Henna for Men
By: Krysteen Lomonaco ~
At Mehndi Madness, Henna for the Masses we want everyone to enjoy the pleasure that is henna. We’ve been really excited to talk about Mehndi for Men. During our busy henna summer season we do henna and jauga tattoos on a lot of men who come into our booth. Even though, for the most part mehndi is seen as a feminine thing. I have been doing some research and found that in some cultures, men do get mehndi as part of rituals and traditions in significant moments of their lives. The designs are similar in that they are very ornate and meticulous. Primarily, men use henna to dye their beards and hair, and for medicinal purposes. In India, henna is seen on men during Hindu festivals where men apply henna on their arms, legs, back, and chest.
There’s a great book called Three Cups Of Tea by Greg Mortenson that talks about an older gentleman getting cleaned up to visit a nearby village and to prepare himself, he dyes his beard. It’s a beautiful and inspiring book. http://threecupsoftea.com/
In the Islamic faith, henna is applied to a boy during his circumcision ceremony between the ages of 4 and 14. This ceremony has been modernized since the 1950’s with the advancement of medical procedures following circumcision. Following the tradition, the boy is adorned with formal clothing, henna, kohl, and jewelry. He then rides on a mule to the town square and gets initiated as a Muslim and a man in the community. After the ceremony, a party is then held with musicians, food and gifts for the new man.
In the United States, men get henna all the time just as women do and for all kinds of reason, body decorations, trying out a permanent tattoo idea or simply for fun. If you’d like to find out more about the history of henna or would like to make an appointment or find out where we’ll be this month doing henna just peruse our web site.