Photo from nationalgeographic.com
Remember when henna was so “2000”? It was like, the greatest thing to do at your sweet sixteen or bat mitzvah. Your friends felt so scandalous getting a “floral” or “star” design on their back like a tramp stamp and your mom accepted it because it was “just temporary”. I remember getting a weird swirl design on my hand at some birthday party where they served Moroccan food under a silk tent. The henna was goopy, chunky, brown and GROSS. But that’s because the person making it was not a skilled mixer. It also didn’t help that she was American and totally unaware that henna was actually not from 2000. Henna is a skin dye used also on hair, fingernails, wool and leather in Roman, Mediteranean, Egyptian, African, Spanish and Indian traditional celebrations dating back from the Bronze Age.
All you girls into au natural makeup would be happy to know that henna is made from a flowering shrub called the migonette tree. And for all you hippies out there that like using plants for multiple purposes, the migonette tree’s flowers can be used in perfume, the leaves for tea and the paste as an anti-fungal. Mmmmm. Now, because some companies have included various chemicals in henna dyes, none of it is FDA approved, so don’t go applying this stuff all over yourself then complain to me when you get a red rash on your most precious skin. I am simply celebrating a revered international beauty tradition utilized by female greats Cleopatra, Nefertitti and Lucille Ball.
Lawsonia inermis From wikipedia.org
Lucille Ball by Paul Hesse From griffithgoldenkey.org
Nefertitti From fascinatinghistory.blogspot.com
Yes, this beauty trend – like many fashion trends – somehow circled its way back from the Bronze Age, all the way to the 1950s and 60s, and then into the 2000s. I wonder if the big hair of the ’80s will do the same?
Cleopatra From cleopatrapictures.net