How did you get started doing mehndi?
My mom used to do mehndi on me when I was little. When I got old enough I used to do it on myself. People noticed it on my hands and complimented me, which encouraged me to do it even more.
I started getting hired to go to sangeets and eventually for brides.
Describe your services.
I specialize in bridal mehndi, specifically figures within the mehndi, so bride/groom, Radha Krishna, Ganesh, etc.
I do the bride as well as the family and guests. Depending on the needs of the client, I do it all myself or bring another artist with me. I have also recently added cookies and cake decoration to my services. I am also a supplier for mehndi powder and working on adding more supplies.
How long does bridal mehndi take?
Typically, about 5 to 5.5 hours. That’s for up to the elbows and a few inches above the ankles. If the bride is fidgety, it can take longer.
Indian – dense, detailed, intricate, not a lot of negative space, a lot of curves.
It’s my job to understand cultural and religious nuances as well. For example, some religions don’t include living beings in their mehndi. As a professional, I like to be culturally sensitive, but it’s up to the bride what designs she wants.
Arabic – has a lot of negative space. Usually we do Arabic mehndi for wedding guests because it takes less time per hand compared to indian styles.
There are other styles such as two types of Moroccan – floral and Fezzi – but I don’t deal with these often as they’re not popular amongst brides.
What about glitter mehndi?
That was a trend several years ago. I rarely do it, although in the last couple of weeks, “white henna” has made a comeback on Instagram thanks to some beauty bloggers getting it done. It is just white gilding gel that washes off and is not henna at all. Usually I apply loose glitter on top of the mehndi.
Tips for great mehndi:
- Do consultations: My free consultations include a sample so the bride can see how my mehndi paste will turn out for her skin.
- You should have a good dynamic with your mehndi artist so you can spend 3-5 hours comfortably with him or her.
- You shouldn’t smell any chemicals.
- You should get a very bright orange color when you take the mehndi paste off.
- If it’s red, black or brown or you’re told you can wash your hands 30 minutes after application – it’s not natural mehndi.
- Day-of Don’t moisturize. Dry hands bring out better color
- Get a mani/pedi and waxing done before the mehndi
- Place an arm rest for bride
- Well lit environment
- No loud speakers nearby
* sheets underneath aren’t necessary – unless doing glitter
* I bring my materials: mehndi, lemon-sugar-water, my own chair, alcohol and swabs to prep the skin
Booking Hiral Henna
There’s no such thing as booking too early, especially for the popular long weekends
Pricing ranges from $175-$500 for the bride
Non-bridal work is $90/hour
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