Mix it with hot water and squeeze in a splash of fresh lemon juice. Let it cool.
Collect your supplies – a large garbage bag, a few plastic grocery bags, or old towels; a small non-metal bowl and non-metal spoon; a lemon.
Put half a cup (120 ml) of very hot water, even boiling, in a non-metal bowl. Add fresh lemon juice, a half teaspoon or so. Using a non-metal spoon, add the powder a little at a time. You’ll probably be using about a quarter of a cup (60 g) to a half cup (120 g). Stir. Thicken until it is about the thickness of toothpaste, pudding or frosting – no drippiness. Let it sit until it COOLS. Some people say overnight, I only wait until it cools. (Notes from the Experts: Let it sit for at least an hour ... I try to plan ahead, but it doesn't always work out. Some say non-metal doesn't really matter. Haven't tried.)
You don't have to be exact with the amounts. I like it thick so it doesn't drip, but it takes longer to dry. After you've done this a few times, a quarter of a cup (60 g) will probably do your hands and feet once.
Apply the henna
I pick a place where I want to sit for an hour and cover an ottoman/hassock/footstool with the large garbage bag.
Apply to the skin with a non-metal tool like the back of a plastic spoon, a paintbrush or a long-handled wooden spoon. (It’s easier for someone else to do it for you.) Apply until the area is thickly covered, like frosting a cake or plastering a wall.
Leave on for 5 - 6 hours. It’s messy. I let it dry, then I use the plastic grocery bags on my feet to walk around (carefully, because it is slippery.). Some people bandage the hennaed area, which I have not tried.
To get the six hours, I put an old towel on the bed and leave my foot out from the covers for the night. (I use my henna booties, below.) You will get crumbs of dried henna on the bed but if it’s dry when you go to bed, it won’t stain. I wasn’t harmed by leaving it on if I slept longer than six hours. The dog did not lick it off.
Note for Hands
I do one hand at a time, allowing a day in between for convenience. For nighttime use, try letting it dry and then wearing loose, light mittens or bandaging. Don’t wear rubber gloves or anything that will heat up your hands when you are taking Xeloda.
In the morning I shower it off in lukewarm water using a washcloth, because it really sticks to your skin. Remove it gently. (Experts tip: before you get in the shower, flick the dried henna off with a credit card edge.)
The area you treated should now be orange or brown. It will slowly fade. Reapply in a week. If it comes off in a chlorine pool or hot tub you should reapply sooner.
What to wear to use henna overnight?
I don't sew. If you do you'll be able to make a really nice version of this.
My Henna Stocking
I buy a yard of soft cotton flannel. I cut four boot shapes out of them, so that they will be very, very roomy and go up to my shins. Then I hot glue each pair together. These are very comfortable but will fall off in the night, so I cut two long strips of the flannel, maybe 2 inches wide, and I wrap them around the boot top and tie a bow.
Don't put these on until the henna is dry to the touch or it will soak through. These are designed to keep the flakes of henna mud contained instead of all over your sheets.
Why not sleep with the plastic grocery bags tied on? I get too hot, and hot feet foster HFS.