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How Do I Become a Mehndi Artist?

By A. Rohlandt
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments

By fBoyle — On Oct 30, 2014

Aside from having artistic inclinations, it's important to know how to handle henna in order to be a mehndi artist. Henna paste is interesting. It has to have the right consistency, it must be applied correctly and it must stay on for a considerable time for the tattoo to come out right.

For example, a mehndi artist knows that the mehndi paste shouldn't be too thick or too thin. It needs to be coated with a mixture of sugar and lemon juice when it starts to dry so that it doesn't flake off. And it needs to stay on overnight (with a plastic bag over it) for best results.

By bluedolphin — On Oct 29, 2014

@stoneMason-- There must be someone in your area who is doing this as a hobby or for income. Are there Indians in your area? If there is an Indian Association, I suggest getting in touch with them about learning mehndi.

I have Indian friends and a few of them are excellent with mehndi. They don't do it for money but since they have been practicing since they were children, they are almost like experts. I'm sure there is someone who would be happy to teach you.

If this is not possible, there are always instructional videos and handbooks. The best thing to do is to prepare all the things you need and practice as much as possible. Start out by copying designs from other places and see if you can do that well. Afterward, you can start making your own designs.

By stoneMason — On Oct 29, 2014

I want to become a mehndi artist and I actually wish that classes were available on it. I don't know any mehndi artists who could teach me. I am trying to learn on my own but I feel I would learn better by watching someone else do it.

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