Dark Stain Goals
Fresh Henna Stain
Fresh henna will always begin with a bright orange hue but you should expect something more of a reddish brown over the first 24 hours, and deepening after 48 hours to sometimes almost black! The palms and fingers usually stain the darkest as this is where most keratin is present; the palms are also a lot warmer and thicker skinned.
Keep the henna paste on for as long as possible. 2 hours minimum but for best results, a recommended 8-12 hours is preferred. Overnight and covering with Mefix Tape (can buy this at most pharmacies) is a good way to protect your henna. Sealant is made up of just a teaspoon of sugar and warm water and then sprayed or dabbed onto the dried henna design with a cotton pad. It helps the henna stick to the skin and the lemon further strengthens the stain.
Remove the henna by scraping, not washing off. The henna continues to stain even after removal so it is important to avoid contact with water for at least 12 hours. You can use coconut, olive or Argan oil on the stain to remove any stubborn bits of henna and they are also very good after-care moisturisers for henna. Argan Oil, in particular or 'Liquid Gold' as it is known is excellent for skin, hair and nails and is endemic to Morocco only.
Henna After-Care Tips for Best Stain Results
In the henna world, the general consensus is that the best and most beautiful stains are those which are rich and darker in colour. If you wish to have a long-lasting henna there are certain steps that need to be followed both before and after application. Please do ensure that these steps are adhered to or you will not achieve the desired effect, nor will it last more than a few days maximum. To begin with, ensure that the hands are clean and free from lotions or creams to avoid inconsistency in design. The temperature of your body has an impact on stain; henna has a cooling effect and can actually make your hands and body cold. If it is cold where you are, ensure you are kept insulated throughout the application. Low blood pressure has also been known to affect the development of henna.