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Frequently Asked Questions


What is henna?
Who uses henna?
Is using henna safe?
Does it hurt?
How is henna different than a tattoo?
How long will my design last?
How long does the paste stay on?
Why are some design pictures red/brown and some black?
What is Black Henna?
Is henna related to religion?
Why have henna designs applied?
How did I get "into" henna?
What inspires me?
Where do I find my designs?
Is there a henna certification?


What is henna?
Henna is a common name for the shrub Lawsonia inermis. Henna is also known as mehandi or mehndi. Henna leaves are harvested, dried and crushed, then mixed in to a paste to be used for temporary body adornment or to colour hair. It is the one of the oldest cosmetics, and the henna application results in red to red/brown marks left on the skin.

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Who uses henna?
Anyone can use henna! It can be used to mark celebrations of all kinds - weddings, pregnancy, birthdays or other special occasions. Henna can be applied to men, women and children. It is believed to draw good luck and ward off evil.

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Is using henna safe?
Yes! Henna has been used for centuries, and is all natural! In an age where most over-the-counter cosmetics are laced with chemicals you may or may not know about, henna offers a wonderful, natural option for temporary body adornment! Allergic reaction to henna is extremely rare. If you are concerned, please contact Larissa for ingredients of the paste, or to arrange a patch test.

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Does it hurt?
No! Henna is applied using a cone, similar to decorating a cake. No needles or any scary stuff! Henna application is a relaxing enjoyable experience.

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How is henna art different from a tattoo?
Henna stains the first few layers of skin in the colour range of red/brown only. Henna application does not pierce the skin. Henna decorations are temporary, fading naturally with the exfoliation of your skin.

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How long will my design last?
Designs will last anywhere from 1-4 weeks, depending on several factors. These include the area that has been hennaed, the amount of time the paste was left on, how much the design area is scrubbed and washed. Larissa provides an extensive aftercare sheet to help you keep your design as long as possible!

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How long does the paste stay on?
Henna paste should be left in place for a minimum of 2-4 hours, but the longer you can be patient, the deeper the stain, and the longer lasting the design! As we are in Canada, overnight in a nice warm bed seems to do the trick, if at all possible!

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Why are some design pictures red/brown and some black?
Any images on this site where designs appear black have been photographed while the henna paste is still on the skin. Pictures with red/brown designs indicate the tone that the design matured to. Pure natural henna never stains black.

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What is Black Henna?
Black Henna is not henna at all… but rather a paste containing potentially deadly chemicals and dyes. The main "bad" ingredient is PPD (Para-phenylenediamine). Please read more on Black Henna and the potential dangers by clicking on link to the left. Here in Canada, our government has passed legislation to make PPD black henna illegal, due to the dangers… and have defined natural, safe henna as legal. Yay Canada! If you are unsure of the contents of the henna paste to be applied, ask the artist… if they do not know what is in it… Run Away!

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Is henna related to religion?
Henna is a cultural experience. Henna use is celebratory in nature. It is used to beautify the body and provide its own meaning to the person being hennaed. You will not offend anyone by wearing henna!

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Why have henna designs applied?
Being celebratory, henna has many uses in Canada today. Henna to celebrate an anniversary, formal function, birthday, wedding, goddess party, vacation, bat mitzvah, diwali, karva chouth, eid, mother blessing, rites of passage (blessingways of all sorts), team spirit, corporate function, charity fundraiser, going grocery shopping - the reason can just be because you are you!

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How did I get "into" henna?
I was introduced to henna at an outdoor festival. It seemed so familiar to me, that I needed to learn more. Before I knew it, I was making my own paste, applicators, and hennaing everyone I could! I now teach a half day workshop to allow others to learn the basics of this ancient art.

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What inspires me?
There are a myriad of extremely talented henna artists around the world that I find inspiring, and I thank them for their generosity in sharing what they know. I find each and every client I work with inspiring - I have had the opportunity to meet some fantastic people on the other side of my henna table. I am in awe of every new mother who comes to me requesting her belly be blessed in henna by my hand. Having two beautiful children myself, it is always an honour to assist in celebrating a mother to be in such a magical way. I am an artist - the beauty around me inspires me.

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Where do I find my designs?
Most of my work is inspired and adapted from several wonderful henna pattern books I own. Please see the links section of my website for resources in finding terrific patterns by talented artists.

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Is there a henna certification?
Yes there is. It was created by the International Certification for Natural Henna Arts board. It is a voluntary certification to test one's knowledge of henna and its history, its application, and its safe use. You can learn more by visiting the ICNHA website in my links section.

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