There are many things one regularly sees at OxTrad. They include milkshakes from Moo Moo’s, cookies from Ben’s, Instax cameras and henna. A few days into the program, a student stumbled upon this place in the Covered Market which sold henna in easy-to-use squeeze pouches.
After the initial discovery, henna fever took over OxTrad. Everyone soon had swirling designs covering their hands, feet and basically everywhere else. I had my hand done, and I loved how pretty and delicate it looked.
The process itself is very cool, too. It comes out as a gel initially, but after an hour or so it dries. You brush off the dried ink, and what’s left is an orange version of the design. Over the next day, the pigment darkens to a dark brown. They usually last a week or so, but mine lasted for about two.
Photo cred: Haley Bolen. Oxtrad 2013
I think henna designs are great because they allow you to experiment with body designs and art without regrets—not to mention they make beautiful alternatives to standard jewelry.