Home » Knowledge Base » What Are Henna Tattoos? – The Complete Guide

What Are Henna Tattoos? – The Complete Guide

If you want a tattoo, but do not want to feel the needles or pain, or you are indecisive with choosing permanent designs, maybe Henna will suit you, because it does not hurt, and does not last forever.

These tattoos are getting quite popular even though they are not something new and recent. I am sure you agree that painless tattoos sound perfect, so let’s see below what this is exactly.

The Henna tattoo is a short-term tattoo on the skin that is made with the pigment of the Henna plant. This type of temporary tattoo is a trademark in certain religions and cultures, and a crucial part of celebrations and rituals. Another name for henna tattoos is “mehndi”, and is most popular in India as a part of cultural ceremonies, such as weddings.

How are Henna tattoos made?

Let’s start at the very beginning! So, we stated that the henna is a plant that gives the pigment for these gorgeous temporary tattoos. Still, we need to look at all the steps that come before the tattoo session itself, for example, how is the pigment made and so on.

The process is not simply getting the color from a seller and just drawing on the skin – well it is, but it goes way back. This plant is amazingly powerful since it provides us with a cool tattoo ink that fades after some time.

First, those making the pigment must take the leaves and grind them up. Then, these dried leaves and their powder are mashed nicely to get the material for the tattoo!

How are Henna tattoos made

It is quite easy to mash and mix the “ink”. You, or the person drawing your henna, can just use some liquid to make a paste consistency (water, tea, natural juice, etc). You have to be patient with this paste, no using it unless 48 hours have passed. After two full days, you are ready to start the tattoo session!

Now, the fun part – the application, or tattooing. If you are the artist, feel free to use whatever feels right to you, a dispenser (as those for whipped cream), or toothpick or small brush to apply the pigment…

And this is where the magic happens; you won’t notice the bold color unless the plant pigment gets to the skin and touches it. Pretty neat, right? The final result of this skin & plant contact is a unique burgundy or ‘rusty’ shade. Remember, don’t be tempted to touch it or smudge it, just let it dry on the skin for several hours (4-6 is enough).

Read also: How to take off a Henna tattoo?

History of Henna tattoo

History of Henna tattoo

The beginnings of henna are not so clear and precise and you think. Yes, the origins date to the regions of the Middle East, India, Egypt, Africa, and probably around 5000 years ago as well. Can you believe that henna was used mainly for cosmetic purposes, and mostly in Egypt?

It might be hard to decipher all the small details and shapes, or the delicate meanings behind every specific design. They sure do look mysterious and lavishing.
But, have you wondered why the henna designs resemble one another so much in their details? They have their unique meanings, of course, but we have to admit they do look almost the same. This is because the basis for all henna designs is something supreme, a reality that we do not see or fully comprehend, something greater than us, singular, yet containing everything.

Usual placements

If you think about it, you probably say to yourself that you could get a henna tattoo just about anywhere on your body. And this is true, as with any other tattoo. But, still, there is some advice and tips that you could find quite useful. So far we know that certain body parts are more meaningful than others when it comes to symbolism and placement, but it’s good to check for sure.

If you decide on the palms, basically you will manifest many blessings and good fortunes your way! Not just this, but you will be able to spread this good energy to others around you as well.

Henna Tattoo placement

If you want henna on the upper side of your hands, the top side, you are drawing in more protection to yourself, and you can even make a huge design in this case, like half-sleeve going up toward the elbows as well. You can’t deny that this sounds extra cool, like wearing a charm for good luck, except it is art on the skin!

And, if you choose the feet for henna designs, you are giving yourself to piousness. This body part is special in this case because it means you are or will be incredibly devoted to your morals, God or Gods, and all your principles.

Read also: How Much do Henna Tattoos Cost

Most common henna tattoo designs

We don’t have to convince you about what to get once you decide you want a henna tattoo. However, we all notice how these tattoos have similar patterns and lines, and similar designs, yet so different and unique at the same time. So, we want to show you some details about the most popular designs and what they mean.

common henna tattoo designs

Flowers, blooms, and floral patterns

These look lovely and very elegant, and if you choose this design type, you know you made a classy choice, and have a sophisticated look. Well, the meaning of flower henna is also gorgeous as it looks – it means general happiness in Life, feeling love toward God or the deity you believe in, and in general a soul filled with bliss, love, and happiness. With floral henna, you also manifest luck in love! This is always a great thing, especially for young women who want to draw more positivity before their marriage or start of a romance.

In this context, the lotus flower stands out from all flowers. Get lotus henna, and you know that your marriage will be sacred and nothing will harm it or disrupt it. Both bride and groom can get the lotus on their skin to double the luck that follows!

Unique pattern “paisley”

You surely noticed these patterns on random objects, on fashionable clothes, or even some designs similar to the mandala coloring books?

The paisley patterns look beautiful and rich, and their meaning will amaze you. Do you know all those parts in the paisley that resemble water drops? Well, simply put, they mean drops of luck, blessings, and fertility. It is like an upgrade to the flower-henna meaning above – not just luck in love and partnered life, but even more good things, and above all, creating a family and reproducing easily.

Vines and leaves

henna tattoo design

We all want our relationships (and marriages) to last, and be filled with happiness and longevity. And, the henna design for this purpose is the vine and leaf pattern. If you choose this, the best placement would be the fingers or the top side of the palms. Do you see how the vines with leaves would combine well with the flowers or the paisley? It is all connected!

Peacocks, birds, swans

The meaning of these designs is the same as their looks – beautiful! Yes, the peacock means you appreciate elegance and beauty with grace. The swan is the same – a poised attitude of showing beauty. And lastly, the birds have a very unique meaning; they connect our Earthly world to the Heavens and transfer any messages to and from that place.


We all saw the Evil eye symbol at some point in our lives. Well, the symbol we all know is the nice blue eye with white and blue circles around, usually made to be a charm of porcelain or glass or similar, and its purpose is to send negative energy back to the sender. If you get the eye henna, you protect yourself from the envy of others.

Sahasrara symbol

Sahasrara symbol

Have you ever been reading about chakras? Or maybe you explored the symbols for each chakra?

You noticed those nice mandala-like designs and they looked like the chakra symbols? Or like henna designs? This Sahasrara symbol represents the Crown chakra (the purple one) which is associated with connection to everything, repetitions, and eternal blessings, neverending things. Maybe this is an ultimate symbol for you to get, and you will feel like you connect to major forces. This meaning is sublime, and you will open up your mind and soul to useful knowledge, and positive feelings.

Henna Fun Facts

  • In India, when a bride gets a tattoo like this, it is best to have very dark pigment. They believe that the darker the color, the better the marriage! If you think of getting henna, go darker of course!
  • Another Indian tradition is to write the name of the partner (to marry) into the henna design. The person who draws this hides the name henna very well, and the partner has to find this tattoo on the first wedding night. Consider it a very entertaining ice breaker from the old days, used for bride and groom to approach one another.

Now that you read about the basics and facts on Henna, you can start choosing your design. There are many patterns available online, but whatever you choose of the traditional ones is bringing you love and luck for sure. And stunning looks your way too!