There are no formal qualifications or courses to help you become a mehndi artist, so it is best to learn from someone who already has the skills and knowledge. Once you understand how to make mehndi paste and how to apply it, you should practice to master the application techniques and different mehndi patterns. The International Certification for Natural Henna Arts (ICNHA) offers a certification program if you want to enter this line of work, but it is not compulsory. Mehndi artists generally do not have to be licensed, but it's best to check any local requirements before you get started.
If you want to become a mehndi artist, the best way to make sure you get the necessary skills is to be taught by a professional mehndi artist. There aren't any recognized or accredited courses to prepare you for this line of work, so practical instruction from someone who knows how to do it can be helpful. Instruction manuals or books can be useful too if you want to learn the basics of how to mix the paste, apply it, and remove it.
Practice is very important if you want to work in this field, as there is only so much someone else can teach you. Most of your time will probably be spent practicing application techniques and learning the different designs. It is helpful if you are artistic or creatively inclined because the designs can be intricate. Experts suggest practicing on paper first, using substances that have the same consistency as mehndi paste. Once you're fairly confident, you could start practicing on yourself, friends, or family.
Learning about the different types of mehndi can be helpful as well, and memorizing a wide variety of patterns can help you create the designs quickly and easily. If you want to become a mehndi artist, you might purchase templates and stencils to make drawing the designs a little easier. Some of the designs you're asked to do as a mehndi artist can resemble modern tattoos, so it's best to be able to do both traditional and modern designs.
There is no official governing body for this art form, but the ICNHA offers a certificate to artists that pass its examination. This certificate is not compulsory if you want to become a mehndi artist. Having the certificate, however, makes it easier to prove that you have the needed skills and knowledge and that you use safe, natural products.
You should also check on any policies on the use of henna in your area before you start working. In the US, for example, henna for use on the skin is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Henna, especially black henna, can cause allergic reactions, so it's best to familiarize yourself with any signs and symptoms so that you'll know when to refer a client to his or her doctor.