Hey lovelies! I get asked almost everyday how I make henna paste. It’s not as difficult as it seems, and having a visual (such as the video I’ve posted below) will help guide you through the process. This batch makes about 20 medium sized cones. Feel free to cut the recipe in half or even in fours, for a more personal sized batch!
**Also note that the henna powder used in this recipe is Rajastani BAQ triple sifted Henna Powder.
You always want to make sure the henna powder you use is what is known as BAQ (Body Art Quality) and you want the sifting to be at least 3 times (“triple sifted”), otherwise you will end up with lots of twigs from the henna plant itself and it’s less concentrated which will result in a lighter stain. A lot of henna powders that you find in Indian Grocery stores are more for hair. In other words, they tend to have other herbs in them and are really dense with little fibers rather than fluffy like 3 times sifted powder. If you open up a box of henna powder and the powder is brown, then it’s *definitely* for hair. I’ve made that mistake when I first started doing henna and was unaware of the specific terms to look for.
Another thing to note is that there are several different types of henna powder used for body art. The most common are Jamila and Rajastani (Sojat). For the purpose of this post I will be focusing on the differences between these two, so if you use Jamila, or a mix instead you will know how to adapt from this video. Personally, when I first started I used Jamila, but over time i’ve been converted to a Rajastani lover! Jamila is very creamy, which makes it ideal for dots and thick elements, whereas Rajastani is more stringy which is great for draping lines and creating delicate designs.
Another difference is in the time the powders take to “dye release,” which is the time needed to set before the natural dye pigment is released in the paste making it available to stain the skin. That natural dye is called “lawsone” and is found in the leaves of the henna plant itself and it needs to me activated through the mixing of liquids in order to be released. Different liquids can be used, the most common are lemon juice and water. Both are equally as good and yield super dark stains. However, when using lemon juice, the paste takes longer to dye release. And furthermore, another variable affecting dye release is the powder you are using. Jamila has a much longer setting time than Rajastani, which is another reason I prefer the latter. And the final factor is the temperature the paste sets, the warmer, the faster the dye releases.
Water Mix (depending on temperature, hot-cold):
Rajastani = 6-12 hours | Jamila = 12-24 hours
Lemon Juice Mix
Rajastani = 12-24 hours | Jamila = 24-48 hours
With all that being said here is what you will need to follow along with the video!
100 gms Rajastani Henna Powder
2 tablespoons essential oil (lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, or cajeput can be used in any combination or by itself)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup purified water or to consistency of thick mashed potatoes
So without further ado here is the video!
If you have any questions feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org <3
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More blogs to come about how to test your paste and roll and fill your own cones!
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