Over the past week, I’ve had the pleasure of serving women with envy-worthy travel plans, and frankly, I’m thrilled to know that so many of you are out here living your best life! What makes me even more happy is the fact that you’re planning ahead and choosing to get your henna done before boarding that flight or ship (or both!) for vacation.
Believe it or not, the things you do (and don't do) before your henna session are also important for maintaining a good stain for the days and weeks after your appointment. Today I'm going to share five easy tips to prepare for getting your henna done - and because I’m currently listening to none other than Beyonce herself, let’s run through this in full Bey fashion. You ready?
As a professional henna artist, I get asked a lot of questions about my art. Many of the questions have to do with how to make the stain last the longest or what the designs "really mean" or how long it took me to learn to wield a cone. But there is one question that I don't hear hardly enough, and it's time we talked about it.
It's been near seven years of business, and I've waited for this inevitable phone call to come. I've wondered how I'd cope with it. I've thought endlessly on what damage control might look like for my business when it became reality. I've wondered under what circumstances it might present itself. And guess what? Tonight, it came.
I've never thought of henna as an act of resistance or sticking it to the patriarchy or anything else. For me, it was purely practical. This doesn't change that it is resistance, indeed. Through my work, I teach my children that they have the right (and the capacity!) to be or do anything. I raise them in my home where they can be fully influenced by me and by those who I feel are deserving of an opportunity in their lives. I teach them patience as they wait for me to finish with my clients in the studio, and presence when we play or paint or cuddle together. I show my children - especially my daughters - that they can be confident and successful.
Though I've spent plenty of time decorating the women who visit me for henna services over the past few months, I have to be honest... I've only applied henna to my own skin once since August of 2016. That's seven months without it, and yet I work with henna almost daily. I haven't talked about it. I'm generally a private person, and the thought of really examining why I've chosen not to treat myself to this act of self care is... not something that I wanted to even consider.
“Hi - I’m going on a girls trip to Jamaica next weekend, and I’m wondering if it’s possible to come and get henna to cover my…” I cannot tell you how many phone calls and emails I receive that start off just like this. Women of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds reach out regularly to ask if I would be comfortable with creating designs to cover or correct those self-described flaws so that they can exist in the world with a bit less inhibition and fear of judgment.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you just had to stop and think to yourself, “My goodness, I have been blessed beyond measure today?” That’s exactly how I feel after having yet another opportunity to participate in the Baltimore Girls Rock Conference, hosted and sponsored by the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College (NAASC).
The premise of the Human Library is simple: while sitting with your “book,” you’re free to ask whatever questions you have and engage in as personal or unpolitically correct conversation as possible - all without fear of judgment. As a book, I was provided with the opportunity to pull back the curtain on what life looks and feels like for me, giving insight to those without similar lifestyles.