One of the things I took for granted for the big day, was henna.
Initially, I didn’t want to have a malam berinai. Or wear henna. I thought that it’s messy. To hire a henna artist costs so much, too (for something I don’t really appreciate). But people told me that I should wear it:
“Pakailah, baru nampak macam pengantin. Bila lagi?”
I figured that I’d be expected to wear it anyway, but didn’t properly plan how to go about it.
A week before the big day, I thought of setting up an appointment with a henna artist at the salons in Bangsar to get it done, but my relatives have offered to help me with the henna. It was just right to accept.
I didn’t have a proper berinai session (the one with a henna artist) the night before. Since my aunts have offered to help with the inai, I thought that everything was in order. The problem was, there was so much for everyone to do the night before, that the berinai session was pushed to 10PM — when I should already be sleeping.
We relied on the express henna, the kind you get from the tube. I only wanted to have area surrounding the nails colored — just the top part of the finger.
My cousin helped taped my fingers with a masking tape, except for the areas we wanted to color. My aunt, then poured the henna, trying to make it even. Seemed like it would take a while for it to dry. They said I was supposed to sleep with the henna, so at the end, my cousin wrapped my hands and legs in smalls plastic bags before I slept. I went to bed close to midnight.
In the middle of the night, though, I woke up with my fingers and toes itching… badly. That’s when I learned I was allergic to the henna FML -_-‘ I felt like a monster, taking off the plastic bags violently and washing off my hands and feet, while everyone else was sound asleep T.T
That’s when I realized, too, that the henna wasn’t evenly distributed. It was very blotchy. I had many red spots on my hands, too, because my skin came in contact with the henna while I was sleeping. It was really horrible.
The next day I was always concealing trying to conceal my fingers and toes. Those who saw it (especially the elder women) shook their heads HAHAHA.
I’ve learned a couple of things from this. When you’ve decided to wear henna, plan accordingly.
Options you have
If you’re thinking of doing it at home, try doing it yourself weeks before. Then you’d be able to see whether your skin would react to the henna. Also so you’ll know how best to apply it on yourself the night before the big day. When you do it the night before the akad nikah, though, don’t do it it late.
If you’re thinking of doing it with the pros, you can either pop into an Indian salon (plenty at Bangsar and Masjid India) and get it done there or hire someone to do it at your place the night before the day.
People say that it’s best to have the manicure session before the henna, so that the red won’t be washed out while you’re doing your nails. But in my case, my nails looked so decent after the manicure, but when the henna was applied and dried, I had dark henna residue stuck under my short nails. My cuticles also turned dry. Not very sexy.
If I were to do it all over again, I would have probably gotten the henna done earlier and have my nails manicured and buffed after that. After the akad nikah, I did my nails once more days later and my fingers ended up looking a lot better!
But of course, this only applies if you opt for simple henna art like mine — this won’t apply if you’re planning to decorate hands with intricate patterns — scrubbing will definitely remove some of the henna.
If you screw up anyway, just tell the photographer your concerns. I told mine and he made sure that the henna didn’t look so bad in photos by choosing the right angles heh. I think mine turned alright.