bridal mehndi for hand

Art Of Mehndi

What İs Mehndi Design?

Mehndi is the art of applying Henna on the body. It is a beautiful form of temporary body decoration. Mehendi is a traditional form of decoration for both men and women in countries such as India, Morocco, and Pakistan. It is generally used for special occasions, particularly weddings.

Mehndi is also known as ‘Henna’. the art of natural body painting Most people will recognize “Mehndi” by its Americanized name, as the art of henna body painting. Although often mistakenly identified as a “temporary tattoo” henna is done on the surface of the skin, not into it as with tattooing.

Henna is an organic plant material, dried and powdered, and then mixed with water and essential oils to make a temporary stain on the skin. The customs of painting elaborate henna skin designs hail from India and the Middle East, but the practice has spread to Europe and America and can be found there in traditional and pop culture applications. The traditional body paint of South America was the jaguar, a fermented fruit juice that turns blue-black on the skin. This too is a stain which can last for several weeks.

modern mehndi for hand

Mehendi Designs


Mehndi or henna is a body painting form that is traditionally found in India and the Middle East. The henna plant is dried and powdered, then mixed with essential oils and water to make a thick paste. This is daubed or squirted on the skin in elaborate patterns and leaves a reddish-brown dark stain. These designs last for several weeks before wearing off. Henna will stain the skin any color ranging from orange to very dark brown. It does not stain the skin black which is a common misperception.


Henna is employed historically as a decoration on the hands and feet of brides in the Asian country. Elaborate floral and decorative motifs of gods and goddesses are painted, with the belief that the longer the stains last, the more blessings are brought to the newly married couple. In Islamic cultures, henna (which works by staining) is considered to not be polluting to the body like makeup or other substances that sit on top of the skin.

modern bridal mehndi design

Bridal Mehendi


Sadly, unscrupulous body painters in the US have started to add a black hair dye to their henna pastes in an attempt to make darker stains and this can lead to serious skin reactions that can cause permanent scarring in some individuals. Be sure to educate yourself about the so-called “black henna” before letting anyone paint you with henna.

Indian Designs tend to have a central theme. Usually, they are drawn within a square, rectangle or circle which is then surrounded by a myriad of smaller patterns that cover the hands and lower arms, the feet and ankles. Motifs are taken from a West Indian decorative vocabulary: Moghul flowers, Paisley patterns, complicated tendril designs, stars, vines, spirals, leaves, checkerboards, water drops and waves. Often the intricate decoration can give the impression of delicate lace gloves.

classic bridal mehndi design

mehndi designs for hand


As well as these small repeated patterns, larger, more figurative motifs are frequently used, such as lotus flowers, unripe mangoes, fans elephants, butterflies, fish, parrots, peacocks, sweets and traditional musical instruments.

Even Indian jewelry and watches have been included in the designs. The fingers are covered with special linear motifs and the fingertips may be dipped in henna, staining the fingernails. Border motifs are applied around the wrist, ankles and foot soles.

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