My Nigerian Henna Experience

Hi readers!
How are you today? This post is about my Nigerian henna experience. Henna (Lawsonia inermis, also known as hina, henna tree, mignonette tree, Egyptian privet) is a flowering plant that grows 12-15 feet high and comes from the sole species of the Lawsonia genus. The English name “henna” comes from the Arabic (ḥinnā). The name henna also refers to the dye prepared from the henna plant and the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes. Henna has been used for centuries to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather.

I have always been fascinated by the henna (laali in Yoruba) designs. Seen it a couple of times on the hands and feet of Indians in movies, Fulani and Hausa ladies too. Saw one design on the hands of this lady in Ibadan back in July and my jaws fell. It was absolutely gorgeous but she said she got it done in Kaduna. It is really creative and looks so beautiful when drawn properly. However I have to express my disappointment regarding some people’s opinion about henna. Henna is not particular to a religion especially not in this modern time.

I had people asking me the quite silly question of why I had henna on and if I was a Muslim. In fact, a particular man told me to get it off and expressed how disappointed he was. I was so confused! Ordinary decoration on hands. Na wa o! People can be so jaded. Having the henna on didn’t make me more or less of a christian as I was before getting the henna. It was not even intended to be a form of tattoo. Stereotypes though! I wonder what would happen when I eventually dye my hair.

Nigerian henna

Nigerian Henna Experience

Anyway, I got this henna done last week Sunday in the mood of Sallah celebration at the Scout Camp market. How was it done? The woman scooped some henna powder from a bottle and mixed it with water and hydrogen peroxide. She then proceeded to put the paste in a nylon and started to squeeze the paste out onto the back of my hands. Then I left the henna on till it dried and started to flake off. Got some water and I rinsed the dried henna off. What was left was a very black outline of the design drawn which faded gradually over the following days. It lasted for about a week. I didn’t exactly like the design she drew though. It seemed too squiggly unlike that from Eniola’s post here

If you’re getting henna done, do make sure the person drawing the design is knowledgeable about it. I read a blog post recently about how too much of the hydrogen peroxide can cause a skin irritation or an allergy to it can cause skin discoloration. I have tried henna twice now and nothing happened and I am definitely getting more henna designs drawn soon. Have you tried henna before? Would love to see the designs you got or you have seen before. And what have you tried before that seemed somewhat unacceptable by people around you? How did you deal with the issue?

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1 thought on “My Nigerian Henna Experience

  1. tonyeigbani

    I love henna tattoos , I’d probably have them on all the time if I find someone that’s good at it.

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