A Year of Henna

A Year of Henna 

By: Aglaheth Zaragoza


I say a year of henna, but in reality, this is something I’ve been looking into for a while. Or actually, I have been doing this for some time now, and I want to say that’s it’s going to be approximately 4 years, just not for my classmates.
I have always found henna very interesting. It always caught my eye and I know that there are many of out there that have gotten or would like to get a henna.

I don’t exactly know when henna became so popular in the western hemisphere, but I know and understand that henna is used in many cultures elsewhere.
Lately white henna has taken the internet by storm and I admit that it is beautiful as well as different.

At first, I really only did it to myself but I don’t exactly have henna ink at all. It’s never exactly been in my price range. Or I probably haven’t looked into it as much as I should. I’ll maybe do this later on.

I actually had about 24 gel pens that were neon, metallic, or glittery. They were actually very nice looking against the skin. It went on very smoothly but one of the problems I had was that it didn’t exactly dry as fast as other pens. An upside to that though, is that it didn’t run like some pens tend to do. That is what I love about them.

Honestly, you could probably find them at any Dollar General, it’s where I got mine, but I’m sure they can also be found online. These have worked very well for me but I know there are others that can work just as well.

Anyway, at first, I only drew it on myself and then a couple of my friends said they liked it and asked me if I could draw on them, next class. I accepted and took my pens.

I really can’t count all the times I got so frustrated when I was drawing something. It’s a lot. A lot.

Truthfully the most difficult part for me was finding I guess you can say, “inspiration” to draw on two people, sometimes three, every day. times I drew small things because I really couldn’t come up with anything, and other times I just pulled something from Google to make it easier.

That, and when I kept messing up. I hate that. But, if you have friends who are incredibly awesome and nice, they’ll definitely reassure you when you feel like it looks horrible because all you see is the mistake you made or where you moved the pen wrong.

It’s nice to see what someone can come up with, even more, when it’s your own. I think the first time I actually started to draw it on my skin was when I was a freshman here. I drew other things before but never actually allowed myself to become so immersed in henna and what its designs can be.

I didn’t have pens like these at the time, I actually used a sharpie.
It wasn’t what I would have liked bit it was better than the regular ones I had which can hurt if they are not working that well. I seriously don’t like using a pen that digs into my skin because it doesn’t look as smooth.

It worked good and didn’t run as much as I thought, but I had to be really specific with what I was drawing and where because the ink was a lot more difficult to take off. I had to practice the same image over and over to get it right at first and now I can do it in one try or two if I’m not feeling to sure of myself. I’ll practice on a paper and later draw it when I seem satisfied or am trying something completely different than what I am used to drawing.

I ask permission to use the entire hand or as I like to call it, “complete free reign” and I love it because I draw what I feel. There are times when I pull up a photo and draw it on someone’s hand and I can feel that it is missing something or it isn’t enough, or maybe it was meant for a different day. I literally ask them to remove it and draw what I felt should be drawn but suggestions are great especially when my mind goes blank.

A suggestion can always be better than what I would like to draw as long as the person I’m drawing on is happy. The whole point is to make people happy. It never hurts to try and I think what makes it special is that sometimes the people come up with their own idea and want to see it. Or there were just regular symbols that were drawn and henna designs added a nice touch to it by making a background or having the symbol encased in henna designs.

It’s the creativity and intricacy of henna that I find so amazing but I think the most fun I had for having henna on for a year is that every day it was very distinct and all the colors were different.

There are just so many combinations and styles that can be used that makes it so interesting and the fact that it is a thing I love, it made it so much better. My thing is flowers though, or dots, but those are easy so that’s not much. Or at least I think it’s not but I do enjoy trying new things so that could help. Change is nice.

The point is to always have fun and that’s it’s fine if it’s not perfect. That’s why practicing helps so much. Henna for a year is difficult but entertaining. I deeply respect the people that work with actual henna ink because I can only imagine, literally only imagine how difficult it can be at first.


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