What is a Henna Tattoo: Ultimate Guide in 2020

Not all tattoos are carried out with pain and needles. Some are just painted on and will last for a period.

Many have heard the word Henna as an art of tattooing without pain. In this article, we will know the history and the trend of this kind of art.

Mehndi (Urdu term) is famous for its full color and intricate designs, but through time, Henna evolved with styles and strokes that suit one’s personality.

Most people nowadays have their Henna for a trial of their dream ink. After a certain period, they will decide if they will have it permanently or not.

Let us get on with the article and start exploring the world of Henna!

Some Facts About Henna

Henna Tattoo, also known as Mehndi, is made of dye from a henna plant or the  Lawsonia Inermis tree leaves. 

It is a shrub that can reach 6 to 25 feet in height and is usually native in northern Africa, India, Asia, and Australia in semi-arid and tropical climates.

This tattooing practice is known as a part of a tradition in weddings, other religious activities, and existing for thousands of years. People in many countries believe that henna protects against evil spirits and ensures luck.

Known as one of the Ancient arts, traditional Hennas are usually done on arms and feet and throughout India, used to dye hair, and it is known as a pre-wedding staple.

Henna is used as a medication to soothe headaches and fevers, and it is also considered a symbol of love, eternal youthfulness, and long life.

A Trendy Tradition

From a tradition, Henna evolved into a new and trendy way. Just a pair of white top and jeans, you can complete your look with it. Apart from being a tattoo, Henna also evolved into an accessory at some point.

Listed below are some of the trendy designs that will guide you to your dream, designs

Indian designs

These designs are elaborate and condensed at the same time. The designs are inspired by the arts of earth, emotions, and nature. 

Indian Designs of hennas are usually used for their wedding ceremony where the brides and grooms’ figures are often present with the design.

These designs are also commonly used during Diwali (Indian light festival)  and Karva Chauth (Indian festival of four days after the full moon on the month of Kartika). 

Here are some designs that will help you decide if you want these styles.

by MISHMA KAMAL (@brownhue_mehendi on Instagram)

by MISHMA KAMAL (@brownhue_mehendi on Instagram)

Artist Unknown

Arabic Designs

These designs are way different than Indian designs. It is not spread out, and most features of cashew patterns and a lot shading.

It also captures many admirers from India very quickly. The other term for this design is Mughlai design.

These elegant designs are more popular with young women in the region. Below here are some guides for these designs! Check it out. 

by HAARIA (@henna_by_haaria on Instagram)

by N A S H W A H K H A N (@Mehndibyhayat on Instagram)

by Aiz Henna (@aiz_henna on Instagram)

Indo-Arabic Designs

In this design, I would say that you will have the best of both worlds because it represents the best of both designs in the region. 

The design is a fusion of Indian and Arabic Designs that usually has pairings of cashew patterns from Arab, floral, and bird patterns from Indian design.

This trend does not have a real origin, but we are glad to start it. This is a kind of fusion turn into fruition.  

See if this one will fit you!

by Nida (@nida_creatives on Instagram)

By Henna Designer (@henna.designer123 on Instagram)

by Aynal (@aynalmehndi on Instagram)

Pakistani Designs

These designs came from the same region of Indian but this one does not include figures of brides and grooms; instead, everything was replaced by domes, flowers, and leaf patterns.

This design also highlights mandala patterns, although not as frequently, and is also greatly influenced by Arabic designs. Let us take a look at some fantastic examples of this design.

by @sk__mehndi on Instagram

by Ainee (@anyasalonandspa on Instagram)

Western Designs

In the western world, Mehandi or Henna is considered a medium of creativity and an exotic admiration. The Henna Designs in other regions has given birth to Henna tattoos in the west.

The designs here usually depicting geometric shapes, quirky patterns and imitate hand jewelry. Look, and maybe some of this will catch your eyes.

by Riya (@alankaar_mehndi_by_riya on Instagram)

Instagram: Nishu (@nishu_mehndi_art on Instagram)

by Riya (@alankaar_mehndi_by_riya on Instagram)

Indo-Western Design

A Mix of Indo and western design, another fusion, but it will surely catch your attention. Like the western design itself, this is usually worn as a style and statement but is far from the traditional henna designs.

A mix of east and west designs. The designs here are quite spaced out and features modern patterns along with traditional Indian techniques.


by Prachi Kothari (@mehendi_by_prachi on Instagram)

by Prachi Kothari (@mehendi_by_prachi on Instagram)

by Prachi Kothari (@mehendi_by_prachi on Instagram)

Moroccan Designs

This design is a lot look like western tribal tattoo art because of its zigzag and geometric patterns. Most of the features here are diamond shapes. Traditional tribal symbols and designs also inspire it.

Most of the designs here are not so feminine, and this one is more worn by males. It may not have the intricate designs of Indian, but this one is stunning without a doubt.

by Elizabeth Gomez (@thegomezeli.henna on Instagram)

by @moonchildmehndi on Instagram

by Sinahenna (@sinahennatattoo on Instagram)

Henna Tattoo FAQs

How long does a Henna Tattoo last?

Most people have their Henna last for 1 to 3 weeks, depending on your body temperature and where the henna is applied.

If you applied Henna on thick parts of your skin and less to get wet, it would last longer, even several weeks.

How can I make a tattoo last longer?

The best way to keep your Henna stay longer is always to keep the Henna part moisturized because natural skin exfoliation helps to deplete the color and let the ink bounce out the skin.  

Try not to use abrasive cleaning agents, and rubbing the part should also be avoided.

What is Henna Paste made from?

Henna is from the leaves of a plant that are harvested, dried, and powdered. Henna can also be used for dying hair and nails.

Due to innovation, some people are using hair dyes as a replacement for the real henna, making it more dangerous and banned in the US and some other countries.

What color is Henna?

Henna is usually green in color, but some are brownish-green. When it is mixed with a liquid(such as water, citrus juice, and tea) to make a paste, it turns into a darker shade of green.

The henna paste gives out the bright orange dye. This dye oxidizes over the next 48 hours to turn from an orange color to dark red or brown shades.

Who should not get Henna?

Even though Henna is accessible to anyone, always mind that not all people are eligible for having it. 

Kids under six years of age are not allowed to this due to their young skin’s sensitivity and why they are too young to stay still during the application.

Henna is also not advisable to people with allergies on Naphthalene, but they might consider having White Henna (a type of henna that is usually safe; it only sits on the top layer of the skin and only last for a few days.).

What should I expect from my first Henna Tattoo?

Some people say that getting applied by a natural Henna first time is so relaxing because of its smell and the henna paste’s cool sensation on the skin. 

It is also satisfying seeing an artwork that has been born before your eyes.

Other information on taking care of your Henna

  • Before applying henna to the skin, it is best to free your schedule afterward and clean the area being drawn on of any lotions or oils so the henna can sink into the skin.
  • Make sure to breathe in the essential oils and feel the relaxation throughout your mind and body as the designs flow out of the henna cone. 
  • Henna likes to stay warm and on the skin as long as possible, away from water, so it is best to cover it up once dried and leave it overnight.
  • The next day, or after 12 hours, you can flake off the henna with a plastic card and apply a natural balm. Once the 24-hour mark passes, water can be put on the design without disrupting the staining process.
  • The most exciting part about henna is that for 72 hours, the stain will change from bright orange to a deep brown/red color! If before and aftercare instructions are strictly followed, the design will stay on the skin for three weeks.


Henna Tattoos are traditionally used, but because of the innovation by this form of art, it has turned into a fashion trend accessible to anyone. It also shows us different styles and designs that represent a specific region where it came from. 

With Henna, you are not showing a thousand-year-old art and the beauty and the intricateness of the designs. Just make sure to find a legible artist with a good background of Henna Tattoo to do the job, for your safety.

Have you thought of having your first Henna Tattoo? Go ahead and try this unique art! It might even become an inspiration for your first tattoo.

Did you enjoy these Henna tattoo designs, or are you looking for more inspiration? Check out the following links to see more designs from talented artists.