What is a Henna Tattoo? Ultimate Guide 2022

what is a henna tattoo

So, what is a henna tattoo, you ask? It is simply a tattoo made from henna, a plant-based dye derived from the henna plant.

Henna tattoos are temporary, pain-free, and vegan.

For over 5000 years, henna tattoos have been an essential part of cultural celebrations in India, Pakistan, Africa, and the Middle East. Henna is actually an Arabic word but is known as “mehndi” in Hindi & Urdu.

In ancient Egypt, mummies and high-ranking individuals wore henna for decorative purposes; it imposed social status.

For some other cultures, it plays a vital role in sacred rituals; in others, henna is a medicine and a remedy for fevers too. 

Henna as medicine is unusual.

It has cooling properties that can help control body temperatures. People living in the desert centuries ago would make a paste by crushing the leaves of the henna plant.

The cooling sensation derived from henna can last until the henna stain disappears. And that’s how the idea of making patterns was birthed. Rather than applying the henna on the skin mindlessly, meaningful designs were created.

Henna tattoos grew into a fashion statement. Diwali and weddings in India use henna tattoos to embellish the bride.

The darker the henna is, the stronger the marriage will be. 

In Africa, henna is not directly painted onto the skin. African culture creates meaningful patterns using thin strips. It is a guide to knowing where not to stain the henna pigment.

henna tattoo on womens wrist and inside of palms

Are Henna Tattoos Safe?

Henna tattoos in the US are not yet FDA approved. Instead, it is only accepted as a hair dye (another use for this fantastic plant).

Despite this, people still use henna for tattoos at their own risk. Although rare, some people may develop severe skin reactions, so henna as a tattoo substitute is not encouraged in the US.

Not everybody has allergic reactions to henna; in fact, most people don’t.

To know how your skin will react to its pigment, apply a small amount first.

You can look for a small minimalist design to test your skin. Then, wait for a few minutes and see how your skin will react. It’s a sure sign not to go for it if you experience any skin irritations.

What Colour Is Henna?

Henna pigments come in different colors.

Orange, red, and brown are initially the true colors of henna. However, pigments such as blue, green, yellow, and purple were also made available.

There are no clear indications of how henna with colorful pigments affects the skin. The materials used can vary. Therefore, each brand may stain differently than others. 

Henna tattoos are another form of skin artistry. It shares the same concept with tattoos. However, it is rather temporary.

Henna tattoos can be applied by pretty much anyone who does art.  But it’s ideal to have someone with experience applying them.

So, where can you get henna tattoos?

professional henna tattoo being applied to the palms of a women

Where to Get Henna Tattoos?

Several tattoo shops and SPAs in the US offer henna tattoo sessions. You can also apply your own henna tattoo and learn the art of henna tattoo.

But, if you are looking for a professional to do it, here are our top picks around the country:

Top Henna Tattoo Shops in the US

Below is a list of professionals that offer Henna Tattoos in the US.

  • Glendale, Arizona– Eyebrow Threading
  • San Diego, California – Reena Threading Center
  • Aurora, Colorado – Karm’s Threading Skincare Salon
  • Mystic, Connecticut – Hennavana
  • District of Columbia – Silky Smooth
  • Tampa, Florida – The Massage Loft Channelside
  • Atlanta, Georgia – Saylah Threading & Day Spa
  • Honolulu, Hawaii – Hau’oli Henna
  • Boise, Idaho – Kingdom Henna
  • Chicago, Illinois – Bibya Hair Design
  • Indianapolis, Indiana – Indy Henna
  • Lawrence, Kansas – Cosmos
  • Louisville, Kentucky – La Biotique
  • Waltham, Massachusetts – Aalok Fashion
  • Baltimore, Maryland – Rhea Eyebrow Threading
  • Ferndale, Michigan – Alchemy Slow Living Studio
  • St. Paul, Minnesota – Sole Shine
  • Saint Peters, Missouri – Henna Tattoo St. Louis
  • Morrisville, North Carolina – Rupa’s Spa & Threading
  • Omaha, Nebraska – Vida Mia Day Spa
  • Henderson, Nevada – Khina Eyebrow Threading & Henna Art
  • Plainview, New York – Henna For All
  • Cleveland, Ohio – Cleveland Henna
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Kaleidoscope Arts
  • Portland, Oregon – Blue Lotus Henna
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Thread Bar
  • Greenville, South Carolina – Eyebrow Threading by Charming Eyes
  • Hermitage, Tennessee – Glitzy Brows
  • Hermitage, Texas – Nisha Henna Arts
  • Woodbridge Virginia – B Threads
  • Burlington, Vermont –  Threading Beauty Studio
  • Vancouver, Washington – Boca’s Face
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Just Eyebrows Threading Salon

So how much does a henna tattoo cost?

amazing henna tattoo on womens palm

How Much Does a Henna Tattoo Cost?

Henna tattoo prices vary.

Typically, henna tattoos are less expensive than permanent tattoos.

Henna tattoos can range from $100 to $1000.

The price depends on the size and how intricate the design is. A simple henna design costs $20. As for bridal henna designs, it usually takes hours to finish. Thus, the artist would charge at least $300 for a session. 

If you go to fairs and craft events, some henna tattoos will only cost you $10. 

Moreover, the henna tattoo artist also impacts the price. Expert henna tattoo artists charge a lot higher. Their hard-earned skill and mastery of freehand drawing are impeccable.

Keep in mind that once the henna pigment touches your skin, it will stain it for at least three weeks. Therefore, a professional henna tattoo artist is preferable.

How Do You Remove a Henna Tattoo?

Below are some simple ways to remove a henna tattoo; these are safe and use ingredients you should have at home.

Soap and Warm Water

Mild soap and warm water can help lighten the pigments of henna. Do it multiple times a day while applying moisturizer after every wash. 

Apply Baby Oil 

Dab baby oil directly onto the henna tattoo using a small cotton ball. Baby oil will aid in dissolving henna pigments. Thus, layering your skin with baby oil for 20 mins will fade the henna tattoo. 

Lemon Juice

Lemon, naturally, has skin-lightening and stain-removing properties. It is used to treat scars or lighten dark spots. Cut a lemon in half. Then, rub it gently on your skin for three minutes. Rinse it with warm water. And apply moisturizer after drying the surface. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an exfoliator. It removes stains from any surface. By mixing baking soda and lemon juice, you can create a paste. Apply the paste to your skin and leave it for 10 minutes.  After, wash it off with warm water. Notice that the henna tattoo is less saturated.

So, where can you buy henna tattoo kits to do it yourself?

indian couple holing hands with dark henna too up arm

Where Can You Buy Henna Tattoo Kits?

Henna tattoo kits are sold at tattoo shops or online. If you shop online, you will find all sorts of kits. The best place to look for henna kits is Amazon.

Amazon has a varied selection of henna tattoo kits. Henna kits for newbies, premixed henna tattoo kits, and powdered kits are available online. 

Kevinart Temporary Tattoos Kit Brown Tattoo Kit 2 Bottles 1 Oz Temp Tattoo Kit Semi Permanent Freehand Ink/Gel with 60 Adhesive Stencils for Women Men Kids Boys Body Art Painting Decor Supplies
Our Top Pick
Jacknb Temporary Tattoo Kit Freehand Ink Semi Permanent Tattoo Jagua Gel 40 Pcs Free Tattoo Stencils DIY Tattoos Fake Freckles Temp Tattoos for Women Kids Men - Full Kit 4 Bottles
Koogel 18 Sheets Henna Tattoo Stencil Kit, 97 Pcs Temporary Glitter Airbrush Tattoo Stencils Arabian Tattoo Stickers for Face Paint Body Art
Kevinart Temporary Tattoos Kit Brown Tattoo Kit 2 Bottles 1 Oz Temp Tattoo Kit Semi Permanent Freehand Ink/Gel with 60 Adhesive Stencils for Women Men Kids Boys Body Art Painting Decor Supplies
Jacknb Temporary Tattoo Kit Freehand Ink Semi Permanent Tattoo Jagua Gel 40 Pcs Free Tattoo Stencils DIY Tattoos Fake Freckles Temp Tattoos for Women Kids Men - Full Kit 4 Bottles
Koogel 18 Sheets Henna Tattoo Stencil Kit, 97 Pcs Temporary Glitter Airbrush Tattoo Stencils Arabian Tattoo Stickers for Face Paint Body Art
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Kevinart Temporary Tattoos Kit Brown Tattoo Kit 2 Bottles 1 Oz Temp Tattoo Kit Semi Permanent Freehand Ink/Gel with 60 Adhesive Stencils for Women Men Kids Boys Body Art Painting Decor Supplies
Kevinart Temporary Tattoos Kit Brown Tattoo Kit 2 Bottles 1 Oz Temp Tattoo Kit Semi Permanent Freehand Ink/Gel with 60 Adhesive Stencils for Women Men Kids Boys Body Art Painting Decor Supplies
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Our Top Pick
Jacknb Temporary Tattoo Kit Freehand Ink Semi Permanent Tattoo Jagua Gel 40 Pcs Free Tattoo Stencils DIY Tattoos Fake Freckles Temp Tattoos for Women Kids Men - Full Kit 4 Bottles
Jacknb Temporary Tattoo Kit Freehand Ink Semi Permanent Tattoo Jagua Gel 40 Pcs Free Tattoo Stencils DIY Tattoos Fake Freckles Temp Tattoos for Women Kids Men - Full Kit 4 Bottles
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Koogel 18 Sheets Henna Tattoo Stencil Kit, 97 Pcs Temporary Glitter Airbrush Tattoo Stencils Arabian Tattoo Stickers for Face Paint Body Art
Koogel 18 Sheets Henna Tattoo Stencil Kit, 97 Pcs Temporary Glitter Airbrush Tattoo Stencils Arabian Tattoo Stickers for Face Paint Body Art
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Top Henna Tattoo Kit Brand

  • JACKNB Temporary Tattoo Kit
  • Divawoo Henna Tattoo Kit
  • Jagua Henna Temporary Tattoo Kit
  • KevinArt Henna Tattoo Kit
  • Tulip Body Art Ultimate Henna Tattoo Kit
  • Charmark Temporary Tattoo Kit
  • EGMBGM Tribal Henna Kit

How Long Does a Henna Tattoo Last?

The duration of how long your henna tattoo will last depends on what area of the skin it was applied to. The placement can either make the henna pigment go away in two weeks or add another two. 

The henna ink does not last long for body parts like hands and feet. It usually fades after two weeks because it is often exposed to water and soap. In contrast, arms, legs, and back areas will keep henna skin art for at least three weeks.

In addition, the span of time you leave the henna on your skin, the darker it will be. Thus, the longer it will fade.

If you choose a meaningful design, you would want to keep it for a couple of weeks to get some value out of it, so it’s best to exfoliate the skin before getting it.

Henna tattoo designs are intricate.

Each design carries a meaning, that is why it is worth doing your research and choosing an experienced henna tattoo artist.

Popular Henna Tattoo Designs and Their Meanings

Henna tattoos are more than just vegan tattoos; henna tattoos from an experienced artist carry meaning and significance, even if only for a few weeks.

Some popular designs and their meanings are:

Sahasrara is a lotus-like symbol. It means unity. This design is typically placed on palms. 

Peacocks represent beauty. The feathers exhibit prosperity, while birds in India signify the relationship between heaven and earth.

Dragonflies and Butterflies are the creatures that embody rebirth and transformation. 

Paisley is an intricate pear-shaped design. Paisley exhibits good luck in fertility. 

Flowers are known to flaunt beauty. The most common flower chosen for henna tattoos is the lotus flower. It symbolizes grace, purity, and heart. 

Eyes reflect protection against any evil. It is often placed on the hand, neck, and back. 

Ohm is a spiritual symbol. A mantra that represents universal spirit. Ohm is a popular design even for permanent tattoos.

How Do You Care For a Henna Tattoo?

Henna tattoos are delicate, especially after getting them applied; please be careful and follow the below steps to improve the longevity of your tattoo.

  • Resist touching the henna after application. To avoid smudging, let it set on your skin for thirty minutes. 
  • Water will fade your henna tattoo faster. So, cover up your henna tattoo whenever you are about to shower. 
  • Harsh chemicals such as hand sanitizer and chlorine will dull the pigments of henna. Thus, avoid using it around the area. 
  • Keeping your henna tattoo moisturized will prolong its life span. As long as you are using mild moisturizer, the henna will stay in its place.

Risks of Henna Tattoos

With anything you do, there are always risks involved in henna PPD is the most notable ingredient that could cause a reaction.

PPD (P-phenylenediamine is an allergen found in dyes. It is common for PPDs to cause skin reactions. PPD is prohibited in cosmetics.

For those who have extra sensitive skin, applying a henna tattoo may lead to certain skin complications such as:

  • Blisters will occur around the area.
  • The skin will swell along with redness around the infected skin.
  • Raised red weeping lesions will begin to show.
  • Loss in pigmentation s another sign of henna tattoo allergies.
  • Feeling extra sensitive to sunlight will slowly develop.
  • Permanent scars will be possible after it’s healed.
indian bride and groom with dark red henna

What Is a Henna Tattoo – Conclusion

Henna tattoos initially played a crucial part of religious rituals, notable cultures, and alternative medicine.

Ever since henna pigments reached the Western side of the world, henna tattoos have become a decorative element for the skin. 

Now, the art of henna tattoos spread all throughout the world. Henna tattoos are a good alternative for permanent tattoos.

Many are opting for a henna tattoo since it portrays the same look as having a real one and is pain-free too.

If you get a henna tattoo, embrace the design and have some fun, henna tattoos are not a sin!

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