Beauty Back In the Day

Photo from

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.


Lawsonia inermis From

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.

Lucille Ball by Paul Hesse From

Nefertitti From

Cleopatra From

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?

  • Tatiana Daugherty

    Don’t even say that! All hairstyles from the 80s should be banned!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Oh I was JKing on that statement.

  • Ommay Aiman Safi

    Henna is awesome! Its pretty cool to have it applied on your hands as shown above. And Henna can also be used to color one’s hair too :)

  • DeeAnn DeZarn

    On the temporary thing, I’d say let’s ask Lucy, but I’m petty sure she’s dead. I think she had red hair forever because henna bleeds back up into your roots in my experience. That phase ended with some crazy bleached-blonde home dye which I lovingly grew out to my own natural color, roots showing through the short angled hairstyles, headbands, finally me. Henna temporary? Not on my hair.

  • Allison Maxwell

    my friend still has 80’s hair lol

  • Liz Roberson

    Real henna isn’t actually temporary, which is why I love it! My hair is dark auburn anyway and it adds a little boost to the natural red highlights without harming my hair. It is super messy, though, so it takes a real dedication to keep it up.

  • Mireia Nicolas Sánchez

    Spanish = Mediterranean. No need to single us out :)

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      I need to get edumacated.

  • Jenn Hickman

    I use henna to dye my dirty blond hair a lovely vibrant auburn. It doesn’t fade even with daily pool excursions and my hair feels silkier than the most expensive pair of skivvies out there. Like Liz said, it takes some serious dedication (like a whole day sometimes) But not having brassy straw hair is totally worth it.

    Not recommended to buy in stores though, at least none that I have found. If it has chemicals mixed in, DAMAGE will be done. I freaking love henna!

  • Beth Curry

    I know someone who went abroad when they were, idk, like 10 or something, and they had a henna ‘tattoo’ – but it must not have been proper henna because somehow it scarred her, and she’s still got a really faint rainbow on her wrist nearly 10 years later.

    ‘Lush’ do a really good henna hair dye though.

  • Aamina Malik

    I’m Indian, so henna (aka “mehndi”) is a part of our weddings and celebrations; brides get it done on their hands and feet. I’ve always thought that if I ever got highlights in my hair, I’d use henna because it’s more natural than dye products…but I’ve never heard of it bleeding into your roots and lasting forever. I thought it’d be temporary. :/

  • An Na

    icant seem to find a henna artist near me :( bummer i really wanted it on the back og my nexk :(

  • An Na

    ugh typo

  • Jennifer Taguiam

    Oh, I absolutely love hennas! I do them every year as my summer job on the boardwalk (which includes the mainstream tatts such as butterflies, crosses, roses, tramp stamps, chinese characters, etc. But I also get a lot of special requests where I get to freestyle and do custom tatts! yipee!). Anyway, now I`m off topic. Naturally, my boss doesn`t use the pure, natural henna, so I go on this one website and buy my own natural henna. I do them on my friends and myself all the time.

  • Adriana Ortiz

    I ADORE henna! I first got into it at an annual ren fest, but there’s a huge Indian population in my area, so you can easily find a friend to apply it for you. I have two kits at home 😀

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