Henna tattoos on hands and legs are a big part of the beautification for Hausa and Muslims in Nigeria. While the designs range from simple to complex, they all look stunning on the hands or feet. Henna, also known as laali in Nigeria, are not only worn by during sallah. This type of temporary tattoos are also worn by brides and close friends of the brides and generally by women in Northern Nigeria.
What is Henna Tattoo or Laali and How is it Made?
Laali is the Nigerian Hausa name for Henna. Indians call it Mehndi. You may be wondering: what is henna tattoo and what is it made from? Henna or Laali tattoos are non-permanent body art using henna dye. Henna dye is obtained from dried leaves of Henna Tree, ground into powder. In its dry form, the henna dye is not activated. To make dye for henna tattoo, water is added to the powdered leaves to form a paste. This paste stains the skin/ body and does not immediately wash off. A henna stain is temporary and lasts a couple of weeks. Another use of henna is for hair conditioning.
In Northern Nigeria, laali/ henna tattoo artists can easily be found on the streets and in the local markets. These artists have usually gathered up lots of designs through their years of experience, and most draw up designs without looking at any book. These days, some makeup artists in the North have also added learned how to draw laali art on legs and hands. So, it’s no longer uncommon to find henna tattoo artists in posts neighborhoods in any part of Nigeria, not just the Northern region.
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