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How to apply Two Tone Henna Patterns

2 tone detail

After seven years working with henna, I grew dissatisfied with the single dimension of traditional henna application. I wanted to expand the tone and color available in my patterns to create a greater variety and elegance for my clients.

I developed a simple method of applying two-toned henna to fulfill my desire for a richer and more painterly henna technique.This method requires only a little extra time and forethought but no extra materials. Two-Toned henna patterns are applied in 2 or 3 steps. The major design elements should be planned out before you begin to apply the henna.

When considering the pattern to be used, designs with many 'closed' elements lend themselves particularly well to two-toned henna. Look for patterns which have variation in width of line for added depth and elegance. The variation in line width will break the image up and can be used to draw attention to one element or another.

how to 2 tone henna


We prefer letting the henna set on the skin overnight, however 6-8 hours is sufficient. For continuity, we will only suggest overnight.

1. Apply the outline of the entire pattern.Wrap the paste in medical tape or seal with lemonade and let sit on skin overnight.

first layer 2 tone henna


2. In the morning remove the wraps and the first application of paste.

second layer henna


3. Apply henna to the elements you wish to give added depth, interest, variety, and color.

Consider the balance of the entire design carefully. You want to create a balance of light and dark areas. Be conscious of the weight of each line and do not allow the fine details to be overwhelmed or disguised by the medium tone of henna you are now adding. Allow the second application of henna to remain on the skin for 3-10 minutes, depending on the quality of henna and the tone you desire.

henna removed


4. Remove the second application of henna.

A little lemon juice will remove all traces of paste leaving clean and crisp lines. Do not use water to remove the paste, as it will interfere with the dye quality.

henna darkening


5. 24 hours after all henna paste has been removed.

The stain will continue to deepen and darken over the next 48 hours.

dark henna


6. 48 hours after the paste has been removed. The stain will have gradually deepened to a richer red-brown tone.

The stains fade away naturally within 1-3 weeks. Enjoy your elegant new henna.

Henna Caravan artists are available for appointments and events in California and beyond
Photos appearing black were taken while the fresh henna paste was still on the skin
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