Henna stains more intensely (deeper, darker, and longer!) on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet than on any other part of your body??
Your palms and soles have more layers of skin and a thicker epidermis than, say, your arms or legs. The henna dye (lawsone) stains the cells of your skin and the more skin it has to stain, the longer it’s gonna stick around! For example, let’s say you have a design on your arm. That design might last a week or so before it starts to fade with the natural process of exfoliation. But a design on your palm or bottom of your foot? That baby is gonna be there pretty much ALL MONTH! Of course, it’s a lot harder to get away with not washing your arm than it is not washing your hands for a few hours, so there’s that. Because remember folks, HENNA DOESN’T LIKE WATER. As soon as you add water, the staining process of your beautiful new decoration will stop.
However, don’t mistake the fresh henna stain for it’s final shade. The initial color of the henna stain (after you’ve picked off the paste) is a great indicator of intensity that your design will have.
Depending on the henna crop, it should be a bright red or “highlighter orange” in color.
Take this photo, for instance:
See that gorgeously bright orange??
In about 24 hours it’ll turn to a nice cinnamon, and 48 hours leaves it a handsome deep chestnut or walnut, depending on your natural skin tone and how long you left that paste on.
Another factor is heat. Henna past loves to be warm! The warmer your skin is while your paste is processing, the hardier your design will be. Even after you’ve picked off the paste, there’s a residual layer that continues to stain away. At least, until you wash it.
And last, but not least… NATURAL HENNA IS NEVER BLACK. Some people make a black temporary tattoo they call “Black Henna” with synthetic black hair dye, containing para-phenylendiamine. PPD can seriously injure people. Para-phenylenediamine is a strong sensitizer, transdermal toxin and potential carcinogen. Indigo was marketed as “black henna”. If you dye your hair with henna first, and then dye over that with indigo, your hair will be dyed black. If you see a package of “black henna” in a Middle Eastern or Indian grocery it might be indigo, and it might be PPD. IF YOU’RE NOT SURE, DON’T.