Slow Henna Part 5

The Application Process

Are we trying to slow down something that should have never been sped up to begin with?  Of course!  The art of henna was never meant to be done in a speedy way.  This applies to the entire process of henna body art.  It includes finding the henna leaves, harvesting the plants, waiting for the leaves to dry, crushing them into a powder (although, historically, fresh leaves would be crushed to make a paste), and the actual application process.  All of these tasks should not be slowed down, because they should have never been sped up in the first place!  Rows of the henna shrub grows on henna farms and at harvest time, many workers come together on the field to harvest the crop.  In most farms, the traditional method of sun drying is still used to dry the henna leaves, while other farms have sped up the process by incorporating indoor drying areas after the plant harvest.  Does doing this make the henna lose it’s value or quality?  Perhaps it does.  

Aside from the henna harvest process, the application process is sped up these days.  With the introduction of chemical dyes, many artists use PPD in their henna (or simply use only ppd, claiming it as henna).  Instead of going through the process of mixing up the henna paste fresh with natural ingredients, artists try to speed the actual henna paste by incorporating things to make it stain faster.  Since when have we become so obsessed with staining faster, and darker?  Since when do we not have the time to wait for dye release from our henna paste?  Since when do we have to wash our hands soon after the henna application so that the stain does not get as deep as one would imagine?  The fast paced world we live in sometimes forces us to get on the next thing to do, or the next task as quickly as possible.  We get on to the next thing and forget to enjoy the one thing that is happening in that particular moment.