks- sometimes longer up to 3 weeks, depending on where it is on the body and the quality of aftercare.
* Benefits of Henna *
DID YOU KNOW?
Besides the leaves, the bark, flowers and seeds of the Henna plant are also beneficial. Here are some additional health benefits about Henna that you may wish to try.
Cooling Agent: Henna is known to be an excellent cooling agent and so it is applied to scrapes and burns as well as being used as a common home remedy to lower body temperature from high fevers or from heat exhaustion.
Relaxing Agent: Henna is widely known around the world to promote relaxation and calmness. It is popularly used to help relax Brides-to-be in India before marriage.
Skin: The medicinal uses of henna include it being used to treat various types of rashes such as ringworm, athlete's foot and many other skin disorders. It is also a natural sunblock.
Hair: Henna acts as a natural remedy for hair loss and is also excellent for maintaining overall hair quality. It is known to seal and repair the hair cuticle and prevents breakage and helps retain natural shine. It also retains the ph balance of the scalp and is an effective cure against dryness, dandruff and premature graying of hair. Henna is also used for hair conditioning and is known for making hair silky and soft.
Nails: Henna effectively treats cracked nails, mange and scabies.
Headaches: Henna is known to be effective against headaches, especially ones caused from heat strokes. A common remedy is to crush the flowers of the plant add a bit of vinegar and apply the paste to the temples for fast relief.
Liver Disorder: Henna is considered to be a highly beneficial medicinal plant and the bark of the plant is used in the treatment of jaundice as well as the enlargement of the liver.
So, it may be a great idea to keep some extra henna in your medicine cabinet!