Body art has been a part of Indian lifestyle for a very long time now. And I am not talking about permanent tattoos here but about the more temporary mehndi. This is a very old practice in the eastern countries where this herbal dye is used to decorate the hands and feet of women. It is a mark of an auspicious day or a celebration being a part of the calendar! Mehndi Designs for hands is most common these days. All we women need is an excuse and we are off to get a simple mehndi design done! Or we wait for a more special day and when it arrives, we go crazy with bridal mehndi designs!
Mehandi is an art that has been used for many centuries to tell a story. A story that would scream to the world about where the person came from. Which is why we find various styles like of Mehandi designs, the most popular being Indian mehndi designs and Arabic mehndi designs. Each style defines it’s own culture. And if you’re looking for a place where you can find everything there is to know about mehndi and its different designs, than you have come to the right place!
Henna, or Mehndi, is an age old art of intrinsic and intricate beauty that has been making women feel special since time immemorial. Weddings, festivals such as Eid and other special occasions; colourful traditional clothes, gold and silver jewellery, fragrant hair, smiling faces are all incomplete without the sweet-scented, orange hued henna painted palms and feet. And to think that all this beauty comes from crushed leaves of a simple garden shrub! Amazing!
Mehendi across Different Cultures:
1. Indian Style Mehndi:
Most prevalent, most diversified and most popular among all of mehndi styles, this style has evolved with the passage of time. The Indian mehndi patterns are delicate and intricate. They range from the extremely simple to the extravagantly complex designs. Mainly applied on the palms and back of the hands and feet. Indian mehndi designs can be extended as far up the arms and legs as you desire (and want to show off). The trend is, while attending an Indian wedding; your henna should not be more lavish than the bride’s! It’s just not courteous! Besides mehndi designs for hands, arms, feet and legs, India style has evolved to include the waist, the neck, nape and even the back! Gujrati patterns are a common choice of young brides today!
Indian mehndi art is very abstract and nature-inspired. Commonly, it depicts floral patterns, Hindu deities, peacocks and symmetrical patterns. The thickness of the pattern varies from the very thick to the very fine. Mughlai patterns too are very elegant and add charm to the wearer! They can also be etched on your feet!
2. Arabic Style Mehndi:
Arabic mehndi (or henna) has also crafted a niche for itself around the globe. Radically different from Indian mehndi patterns, Arabic designs focus on the motto less is more. The patterns, though very intricate and feminine, are mainly floral. They mostly cover the palm and the back of the hand but only partially, giving a very elegant look to the woman and revealing her beautiful, fair skin in contrast to the dark orange hue of the henna.
The designs of Arabic henna are not filled with henna, instead they are left as outlines, hereby enhancing the simple delicateness of the woman’s hands and feet. The designs are mainly floral and vein-like. They take a lot less time than Indian patterns in application and in drying out.
3. Pakistani Style Mehndi:
These Pakistani mehndi patterns combine the intricacy of Indian henna art and the simplicity of Arabic henna designs. The patterns are varied and can be worn on different parts of the body, going as far as the outer corners of the eyes! While calling a professional to apply these pretty designs makes sense, you can also try and master this at home by beginning with simple designs!
4. African Style Mehndi:
Simple, delicate, mesh-like patterns characterize this unique style. The patterns are mostly geometric and have wide spaces within them. The blank spaces are not filled with henna, and this enhances the beauty of the pattern by a large degree. If you want something less elaborate yet dainty, you can take a pick from a variety of round mehndi patterns too! These patterns can be etched on your arms or any other part of the body. And for those pretty little kids who do not want to be left behind, the world of mehndi has delicate patterns that look wonderful on those tiny palms.
While mehndi will never lose its popularity, some brands add harmful chemicals to the henna mixture to give it a blackish hue. Steer clear of these synthetic mehndis as they can cause severe skin allergies. Another simple precaution you can take is to wear warm clothes while you wait for the pattern to dry as mehndi has a cooling effect. What’s more? You do not have to wait for the mehndi to fade off in bits; you can take it off when you want!
If sitting for hours at a go doesn’t appeal to you, simply buy mehndi stickers and tattoos that can be changed as per your outfit. A new sticker to flaunt each day! From traditional designs to glitter mehndi designs, this art has a lot to offer to the pretty women of the world.
Enjoy this beautifully fragrant and appealing tradition that connects your modern life to the roots of your culture. Experiment, innovate, mix styles and shades and love every moment of it!