Henna is a strong natural dye & is made from the dried, crushed leaves of the Lawsonia inermis (henna tree). The dye produced from the green leaves ranges from orange to deep brick red-brown. It is henna which produces the reddish hair color worn by many Middle-Eastern and North African women. It is also used for body ornamentation, to paint designs on the body, traditionally the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, for beauty and spiritual purposes.
The art of henna painting, also known as mendhi, has become fashionable throughout the world. As well as its beauty, henna is safe, temporary and painless. The dye, which is permanent on fabric or wood, stays on the skin anywhere from 2-12 weeks, depending on the quality of the henna, its reaction with an individual's skin and the care taken of the design.
Over the thousands of years that henna has been an art form, it has also been used for medicinal healing purposes. Henna is believed to improve the texture of hair and skin. On a spiritual level, henna is believed to bestow happiness and good fortune.
The earliest potential records of the use of henna come from Egypt. Mummified Pharaoh's bodies have been found with what appears to behenna-dyed hair and nails. The mummy of Ramses II, among others, was noted to have henna on his fingertips and toes, just like a manicure/pedicure nowadays. The earliest of these findings dates back to the predynastic period of Egypt, approximately 3400 BCE.
You can get an authentic henna tattoo in a Nubian village in Aswan, during your trip to Egypt. This is done on your hand and is designed and drawn by local Nubian artists. The tattoo only takes moments and the finished effect is stunning. The tattoo designs are original, coming from Pharaohs, through Arabic to Nubian today.
Visit a colorful Nubian village in Aswan with us and treat yourself to a henna tattoo, make the most of your experience!