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Arachne's Muse

Henna and Glitter Body Art

What is Henna?

Henna is all natural, temporary, and safe for most individuals. Growing best in hot, arid regions with a good rainy season, the henna plant is a shrub with fragrant flowers. The henna leaves are harvested, dried, and ground to a superfine powder in preparation for becoming henna paste. 

Henna as body art.

Henna powder is mixed with liquid, usually lemon juice, water, and essential oils, to create a paste. Henna paste, left on the skin for several hours, leaves a reddish brown stain on the skin that lasts 1-3 weeks depending on body chemistry and location of the design.

Black Henna Warning.

Black henna is not natural henna. Any henna offering a black stain or a dark stain in less than hours is Not natural henna. Black henna is extremely dangerous and made with PPD and other chemicals. While natural henna stains only the first few layers of skin cells and stays on the surface of the skin, PPD is a transdermal toxin and enters the blood stream. The liver never completely cleans PPD from the body and as a result, consequent exposure to PPD will have more and more severe reactions. Black henna can cause rashes, burning, scarring, and even liver failure.

The History of Henna

Henna is a tradition both ancient and modern. Henna traditions have roots wherever henna will grow, from as far west as Morocco, to as far east as India. Henna itself is no more sacred than mascara or blush in most cultures, but there are sacred ceremonies and traditions that involve henna. This art form can be found in many transitional ceremonies. most commonly known for marriage ceremonies, henna can also be found In birth and death traditions, and many in between.

Henna in America is embraced for its traditions and also as a method of self expression, loved by adults and children alike. Henna is a fun way to try something new without a long term commitment.

Pregnant belly with Henna.

Meet the Artist

Shirley creating a henna design

Shirley is the owner and main henna artist for Arachne’s Muse. Henna has been her passion for more than 15 years and her business for 3 years. She is completely self taught, and because of this her style is inspired by many henna traditions, as well as other body art traditions from around the world. She believes henna transcends boundaries and can be used in many forms of expression, from sacred to silly. She has also branched out into glitter body art. Not satisfied with stencils, she creates glitter body art with the same freehand methods that she uses for henna body art. She delightes in the opportunities that colorful glitter provides and thinks it can be just as gorgeous and sophisticated as traditional henna art.. As an artist, she is constantly striving to improve and expand my skills. She is passionate about this journey and excited to share her art with you.