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Finding the best bridal henna requires familiarizing yourself with and narrowing down available design options, consulting with a henna artist to finalize choices, and coordinating designs with your gown. You also want to ensure that only safe, natural henna ever touches your skin. Comparing package pricing also helps with final decisions for bridal henna that is completely customized to your budget and taste. If you're hosting a traditional henna party, henna designs and packages for your guests should also be considered.
Creating a look book for your bridal henna choices will help you to narrow down your choices. Wedding magazines, online blogs, and mehndi artist websites present a variety of options. You may prefer a traditional design based on your cultural history, since designs vary between regions, or you may prefer a style based purely on its visual impact.
Studying a wide variety of henna types to get an idea of what attracts you or might go with your gown will help you to make the best decision. For instance, Arabic mehndi usually features large floral motifs, while traditional Indian mehndi uses small, detailed patterns and covered fingers or toes. African mehndi features bold geometric motifs, and styles introduced in the late-20th and early-21st century use glitter and gemstones to accent the henna.
If you have difficulty deciding, an experienced mehndi artist can usually help you to narrow things down. Schedule a consultation with your prospective mehndi artist or salon, which is usually free. Ask to look at sample designs and options, and present him or her with examples of the choices that you have narrowed down. Most professional artists can match the mehndi design to your sari or gown if you bring it to the appointment. You may wish to narrow your design options then, if something catches your eye, or consider it further before committing to a motif and price.
At your design consultation, sniff the henna to make sure that it doesn't have a scent that may cause a headache. The henna may last several weeks, and the scent will likely linger for several days. You should receive a free bridal henna sample to see how the stain takes to your skin.
Assessing the quality of your bridal henna can also help you to make a final decision. Henna mixed by a mehndi artist is usually preferable, as it may not be possible to tell what ingredients are in store-bought paste or cones. Ask your prospective artist how he or she makes the henna paste. Natural ingredients are safest, and it's important that the henna not contain phenylenediamine, a synthetic dye sometimes used in black henna that is harmful to you. Quality paste has a shelf-life of two to four days, so it should be made in small batches, with no preservatives or additives. The artist may also make large portions and freeze them for several months.
You should also compare package prices for your bridal henna. An artist may offer a set price for the bride's henna package and an hourly rate for the bridal henna party, for instance. This allows you to get small, simple designs done on as many guests as possible in an hour, anywhere from 10 to 15, depending on the artist's speed and how many design choices are presented. Having three to four small, simple designs from which your henna party guests can choose gives them the luxury of choice without overwhelming them.