Henna, for centuries, has been a staple piece for many Eastern cultures when it comes to various events. For Muslim’s, especially, it has been a way to express yourself artistically with intricate and stunning designs over your body. Henna is a perfect alternative for tattoos with its temporary stain on your skin, without getting a real tattoo. Recently, Henna has become a global trend as the traditional style takes on a contemporary and minimalistic twist as it moves further into Western cultures.
One henna trend in particular that has increasingly become popular for its unique and interesting aesthetics is Jagua. Slowly beginning to building its way up into the body art market, this was first introduced in the UK by Henna artist Nissa Hussain, who has made a name for herself with Jagua. Jagua is a fruit that grows only in South America and was used in the past by tribes as a form of culture and body art.
Nissa, also known as fusionfashionista on Instagram, explains that Jagua is different to regular Henna as the colour develops over a time. Once washed off, the colouring is very faint, but within 48 hours, the colour develops into a dark, almost black, shade. Jagua henna is also a safer alternative to black henna which has caused many skin reactions due to its chemicals. Jagua is a natural fruit that stains the skin so there is no risk of any reactions.
“This is a no chemical henna that develops into a black stain and lasts between 10 to 15 days.” For the best development, Nissa recommends getting this done two days before the event and to follow the aftercare. “Keep it away from water as much as possible. Jagua requires much less effort but I still recommend being cautious.”
Nissa is a henna artist who has turned her passion into a career. “I have always been artistic, but I never imagined this would be my career. I used to practice on myself and then my cousin asked me to do her bridal henna and that really developed my confidence. That’s when I decided to research more into this and found out about Jagua henna and decided to bring this into the UK” Nissa adds. Now, she has been able to do henna on some of the most influential bloggers, including Dina Tokio and Aaliyah jm.
“It's weird how I met Dina actually. It was always a goal of mine to be able to do her henna, even before I met her. She has always been a role model for me and has helped me grow as a blogger. I was walking down the road and I just bumped into her and that’s how we began talking about her trying out the Jagua henna and she loved it!” exclaimed Nissa.
Nissa’s designs are inspired by all different elements; the way it falls on the hand, the type of event; “everything can be an inspiration for art.”
Henna has always been a form of adornment and this new Jagua henna trend has opened this traditional body art to a whole new generation. Not only that, but Nissa has had the opportunity to travel around the world to share Jagua henna. “It was surreal! I didn't think that people would be interested in this but everyone seemed really excited. It was a very proud and worthwhile moment to be able to travel to places like Malaysia and share my passion. No one even knew about this before I got there,” says Nissa.
“It was quite difficult, however, to get people to do understand as to why it is different and why it costs more. I really had to emphasise how this was a rare fruit isn’t easily available,” Nissa explains.
As the trend develops and more people catch on to Jagua henna, Nissa ensures that her designs are always kept unique and contemporary to make her stand out as the first Jagua henna artist in the UK. “All you have to do is put it on and watch the magic happen.”
For more information on Nissa and to see her designs follow @fashionfusionista