The wedding season is here and the mehendi ceremony is now a big part of not just north Indian, but south Indian weddings as well. While henna-laced hands are a vital part of the festivities, not many people like the smell of mehendi and the way it looks once it starts fading a few days later. If you are one of those, don’t fret. Here’s how you can safely and quickly remove mehendi…
Bleach: Apply a good quality bleach — the type that you use on your face — on the area where mehendi has been applied. Rinse off with cool water once it dries.
Baking soda and lemon: Make a thick paste of baking soda and lemon juice and apply all over the henna. Let it dry and wash off with cool water. This can dry your hands, so ensure that you moisturize well.
Toothpaste: Some properties in toothpaste also help to quickly lighten mehendi. Squeeze toothpaste and spread it over the areas where mehendi is applied. Once it dries, rub your hands together to fade the colour faster.
Hand wash: Wash your hands more often — say, 10-12 times a day. Soap helps lighten henna, but excessive washing can dry your hands, so remember to apply a good moisturizer each time you wash your hands.
Olive oil and salt: This is perhaps the gentlest way of fading the colour as olive oil is a natural emulsifier. Mix some salt and olive oil and apply on your skin. Let it be for about 10 minutes and repeat the process a few times. This has to be done over a few days to get the desired effect.
Salt water: Add salt to warm water and soak your hands/feet in it for about 20 minutes, or till the water becomes cool. This process will also have to be repeated a few times for you to see some effect. Soaking your hands for extended periods of time can dry them out, so keep a good moisturizer handy.
Swimming: The chlorine in swimming-pool water helps fade mehendi, so this would be a good time to take a dip. If you don’t swim, simply soak your hands/feet in chlorine water at home.
Removing mehendi from clothes
Getting mehendi onto pretty clothes is something that almost everyone has to deal with. But it doesn’t have to be the last time that you wear your outfit, as there are ways to rid the stains…
As soon as mehendi gets on to your clothes, gently dab the stain with a soft cloth.
Soak a soft cloth in detergent water and gently scrub the stain in a circular motion.
If this doesn’t work, heat milk (not too hot) and soak your garment in it for about 20-30 minutes. This should lighten the stain. Then, gently scrub some detergent on the stain with a soft cloth or toothbrush.
Another method is to make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply this on the stain and wait for it to dry. Rinse with cold water.
If the stain still persists, mix baking soda with vinegar and leave it on till it dries. Scrape off the mixture and rinse with water.
Always use cold water while rinsing henna stains as warm water will only deepen the colour, making it difficult to wash off.