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Bridal Mehndi

Mehndi Designs

Mehndi, (or mehendi or mehandi or mylanchi) is the application of henna as a temporary form of beautiful skin decoration, traditionally covering most popular in South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa for thousands of years.

Mehndi (Henna) is a natural product comes from a bush called Lawsonia Inermis and makes a delightful temporary alternative to tattooing. The leaves are finely ground to form a paste which is used to make the delicate design which dries and is then removed revealing a dark brown/maroon stain on the hand. For people who are too scared to endure the intrusion of a needle or are not ready to commit to wearing the same permanent design forever, Mehndi is a wonderful alternative.

Each different location has its own traditional Mehndi designs which usually fall into 4 main styles. The style of Africa is large and bold with geometrically patterned angles, compared to the style of the Middle East which is made up of vines and leaves with beautiful flowers inspired by Arabic paintings and textiles. Pakistan is the most intricate using detailed lacy designs and fill-ins making it the most time consuming, whilst the designs of India are detailed and uses fine lines and paisley patterns.

Whilst Mehndi is often used on many occasions around India and Pakistan, the wedding ceremony has become renowned with this beautiful dye. It is traditional for the bride to get together with her female family and friends, a couple of days before the wedding to apply the Mehndi. So that the bride does not get bored the occasion is filled with song and dance, as the patterns used are very intricate and time-consuming. The brides aim is that her henna is the most beautiful and more elaborate than anyone else’s.
It is customary to hide the grooms name or initials to be hidden in the design, which the groom needs to find for the wedding night to commence. The bride is not expected to perform any housework until the henna has faded, so it is assumed the darker the design the greater the love of her mother-in-law .

Mehndi has now become a very popular in the Western Culture and is considered a sought after fashionable decoration, which has been adorned by numerous celebrities: Madonna, Demi Moore, Naomi Campbell and even Prince to name but a few.

As henna is a natural product and in Eastern countries is used to help heal skin diseases, colour the hair and cool the skin in hot climates. However a word of caution - about Black Mehndi (Black Henna). The henna powder is made by drying and grinding the leaves of a henna plant  "Black Henna" has  a chemical dye called Para-Phenylenediamine, referred to as PPD, added to it as well which is often used to create a fast-taking, jet-black result. Unfortunately PPD is very harmful to the skin, often causing a so-called chemical burn. Which is like a strong allergic reaction, A black henna burn takes a long time to get better and often leaves a scar. 
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