Home Magazine How to Do a Henna Tattoo at Home

How to Do a Henna Tattoo at Home


Mehndi is an ancient form of body art. This skin decoration technique is safe, painless, and durable. Henna tattoos are a convenient option for those who are not ready for a lifelong tattoo and are considering a temporary one. Scroll on to find out how to make a henna tattoo at home, what you’ll need for this, and how to take care of this body art.

Pros and cons of mehndi


  • Henna is hypoallergenic.
  • A henna tattoo can cover pigment spots, moles, and scars without causing damage to them.
  • It’s painless to apply. Natural dye penetrates only the surface levels of epidermis and does not have to be applied with a needle.
  • A henna tattoo can be replaced with another pattern just about two weeks after the previous one fades away.
  • Henna doesn’t damage skin, so there’s no healing period.
  • Henna has antibacterial properties, which helps heal microbreaks.
  • Mehndi is suitable for children.


  • Such tattoos do not last long.
  • Henna is available only in black, brown, and light brown colors (there is no such thing as white henna, but there’s a hypoallergenic product that is often labeled ‘white henna’).
  • To make your henna tattoo last longer, you should take care of it.
  • There are not many possible placements, especially if you want to do it yourself.

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On average, henna tattoos last for two weeks. However, some patterns might last for up to a month.

Mehndi longevity depends on the following aspects:

  • proper aftercare;
  • placement;
  • quality of henna;
  • skin characteristics.

Doing mehndi at home

You can try doing a henna tattoo yourself even if you are not a pro artist. You just need to prepare the necessary tools and materials and think the design through in advance.

Tip: Practice drawing your chosen pattern on paper.

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What you’ll need

To do a henna tattoo at home, you’ll need:

  • henna paste;
  • mehndi oil or lemon juice;
  • lint-free tissues to dab half-dried dye;
  • cotton swabs for correcting mistakes: just dip a swab in lemon juice and erase the wrong line;
  • plastic wrap to cover your body art with: it enables the dye to penetrate deeper into the skin, making the tattoo brighter.

If you doubt your artistic capabilities, you can buy special adhesive stencils for henna tattoos that stick to your skin well. Another option is to draw a pattern with a makeup pencil and apply henna on the outlines.

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Choosing henna for mehndi

Henna for mehndi comes in two forms:

  • henna paste in a special tube with a pointy tip;
  • henna powder for doing the paste at home.

In the first case, you can regulate the thickness of the lines: the stronger you squeeze, the thicker the line.

As for DIY henna paste, you can regulate its shade. To make it more vibrant and long lasting, you can add coffee, strong black tea, or lemon juice.

DIY henna paste can be stored for ten days. The shelf life of henna powder is up to two years. Henna paste in cones should be used in the course of a year. After opening a cone, you can store it in a refrigerator until next time.

Important! Don’t replace henna for mehndi with henna for hair: they are made from different leaves of the henna plant and have a different effect.

Making henna for mehndi

There are several ways of making henna paste for mehndi at home. Here’s a simple recipe:

  1. Mix juice of half a lemon and half a cup of strong black tea.
  2. Add two tablespoons of sugar.
  3. Pour in henna powder until you get thick paste.
  4. Leave it for 20 minutes.

Make a cone from foil, pour the paste into it, and seal the cone at the top. Before application, cut the tip of the cone to get a small hole. The smaller the hole, the easier it will be to regulate the thickness of your lines.

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Preparing for application

To get a long-lasting high-quality tattoo, you should carefully prepare for the procedure.

Keep in mind the following:

  1. Depilate the chosen area. Even the smallest hairs can affect the quality of your tattoo, preventing the dye from penetrating deep into the skin. Plus, the dye will change the color of hairs for a long time.
  2. Clean the skin with a scrub and then wipe it with alcohol-containing lotion or a product for wax depilation.
  3. Do a sensitivity test: apply a line of the henna paste to your wrist. If you don’t get itching or reddening around this spot, feel free to continue.

Specialist’s tip: Once you finish the preparations, it’s better to steam the area. This will allow henna to penetrate deeper and last longer.

Step-by-step tutorial

How to do a henna tattoo at home? Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:

  1. Lay out a clean piece of cloth, put on an apron or a hairdressing cape to protect your clothes.
  2. Place your hand or leg on the cloth so that it lies comfortably and you can reach it easily.
  3. To make your pattern as bright as possible, wipe the area with lemon juice or citrus oil. You can buy special mehndi oil. Let the juice or oil sink in.
  4. Position the tube with the henna paste vertically above the skin and slightly squeeze it. One layer of the dye gives a lighter color and two make for brighter outlines.
  5. Let the pattern dry.
  6. Wrap the painting in plastic wrap for six hours.
  7. When the dye dries, carefully remove its remnants with a cosmetic spatula.
  8. Apply fixing oil to your tattoo. Lemon juice can be used for this purpose as well.

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Important! It’s strictly forbidden to wet your henna tattoo in the first 24 hours. Plus, keep in mind that your tattoo will settle into its final color in 40 hours.

Popular mehndi patterns and their meanings

The mehndi technique offers a wide range of various patterns, elements, and scenes. Mehndi is often done on hands: wrists, palms, and fingers. Other placements include legs, forearms, shoulders, thighs, and the back.

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Let’s look at some basic elements and their meanings:

  • Blossoming flowers represent femininity, fragility, and an interesting personality.
  • Grains stand for abundance, wealth, and prosperity.
  • Vines and flower buds are perceived as the start of a new life and a symbol of love. They can also symbolize protection from negativity.
  • Lotus is an element of wedding patterns. It can also be painted on the body of an expectant mother.
  • Birds symbolize dreams, freedom, and desire to achieve new goals.
  • Feathers signify love of life, optimism, a free mind, and an independent personality.
  • An elephant is a sign of a quick mind, longevity, physical strength, bravery, compassion, and kindness.
  • Fish mean dreams of love, hope for mutual feelings, and desire to make dreams come true.
  • A half-moon stands for beauty and gentle youth.
  • Bracelets are chosen by women who are looking for a partner.
  • Stars mean hoping for help from higher forces. A six-corner star is a symbol of balance between male and female energy.
  • Vishnu discus represents bravery and physical strength on men and loyalty and innocence on women.
  • The Raja and Rani design is traditional Indian wedding art.

Click on the link to learn more about the history of mehndi, common patterns and their meanings.

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Henna patterns last from one week to a month. Let’s talk about henna aftercare.

  • Ensure as little contact with water as possible in the first three days.
  • Cover the pattern in almond, sunflower, sesame, or mustard oil before letting it come in contact with water.
  • Don’t wash your henna tattoo with soap and sponge.
  • Before going out in sunny weather, apply waterproof sun-protection cream.
  • If your pattern is located on the hands and palms, do household chores in gloves.
  • Your henna tattoo should rub against tight elements of clothes as little as possible.
  • Don’t use skin lightening cream or alcohol-containing cosmetic products, or your tattoo will fade fast.

If you don’t follow these aftercare rules, your henna tattoo will fade in just 8-10 days.

Mehndi is a beautiful and delicate body art. It’s not just a body decoration, but a means of communication with the world: henna patterns serve as an amulet and reflect its wearer’s desires and personality.

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