You’ve probably heard the terms henna and mehndi, and you’ve probably heard of them used interchangeably though arguably, they are not the same thing. Henna is the name of the plant from which dry leaves are taken and made into a paste which is piped onto parts of the body with intricate designs and patterns. This body art is known as mehndi.

We make this distinction to note that many of the riffs we see on mehndi are referred to as henna art which is an incorrect nomenclature. Many of the trends we’ll look at are not actually made from henna. However, they do draw inspiration from the traditional art of mehndi. 

Once resigned as a special body art worn only by brides and married women, mehndi is now a trend donned in numerous ways across the globe as a fashion statement, body art, or just for the hell of it.

Even the colors you can now get come in a variety. For instance, traditionally, mehndi coloring is a dark cherry red or deep mahogany. But one of the latest trends is white henna, which is, again, not henna. Rather, it’s a gilding paste which sticks to your body.

Image source: Gabby Nail Art via Pinterest

You can get mehndi designs piped onto your body in just about any color other than white as well. Desi brides are even getting their bridal mehndi to match the colors of their outfit!

Image source: Pinterest

Mehndi stencils, tattoos, and decals further help people quickly design everything from one’s hands, walls, or clothing without having to labor over mastering the time-intensive art.

But the mehndi trends don’t stop there. 2017 saw the emergence and still present trend of UV henna, which isn’t henna but, glow in the dark body paint that lights up under black light. It is popular body art most often found at raves, Coachella, and any other EDM festivals. 

Image source: Gopi Henna Designs via Pinterest

Then there’s glitter & gem mehndi. I found out about this gem (ha, pun intended) only recently. I attended my cousin’s wedding and the mehndi artist asked me which type of glitter I would like to kick up the black henna she had used. She then took skin-safe glue and attached little jewels to my hand. The result was a stunning design that was wedding ready!

Image source: Pinterest

Another trend we don’t see letting up anytime soon is mehndi patterns on everything from wedding cakes and cookies, to nails, sneakers, or phone cases! These, too, are not made from henna but the end results are just as artful! See more by clicking here and here.

Image source: Aurora Anglesey via Instagram

Click here to read about henna heart art you can buy from Etsy.


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