The most popular way of darkening henna is by sealing the design using a lemon and sugar syrup. To make the syrup, boil water and sugar, then add a few drops of lemon juice. Apply a thin layer of the mixture over the dried henna over a few hours.
Some other ways of making henna darker include leaving it on for a long time, applying eucalyptus oil or a balm like Vick’s over the pattern once the henna crust has been removed and wrapping it in saran wrap, preferably overnight. You can also heat some cloves on a stove and hold your hands over the fumes. The steam helps to darken and set the stain.
Henna paste or mehndi is made out of henna leaves and used in many Asian and Middle-Eastern countries by women as part of their regular beauty rituals or for special occasions. It plays a big role during weddings, as the bride’s hands and feet are adorned with intricate patterns and designs using the henna paste. Once the paste is washed off, it leaves behind a pattern tattooed on the skin. Dark henna is extremely desirable because not only is it more attractive, but many traditions believe that the darker the henna, the deeper the new husband’s love is for his bride.