Changing Colors and Styles with Time: Here’s Why Mehendi is So Popular Across the Globe!

There has been a new revolution in the world of Mehendi, which now comes in an array of colors, styles, tribe inspired and customized as well!

Mehendi designs
A woman showing Mehendi. Pixabay
  • African henna is for those people who like to experiment with designs. It usually has distinctive filigree patterns, thick borders, and geometric designs.
  • Turkish Henna is delicate and extremely intricate and the designs in which it is usually applied are Peacocks, paisleys, Criss-crossing grids and spirals

July 30, 2017: Mehendi is not a plain boring traditional art anymore. With changing needs of people, numerous mehendi designs and colors are adding vividness to the art and making it interesting around the globe.

Mehendi reaches new heights in terms of demand every festival and it is turning into a lucrative business. The applying of henna by women has become a tradition across the country. Mehendi artists get busy in decorating women’s hands on the eve of the festival or a marriage. Hundreds of women turn up in big groups, waiting for their requisite hand-candy.

Mehendi is avidly applied to the hands is during weddings and karvachauth. Though its demand may fluctuate through the year, applying Mehendi is a more of a tradition which is deeply ingrained in Indian culture. Many to be bride puts it on carrying a belief that the darker the shade of her mehndi, the more happily married she will be.

Mehendi reaches new heights in terms of demand. Click To Tweet

Mehendi is not merely for people who believe in customs and traditions. Henna can be seen adopting funky patterns around the globe- Madonna has an Om symbol on the hand, Rihanna flaunts a Maori henna-inspired tattoo or a blue-haired Gwen Stefani has a paisley printed on her bare shoulder.

The usual mehndi customer indulge in- routine winding trellises, multi-tiered florals, and paisleys trailing down the hand, stretching on to the wrists, decorating the back of the hand and then, the feet. The new age woman can also opt for a band to be etched on her upper arm, lower arm or around her ankle.

What is interesting is the slight changes done in Mehendi designs like a change in color and distinctive patterns, for instance. Here are some of the trends that we’ve noticed:

  • Regular Mehendi gives off a deep burgundy shade and can be beautiful when applied with finesse. However, innovations can be made with a change in color. Red Mehendi gives off an eye catching bright red hue. Black Mehendi is often available as an option although it is not recommended since it contains dyes that can often lead to severe allergies, especially with people having sensitive skin. White Mehendi is basically a paste that can be applied in the same way as genuine Mehendi, can be used to make a stark unique statement. And if the Mehendi-wearer is feeling adventurous, there are UV-henna tattoos that glow in the dark is present in the market.
  • Both black and white Mehendi and the UV paint one isn’t actual henna though it can be applied in the same way you wish such as conventional patterns or avant-garde swirls. Also, bling-lovers sometimes opt for Mehendi tattoos colored in with glitter.
  • African henna is not the option for faint hearted ones. It is a bold henna type which usually has distinctive filigree patterns, thick borders, and geometric designs. Tribal patterns are a common part of it as this particular method of application originated from Africa. The designs are filled in extensively, leaving a stark stain on the skin. At times the large African style often extends beyond hands, winding about the entire length of an arm or the lower leg.
  • Turkish Henna is delicate and extremely intricate. The designs in which it is usually applied are Peacocks, paisleys, Criss-crossing grids and spirals. However what makes it different from the rest is that it’s filled in in places and consists of thin, dense borders.


Largely popularized by pop-star Rihanna, Maori designs are a funky alternative to the usual henna patterns. Maori designs are inspired by the Maori tribes of New Zealand, has distinctive patterns- sharp zig-zags, pointy stars, fish hooks, mantises and artistically shaped fish, among others.

The designs usually have symbolic interpretations: ‘water’-inspired designs to speak of the balance between the spiritual and material world, fish hooks symbolize good fortune and heart shaped leaves are said to have healing energy.

With time there have been various innovations in Mehendi design like customization. There are brides who stay away from the conventional motifs and instead opt for their love stories to be etched out on their hands- skylines of places where they first met the groom, special mementos, and important events.

There are some enthusiastic people who are entering avant-garde territory opting for- calligraphy, a peace sign, city skylines, prayer bead patterns done on the wrist like a bracelet or even prints that resemble lacy gloves. There’s a lot scope for experimentation in terms of Mehendi designs which can be incorporated by future brides looking for ideas and inspiration.

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08

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