Aftercare for Henna:

Once the henna paste is applied it needs about a half hour to dry, but needs to stay on for a total of 6-12 hours (hands and feet need at least 2-3 hours, the rest of the body needs at least 3-8 hours).  You must keep your henna as warm as possible for the stain to reach its maximum color.  After the waiting time has passed you scrape off the dried paste and you must keep water off the hennaed skin for another 6-12 hours for the stain to fully take on your skin or you can put olive oil on your hand or body before getting into contact with water. Upon removal of the paste you will see a bright orange stain which will gradually darken over the next 24-48 hours, turning a deep, rich reddish brown color.  The stain can last anywhere from 1-2 weeks; it will last longer on the palms of your hands and your feet because the skin is thicker.  The stain fades gradually as your skin exfoliates; if you want the stain to last avoid using anything on the skin that will exfoliate it and use gloves when doing dishes or housework...or better yet, use your henna as an excuse to avoid cleaning!

KEY TO A DARK STAIN: HEAT! Try to keep your hand/body as warm as possible to get a dark brown/black stain.