Henna is a plant native to North Africa as well as south west Asia (the middle east) and south east Asia. Its leaves are ground into a powder and combined with essential oils and citrus to produce a paste. The paste is then applied to the skin using a Mylar cone (looks like a small carrot bag for icing cake), paintbrushes, hands, or bottles. The paste remains on the skin, dries, and then produces a stain which will fade as the skin naturally exfoliates. The stain leftover once the henna paste is removed will range from a pale orange to dark orange and will continue to darken for roughly two days, resulting in a dark reddish-brown to black stain. Areas with thicker skin will stain darker.


Henna Services at Green Grotto are safe, however these are some things to consider:

Although Green Grotto only uses USDA organic certified ingredients, there are rare cases of allergic reaction.
If you have sensitive skin we can perform a free patch test to determine whether or not henna is for you.

Black Henna Warning: Natural henna does not produce a true black "tattoo-like" color. If you encounter black henna claims beware that this product has caused severe burns and scarring because of the chemical PPD (para-phenylene-diamine) and other synthetics added to create black henna. Green Grotto does not use "black henna", however there are other plants which produce a black or even blue stain that are safe to use on the skin.

People who have G6PD deficiency should never have henna applied because they may become anemic.

Not enough is known about reactions people with ITP or TTP may have to henna.If you have any concerns about how henna may react with your known medical condition, please consult your physician prior to receiving any henna service.


the following information is directly from Henna by Heather


It will take approximately half an hour before the henna paste is dry enough that you do not have to worry about smudging it. Keep all clothing, hair, etc. away from your henna design for at least half an hour.


Leave the henna on as long as possible! The longer you leave the henna on, the darker the color will be and the longer it will last. Leave it on a minimum of 1 hour; overnight is best.


Do either or both of these while the henna paste is still on for best results:
Use lemon sugar spray sealant. Be sure not to oversaturate the henna...you want it just a tiny bit wet. Oversaturation will lead to the dye dripping in places you don't want it.

Warm your hands - with steam, a (safe!) fire, or a blowdryer.

Note: Some also recommend wrapping your henna. This is advisable only for those who are having extensive work done, and if someone experienced will be there when the henna has dried so that they can do the wrapping. Wrapping done wrong can lead to undesirable results. Mostly, in my experience, wrapping is unnecessary as long as a high quality henna mix is used. Brides who want to wrap their henna should let an experienced professional do the wrapping for best results.


Remember...you want to leave the henna on as long as possible. But you will eventually have to take it it off.

When taking off the henna , brush it off with your hand - again, only do this after it has been on as long as possible. Do not wash the henna off! Some people also recommend using a butter knife and olive oil to gently scrape the henna off. I personally find this to be quite messy, and find that brushing the henna off, and then picking off the last bits that are left, to be much more pleasant.


If you have it, put henna balm (like the ones available at Artistic Adornment ) over your design before you bathe, do dishes, or go into a chlorinated pool... Do not use synthetic moisturizers - many people have reported that this makes henna fade *faster*. Even if you have something that says it is natural - check the ingredient list. If it's got stuff other than plant names in it, chances are you don't want to use it. If you are in a bind and can't get a suitable henna balm for some reason, you can use olive oil... but it is slimy compared to products such as the henna balms created specifically by/for henna artists.

This is not a necessary step, but is recommended.


The color of your design will at first be a shade of orange (ranging from very light orange highlighter color to pumpkin orange). It will get darker over the course of the next 48 hours, turning anywhere from orange-brown to maroon or chocolate brown. Your design will be at its darkest after 1 or 2 days.


Avoid chlorine, salt water, dishsoap, bleach, other cleaning materials, and any other harsh chemicals. You can bathe and shower as usual. Avoid hand sanitizer - it is the #1 thing that unintentionally kills henna stains FAST. Acetone nail polish remover has also been known to fade henna stains more quickly.

To get rid of the henna more quickly on purpose, exfoliate using a loofah, pumic stone, and/or exfoliating scrub. Don't scrub too crazily and hurt yourself... you'll have to do it a bit at a time.

Henna Empowerment @ Green Grotto

The application of henna can be an extremely relaxing experience that engages all of the senses. Because Green Grotto is a private room, you are able to chose the music you would like to listen to on Pandora Radio if you wish to hear something specific. I serve a variety of complimentary herbal teas which warm the body and allow the henna paste to create a deeper stain. The aroma of essential oils within the henna paste will fill the room as you see your custom artwork come to fruition on your skin. Come in, sit down, and travel back in time with this modernized take on an ancient and mystical tradition. I provide a wide range of designs to use as reference material, however each design is then customized and therefore unique.

Examples of available styles:

Indian: Lace-like with floral and paisley designs and fine lines.

Arabic: Flowers, leaves, and calligraphy interwoven.

North African: Geometric and bold with a mix of thick and thin lines.

Jewelry: I have a collection of designs which resemble lavish jewelry.

Lace: Create the illusion of fabric with henna.

European: Celtic, Spanish, and other European influences.

Native American: Designs vary and are inspired by indigenous artwork and artifacts.

Steam-punk: Clocks, gears, skeleton keys, hearts, locks, and more.

Wiccan/Pagan/Spiritual: Custom designs and services are available for clients looking for a special way to celebrate the changing of the seasons, their favorite deity, or magical intent. Sigil designs are a powerful way to pack intent into the design while remaining an economical choice.

Custom: Do you have a specific style or design not listed here? Let me know about it! I have also received numerous requests to design an outline that test drives permanent tattoo ideas. Henna is a great way to get an idea of how you feel about a specific design without the pain and commitment of a real tattoo.

I do not offer traditional bridal mehndi yet, but intend to in the future. ​​

All prices are based on difficulty of service and amount of product used. Gender-based pricing is prohibited by the Massachusetts Public Accommodations Act (M.G.L. c. 272, §§ 92A and 98). If you have any questions regarding Green Grotto services, please feel free to call or set up a consultation.