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A Guide to Choosing your Mehndi/Henna Artist by Rahul Katrak

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A Guide to Choosing your Mehndi/Henna Artist by
Article Posted: 08/07/2012
Article Views: 109
Articles Written: 30
Word Count: 1353
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A Guide to Choosing your Mehndi/Henna Artist

Advice,Art and Culture,Relationships
Ever Asian bride to be dreams about creating the perfect bridal look for their big day. Having flawless make up, fine jewels, luscious locks and the dream dress are obviously some of the most important elements to achieve this. But what about your Mehndi or henna?

Mehndi also known as Henna is just as important as hair and make-up for the Asian bride and is regarded as one of the key elements to beautify a bride for her big day. But with so many Mehndi artists that offer an extensive range of designs, it can be challenging to decide on the perfect artist for you. By following our guide, you’ll be able to choose the perfect Mehndi artist, that will be able to offer you quality service and breath taking designs to achieve the stunning bridal look you’ve dreamt of.

Finding a Mehndi Artist

There are several ways you can go about looking for a great Mehndi artist. A good place to start would be looking through the online wedding directories, looking through bridal magazines and searching for Mehndi artists in google. Visiting the artist’s website will give you an idea of the style of work that they do.

Another great way of finding potential Mehndi artists is by recommendations from family or friends. They may be able to recommend an aspiring or beginner Mehndi artist whose work is worth taking a look at, so make sure you ask around.

Design and Consultation

Take into consideration that Mehndi designs are not limited to specific patterns. Most brides tend to match the Mehndi design and amount with the style of their dress to complement the embroidery and final look. A small amount of Mehndi usually flatters a Western style of dress, whereas a traditional embroidered Lengha is usually beautified with an intricate Mehndi design done up to the elbows.

Whether you want traditional Indian, Arabic, fusion or contemporary, your Mehndi artist should be able to work with your ideas and style in mind. We’ve helped explain the different types of Mehndi styles below...

Traditional/Indian - Traditional Indian Mehndi designs are very intricate that consist of fill-in designs between larger patterns, such as peacocks and human figures. This design doesn’t leave much skin showing.

Contemporary – Contemporary designs come in a great variety and are a good option for less traditional celebrations or mixed weddings. It can be similar to the traditional designs but are slightly more spaced out so you can see skin. Other artists combine geometric patterns which are generally abstract to create a modern design.

Arabic – Arabic designs are much bolder and less intricate than the traditional Indian designs. They often include a lot of curvy floral designs with small details. The shapes used in Arabic designs are not filled up with henna, and the skin is exposed between the Mehndi lines.

During your consultation make sure you communicate what types of styles and patterns you like. The key to a good Mehndi artist is one who is happy to provide ideas and help you to choose a design that suits your needs.

As part of their service the majority of bridal Mehndi artists provide a free consultation where you can view their portfolio. Before your consultation, you may want to enquire about having a Mehndi sample done. This will give you a true idea of the quality of the Mehndi application, the artist’s style and the intensity of stain on the big day.


If you find that your Mehndi artist doesn’t listen to your requests, or even comes across as being a bit on the stroppy side, then we suggest you find another. Having your Mehndi applied is an exciting and joyous occasion which marks the final days leading up to your wedding. You don’t want that atmosphere ruined by a moody artist who doesn’t listen to your requests. Having a happy and friendly Mehndi artist makes all the difference to your mood and the quality of the Mehndi design.

Quality of the Mehndi

Something that separates good artists from great artists, are those that make their own natural Mehndi paste. Mehndi paste is made with natural plant extracts, however some pre made pastes from shops contain toxic substances that can irritate the skin such as kerosene, PPD, artificial dyes, preservatives and dangerous levels of lead.

Make sure you ask your artist if they make their own Mehndi or uses pre-made cones. If you’re Mehndi artist refuses to disclose the ingredients, its better not to go ahead with the booking in case there are any harmful ingredients used.

Bear in mind that the fresher the paste, the more dark and intense the stain of the Mehndi will be. Fresh and natural Mehndi has a shelf life of 2 to 4 days, however some artists tend to make Mehndi in batches and freeze them to preserve it.

Some brides prefer their Mehndi to be black in colour instead of the reddish brown stain and opt to use black henna. It’s extremely important to note however that black Mehndi/henna is extremely dangerous.

It contains high amounts of PPD (para-phenylenediamine) which is illegal in the UK to use in body art. When applied to the skin it causes intense pain, swelling, scaring and is associated with bladder cancer, asthma and many other health problems. Harquus is a safe alternative to achieve black colouring and is used by many people to create temporary tattoos.

You’re Budget

If you’re working on a tight budget there are several ways you can save some pennies when considering the amount and design of your Mehndi.

It’s worth bearing in mind the rates charged by the Mehndi artist depends upon the design. The more intricate the design, the more it will cost as it takes a lot of time and effort. Try cutting down on the intricacy of your design and instead incorporate some complex features into a design that fits within your budget.

The amount of Mehndi you apply also determines the cost. Traditionally it is applied to hands and feet, but there are an increasing number of brides who take the Mehndi application up their arms, legs and even sometimes onto their backs. Be strategic about how much Mehndi you want applied. If no one is going to see the Mehndi on your arms, then you might be able to cut down on the cost by just applying Mehndi to your hands.


If you are having a series of wedding celebrations, you’ll want to make sure that your Mehndi doesn’t fade away. A good Mehndi artist will provide you with items or give you advice on how to seal in your Mehndi for a stronger more lasting colour, such as applying a lemon and sugar mix to your dried Mehndi.

Usually artists recommend that you keep it on overnight or for at least four to eight hours to ensure that is completely dries and locks into the skin cells. Try to avoid contact with water for 24 hours so your Mehndi doesn’t wash away or fade.

By exfoliating the skin before the Mehndi is applied and keeping skin soft and supple once dry slows down the process of your skin shedding, making the Mehndi last longer.

Other Services

Many Mehndi artists provide extra services to create an unforgettable Mehndi party. This can range from doing Mehndi designs for guests as well as the bride-to-be, as well as providing props, decorations flowers and accessories for your Mehndi stage. Your Mehndi artist may specialise in other areas of beauty such as nail art, hair and make-up. Ask your Mehndi artist about special packages or offers that they provide for Mehndi parties.

Remember, you can’t change the Mehndi once it’s been applied, so make sure you follow our guidelines to ensure that you are 100% happy with your results allowing you to relax and enjoy the application of your Mehndi.

For more fantastic Asian Wedding advice and inspirations, log on to Your Dream Shaadi, UK’s Premier Online Asian Wedding Directory. A bride’s number one resource for Asian Weddings.

Related Articles - Asian Wedding Directory, Asian Weddings, Asian Wedding,

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