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ROC City Henna in Photos

ROC City Henna in Photos

Words and photos by Olivia Bauso

Katie Halligan is a Rochester musician expanding her range of creativity. 

After completing her degree at Berklee College of Music, Katie moved back to her hometown of Rochester to set up shop as the full-time owner of ROC City Henna. "I've always wanted permanent tattoos, but I'm scared of needles," Katie admits. She adds, "I actually like the idea of being able to change tattoos around, whether it's placement or the tattoo itself." 

As a self-taught artist, Katie practiced on herself for five years before beginning to tattoo professionally. She says, "I bought as many books and found as much research as I could online on the history of henna. It's very sacred in a lot of cultures, and I wanted to make sure I understood and respected the cultures it comes from." She explains that henna has roots in a number of cultures including Jewish, Indian, African and Chinese practices. 

Katie now makes and sells her own ink blend, which is gentle enough for use on sensitive skin. Its six ingredients include maharajah henna powder, pure black Indian tea steeped with cloves, lemon juice, eucalyptus oil and granulated sugar. 

ROC City Henna believes henna tattoos are universal. They can cross gender and culture barriers, and can be worn by anyone, as long as they are over the age of five. See Katie's creativity in action in the photo series below.

The mission of ROC City Henna is "to carry on the magic, history, beauty and tradition of using henna for all occasions." Help Katie carry on the magic of henna by taking one of her classes, purchasing her homemade ink or having her at your next private event.

Katie Halligan's next DIY Henna for Beginners class will be on August 13th at Rochester Brainery.

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