Henna tattoos are a beautiful form of natural body art that have been used in traditional marriage and fertility celebrations for centuries. Also known as mehndi, it is an ancient custom that is still vibrant today, and henna tattoos are becoming an increasingly popular form of body art that is painless, inexpensive and temporary.
In addition to their application in bridal mehndi and spiritual festivals, henna tattoos are also being used as a way to liven up parties, hen’s nights and other special events because they are so quick and easy to apply.
The easiest way to achieve this look is by purchasing a do-it-yourself henna tattoo kit, which will save you the hassle and mess of mixing your own pastes. A good DIY kit will contain everything you need to apply your own tattoos with a minimum of fuss, and will contain a selection of stencils that you can use to create traditional designs if you don’t feel confident drawing your own freehand tattoos.
The henna tattoo kit used in this tutorial contains:
- Instruction sheet
- Set of 4 stencils
- Tube of henna paste
- Three screw-on nozzles
- Vial of mehndi oil
- Cotton balls
1. Do a prelimary patch test first, just to make sure you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients. The instructions advise applying a small patch of henna paste on the inner arm, and washing off with water after 10 – 15 minutes.
2. If there are no reactions to the patch test, wash the area you intend to tattoo with warm water and soap. Allow to dry.
3. Using a cotton ball, apply some of the mehndi oil to the area, which will optimise the colour transfer.
How to Apply the Henna Paste
1. If you are going to use a stencil, position it on the area to be decorated and wipe more of the mehndi oil over the top with a cotton ball.
2. Attach one of the nozzles to the tube of henna paste.
3. Squeeze gently on the tube and cover the stencil with henna paste, making sure to fill in all of the holes in the stencil.
4. Once the stencil is covered, allow the henna paste to dry before removing it.
5. Keep any mixture on the skin for at least 30 minutes.
6. Remove any excess henna paste from the skin using a fresh cotton ball soaked in mehndi oil.
How to Care for Your Henna Tattoo
For best results, it is best not to wet the tattooed area for 10 – 12 hours after application if possible.
Natural henna produces a rust, brown or maroon coloured stain which will last between one and three weeks. Initially, your henna tattoo may look like a pale shade of orange, but within 12 – 24 hours the colour will transform to a darker shade; the final colour achieved will depend on your skin tone.
The kit I used in this tutorial had ample henna paste leftover, so you will be able to have fun experimenting with a number of different designs.