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How to darken mehndi after washing hands and body

With Diwali just around the corner, you may be getting prepared by trying to darken mehndi designs after having a shower or two.

With the Festival of Light set to be celebrated on November 4th, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists are looking forward to the celebration.

Mehndi is a popular way to show devotion to Diwali, a form of body art and temporary skin decoration usually drawn on hands or legs.

The designs are created from henna leaves that are grounded into powder or paste and then used as dyes or tattoos. Here’s how to darken mehndi.

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Darken mehndi after washing: Steps

If you are reading this before putting mehndi on, you should wash your hands, as this means it will be absorbed – resulting in a darker shade.

The best way to darken your mehndi after you have washed your hands and body (or wherever you have put the design) is in this guide.

After washing, here are some things you can put on to darken your mehndi:

  • Tiger balm
  • Vicks vapour rub/pickle oil – keep on for three to four hours
  • Mustard oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Lemon and sugar – dab on using cotton ball
  • Heated cloves from a pan – place hands near but do not touch directly

If you apply Tiger balm, Vicks Vapour Rub or mustard oil, your design will get darker, even after you have scraped or washed off the initial mehndi.

Also, applying eucalyptus oil after washing your hands is suggested to darken your mehndi. You should also let your skin dry naturally.

Don’t shake your hands or use a blow dryer after washing, as this could potentially smudge the design.

How long to keep mehndi on hands

Those getting mehndi designs should ensure they do so one or two days before a party or celebration, such as Diwali.

For darker mehndi, it is advised to keep it on your hands for at least six to eight hours, or overnight if possible.

However, if you don’t want it to be dark, you can leave it on for 2 hours, as it usually dries within 30 minutes.

Those wearing mehndi are advised to allow the full 24 hours of care for your henna to achieve the darkest stain possible.

You could also bandage your hands so the mehndi does not crumble off in your bedsheets!

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Mehndi designs for Diwali

There are several designs which you could try out for Diwali, or for any time of year or worldly celebration.

Here are just a few incredible designs we found, from easy to difficult:


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