About The Henna Peacock
Where Is The Henna Peacock Based?
The Henna Peacock is based in Uffculme, in Devon.
Currently, I am using the function room at The George as The Henna Peacock's base, while I look for a permanent home and studio space in the local area.
I visit Kent regularly so can also take bookings there- as long as the bookings are made in advance.
Throughout the year, I hold stalls at various local fairs and festivals- keep an eye on the events page to see what events I'll be at next!
The Henna Peacock
Here at The Henna Peacock, the henna is mixed by hand by myself, Shelby. I consider the mixing of the paste to be a sacred ritual, and it takes anywhere between 3-10 hours, depending on humidity, temperature and the henna powder itself too-there is no hurrying with natural products like henna! Henna is mixed up freshly on demand, so nothing is left sitting around for weeks or months, unlike with branded cones. This means that lumps are much less likely to occur in the paste, and that you get the best quality henna possible.
I have explored the art, history and meanings behind the art of henna and find it more than just a form of art. It is a form of devotion and expression as well as that of love, peace, and a way of life.
I have published a book on how to henna. You can get it here for just £3.99. It goes through different techniques you can use to develop and improve your skills. It is aimed at beginners, although has some good tips for everyone. I am hoping to write another book on the history and the sacred rituals and ceremonies and culture that surround the ancient art.
I am currently studying to get a henna ICNHA certificate, which is an international certificate to show that I have a high knowledge, only use safe and natural ingredients, and have a good standard of practice and skill.
The Henna Peacock's henna paste is made up of totally natural, safe ingredients. I buyy my henna powder straight from a farm in Sojat, India (which is considered to be the henna capital of the world). They grow, dry, grind and package the henna powder for her then send it directly to me, thus ensuring the best quality henna powder.
I only use natural ingredients in my mixes. With henna there are a few components to the mix that will ensure a rich and dark stain every time:
- The Henna- The Lawson content that naturally occurs in henna is the dye that actually stains the skin.
- Terps- These are naturally contained in essential oils. These help the stain to get darker. Tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus and cajeput are all popular oils that are used by reputable henna artists. My go-to oil is Lavender essential oil as it is safe for use on children, pregnant women, cancer patients and people with sensitive skin.
- Something Sour- Henna releases its dye best with something sour in the mix. Common ingredients include lemon juice, tea, coffee, citric acid or cloves. I personally like a tea infusion.
- Something sticky- This helps to keep the henna paste on the skin for as long as possible. The longer the paste is in contact with the skin, the better the resulting stain will be. It also gives a great consistency to the paste- too little and the lines break, too much and it just gets impossibly stringy and the stain gets compromised. Sugar, glucose syrup, honey and maple syrup are all great to use. Sugar can leave a slightly grainy texture to the paste if it has not dissolved in the tea mixture fully. My favourites are between honey and glucose syrup- they give a beautiful consistency to the paste.
Sometimes other natural ingredients get added, like rose water, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper.... The list goes on! These all help to either achieve a darker stain or creates a beautiful aroma to the paste.
When getting henna, you should know what is going onto your skin! The skin is an organ that absorbs whatever is put onto it.
Never get 'black henna' It is not henna at all, but a concoction of dangerous- and often illegal- substances to create black stains on the skin. It usually contains a substance called PPD, or amonia-which you should never put onto the skin.
I believe natural is the only way to go, so we would never put anything but natural, pure ingredients onto your skin. Natural henna creates beautifully dark stains better than most chemical mixes can achieve, as well as lasting longer and being totally safe for the skin too.
In India, and most of the middle east, Henna is considered sacred due to its healing properties and its ability to create a reddish-brown stain from its beautiful green leaves. It is said to protect the wearer and their family.