I'm sure you've seen plenty of pictures on Pintrest, Instagram, and Facebook of a lovely body art that is being called white henna. Actually it's not henna at all. This is an important distinction and can cause confusion and disappointment. Not worry; you're about to learn the ins and outs of henna and "white henna" and tell you how to make white henna!
Henna (real henna) is a paste made from a plant that stains the top layer of skin. This stain generally has good color 5-10 day but can last 1-3 weeks. Henna can not be washed off.
"White henna" is body art done in white that is a topical color and wears away in 1-5 days, depending on the product used to create it. It contains no actual henna at all. People call it white henna because the designs are often henna-like.
There are a number of ways to create this lovely white-henna-look!
How to Make White Henna-Look Body Art
White Body PaintThe most straight forward is to use white body paint, such as Temptu, that be purchased at costume stores. Use a fine brush to draw henna designs.
This style of design will be a non-shiny matte texture like any body paint and will be flat against the skin. Depending on the type of body paint you use and how you care for the design, this can last 1-5 days.
Guilding or Gilding PasteThis is an easy-to-make paste that you put into henna cones and apply it in the same way as henna.
To make white-henna-gilding-paste, you'll need very hard hold hair gel such as Got 2 Be Glued Hair Glue. You can use this alone or mix it with a little Elmer's glue. Add white mica powder. Loose eye shadow or crushed up hard eye shadow will work fine if you don't have access to pure mica. You can also add very fine body safe glitter if you'd like. Put it in a henna cone and use the white henna gilding paste in the same way.
This style can be flat against the skin or slightly raised. The color can be rather shimmery depending on what micas and glitters you use. Depending on the gel you use and how you care for the design, this can last 1-3 days.
Pros -Aide Medical Adhesive Glue and White Mica
This is the stuff! This is what gives you the very best white henna look. Apply Pros-Aide cream or liquid (or a combination of the two) to the skin using a henna cone. Allow it to dry completely. I mean COMPLETELY, then use a soft bristle make up brush and brush the most sparkly white mica powder you can find!
If you use the Pros-Aide cream the white henna body art will have a raised look. If you use the Pros Aide liquid (original) the white henna body art will be flat. The liquid is a bit harder to work with, but you can mix a bit of the cream into it to get a product that is easy to use and still dries flat. Flat white henna art will last longer than raiser white henna art. Depending on the Pros-Aide glue you use and how you care for the design, this can last 3-6 days.
There you have it! Now you can create your own white henna body art in three different ways! Remember it's not actually henna and is a surface application. White henna body art will not actually stain the skin like real henna. If you want to learn about real henna check out The Henna Learning Center.
Have fun and send pictures of your work!