As we enter phase of month before Eid, the excitement surrounding Eid al-Azha is growing. Among all the traditions associated with the Islamic holiday, the practice of henna hand decoration is the most anticipated. Each year, women in the region queue at henna salons to have their palms and backs of hands decorated with the plant-based dye, and the results are always stunning.
Henna is also deeply ingrained in our culture, where it is regarded as a sign of prosperity and celebration. This practice has expanded globally in recent years, with henna salons such as Pavan Henna Bar bringing the regional tradition to western cities like London, New York, Los Angeles, and Milan.
Henna can take on any appearance, from simple and contemporary designs to intricate and detailed ones, and is the simplest and safest way to adorn your body with art. “There are a variety of styles,” she explains. “We have a lot of clients interested in designs similar to Rihanna’s full-hand tattoo or thick Arabesque designs, but we also get requests for the polar opposite, where the client wants something delicate and intricate.”
Dhanjal explains that bold designs resembling tattoo patterns are currently popular, and she recommends them for Eid in the Middle East. “Henna with straight lines and symmetry along the knuckles, fingers, and most definitely the back of the palm of the hands is a big thing. Additionally, designs resembling jewelry, chains, and rings.”
“The crescent moon is extremely popular at this time of year, and we make it appear to be a dream catcher. “I believe that metallic gold and silver will always be popular,” she observes.
Once you’ve completed the design of your choice, there are a few things you can do to ensure the henna has a vibrant color payoff and lasts a long time. “Keep your skin moisturized; this brings the color to life. Eucalyptus oil is excellent for adding after the henna has crumbled,” Dhanjal says. “The darker you are, the darker the henna becomes, so body temperature and warmer countries play a significant role. In London, I always advise against putting your hands over the stove! Naturally, with caution.” Additionally, she advises against “scrubbing too vigorously in the shower, as it will come off more quickly if you do.”
To ensure the richest color on Eid, the timing of the henna application must also be considered. Dhanjal recommends applying the henna “one to two days before Eid.” Henna takes approximately 48 hours to reach its peak color, so now is the optimal time to apply it and ensure it looks fresh for your celebrations.”
If you prefer to use henna at home and design your designs, we will assist you. There are so many resources available to provide you with all the inspiration and information you need to create stunning designs on your own, from tutorials to live sessions and endless TikTok videos (is anyone else guilty of spending hours scrolling through them? We certainly are!) There are so many resources available to provide you with all the inspiration and information you need to create stunning designs on your own! Our best advice? If you have a design in mind for Eid but are concerned about staining your skin with brown henna, if something goes wrong, try practicing with our White Henna! This formula is similar in texture to its darker counterparts but much easier to remove, and this formula only lasts 24 hours on the skin. The results will be completely mess-free, and practicing your Eid designs with this type of henna a few times before committing to dark henna will boost your confidence in body art and be quite therapeutic. At-home henna painting is a calming activity that allows you to disconnect and indulge in some much-needed you-time.
Now that you’re familiar with the trade secrets, it’s time to provide some design inspiration. You can incorporate so many elements into your Eid designs, from the most intricate swirls to hand-gracing dome shapes and finger details. Here are a few of our personal favorites.
This is a classic Eid design, and there are countless ways to customize it and experiment with placement. The crescent moon, which is most frequently drawn on the back of the hands, is a simple yet effective design that you can easily create at home. You can either create a classic moon shape or, as shown in the image below, incorporate details such as flowers and leaves. The game-changer par excellence? Feathers and dots to complete your design for a true dream-catcher effect!
Swirl if you want to make a statement! This lovely design created with Original Henna is the ideal way to enhance the appearance of your hands. Begin with the larger swirls, tracing the shape of your design and placing each element carefully. After completing your sketch, it’s time to flesh it out! From dots to shadowing, this is the time to let your imagination run wild. Due to the repetitive nature of the shapes, this type of design is extremely relaxing to create, making it the ideal way to unplug from the outside world.