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How Long Does a Henna Tattoo Last?

Surprisingly, for a temporary tattoo, the henna lasts a while. Below are some tips and advice on making it last longer, and avoiding quick fading.

Since you are reading this, I guess that you probably want to get a henna tattoo, or already have one. And the main question that everyone would like to ask is about the longevity of this gorgeous temporary skin art. Let’s find out.

How long do Henna tattoos last?

The henna tattoo lasts circa two weeks, as a rule. Many factors will affect the longevity and quality of the stain, explained in detail in the sections and subheadings below.

How to prepare well for the henna tattooing?

It is very important that you prepare properly for the henna session, of course, if you want to make the process easier and better for you, as well as the expert doing it for you. Same as you would prepare for a regular permanent tattoo session! This doesn’t require much, and it involves basic, regular hygienic care that will not take more than a few minutes for you. Whether you do it yourself or leave it up to an expert, trust me, you want a well-prepared skin!

Make sure the skin where you want the henna is smooth, clean, and dry. Skip the lotions, or spritzes, or anything that you would usually slather on the skin. You need to arrive there without looking shiny with greasy and piled skin!

And, it doesn’t hurt if you take care of any hairs or fuzz there, just in case. The smoothness factor will just improve the overall simplicity in pigment application, and the skin dryness affects the henna quality. A piece of advice I could give you is to skip the wax this time and go for hair removal creams or shaving. With waxing, the hair root follicle is removed, and if it starts growing back fast, it could make the skin there more sensitive or itchy.

How to make henna last longer?

This is the fun and interesting part – read carefully because we have some tips that will keep your henna dark for long periods.

First, keep in mind that henna applied on warm body parts will last much longer. Goes without saying that palms and arms are a sure thing for this. This is why you see most such designs on the palms or surfaces of feet.

Then, avoid any kind of water and moisture in the first 24 hours after the session, because the paste must dry off well. Truth be told, it is dry in the first hour or so, but better safe than sorry, so keep it dry until the next day if you can.

For those DIYhenna fans, adding lemon juice, or sugar to the paste ensures potent pigment and better seeping of the color into the skin pores.

Still, do not tire yourself with what-ifs and how-tos, and simply leave this to a professional.

Products or ingredients to use and those to avoid (after-care)

You can do several things that will improve the quality of the pigment, and keep the skin underneath soft and supple. It’s like two birds with one stone! Here are some cosmetic products to avoid and use.

As we mentioned, avoid the scrubs and exfoliants, no matter how much you think you can gently use them over the skin. Also, other products that are not henna-friendly are baby oils, sunscreen, or vaseline, and similar grease products. They will most likely clog the pores and suffocate the skin.

When in the shower, try not to soap that part of the skin, or use too much foam on it. Keep in mind, sponges or loofahs are also a big NO.

The product that you can surely use to nourish the skin, and preserve the strong color is just organic coconut oil. A thin layer and you are good to go!

keep the henna longer

What to avoid to keep the henna longer?

Some other things to avoid to make the henna last longer, and keep a vibrant, dark pigment are.

1. Saunas (and tanning beds)

These two ‘rooms’ in beauty salons are no good for the henna colors. Excessive sweating in the sauna will kind of dilute the pigments which are on the skin surface. The heat of the sauna with the steam will open up skin pores and mess up the colors! Remember, this is a temporary tattoo, so colors can fade extremely quickly if you forget to take care of them.

Tanning beds, on the other hand, tighten the skin by drying it too much (not to mention damaging it long-term) and will reduce the contrast of skin vs. henna pigments.

2. Exfoliants

It goes without saying that if you treat the henna-skin abrasively, it will come off, simple as that. Avoid the fancy and nice-smelling skin scrubs for a while, at least on that skin patch, for about 2 weeks.

3. Gyms (or any spaces/places that increase sweating and skin flushing)

As you see this is quite similar to the point above, about the saunas and tanning beds. Anything that makes you extremely hot, like the beach, or beauty salon services mentioned above, or strenuous workout sessions in the gym are no good. Keep the henna skin as dry as possible, less sweaty, clean, and not very hot too!

Do some skin types play a big role for the henna longevity?

Briefly put, yes of course! The skin is the canvas for this temporary tattoo, and it is one of the most important factors to consider.

The alkalinity of the skin plays a huge role, and the more your skin is like this, the better the pigment. Just to remind you, ‘alkaline’ means the opposite of acidic. If this didn’t mean anything to you, well, if your skin is not acidic, and goes above the normal-average pH values – you get a better henna effect!

If you are naturally warmer on the skin surface, this will also keep your henna much longer.

Remember, pause all beauty salon services that mess with your skin! Skip the gym (at least in the first hours/days), and postpone the skin exfoliants. Keep it coconut-simple, and enjoy your henna!