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Diwali: An insight into henna for hands & feet

By Scratch Staff | 12 November 2023 | Feature, Tech Talk

Pavan Henna Diwali

November 12, 2023 marks the main day of celebration of the five-day festival of lights – Diwali (also known as Deepavali). A festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains, Diwali is embraced by many outside of its religious circle, as it’s a time to celebrate new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil.

Proffering much creative expression, this festival affords the opportunity to decorate the body with henna, and the home with candles and lanterns as well as outdoor lanterns and fireworks.

Welcoming in good luck, wealth and prosperity, homes are cleaned before they are decorated with lighting, flowers and Rangoli art forms and the Diwali feast is prepared.

In a bid to observe and honour this most beautiful of religious celebrations, Scratch turned to henna artist specialist, Pavan Dhanjal BEM.

Meet Pavan Dhanjal BEM

Pavan first picked up a henna cone when 15 years old at a family wedding. From that day, she was hooked and intent on being the best possible henna artist in the world – determined to develop a unique style and flair.

After setting a new Guinness World Record in 2012 (she completed 512 unique armbands in an hour, smashing her 2009 record), demand for her skills rose and she went on to create her own brand of specially-sourced, sustainable henna products.

She has since opened pop up henna bars in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Topshop and is renowned for her unique collaborations, including the feature windows at Harrods and Force India Formula One cars, as well as with celebrities from Rudimental to Ellie Goulding, Perrie Edwards and Alesha Dixon. She has created bespoke designs for the runway shows of Antonio Berardi and Manish Aurora.

Now a global brand, Pavan’s The Henna Bar continues to grow with outlets across the UK as well as Dubai, New York, Milan and Paris. Pavan, the author of Part-Time Ink, a guide to creating modern henna designs at home, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for Services to Beauty.

Pavan’s henna artists offer a wealth of designs in brown, white, silver, gold, pastel and neon shades and a choice of Gems, Glitter, Jagua Henna Hand, Henna Tattoo on full arm, ankle, arm, shoulder, part or full hand.

New designs are constantly being fashioned for women, children and different parts of the body, while the product itself has been redeveloped in order to be used on almost any hard surface such as laptops, mobile phone cases and even pumpkins. This opens up the uses, creative outlets and commissioned art options for both the aspiring and qualified henna artist.

A new and novel way Pavan’s henna is currently being used is to add individual designs (or names/icons etc) to drinking glasses, as it’s non-toxic and washes off, to ensure in the current Covid environment that people can identify their own glass at any gathering or event.

Henna training

With the help of Pavan’s book, Part-Time Ink, and her online courses (there are also courses from her educators across the UK), you can train in henna application incredibly quickly, and find yourself swiftly adding henna services to your treatment menu. Since nail artists work within the sphere of art and design, it feels very natural to move into the world of henna body decoration.

Regardless of culture, skin colour or age, Pavan’s henna is an exciting new artistic medium to explore, which washes off easily with water and can be used safely on children’s skin. The glow in the dark hennas, once charged with natural light during the day (just like a luminous watch dial), will glow for up to two hours in the evening.

The neon henna options, in blue, green, pink, orange and yellow, are gentle shades of pastel by day, that come to life and glow when hit by UV light. This makes them fantastic for photo opportunities and body designs for parties, events and celebrations.

Follow Pavan on Instagram.