On the list of things that can go wrong during your wedding, 73% of women listed 'mehndi not being dark enough' as one of their top three worries. OK, maybe we made that statistic up, but that doesn't mean that the problem isn't real. Follow the steps correctly and you'll be the proud owner of wearable art, screw up and you'll be left with weak orange stains on your hands.
The basic principle is that the deepness of the hue is directly proportionate to the amount of body heat you generate. It's better to leave the mehndi on for a longer period of time, ideally overnight, so that the skin has enough time to absorb the colour. Here are the most effective ways to fasten the darkening process.
1) Make sure your hands are clean before mehndi is applied. This ensures that there is no barrier from oils or dirt for the colour to seep through.
2) Just as the mehndi dries, apply a paste of sugar and lemon juice to the design. This will prevent the henna from flaking and falling off, deepening the colour.
3) Do not apply water while removing the mehndi — a point we cannot stress enough. Water is to mehndi what cheesy fries are to your diet... total destruction. Rub your hands together to get the mehndi off. You can use a butter knife (gently) on the more stubborn bits.
4) Apply some Vicks VapoRub or any pain-relieving balm to increase the body temperature of your hands without damaging the mehndi design.