Henna is a plant that grows across Asia and North Africa. Its leaves contain lawsone, a natural dye which binds to the keratin in skin, hair and nails. To create body art a paste is made using the dried and powdered leaves of the henna tree mixed with a liquid and essential oils.
The paste is applied to the skin in a pattern and left to stain for several hours before being removed. It leaves an orange coloured stain which turns dark brown over a couple of days and stays on the skin for up to 3 weeks.