Today, people all over the world have adopted the ancient tradition of decorating their bodies with this beautiful, natural, artwork known as Mehndi. The practice became popular in the US during the 90s, due to celebrities such as Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Yasmine Bleeth, Liv Tyler and others showcasing their own designs on TV, in music video, live performances and in public. It has been a growing phenomenon ever since.
In the west, people use Mehndi for many different reasons. While some have adopted the traditional eastern practice of painting their hands and feet with henna for weddings, some pregnant women decorate their ‘bumps’ with Mehndi, while others will decorate their scalps, if, for examples they experience hair loss due to a medical procedure. Mehndi can also be used to camouflage scars due to accidents, or surgery.
Of course, Mehndi is also simply used for self-expression, as a fashion statement, or to celebrate a special occasion. Many people ‘try out’ a henna design using a Mehndi artist before committing to a permanent tattoo.
What many people don’t know is that henna has many medicinal health benefits. The plant is considered an herb and has long been known for its healing qualities, when used topically. In ancient times, it was applied to treat headaches and stomach pains, burns and scalding (including sunburn), open wounds. Additionally, it was used to reduce fevers, athlete’s foot and even hair loss. It has proven to be an effective sunblock and is often used on the noses of animals. It is also used to ‘insect-proof’ bags, garments and other materials.