Secrets to a dark-staining paste with a good consistency every time.
What you will need :
- Fresh henna powder (60 ml/ 4 tbsp)- Choose it with care. Henna powders that are very cheap usually are too gritty or old. Always look for triple sifted BAQ (Body Art Quality) henna powder.
- Sugar (12.5 ml/ 2½ tsp)- Regular white sugar works perfectly.
- Pure essential oil (10 ml/ 2 tsp)- I prefer lavender!
- Water (as needed)- Tap water works just fine. I don’t believe complicated concoctions makes stains darker.
- Combine the henna powder, the sugar and the essential oil and mix roughly.
- Add two tablespoons of water and mix thoroughly, then add very small amounts until you get closer to your desired consistency. For now, keep the paste thicker than what you want it to be at the end.
- Let the henna mix sit for a couple of hours to allow the dye to release from the henna powder. This will take from one hour to one day, depending on the powder and on the temperature. The powder from Rajasthan I use is usually ready within three hours. I find the 5 minutes spot test much more efficient to use than to wait for an obvious dye release color such as pictured above.
- When the dye has released, you can add more water to your paste to reach the consistency you like, but be careful not to add too much! I have found that the best way to know if the consistency is right is to roll a tiny cone and test the paste.