Question: I want to get henna at an amusement park. Is there an age restriction? Should I bring the artist my own design, or pick from what they’re offering? And how is henna applied to the skin?

Most henna artists won’t do henna on kids under six, but are happy to do it on anyone older. If you’re under 13, they may require parental consent.

Wherever you get henna, there will be a selection of designs for you to choose from. If you show them a picture other than what they are offering, two things will probably happen. First, it will take a *lot* longer for them to execute (since the designs they offer are the ones they have practiced and thus can do very quickly). Also, since it will take so much longer to draw, the price will probably be much higher. This is if the artist is even offering custom designs – which many do not if they are busy. Newer artists, especially, are uncomfortable offering custom designs.

Henna is painted on the surface of the skin with a thick paste. You have to keep that paste on your skin as long as possible.

Your best bet for a successful henna experience is not to get henna at an amusement park, but rather from a local henna artist at another time. Henna takes at least 20 minutes, and sometimes as long as an hour, to dry. During that time you shouldn’t go on rides; the risk of smudging the henna while it is wet and thus wasting the $ you just spent to have the design applied is too high.. Ideally you keep the paste on for 2-12 hours – during which time you also shouldn’t be going on rides (the combination of movement and tight spaces means you are exceedingly likely to prematurely knock off the henna paste). Rides + henna = fail. That said, if you’re going to the amusement park to hang out with friends, be in an exciting environment, eat, shop, etc and don’t care about the rides or only plan on riding something as lively as sitting on a bench on the merry-go-round…then go ahead and get henna at the amusement park.

Doing a Google search for “henna artist” and the city (or state) you’re in will yield contact information for local henna artists, many of whom are very well trained professionals who will be happy to do an appointment for you at a more convenient time when you can really get the most out of your henna application. An alternative to making a private appointment would be to go to local festival, where there are still the crowds (of people who might bump into you and smudge the henna you just paid for) but at least the primary focus of the whole thing is not the rides (which, I repeat, you really shouldn’t go on just after having henna applied). Searching for your state, festival, and henna should yield information about what festivals near you will have a henna artist.