Henna. Sudan and North African Fashion Tradition
What is Henna?
Henna is a tree ; it grows in North Africa. There are many kinds of Henna trees but only one kind is the one that makes a good, rich Henna color. And that is Al-Damer Henna in North Sudan. Ladies in North African use Henna for fashion to decorate their skin with beautiful shapes similar to tattoo shapes, but its not permanent and stays in the skin for about a month or less. There are two kinds of Henna colors, red and black. But it depends on how the dough is prepared.
How do you prepare black Henna dough ? You need 4 cups of Henna powder, half a cup of water, 2 drops of lemon Juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and kneed for about 3 minutes to make a hard, viscous dough. Cover it to set for about three hours before use. When applying the back Henna, you need to use one of the special oils to the skin prior to the dough. those oils are Suratia and Mahlabia.
How do you prepare red Henna dough ? You need four cups of Henna and only half cup of water. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and kneed for about 3 minutes to also make a hard dough. You also need to use the same oil.
For both kinds of Henna colors it takes about 2 hours in the skin to get the good, desirable color.