Be sure to check out our New Henna
Tips & Tricks page for updated articles!
Color & Longevity of Mehndi Henna Tattoos
There are many things that will effect the results of your henna.
Below are a few of the major factors to consider. Keeping
these factors in mind while doing henna, will help you get the best
possible henna stain.
- The cleanliness of the
skin being tattooed.
Oils, lotions, sun block, and sweat are all barriers that will
prevent the henna from staining as darkly as it could.
- The part of the body being hennaed.
Thicker skin stains better than thinner skin. Generally
you can assume palms of the hands and soles of the feet stain
the best and the further away from these areas you get, the lighter
the henna tattoo stain.
- How long the moist henna is in contact with
The longer the better. I suggest a minimum of 4 hours to
overnight. Be sure the henna is not "floating" on top of
- Body temperature is a HUGE factor in releasing henna
People with higher body temperature typically get better stains.
You can add heat by using
a wrap on your henna design. Learn about
how temperature effects
- How the dried henna is removed.
Do NOT use water when removing the dried henna paste. The
paste should be scraped off and any stubborn bits can be removed
using henna oil or olive oil.
- How well the henna tattoo is cared for.
Water should be avoided for as long as possible (24 hours is the
goal, but normally not possible). Avoid anything that will
exfoliate the skin (chlorinated water, salt water, cleaners,
face wash, smoothing lotions).
- The henna mix that was used.
Fresh mixed henna will leave better longer lasting color than pre-mixed henna.
Play with your henna recipe to find what works best for you.
Keep in mind that you must allow sufficient time for the henna
to release it's dye when you mix your own henna. I highly
recommend using one of our professional brands of henna,
Jamila henna or Organic Rajasthani henna.
Remember, after the henna
paste is removed, the henna is not at its full color. It will
continue to cure in your skin releasing dye molecules for 24-72
hours after henna paste removal.
is the Beachcombers Favorite Henna Recipe henna from Beachcombers
powder henna and was left on for about 6 hours on me. I have
very low blood pressure and I'm always cold. This means I have
to work extra hard to get good color with my henna, lol! I hope
you are not cursed with the same! A lemon sugar sealer was
used, but the design was not wrapped and no
additional heat was used. For darker color, use our
professional henna powder brands.
Drying henna paste with a lemon sugar sealer.
Henna tattoo moments after paste removal. The henna still
needs time to cure to develop full color.
The same henna tattoo approximately a day and a half after the henna
paste removal. Nothing special was done during this time, this
is just the natural life cycle of henna.
~ More about super dark henna
color here ~
What Kind of Henna
is Best for Me?
New to henna? Overwhelmed with the choices? Don't know the differences between different kinds of henna?
Beachcombers to the rescue! Learn the pros and cons of each
type of henna so that you can select the henna that is best for your
What is henna?
Henna is a bush (lawsonia inermis) that when ground into a very fine powder and made into a paste, stains your skin leaving a temporary tattoo. Henna used in this artistic form is called
mehndi (in India), though most people still refer to the art of mehndi as simply henna. Henna is also used to color the hair, but this article is about henna as a skin stain, not henna as hair color.
Henna was originally used as a way to cool the body in the desert.
People would cover the palms of their hands and the soles of their
feet with henna and found that as long as there was a stain, their
body temperature stayed lower. This practiced migrated from
covering the entire palms and soles to one large dot in the center
and, eventually, to artistic designs.
A seldom realized henna fact: Henna is a permanent stain.
The henna does not fade away, the skin exfoliates off and thus
"fades" the henna design. Skin typically exfoliates completely
in a cycle of every 20-30 days.
You should NEVER use henna without listed ingredients or henna that contains
any type of chemicals. All Beachcombers henna is
chemical-free and has all natural ingredients listed
in the book or flyer.
Learn more about the dangers of PPD and chemical laced henna here.
A natural henna tattoo will start out an orangish or brownish
color once the henna paste is removed. The tattoo will
continue to cure over the following day or two darkening to a
brownish or reddish hue. The stain will
1-3 weeks depending on a number of factors.
Anything called henna that leaves a deep black stain and lasts more
than a day or two contains PPD and is dangerous. Read about
the dangers of "black henna" here.
Henna is available in pre-mixed paste or powder that you mix into your own paste. Pre-mixed henna paste is super easy and ready to use, giving good results. Powder henna needs to be mixed and takes a bit of time, but can yield exceptional results.
Standard Natural Henna
Pre-mixed Henna Paste vs. Henna Powder
Is premixed henna paste or henna powder right for you?
Well, that depends on what you are looking for from your henna
tattoo and how much work you want to do to achieve those results.
Pre-mixed paste (picture coming soon) is easy and fun leaving a lighter color.
Powder henna is what you need for long lasting dark henna tattoos.
Looking for fun, easy, short term results from your henna tattoo?
Pre-mixed paste henna is for you. If you don't want to be stuck with a henna design that will last for 3 weeks or more (especially if you are new and want to practice often or
to change your henna design often), pre-mixed henna paste does not stain the skin as deeply as freshly mixed powder. Pre-mixed henna designs typically last 5-15 days and are not as dark as freshly mixed henna powder. This gives you a bit more flexibility and is more forgiving when you are a henna beginner. Pre-mixed henna paste is super easy to use. Just knead the cone or tube and apply your design.
As you grow as a henna artist or if you want darker longer lasting results, you can help your pre-mixed paste by mixing in some natural
ingredients and/or using a sealer to keep the moist henna in contact with your skin longer.
This is a great way to create a bridge between using pre-mixed henna
paste and mixing your own henna straight from henna powder.
Serious about henna? Looking for extra-dark long-lasting henna tattoos?
Tips for helping pre-mixed paste
(applicator required: empty cones, applicator bottles...)
Squeeze your pre-mixed henna paste into a small bowl. Add sugar in a ratio of approximately 4 parts henna to 1 part table sugar. Mix WELL. Mix REALLY WELL. Allow the henna sit for
a minimum of 1 hour in a warm location away from sunlight.
- After letting your henna paste sit, add a few drops of henna oil (lavender oil
and/or tea tree oil) and mix it well.
Cover with plastic wrap letting the wrap come into contact with the henna and
removing as many air pockets as possible. Let your henna sit for approximately
an hour or as long as overnight. Transfer the henna paste to your chosen applicator and you are ready to go.
Beachcombers fresh henna powder is the henna for you. Mixing your own henna paste from powder is more time consuming but can yield astonishingly good results. Be ready to commit to your henna design, as results typically last 2-3 weeks with some designs leaving
traces up to 5 weeks with exceptionally good care. One of the best things about mixing your own henna is you get to create your own personal henna recipe. The
Beachcombers Favorite Henna Recipe is a very easy henna mix to start with and
gives fantastic results.
Beachcombers Bazaar offers a few kinds of power henna, standard powder
henna, triple sifted Jamila powder henna (professional henna), and
organic Rajasthani henna (professional henna). You can
read about the differences in
these hennas here.
If you are still unsure of what kind of henna is right for you or if you
want to try it all, try the Beachcombers! Ultimate Starter Kit
Beachcombers Sampler Started Kit. They contain both pre-mixed henna paste
and henna powder along with the basic henna tools and supplies you will need to start your henna adventure. After you have had some fun with the different types of henna you can re-order
just what henna products you like from Beachcombers! Henna Products,
because you already have all the accessories you need.
of Common Terms
- a plant, lawsonia inermis. The leaves are dried and
ground into a very fine powder that is then made into a paste for
staining the skin and dying the hair. The art of mehndi (henna
as a skin stain) is most often referred to as simply henna.
Henna leaves a stain on the skin that can range between orange,
brownish, deep reddish, or similar and lasts between 5 days and 4
weeks depending on circumstances.
- the art of using henna as a skin stain for creating
temporary henna tattoos on the skin. The art of mehndi is most
often referred to as simply henna. Mehndi is the Arabic word
- often refers to a substance that stains the skin jet black
claiming to be henna. Henna is NEVER black unless mixed with
other substances. Any
"henna" that leaves a dark black stain that lasts more than a day or
two is very dangerous and likely contains PPD.
- often called coal tar, PPDA, para-Diaminobenzene,
Rodol™, or Ursol™.
P-Phenylenediamine is a chemical used in hair dye, "black"
henna, and other substances. PPD is a well known contact
allergen and can cause severe life-long allergic reactions.
PPD should NEVER be applied directly to the skin. Every time a
person is exposed to PPD, it increases their risk of a reaction and a
more severe intense reaction.
- can refer to an number of different oils to mix with henna powder.
Myrtle, lemon, lavender, cajeput, and
tea tree oils are often referred to as henna oil. Know what is
in your henna oil, as some oils are actually kerosene, gasoline, or other
petroleum based oil.
- used to create a darker longer lasting henna tattoo. Sealers
are applied after the henna has set, but before the henna is dry and
cracking. A number of items can be used as a henna sealer
including spray bandage, liquid latex, lemon sugar mixture,
hard-hold hair gel, or even
Elmer's glue with water.
Moroccan Syringe Tip Applicator Bottles
- these henna applicators use blunt syringe tips to control the
henna flow. They can be used with soft plastic bottles
or with a syringe. These are NOT used to
pierce the skin, only to apply henna on top of the skin.
Moroccan applicators come with either plastic and steel tips or
lifetime professional stainless steel tips (much harder to find, but
worth it). They also often work with multiple size bottles,
1/2 oz and 1oz.
Professional Metal Tip Jaq Applicator Bottles
- these applicator bottles are typically 1/2 oz soft plastic bottles
with removable nips. Machined stainless steel tips in multiple
sizes can be applied on the nip for extra fine henna lines and
extreme control of application. These are often referred to as
jac or jaq bottles.
- used to transfer a design to be hennaed to the skin. The
design is traced or free-hand drawn to create a transfer on a
piece of paper. Using a drop of activator on the skin, the
paper transfer is pressed to the skin, leaving a transfer that henna
can be applied over. This allows for a professional looking
henna design regardless of artistic ability. It is very useful
for complicated "knot" style designs, symmetrical designs, or things
like company logos. Also good for giving a "henna" design to children
too young to be hennaed.
Transfer Paper Activator
- a glycerin based solution used to apply a transfer to the skin.