Hey there! Welcome and thanks for stopping by! My name is Amy Christensen and I’m one of the new Henna Intensive & Retreat Sirens.
This is me with fresh henna on my hair last summer (the first time I’d ever dyed my hair since I was in my 20s) and my daughter helped me. I’m actually a natural ash blonde (with gray highlights LOL). So it is super bright in the first picture. This was after it “toned” down a bit:
I’ll be honest, I’m not a twenty-year veteran henna artist. I’ve actually only been doing henna now since 2012. Basically, I got started in face painting seven years ago. My mentor, Joey Anderson (aka @mehndikajoeyhenna on Instagram) was living in Mountain Home at the time. I drove over to her house and she showed me every step, from mixing the henna, coning it up, making/rolling cones, and then she applied a design to my hand.
This was the design she did on my hand. From there I just started mixing my own henna, rolling the cones, and practicing on everyone I could get my hands on. Each person has their own story of how they got into henna, what their first experience with henna was and what it was like. Each story is unique to the individual but all great starts have to have a beginning somewhere!
When I came from the Face Painting community, it felt like if you wanted to really dig into the nuts and bolts and learn more about your craft, you had to pay for a class (which I did). Joey was completely open and friendly as many will attest from her Instagram posts. It was a bright, wonderful experience that was completely foreign to me. Most artists I knew wanted to keep their “formula for success” if you will, a secret that you had to pay them for. And yet here she was willing to walk me step by step through each part of the process.
Now some beginning artists out there will wonder where they should begin. First, purchasing natural henna from a reputable supplier like Henna Sooq is a great place to start. This is my suggestion for your first time purchase. Just buy three cones to practice with like these: 3 Hand Rolled Henna Cones. Henna Sooq’s henna is a good quality henna to get started with and it’s pre-mixed so that you can get started with creating designs right away.
For your second purchase, you might try mixing your own paste that comes in a kit. This is a great beginner Henna Kit to help you get started. You’ll have instructions to follow along with a few design ideas.
From there, my suggestion is to perfect your recipe based on the climate in your area. In my area, the high desert of Idaho, it is extremely arid. I tend to use more sugar in my paste than most do. Other areas might not need sugar at all because of the humidity present. That’s why it’s extremely important to play with the recipe to get the results that you like every time you mix your henna paste.
Another good tip is to practice your designs often. I typically have a 3 x 5 index card (neon colored) in my purse with my favorite brand of markers (Sharpie). If I have to wait for an appointment or have a minute to sit and doodle, that’s what I do.
Yes I know I spelled lose incorrectly but it was in pen and I wasn’t able to fix it. But again, practice makes perfect. Right now I’m working on my lettering, as I believe I stink at it. Oh and designs for men/boys, those are hard for me right now. In order to make them easy… I have to work more on them.
The style we each have can is often influenced by other artists that we might want to emulate. Copying and practicing until you garner your own style will help your muscle memory and start you on the path to becoming the henna artist you dream of being.
As I close this short intro to my henna journey, I want you to think of your henna journey. Where do you want to go with it? Can’t wait to hear back from you and don’t forget your daily practice!
Monday I’ll be writing about how to host a henna party at your home, which I actually did last night. It was such a fun experience. Here’s the design I did on one of my guests!
Blog Author: Amy Christensen owner of FacesbyAmy
Henna Supply Resource: Henna Sooq
Henna Inspiration: Joey Anderson