Where can you get mehndi done?

 

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In India, there are many, many people who know how to apply mehndi. You can get mehndi done at various mehndi parlors there, or even by relatives in Indian families.  Essentially, mehndi is a folk art and is practiced by all women in villages, especially by those in Rajasthan.  Often, city dwellers know very little about mehndi art compared to rural villagers; thus, they have to hire artists to paint them.   People often pride themselves in doing mehndi artwork within the family.  I have extensive listings of mehndi artists, including a few Indian ones, but if you have any contacts in India it is simple to find an artist there, especially in large cities such as Mumbai or New Delhi. 

Locations in the United States where you can get mehndi done include Indian bazaars and fundraisers with Indo-American organizations throughout the nation.  These days, many mehndi salons and parlors are also sprouting up around the world in both Indian and non-Indian communities, due to the art's recent popularity as a temporary tattoo. In large cities such as Los Angeles and New York, many artists are available from which you can choose.  Also, it is increasingly possible to find a mehndi artist in your area.  Licenses are not required to become a mehndi artist because no needles are involved in mehndi, so many people teach themselves the artwork and present it to their respective communities.  Mehndi is also becoming a large part of Renaissance Fairs, Music Festivals, and Cultural fairs.  You can always find a "henna tattoo" artist at the beach, but be careful because such artists usually use only black henna (which is dangerous for the skin).

If you decide to go to an artist to get your mehndi done, try to see pictures of the person's work beforehand and definitely compare prices if you can choose between artists.  The going rate for designs starts at about $5 for a small design and is between $15 and $30 for one side of one hand.  The price for a band (armband, anklet, or bracelet) varies from $10-$30 depending upon the artist, the place where you are getting your mehndi, and [of course] the detail of the design.

Additionally, you can buy mehndi powder, pre-filtered, at Indian stores in the United States, via the Internet, at art supply stores, or at local stores such as the Body Shop, Urban Outfitters, and some health food stores.  If you ever feel the urge, please try to apply mehndi yourself.  It is a wonderful experience because it can allow you to express your creativity to your utmost abilities, and mehndi is fun!  All it takes is a little bit of practice.  The only thing you need to be careful of is that applying mehndi can be quite messy, and it is next to impossible to remove mehndi from white clothing.  Make sure that you wear clothes you won't mind getting dirty.  Also, be sure to purchase a good kit or separate henna products, and check that the contents within it are what you need.  Does the product have enough henna for a few applications? Does it contain the oils and supplies you need?  Is it within the market price range ($15-$25)?  Does it contain directions and sample designs to help you out?  Many henna kits are well made, but definitely be careful in choosing because you will want to get your money's worth.  I haveArmband listings of henna retailers that have asked me to include their entries.     See the next pages for more instructions on applying your own mehndi.

For listings of locations where you can get mehndi applied, please visit my Places Page. Or, to buy mehndi, visit my Henna page.  I can honestly tell you, however, that I have listed all artists/suppliers I know of [as of the "update" date] are listed on these pages, and I can tell you of no more.

Go Forward to "My Mehndi Recipe"


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Updated July 18, 2000 by Rupal Pinto
Photographs by Rupal Pinto, pictured is an anklet, 1998, and Armband on Ratna, 1997.
All text and images Copyright Rupal Pinto 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.  All rights reserved.