So I am doing henna at some events and cons this year, as fundraiser for Rustycon
and for the Seattle in 2011
World Science Fiction Convention bid.
However, getting my henna did not go as planned...
I ordered henna from my usual supplier, Maison Kenzi,
who gets it straight from Morocco, and it's wonderful, gorgeous stuff. But it got delayed getting to her. Not her fault, and this has really never happened, and I have no expectation that it will ever happen again. She's very reliable. But I don't know when I'm getting it, and I have an event on Sunday.
So I went to Zenith Supplies in Seattle, and bought their henna, in what I knew would be a vain attempt to get decent henna. Their henna was in a big clear jar, exposing the henna to light, which is BAD for the lawsone, which is what makes henna dye. So I asked if I could get some henna that they might have in the back that hadn't been sitting in the non-airtight, clear jar. She told me not to worry, that they went through that whole jar each day, so it was freshly replaced daily. Um, bullhockey. There was enough in that jar to supply every professional henna artist on the west coast through an entire weekend of festivals or weddings. I was out of the right essential oils to add, so I was looking for them there. They didn't have ravensara or niaouli, so I settled for tea tree. The same lady told me, in a very snotty and faux-authoritative tone, that "professional henna artists recommend eucalyptus." Um, no, eucalyptus is what you find in those cheesy henna kits, because it's cheap and has a long shelf life. Also, they claimed to make all their own essential oils. I seriously doubt it. Needless to say, I didn't have a whole lot of hope for using their stuff.
But I had no other choice. So I risked it. I sifted it, and mixed it, and terped it. I added a little extra tea tree, to try to make up for the crappiness I suspected. Then, I strained it through a nylon stocking as I usually do, to get rid of any lumps or clumps or stuff that made it through when I sifted it. That's where the problems really started. It was impossible to strain, and the henna in the bag was practically liquid, and there was a clump of almost solid paste left in the stocking. This is NOT how it's supposed to go! So, I decided to just mix it all back together, and take my chances. I wanted to see how it dyed, and next time I'll just triple- or quadruple-sift the powder before I mix. Of course, as I worked, the cone clogged every minute or two. Also, despite copious amounts of sugar, there was zero stringiness and it cracked very quickly.
I'm a little out of practice, so my lines aren't so great here. This is an hour after applying.
This is after 12 hours. Normally, the way I terp Kenzi's henna, it is a gorgeous medium to dark orange-brown within 12 hours. The dye is so light, it looks more like my hand is burn-scarred if you look at it from farther away than 2 feet.
Luckily, Magical Mehendi
can get me some Jamilla by Thursday. Because I'd rather cancel doing henna on Sunday than use this crap.