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Henna stains are orange when the paste is first removed, but darken over the following three days to a deep reddish brown.
Soles and palms have the thickest layer of skin and so take up the most lawsone, and take it to the greatest depth, so that hands and feet will have the darkest and most long-lasting stains.
Henna can also refer to the temporary body art (staining) based on those dyes (see also mehndi).
Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool and leather.
The paste can be applied with many traditional and innovative tools, starting with a basic stick or twig. In India, a plastic cone similar to those used to pipe icing onto cakes is used.
This is considered sunnah, a commendable tradition of the Prophet Muhammad.
Furthermore, a hadith (narration of the Prophet) holds that he encouraged Muslim women to dye their nails with henna to demonstrate femininity and distinguish their hands from those of men.
It gained popularity among young people in the 1960s through growing interest in Eastern cultures.
Muslim men may use henna as a dye for hair and most particularly their beards.