Senior McKell Hanson creates henna business


Photo courtesy of McKell Hanson

Hanson enjoys practicing henna on herself and others.

Gracie Huebner, Reporter

Sketches on paper and canvas isn’t the only art form to express oneself. Senior McKell Hanson took interest in henna during quarantine and has since developed her skill into an independent, natural-run business. 

Hanson came to love practicing henna on friends and family, but decided to try to expand her business with prom coming up. Since henna is expensive as supplies are not always cheap, Hanson usually charges around $5-$20 depending on the design and time. 

“I can get some designs done in a minute or two,” Hanson said. “Once I did a full leg design that took a bit longer. I usually let people pick a design that they like and then I try to put my own spin on it. Since I’ve never seen the design before and it’s not something I’ve practiced at all, it takes a little longer finding the best way to make it.”

Hanson has always enjoyed sketching and transferred those skills toward henna. (McKell Hanson)

Because henna is plant-derived and sticks onto the skin for multiple hours, Hanson takes the quality of the hennas she buys seriously. Using the wrong type of henna can lead to serious consequences on the skin, so Hanson always makes sure to buy the safe materials.

“I’ve been buying some from a website I trust,” Hanson said. “There are some advertisements for black henna tattoos which are not real as there’s a lot of dangerous preservatives in them that can give you chemical burns. I always make sure I go to a trustworthy site that sells 100% pure henna.” 

Hanson also wishes to expand her art during college next year to help pay for some tuition. Hanson does not plan to stop henna anytime soon and loves how she can express herself with it. 

“I love the challenge of it honestly,” Hanson said. “It’s just such a different medium I’ve never really used before. Like, it’s not super common. A lot of art comes naturally to me, I’ve been really blessed by that and I’ve had a lot of fun trying to master it.”

Students who want to contact Hanson for a design can direct message her on instagram @harmonyaddictdesigns. Those who are interested in pursuing henna can learn from how Hanson approached the art. 

“Practice,” Hanson said. “The way you learn anything is to imitate and then create your own. I’ll look at a real design, see what I like and don’t like, and then I’ll figure out certain techniques. I’ve been able to take those skills and freehand them into my own design and create my own personal touch.”