Natural Henna

The Henna Peacock is all about safe, natural henna, and finding inner peace and self appreciation.

All the product and services Shelby offers are designed and selected to bring joy and peace.

Shelby is an ICHNA certified artist, which is an international certificate to show that she has a high 

knowledge, only use safe and natural ingredients, and has a high standard of practice.

Shelby mixes the henna paste from pure, natural henna powder that she sources directly from the region of Sojat, in India. To mix the paste, Shelby uses water, sugar and lavender essential with the henna powder. She uses this recipe as it provides a beautifully rich stain, and is also suitable for sensitive skin types, children, and pregnant women.

The henna cones are wrapped in super biodegradable cellophane, meaning that when finished, you can recycle the cones to prevent needless waste going into landfill. The henna powder is also packaged in recyclable and biodegradable packaging too- being natural has never been so good for the environment!

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Frequently asked questions

How long does henna last?


Henna lasts about 5-10 days, depending on the aftercare you take, the placement, your individual skin type, diet and general skincare you take can all have an effect.




What is henna/ How is it made/ How does it work?


Henna powder is made from the dried, ground down and seivved leaves of the henna (or lawsonia inermis) bush. It is typically grown in places with hot climates and regular periods of drouts. It contains a natural dye called Lawsone, and this is what makes the stain. Henna paste is made by mixing the powder with a liquid (I use water, although other artists may use a variety of other liquids such as lemon juice, black tea, cardamom infusion, black coffee, and even apple juice). Essential oils are commonly used. Some essential oils naturally contain compounds called monoterpines (henna artists often shorten this down to terps). The dye of the henna loves these terps and it helps to create a darker stain. lastly, something sticky is used, this is to help keep the paste on the skin as long as possible. The longer you keep your paste on, the better and longer your design will last. I use sugar, but have heard of honey, maple syrup, golden syrup, and liquid glucose being used. Once the paste is mixed, it must be left for the dye to release and activate. It can take anything from 2-24 hours for this to happen, depending on what henna is used (like roses, there are different strains or types of henna. All will stain an orangy/reddish-brown colour (as that is the colour produced by the lawsone dye molicule). When you apply the paste to the skin, nails or hair, the lawsone dye sinks down into the skin. The longer the paste is on the skin, the deeper down it will get, and the darker the end stain will be (it also lasts longer too). I recommend leaving the paste on a minimum of 5 hours for a good stain, but longer is better- anything up to 12 hours will get better results (after 12 hours, it has sunk in as far as it can). The dye binds itself to the protiens and keratin that is found in your skin, nails and hair. This means that it is permanant on the hair and nails- it must be grown out. It comes off the skin after a week or two as the skin naturally sheds itself, taking the stain with it.




What colour is it and how dark does it get?


Natural henna is always a reddish-brown colour. Stains start orange when the paste first comes off, over the first 24-48 hours it will get darker and tturn brown as the fresh stain is exposed to air. It depends on aftercare taken, the quality of the henna and the placement of the design to depend how dark it can get. On the palm, if paste is kept on 8-12 hours and good aftercare is taken then the design can go very dark and almost look black. On the backs of the hands or the tops of the feet, then a rich mid brown can be achieved. This is bbecause the palms and soles of the feet have the thickest skin, meaning that the henna stain can sink deeper into the skin. The thinner the skin, the lighter the stain will be.




How do I book an appointment?


You can book through my 'book online' page. To secure your appointment, I require a non-refundable service payment to be made (50% of the appointment).




How do appointments work?


You can book 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 1 hour sessions. When you arrive, we will briefly go over what you would like to have done then I will adorn you with my natural henna paste. You will get a confirmation email with information on what to expect, how to prepare and about aftercare. At the appointment, I will provide you with aftercare details and goodies to care for your henna stain, so you can have the best results possible. You are welcome to stay at the boutique after you have been adorned to wait for the paste to dry, and I can apply my sealant spray (rose water and sugar mix) to help the paste stay safely in place.




Can I cancel and re-scedule appointments?


The booking fee is non-refundable in the event of cancelations. I allow one free resceduled appointment per client, after that then you must pay the booking fee again to secure another time or date. I have to do this as unfortunately I have had too many people not turn up for appointments or reschedule last minute and still not show up. I mix my paste fresh, sanitise all my equipment, and prepare the boutique for each of my clients.




I'm running late for my appointment- What do I do?


Let me know as soon as possible if you are running late or cannot make your appointment. I allow one free re-sceduled booking per client. After that the booking fee must be paid again to secure the new time/date. If you are more than 10 minutes late without contacting me beforehand, your booking is automatically cancelled and you will not get refunded for this. If you know you are running late, please let me know and I can see if my scedule allows for anything later.




Do you do 'Black Henna' and what is it?


No- I never have and never will do 'black henna'. It is not actually henna at all, but is full of harmful chemicals like ammonia and PPD. While amonia is in hair dyes, it is in a regulated and safe quantities. In 'black henna' paste, they are often not regulated. If any product claiming to be henna comes in any other colour than marron-brown, then it is not henna and it will not be safe. Reactions to these products cn include mild-severe rashes, permanent scarring of the skin, and skin irritations and sensitivities. These are the products that can cause reactions to hair dye in the future, and has been known to result in death. I believe that henna should always be completely natural and safe, and I will never put my clients in danger like that. The only natural dye that stains darker, is Jagua. It comes from a fruit and stains a bluey-black colour. This is not suitable for all skin types, and some people have been known to have some reactions from it, so I do not personnaly use this as I would hate for any of my clients to have a reaction or negative experiance with the art that I create for them.




Where are you based?


The Henna Peacock has a boutique on Fore Street, Cullompton, Devon. Shelby offers a range of henna experiences at the boutique for all occasions and adornments, from; every day designs, prenatal henna, henna crowns (cancer patients and allopecia sufferers), cover up designs (over scars, stretch marks, etc), prom and party adornments, and more. Appointments can be for one or more people and you can have a group of up to 6 people at the Boutique for your celebrations. You can even bring your own wine and bubbly along! Shelby travels for bridal applications, parties, and events in and around Devon. The Henna Peacock can also do henna at destination weddings- please contact with the details. Dependant on coronavirus rules and regulations.





Awards and Certificates

Shelby is enjoys learning and furthering her knowledge around henna, and supporting and ensuring the best and safest services, and has taken several courses to ensure this.

From her awareness course in identifying and supporting those who suffer from domestic abuse, to her hygiene certificates from BARBICIDE showing that your safety comes first, to her ICHNA certification- showing her dedication to the art of henna. This prestigious course includes everything from mixing safe henna, principles of skin, hygiene, cultural sensitivity, and safety. 'By providing a certification program for henna artists, it enables the public to be sure they are safe and in the company of professional and responsible henna artists' (- From the ICNHA website). 

The Henna Peacock takes pride in partaking in local events and shop window competitions. Since first opening the boutique in October 2020, she has come runner up for both Cullomptons' Spring and Autumn festivals in 2021!

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