Body art has forever been in trend. Even so, some people find it difficult to commit to a permanent body tattoo. A lot of questions cross your mind before doing something permanent to your body. Will it look good? What if I get it wrong? No one knows!
But do not worry, you can get a tattoo of choice with henna. Henna tattoos are not only natural but temporary as well.
What is henna?
Henna is derived from the henna tree, a flowering plant known as Lawsonia inermis in Latin. It is mainly found in tropical regions. when the leaves of this plant are crushed, they yield a beautiful color that has been used for body art, to dye hair, nails, and clothing for centuries.
As henna art is elegant yet inexpensive, it is used by rich and poor alike.
History of henna
Henna has been used for more than 5000 years all over the world. It is especially popular in the Middle East and Asian countries, where it is commonly known by the word Mehndi.
From Roman Empire and Arabian Peninsula to Africa and Asia, it has been extensively used for cosmetics and staining purposes.
It is reported that in ancient Egypt, people used to apply henna paste to their skin. It is said to have a cooling effect.
Types of henna
- Brown/red henna:
It is directly derived from the natural henna leaves and gives a red-brown stain. Brown henna is also known as the ‘natural henna’ as no preservatives are added during its preparation.
- Black henna:
Black henna is most likely to contain harmful chemicals. Therefore, they are not recommended to use on the skin unless they are 100% natural.
Uses of henna
- Dye other body areas
Apart from your skin, henna is also used to dye hair, eyebrows, and give nails a natural orange-red stain. Wherever you choose to apply, natural henna is always safe and gives a super color.
- Use in cosmetics
Henna is also readily used in cosmetics. People from early times have been using henna in cosmetics for centuries.
- To make henna freckles
As the trend of faux freckles is rapidly increasing, people are using henna to create fake freckles. And guess what? It works just perfectly!
- For hair health
In traditional medicine, henna is known to have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. For this reason, it has proved to be a natural anti-dandruff agent for hair. Moreover, henna leaves are rich in Vitamin E which promotes hair growth due to its healing properties. It soothes the scalp and reduces itching to get you through an otherwise annoying day.
- To get body art/tattoo
Using henna for getting a temporary body tattoo is getting fame rapidly in the western world. The Eastern world has already been using this as a tradition for many years.
Henna tattoos stain your skin temporarily and in vibrant color.
So, what is a henna tattoo? Let’s find out!
What is a henna tattoo?
When the crushed henna leaves are mixed with water or any liquid, a thick paste is formed. This paste is filled inside a cone to create wonderful skin tattoos.
Here comes the greatest benefit of using henna as a body tattoo; it is temporary!
Yes! You do not have to regret your whole life if you don’t like your tattoo. Henna tattoos fade in a few days on their own.
Henna art is mostly applied on hands, arms, and all the way to the shoulders. Henna tattoos also leave the skin permeable to water.
Are henna tattoos safe?
Henna can be as safe as all the natural plants are. It has been used for centuries, yet negligible cases of skin irritation are reported. Anyhow, always make sure to buy pure henna.
One of the major drawbacks of using henna as a tattoo is the exploitation of black henna with Paraphenylenediamine (PPD). This harmful chemical can cause mild to severe irritation while a chance of permanent skin damage also exists.
Where can you make a henna tattoo?
As diverse are the countries where it is used, a Henna tattoo can be made anywhere on your body.
It gives a darker stain in the warmer areas of the body, such as your palms and soles. It explains a lot why Henna art is applied on the hands most often.
Apart from hands, henna tattoos are also applied on feet. Some people believe that it cools the nerves of the sole and gives a soothing feel.
How to apply a henna tattoo?
Getting a henna tattoo is as easy as it sounds. All you need is a Henna cone and a tattoo artist.
Henna cones consist of a paste made from mixing the crushed henna leaves with a liquid.
Once you get the cone, now it is time to make a tattoo. Don’t sweat yourself finding a henna tattoo artist. You can even make a henna tattoo by yourself. Just surf the internet, get some tips, practice, practice, and practice all the way!
How long does a henna tattoo last?
Henna tattoos can last from several days for up to 2-3 weeks. Still, if you wish to, you can make it last a couple of days more with some extra care.
First of all, do not wash off the henna paste only a few minutes after applying. The longer you leave the paste, the better color it gives. It is suggested to let it sit for at least 40 minutes.
According to some experts, scrubbing and exfoliating the skin area before applying a henna tattoo can also make it last longer.
Some Asian traditionalists suggest using natural oils like olive oil or coconut oil regularly over the tattoo area. This can not only make it last longer but also impart a darker and neater color.
How to care for a henna tattoo?
- Leave the henna paste on your skin for as long as possible
- Moisturize your skin daily
- Do not engage in rough activities such as washing or cutting
- Avoid scrubbing or skin exfoliation
How to remove a henna tattoo?
As henna tattoos are not permanent, they will fade in a few days by themselves. But if you wish to speed up the process, you could surely do so.
Many home remedies can help the tattoo fade a little earlier naturally. Some of these use salt water, lemon juice, or simply washing extensively with soap. Keep in mind that these tricks might make your skin a bit dry or dull. Hence, a moisturizer is always a good option.
Before making a henna tattoo, keep some precautions in mind.
- Always select natural henna for tattooing. Black henna is most likely to contain chemicals that may irritate your skin. Thus, it is advised to read the ingredients precisely before choosing the right product.
- In extremely rare cases, some people with extra sensitive skin can get skin reactions to the natural henna as well. In that case, a patch test before applying is always a good option.
- If you feel any allergic symptoms to henna, like itching or redness, go straight to your dermatologist.