1. What kind of henna do you use?
I use Rajasthani henna powder and I mix my own paste which is 100% organic.
2. What is the best way to get your henna to show up extremely dark?
Aftercare is a must. Lemon and sugar to set the henna paste after application is definitely required. Avoiding water for 24 hours is a golden rule. Applying external heat is also a huge plus as it allows the henna color to get to its optimum color.
3. We love how unique your designs are! How do you create such unique bridal henna art? What inspires you?
Thank you. I do not plan my designs in advance. 99% of the time I am meeting my brides for the first time when sitting to do their henna. I cannot plan my designs in advance as every hand is different in shape and size. So I work with what I have as a canvas. I am inspired by everything around me. All forms of art inspire my designs whether it be music, painting, ancient art, nature, etc. The creative wheels are always turning in my brain. Something is always brewing. It truly just depends on what is in my mind at that given time.
4. What is your most requested design?
I have brides that request designs that I have done so many times over but I always try to talk them out of it so that we can create something unique that I have never done before. I feel it is important to push the limits and try something new every time. I think the most requested theme is East Coast vs. West Coast.
5. How long does your bridal henna roughly take?
Bridal mehndi can take anywhere between 6 to 9 hours. It depends on how detailed the bride wants it and how high up she wants to go on her arms and legs.
6. What got you into doing henna for brides?
I have always been an artist and as a child I used to draw mehndi designs on paper with pencil. I would fill pages and pages from edge to edge with intricate designs. In 1994, my little sister attended a carnival where there was a henna artist under a tent. The artist was a salon owner and had a sign that said, “Help Wanted”. My sister got her henna done and came home to tell my mom that this salon owner needed help and she was confident that I could fill the position. I was a freshman in high school and wasn’t really interested in finding a job. My mom forcefully took me down to the salon against my will to speak with the owner. The owner handed me a “henna cone” (the apparatus used to apply the henna) and said to show her my skills. This was the first time ever holding a henna cone and my sister gave me her hand to use as a canvas. The salon owner said, “You’re a little slow but I will hire you anyway.” That was it…. I got the job.
I went home still thinking nothing of it. I figured she would just call me in on an appointment basis and I would end up doing little tattoos like the one my sister got at the carnival. Three days later, the salon owner called and said she had a bride waiting for me at the salon. My jaw dropped and I was super nervous. I had never worked on a real client let alone a bride that needed extensive henna. I showed up to the salon and did what I was supposed to do. The client and the salon owner were super happy and I gained so much confidence just from that one appointment. I still look back and think, “Wow! My first client ever was a bride!”