Henna tattoos; what are they? where can I get one?

by Railah Iqbal

With the festivals and wedding season in full swing, Henna; a form of semi-permanent tattoo is back on the beauty scene.

Sunya's henna pattern- courtesy of Sunya Hira

Sunya’s henna pattern- courtesy of Sunya Hira

Henna also known as ‘mehndi’ is a paste of crushed leaves, from a henna plant and the paste is used to make decorative body art.

Designs can be created all over your body and it is quite popular with both males and females. It generally tends to last for 3-4 weeks.

The most popular form is bridal henna as brides gett their hand and feet covered in the Arabic art form. Henna is thought to complete the beauty of the bride in eastern Asian culture and this form of make-up artistry is trending in Western parts of the world too.

Sunya's henna design on me- courtesy of Sunya

Sunya’s henna design on me- courtesy of Sunya

You can go along to any beauty salon or most melas or festivals, held in the summer, to get your henna tattoo and prices range from £3- £8 for one tattoo, depending on the area of the body you want it on.

Henna is not at all dangerous; it merely stains the thicker part of your skin to leave behind imprints of the design.

Sunya Hira- Henna artist (courtesy of Sunya)

Sunya Hira- Henna artist (courtesy of Sunya)

Sunya Hira, a freelance henna artist speaks to Polka Dots & Potions about how she developed an interest in henna artistry, the popularity of the art and how to make sure your henna design stands out.

How did you become a freelance henna artist?

“From a young age, I had an interest in henna when I saw people do it during festivals and occasions.

As I’m a creative person anyway, I like to take art forms and experiment with them. Henna artistry gives me the best opportunity to express my creative streak because if it doesn’t go to plan, it will wash off and I can start over.”

When is it most popular for people to want henna designs?

“I am busiest on occasions especially celebrations and henna parties. During the summer is best to get a henna tattoo done because it is a cold substance so the warmth in the air makes it come on better.

I have both men and women clients come to me for henna tattoos. People have a choice to pick their own designs from a range in a henna catalogue or they can let me free-style with the designs.”

How do people get the best results out of their henna tattoo?

“To make sure you get the most from your henna tattoo, you have to keep the henna paste moist for at least one hour then apply a lemon and oil mixture for extra moisture. You can then wrap a cloth or cling film around the designs after it dries, to make sure the paste stays on.

The shade of the design depends on which body part it is applied to, henna works best on your hands and arms. The best result is when it turns into a dark red colour.”

If you fancy giving it a go yourself, check out this tutorial:

Read more stories from Railah