Last week, Rukhsar, member of the Hamilton 2018 Class, shared a little bit about the use of henna in traditional Muslim weddings. In Pakistan, her grandmother had a beauty salon and often applied henna to the hands and feet of brides. She taught this skill to her daughters, and Rukhsar learned from her mother and her aunts. Today, Rukhsar uses her talent to raise money for her mosque. At their annual fundraiser, she charges a small fee for her art work, which she then donates to the mosque.
Rukhsar also told us about “emergency henna” which, unlike regular henna, is made for a bridal emergency. It has added chemicals to quickly darken the bride’s skin in case the wedding is the next day. Rukhsar advises all who are interested in henna to make sure they are using a 100% natural paste of dried henna leaves and water. Other ingredients are unnecessary and can burn the skin. The paste should be brown in color; if it is black or another color, do not use it, as it has been mixed with harsh chemicals.