A Healthy Alternative to Nail Polish: Henna Nail Stain

My first official post on will not be a craft per se, but as a crafty DIY-er who’s mildly health conscious I thought that this was a recipe befitting my blog.  I painted my nails a funky shade of blue about 2 weeks ago and had to remove the polish (which had been chipping terribly at this point) with an acetone-based nail polish remover.  Acetone is a harsh solvent I used to use clean out my chemistry glassware and in high concentrations will strip paint and varnish off of surfaces.  It is also really good at drying out your nails.  So I began scouring the web in search of ways to solve my brittle nail issue and stumbled upon henna nail stain that internet sources claim would not only strengthen my nails, but also is healthier alternative to nail polish.

Henna binds directly to keratin so this stain is permanent and you’ll need to wait until your nails grow out to get rid of the color.  Adding vitamin E oil, essential oils such as tea tree and lavender, or olive oil will help moisturize your nails and cause the henna dye to release further resulting in a deeper shade.  I found an easy recipe online that I hope to try as soon as I can get my hands on some red henna.

Henna-based nail stain:

1 tablespoon (15 ml) henna
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
2 drops vitamin E oil (or olive oil)
(Optional: Add 1 drop your choice of essential oil)

Combine the henna and water in a small container.
Add the vitamin E or olive oil and mix well to form a paste.

To Use
1: While the paste is still warm, use a small brush or cotton swab to carefully apply the paste to the finger nails only. Wash off any spills on your hands as soon as they occur or it will stain your skin.
2: Allow henna to dry on the nails for at least 20 minutes, or until completely dry.
3: Use warm water to rinse hands.
4: Buff nails with nail buffer.

Tips: Henna will stain skin so if you’d prefer not to to have orange cuticles you can line your nails with shea butter or cocoa butter.  Some sites also suggest petroleum jelly, but if you prefer the all-natural route then go with the shea/cocoa butter.

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