How Long Does A Henna Tattoo Last?
Last Updated on July 23, 2021
written by tattoo artist Steven Martin
How Long Does A Henna Tattoo Last?
The art of henna has a rich cultural and traditional history, dating all the way back to Egyptian times. The emotions connected to the tradition of henna body art around important life events like weddings are very high.
People indulge in the hobby to seek meaning out of the deep roots that henna has imbedded throughout history. While getting a meaningful henna tattoo is a perfect addition to your body art collection, there always remains the soaring question of how long would it last?
This article is your one-stop shop to find answers to all the commonly asked henna tattoo questions and how to make them last longer as well.
How long does a henna tattoo last?
Everyone new to the art of henna has this question somewhere nestled in their heads. And rightfully so, as no one wants their fresh tattoos to fade. Henna tattoos usually last around one to two weeks if they’re on or around your hands. This is because your hands are in use almost all the time so that the tattoos may get rubbed off a lot, or when you wash your hands, the ink may start to fade.
However, if they are around your feet, they will last you longer than 2 weeks easily. The longest you can expect them to last is around 5 weeks tops. The time although, can be different for everyone and is hence not set in stone. The time can vary based on your skin, how often it exfoliates, and how much oil it produces.
Is henna safe?
Another popular question among many. Henna is perfectly safe for almost everyone. We say almost because some people with certain ailments may experience side effects as a result of henna. An example of this is children suffering from a G6PD deficiency who are the most at risk and need to be kept away from henna at all costs. So, the recommendation for getting a henna tattoo goes out to children over the age of 5. And even from age 5 to 12, they should only get a small design.
First and foremost, check the ingredients of the henna ink you get. If you are ever in doubt, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. We do not say this lightly, as many artists and manufacturers put strong chemicals in their henna mix to get a deeper, more permanent color. What they fail to realize is how dangerous this practice is. Not only can it harm the user and could be a serious violation of health, but it also harms the reputation of henna all around the world. So, pay close attention to what you are getting and try to get all-natural henna. Always read the ingredient list and do not buy if the manufacturer does not provide you with it.
How does henna stain the skin, and what color is traditional henna?
The release of stain from henna is a rather interesting process. When citrus from the ingredients you add to the henna mix binds with henna, it releases a dye known as lawsone. There are two parts to how it will stain your skin. First, it binds to a protein in your skin that allows it to stay on the surface. Then it binds with the oxygen in the air, which provides for an outside barrier, not allowing it to escape your skin. This whole process takes around 48 hours to develop properly.
As for the traditional color of henna, it is a royal shade of reddish-brown. However, the color may vary from light brown to dark and even blackish brown based on where you get the art from.
Tips for making your henna tattoo last longer:
- Mix your henna mixture properly:
Many people make this rather easily ignorable error when they are making their mix. You must use citric acid to make your powder thinner. You can use a lemon to do this. It will help release the dye from henna and also allow it to stay on your skin longer. Another cool life hack is to add sugar to your henna mix. Make sure you don’t mess up the ratios as you need exactly 1 part sugar to 5 parts henna mix. The sugar will prevent the dye from drying out, enabling it to stay on longer and develop a richer, deeper color.
Carefully wrap your tattoo after getting it with plastic wrap. Be cautious not to smear the design. Then cover it with warm towels as it will aid the dye in not drying out and hence develop a better color.
It’s all about the color and design, folks!
- Do less washing:
This part is, in some ways, quite the opposite of the routine after getting a traditional tattoo. While you need to keep the area of your traditional tattoo clean after getting it to avoid infections, there is no need for any of that here since your skin is not harmed. So, maintain your personal hygiene but don’t wash the henna design, so it is not disturbed while the color sets. Avoid using hard exfoliating agents as you do not want to get rid of the layer of skin that holds the ink.
Unlike your traditional tattoo, you may not want to shave your skin before getting a henna tattoo, as it will remove some important layers of skin needed for the dye to set perfectly.
Water is not good for your henna tattoo! It will only degrade it and fade the dye quicker. Let the dye go for at least 24 hours without washing it, and stay away from chlorinated pool water!
- Apply for longer durations:
Last but not least is simply applying the dye for longer time durations. The longer you leave the dye on your skin, the better color you will get at the end. Dye at a higher temperature is more potent; hence keeping it warm or applying it to areas of your body that are warm is highly recommended.
With all this information at your fingertips, you are ready and set for your henna tattoo. It is a beautiful art form and is respected throughout history for great reasons.
Add something meaningful to your life with a henna tattoo and wear it proudly! After all, you deserve it!