In My Morocco Natural beauty tips

Henna in Moroccan culture

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Henna in Moroccan culture has deep roots as this type of art is tightly connected to religious celebrations ( Eid, circumcision, wedding ) and might be used by local women and girls of all ages on a regular basis after hammam (traditional Moroccan bath/spa)as well. As for the tourists and foreigners, it's one of "must do" while you are here in Morocco!

So here is everything we need to know about henna:

                                   WHAT IS HENNA?

Henna is a paste, a type of "ink" made of dried leaves, water and egg whites. It is poured in syringe using which a local lady will decorate your skin. It lasts about 2 weeks and has a brown or bright orange colour. You will be asked to sit while Hennaya - it is the name for a professional Henna Artist is working on you and to rest another 30 minutes after she finishes, in order the paste to dry on your hands. Depending on an insensitivity of a colour you want to reach it might be a bit more ( actually the more the better). After the paste is totally dry all you need to do is to scrub it without using water or any product that contains oil ( because they will affect the colour of your tattoo). 

                   WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF HENNA? 

Red henna - the one we're talking about. It is used for a temporary tattoo, it is safe and absolutely natural, the real and original form of henna made of the plant Lawsonia inermis . It has well known in Morocco health benefits for skin: it helps in wounds healing and has a great antibacterial effect! 
By the way, do not forget that even the pure natural products can cause an allergy so it's always better to check it before making a tattoo. HOW? Just apply a little paste on your palm and wait 24 hours. Nothing happens? Run and make your henna tattoo!

Black henna - as chemicals are added to the natural henna powder to intensify the colour and make it black,  which makes use of this type of henna very risky in terms of allergic reactions! It is not used for tattoos in Morocco on a regular basis and in the popular touristic places, even though you can buy the black henna powder on the market easily!


Every Medina of each Moroccan city has places where you can see the advertising of henna craft shops or you can even see the ladies with a syringe who are proposing their services. Once you as a tourist is noticed by them, you will be asked if you are willed to have a henna tattoo!  


Hamsa or the Hand of Fatima is a talisman widely popular in the Middle East and  Islamic countries just like among Jewish community (it is called the Hamsa Nand or the Hand of Miriam) which is believed has the power to protect people from an evil eye and harm, bringing them luck and goodness instead. While you can find khamsa on the doors and clothes, the symbol is used a lot by henna artists as well!  And it is very beautiful! 

                     WHAT IS A BRIDAL HENNA PARTY?

 So we came to the most important and interesting part of this article - the Moroccan Wedding Henna Party! First of all, Moroccan Wedding is a religious celebration ( as according to Quran, Marriage is a sacred union) with a lot of customs and traditions. One of them takes place a day before a Marriage Ceremony and is called a  Bridal Henna Party - when after Hammam, where the bride comes with her girlfriends and a family, she wears a traditional dress and Hennaya decorates her hands and feet with beautiful designs, which symbolize joy and beauty! The bride's family and friends who are participating in the party might have henna tattoos as well. It is must be mentioned that only close friends or relatives are attending this beautiful ceremony! 
And the next day is a Wedding Day, which is full of interesting traditions and customs as well!

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Minimalist Misis said...

All these years, I thought that I was allergic to all henna tattoos. Turns out it's only the chemicals found in the black one. Would love to try a red henna tattoo. I find the intricate details on Moroccan hennas very fascinating.

Tara said...

i love henna, it's so beautiful! i never knew all the details behind it, nice post!

Unknown said...

Haven't tried this art personally. Didn't try it during our visit in Morocco 🇲🇦. It's very exotic.

Izzy said...

Super interesting! I didn't realise Hamsa has Islamic and Jewish ties, nice article

The Quirky Queer

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos! Thanks for all the info :)

Dr. Elise Ho said...

I love Henna. When I have a Henna tattoo I feel very connected to Mother Earth.

Unknown said...

Oh, waw! I love Henna too but never knew all these details behind it. Thank you for sharing your experiences and interesting information.