What Is A Henna Tattoo?

A brief description and guide on how to make your own henna tattoo.

Most of us like to adorn our bodies, whether it is through jewelry, makeup, or accessories.Some people also enjoy tattoos, but the adornment through the art of tattooing is often permanent and difficult, if not impossible to remove once the tattoo has been applied.If you are interested in adding art to your body, but do not want something that will last forever, a henna tattoo may be just what you're looking for.

Mehndi is another word for henna tattoos, and represents the art of decorating the body with intricate and detailed patterns and artwork.The art itself comes from the Indian culture, and women and men there have been using it for thousands of years.The first question one might ask is: what is exactly is henna?Henna is a natural material derived from the dried powder of plant leaves.It often appears as a green powder, and most Indian stores sell henna, or you can find it at a lot of Middle Eastern groceries.Another option when searching for henna is to look online, as it can be difficult to find it locally depending on where you live.

There is a process to applying henna to make your tattoo look professional and attractive.The first step is to sift the powder to remove any "chunks" or leaf particles.Next, you'll want to mix the henna with lemon juice, making sure you mix it in a plastic container with a plastic spoon.The metals in most silverware can cause an acidic reaction, thus altering the color of the henna, and can sometimes cause it to lose its effectiveness.If you want your tattoo to last longer, add one teaspoon of sugar, as this can help increase its staying power.Cover your mixture with plastic wrap and let it sit at least for a day or two.This process causes the henna to "release" the dye in the molecules, and then you are ready to apply the tattoo.


There are several tools you can use to apply the tattoo, but a small paint brush (like an artist's brush) is probably the best option for beginners.You may also use a piping bag like those used for icing when decorating a cake.These can be purchased at many grocery stores or bakeries, and are usually very inexpensive.If you aren't good a freehand, purchasing a stencil you like is probably the best option to create a design that suits you.Henna can be applied just about anywhere, including the hands, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms.Another option for designs is to draw lightly on the skin with an eyeliner pencil and simply trace your design afterwards.This way if you make a mistake, you can "erase" it by just wiping it with a washcloth in soap and water.Transfers are another popular way to get creative, foolproof designs.Most office supply stores sell transfer paper.Just draw your pattern onto the transfer paper, apply deodorant to the area you want to tattoo, pressing down on the paper with your hand, and then gently remove it.It should leave behind your pattern, and you can begin to apply the henna outlining your design.

The next step is to allow the henna to be absorbed into the skin.Most people use a sealant to keep the ink in place.You can create your own sealant by using a lemon and sugar mixture, or even by lightly spraying hair gel onto the tattoo.Allow the sealant to dry and then wrap your design using two layers: tissue and then plastic wrap.The design needs to stay wrapped at least overnight, so your first time you may want to ensure this can be done on a place on your body where you will not need to move too much, or that will make you uncomfortable.The following morning, the wrap can be removed and your tattoo is ready to show off!Most henna tattoos last about ten days on average.

You may be wondering why this art is so intricate, yet the tattoos do not stay on your body permanently.Since henna tattoos are not applied by penetrating the skin, they simply soak into the first few layers of skin.Although the dye is very potent, they do not penetrate deeply enough into the next layers to remain permanent.Over time, as the design fades, it is simply because the old skin cells are sloughing off, and new ones are growing, causing the henna tattoo to fade.

Henna is an ancient art that has been passed down over the generations, and is becoming a very popular method of self-expression.If the process of giving yourself or someone you know a henna tattoo sounds too complex, there are professional henna artists nationwide.Be sure to do some research and find out if applying a henna tattoo is right for you.

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