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Learning Mehndi
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Training is available for individuals in salons and schools. Henna is a body art, which is a simple process that can be learned with a few hours of practice. The more you apply henna tattoos the more you learn about the tricks and techniques that make a seasoned artist. While learning to do henna only one thing helps and that is practice and more practice till the artists hand becomes steady and free flowing. Like any art form mehndi also has certain problems which the artist will encounter on the way to learning and acquiring the knowledge to be a good mehndi artist.

Given below are the useful tips for an individual applying mehndi:

Henna should obtained naturally and don`t be fooled by henna inks, which try to imitate henna but are harmful.

Cleaning the skin is very important. Just because you wash the skin with soap does not make it clean enough for applying henna art.

Many soaps or hand washes will block the pores in the skin and cause the henna to be light and unacceptable.

Alcohol is also another problem because it mixes with oils and also blocks the pores.

When one decides to apply Mehndi on the lower back, one should be sure that the back is well cleaned as that area has its own natural oil and the skin might catch the colour because of that.

A hot bath is a good start if you plan a large design, but remember not to apply any soap.

Before the applying mehndi, it should be ensured that the applicant has not applied any suntan lotion or mineral oils as it blocks the pores of the skin.

Boil the lemon juice and sugar together to make syrup. Dip the cotton in this syrup and apply it gently over the mehndi. This will help the Mehndi to dry faster.

Do not use any oils on the skin before you apply Mehndi, Extra oils will block the pores and keep the henna for staining dark.

Applying henna is done with applicator bottles or can be done with plastic cones.

Once in a while the smaller tips will clog. Tapping the applicator bottle on a table will usually work to solve this problem, but sometimes forcing water through with your thumb is the only way to clean the old henna paste out. Let the tips soak after a day of use to keep them clean.

Clean tips mean clean lines. It is a good idea to squirt a little bit of paste out just before applying it to the skin to get rid of any surprises.

Henna should be left on for as long as possible; the longer the mehndi remains the darker the design will come.

When the henna paste is dry and you are ready to remove it, gently scrap it off. It is best not to use water for the first 8 hours and keep out of pools and the ocean until the next day. After 24 hours a hot shower will make the tattoo darken faster and not effect the duration of the tattoo.

Natural vegetable oils can be used to slow the exfoliation process and keep the design on longer. Remember it is best not to put it on your skin if you wouldn`t put it in your mouth.

Do`s and Don`ts for the Artists

The artist should use plain lemon juice to make the skin sticky rather the deodorant because the lemon doesn`t fill the pours and is non-toxic.

The artist should coat the skin with a thin layer of lemon juice and wiping the excess juice out.

It should be sticky not wet before you apply the transfer.

Cut out the design that is to be used and place the ink side on the skin. Then apply pressure with your hand or a dry sponge.

Hold the design on the skin for about 10 seconds and peel of the paper. After a few times you will have this technique wired.

Apply henna paste right over the transferred design and let it dry for at least an hour. The henna will lift most of the ink off the skin and the rest will wash off the next day.

Artwork

It is important to have samples of artwork that you can copy and draw on the skin with henna. People like to look through design books to pick their tattoo. Design boards can also be used, but there main function is to attract customers and nothing is better advertising then a long line. It is advisable that the artist keep a scrapbook of the earlier designs created by them. The scrapbook will keep the waiting customer develop an idea and tell the artist what they want depending on the designs in the books.

A good place to start building a design book is at the library the art section has a rich section of ancient drawing and symbols that can be photo copied and used to copy to the skin. Transfers can be used for hard to draw designs like Celtic knots or logos and also give the artist ideas and help them create their own ideas or modify the old to give them a contemporary look.

The artist should take inspiration from all the cultures that practice henna art forms, which gives them more ideas and designs to work with.

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