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How to Mix Henna Paste: HC's tried and true "KISS" recipe

Natural Henna

The henna plant is one of the oldest cosmetics ever used and is extremely safe. Natural henna rarely causes any adverse reactions, if you are concerned do a small patch test first and consult your physician. Natural henna is generally safe as it contains no chemical dyes or harsh additives.

Black Henna

There is no such thing as black henna. To produce a black color, chemicals that are unsafe for your skin must be added. Black henna should be avoided! A chemical dye known as PPD, which is prohibited for use on the skin by the FDA is often added to the natural henna to produce a black color. It can cause liver and kidney damage, as well as scarring of the skin. For more information check out

How to tell if it's Natural Henna Powder?

Fresh henna powder smells like fresh cut hay or spinach and is an earthy green or khaki color. Bright green powder may have chemical dye added, this is often just a food coloring and can be safe. Sometimes the green dye is added to disguise an old crop of powder. If the powder is brown and has little or no scent, it may be stale and too old to yield a good color for mehndi or henna body painting.

Henna powder is light and heat sensitive as it is an organic product with no preservatives added. Store henna powder sealed tightly and protected from light, air, and moisture in the freezer.

PART 1 - Begin 24 hours before you plan to use the henna

Begin mixing henna and lemon juice

Begin mixing paste the day before you would like to apply the henna. It takes about 24 hours to prepare the henna paste for application.

1. Gather your Supplies
  • Fresh Henna Powder, 20 grams or 1/4 Cup
  • Bottled or Fresh Lemon Juice, strained
  • Small Plastic or Glass Bowl
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Sugar
  • Essential Oils, 1.5 teaspoons
  • Plastic Sandwich Bag
  • Applicator Bottle or Cone
This recipe is for 20 grams of fresh henna powder and will produce approximately 3 ounces of paste, enough for 75 small patterns, 3-4 cones.
mixing fresh henna paste
2. Pour 20 grams of fresh henna powder into a small bowl

how to mix fresh henna paste

3. Add 1/4 cup of strained fresh or bottled lemon juice.

When using any dye a second ingredient is needed to create the chemical reaction to release the dye molecule. Henna requires an acid to bring out the dye molecule contained within its leaves. Lemon juice is the perfect companion as it is very acidic, readily available, and very safe.

We do not recommended water to mix your paste. Some recipes call for many ingredients such as coffee, tea, water, tamarind, dried limes, cloves, and spices. None of these extra ingredients will make much of a difference in the staining power of your paste. You'll get a fabulous stain with just lemon juice and a great henna powder and high quality essential oils.

henna caravan paste recipe
4. Stir the henna and lemon juice until they are completely mixed together and no lumps of dry powder remain.
henna paste recipe
henna caravan paste recipe
henna paste recipe
The paste will be thick, similar to mashed potatoes.
essential oils for dark henna stains

Part 2

Add Sugar and Essential Oil

1. add 1.5 teaspoons sugar. (If you are using Henna Caravan 20 grams henna powder with sucrose the sugar has been added to your henna for you)

Sugar helps the paste stick to the skin by drawing moisture into the paste and prevents cracking and drying out of the paste. It also makes a silky smooth and creamy paste.

Add the vial of Henna Caravan Essential Oils ( 1.5 teaspoons)

Cajeput, tea tree, revensara, or lavender are all good choices. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. The essential oils will help to produce the deepest and darkest stain possible.

Never use Clove, Mustard or Mehendi Oil as they can be harmful

henna for dark stains
2. Stir. Iit will be lumpy and chunky at first.
dark henna stains begin with fresh henna
Keep stirring
thin henna paste is easy to draw with It will smooth out and become silky

henna paste recipe

3. Cover the paste with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap against the surface of the paste expelling any air pockets.
making henna paste

4. Let the paste sit in a warm place, around 75 ° to 85° Fahrenheit, for 24 hours to allow the dye to be drawn out of the henna leaves so it will stain your skin deeply and as strong as possible.

henna paste dye release

You are waiting for the dye to be released from the henna leaves. If you mix henna in a clear container it's easy to see the dye release. This is an easy way to insure your henna is fresh and has good dye content.

The dark band at the top shows where the dye has released.

5. After letting the henna mature for 24 hours it is ready to be used. Check and adjust your consistency if desired.

fresh henna paste
Determining exact amounts of lemon juice required for henna paste is very difficult since the henna plants are grown in many different regions of the world. Depending on the location, weather, and time of year the leaves are harvested the recipe will need varying amounts of lemon juice. The paste should be smooth and creamy, similar to yogurt. If too much lemon juice is added the paste will be runny and your designs will bleed together. If the paste is too thick it will be difficult to squeeze the paste out of the applicator.

Add lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon at a time, mixing completely between each addition, until you reach the desired creamy consistency.

When your paste is the perfect consistency fill your applicators.

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