A henna design is no longer a cultural symbol of the orient or the Middle East. It has enamoured the Wild West too. Now henna designs are hands in glove with the fascinating tattoo art work breaking cultural boundaries of Asia and America. Many artists have created a fusion with henna tattoo designs that depict the global acceptance of this ancient handy art. The rituals may be despised but the tradition carries on! Right from exquisite floral Arabic henna designs to traditional Indian bridal concepts, the application techniques and patterns have evolved over centuries. Brides, rock stars, musicians, singers and social butterflies flaunt fashionable patterns on the hands and feet and other visible body parts like the navel, neck, nape and back. Simple henna designs are cultural symbols that are not permanent like the tattoos, hence they are popular. They fade out and can be put again, just like the seasons that change and boost up the mood. All good henna hand designs come to an end but can be revived by the onset of the next social occasion in the calendar. Some of the best designs for henna can be sourced in books, online stores and pictures, albums at henna shops or beauty parlours. In India where the tradition of application of this beauty product is visible during the wedding season, it is also referred as henna mehendi designs. During the wedding season it is at its peak. These are typical patterns that symbolise the sacred occasion they are done for. For example, the bridal henna designs will show ‘rose bud’, mango seed (fertility), initials of the groom, pictures of king and queen, peacock feathers, Lord Ganesha and various flowers. The patterns will also be more intricate reaching the elbows. Even the feet are covered right up to the knees! The henna designs for hands for women other than the bride are not so elaborate. But every application takes not less then four hours to be made.
The easy henna designs are done for other social occasions or during festivals. In India, it is done during Karwa Chauth by married women. They pray for the husband’s long life. It is a period when the wedding ritual is revisited for a short time. There is no need to apply it on the feet for this occasion. The designs of henna during this fast will be pertaining to the long life of the married woman. This is in contrast to the Arabic henna design which is done only during marriage. Now with cultural boundaries being blurred, simple henna designs can be made even for baby showers, rock concerts and festivals! But the traditional henna designs are exclusive and used during weddings only.
Applying a henna mehendi design for the first time is a fascinating experience. Most teenage girls are likely to remember the birthday party or elder sister’s marriage when they got cool henna designs for free! The mehendi night an important pre-wedding ritual in Asia and Middle East is the time when all girls get together and have fun. Just like the hen parties popular in the west. The Indian mehendi henna designs have evolved from mythological stories. Today at hen parties girls sportingly flaunt body henna designs. It reminds one for a long time those beautiful moments spent in the company of friends. Girls knowing henna art designs can be at once popular in their social circles. While all love to get their hands and feet painted, few take the trouble of learning the art. And those who turn professional have the option of making lots of money during the season. If someone is already an accomplished artist, drawing henna body art designs can become a paying art. Most accomplished henna artists turn professional by starting out with a free henna design. Once they are able to do foot henna designs easily then they can be confident of their skills in public. Surprisingly many artists are self taught. They learn do henna designs on the body, hand and feet by looking at patterns in the books. Now beautiful henna designs can be sourced on the internet. The henna designs online come with various tutorials and pictures. All the henna design pictures can be used a reference to create own patterns. The henna designs in various books and online sites have step by step instructions. Since different cultures have diverse motifs, it is now easy to mix and match two designs. It is quite normal to see an Arabic henna design on the back of the palm and an Indian pattern on the inside. Even Pakistani henna designs are quite popular which have simpler motifs. The India henna designs are very elaborate.
Some of the self taught artists do henna designs of all cultures. They imbibe new trends to keep their clients happy. Professional artists operate from their homes or special stores. They stock all the supplies that are needed which include cones, henna powder, essential oils, lemon juice scrappers and knives. Usually they are booked for the entire night by a bridal party. A professional also works with a team to ensure that the henna night is alive with many hands and feet being adorned simultaneously. Since there are bound to be little girls also stretching their tiny palms ahead, kids henna designs are also a big hit. The henna designs for kids are simple. Most little girls get distracted easily and cannot sit long hours for application. Small henna designs are ideal for them. Sometimes even adults like them.
Henna is a harmless beauty produce and does not create any reactions, unless it is mixed with any chemicals. It was used also to dye the hair. In fact, there are still people who use it to dye their hair. Its cooling properties make it a popular used beauty enhancer. Some artists specialize in tribal henna designs. Certain tribes etched out their symbols on the arms. Men are known to apply henna tattoo designs. In Thailand the monks use them as religious symbols. The tribes may now have long gone but the henna design patterns are still being applied-for cultural and fashionable reasons. The henna designs for the hand are by far the most popular and in demand. The flower henna designs are very easy to replicate even by an amateur. But it is always better to have a professional artist at work. Every henna art design is fired by the imagination of the artist and the request of the bride. Since the professional knows the different between the wedding henna designs and new henna designs that are done for fashion. The trendy ones are more for cosmetic beauty. That is why during festivals and rock concerts one can see even beautiful back henna designs on young girls. Older women too love them, but they prefer to stick to the neck or hands. The henna designs for the feet are slightly different from those done on the palms. In a henna designs gallery, one can choose from a large variety of patterns from various cultural backgrounds. The henna design pics are clear and with an instruction booklet they can be copied. There is no patent on the patterns so anyone can have them drawn. Even the henna tattoo design can be sourced free of cost. But an artist is necessary to draw it out. The free henna designs are done for freshers so that they can understand the experience. So next time they wish to have henna designs hands, they can make a better selection from available patterns. Most henna designs to be made again are charged per palm. The henna designs feet are also charged in the same manner.
The tradition of application has moved from tooth picks to cones and syringes today. The greatest appeal in a pattern lies in its final stain. Darker the stain, the better is the look. It turns from an orange to a deep maroon hue. For days together it will remain the same before turning orange and fading. The human body and mind needs cool stimulants to keep it active. What better product than the natural henna leaves? When freshly pounded and made into a semi solid olive green paste it is kept for few hours before application. The process may be long but the results also are equally mind blowing. The modern designs are also based on the artworks of famous painters like Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. As the legend goes, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt used this versatile green leaf to make her hair more lustrous and seductive to the Roman king. Today’s woman has gone a step further. The reassured, self confident modern woman is using henna designs to make her presence felt globally. The best examples of such women are singer Madonna and versatile actress Demi Moore. They have used henna designs and made them popular with the rest of the world. They have been instrumental in bridging the gap between the Asian and American cultures.