No Indian marriage is complete without the hue of mehendi on the hands of the bride. For as the history of mehendi suggests, the purpose behind its at its birthplace, Egypt was to lure the male sex since more the heat in the body of the bride the deeper is the color.
Mehendi adorns not just the palms of the bride-to-be but a significant portion of her legs and arms are painted with the herbal paste. Today mehendi is used not just in its natural state but also in various artificial forms. Mehendi in its natural state gives reddish to a deep rust hue while the artificial mehendi can be of any desired colour matching with the colour of the attire. The more popular colours are: Brown, Purple Blue, Indigo Blue, Golden, Red, Mahogany (Red-Black), Yellow, Green, Lemon, Burgundy, Orange and green. It is not just the hands and the feet where mehendi finds a place but also regions around the naval as a tattoo, the forehead as a bindi, upper arms and even the cheeks have a special place for mehendi, more often in its artificial state. Bindi and the pir is an essentiality of the bridal deck up. The patterns drawn above the eyebrows are known as pir while that in between the eyebrows is bindi.
Today mehendi designs are created with a unique combination of graphical patterns with the more traditional designs. Both smooth and jagged edged strokes are used for painting the motifs. Patterns used in mehendi include tales of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, Hindu gods and goddesses, flowers and birds. Motifs depicting Radha and Krishna as Shiv and Parvati and even Ganesha are much in demand. Designs also include the peacock, butterfly, vines, leaves, and the mango. The use of Diamonds, pearls, gold threads (jardosi), chemicals and nail polish are some of the latest additions to mehendi designs.
Mehendi For the Hair
It is not uncommon to see the bride applying a paste of mehendi to her hair prior to the D-day because apart from the cooling effect upon the scalp, henna also imparts a glorious sheen to those tresses. Mehendi is known to provide the much-desired nourishment to the hair, dyes it, maintains the luster, conditions the hair and strengthens the hair roots. The hair now becomes soft shiny and manageable. Heena may also be applied with a combination of other herbs like amla, areetha, brahmi, aloe-vera, kapur, katha chandan, jungli and neem.
So have fun with Henna...the options are just too many!