Henna tattoos made easy for beginners.  Mehndi, the art of henna.Henna Help & Info
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Traditional henna design with Arabic overtones.
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Henna tattoo using a Professional applicator bottle with metal tip, also known as a jac bottle

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Henna tattoo using a Moroccan syringe tip bottle with blunt tip syringe needle



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Color & Longevity of Mehndi Henna Tattoos
Jody using a traditional henna cone for mehndi tattoos.There are many things that will effect the results of your henna.   Below are a few of the major factors to consider.  Keeping these factors in mind while doing henna, will help you get the best possible henna stain.

  • The cleanliness of the skin being tattooed. 
    Oils, lotions, sun block, and sweat are all barriers that will prevent the henna from staining as darkly as it could.
  • The part of the body being hennaed.
    Thicker skin stains better than thinner skin.  Generally you can assume palms of the hands and soles of the feet stain the best and the further away from these areas you get, the lighter the henna tattoo stain.
  • How long the moist henna is in contact with the skin.
    The longer the better.  I suggest a minimum of 4 hours to overnight.  Be sure the henna is not "floating" on top of any hair.
  • Body temperature is a HUGE factor in releasing henna dye.
    People with higher body temperature typically get better stains.  You can add heat by using a wrap on your henna design.  Learn about how temperature effects henna here.
  • How the dried henna is removed.
    Do NOT use water when removing the dried henna paste.  The paste should be scraped off and any stubborn bits can be removed using henna oil or olive oil.
  • How well the henna tattoo is cared for.
    Water should be avoided for as long as possible (24 hours is the goal, but normally not possible).  Avoid anything that will exfoliate the skin (chlorinated water, salt water, cleaners, face wash, smoothing lotions).
  • The henna mix that was used.
    Fresh mixed henna will leave better longer lasting color than pre-mixed henna.  Play with your henna recipe to find what works best for you.  Keep in mind that you must allow sufficient time for the henna to release it's dye when you mix your own henna.  I highly recommend using one of our professional brands of henna, Jamila henna or ORa Organic Rajasthani henna.

Remember, after the henna paste is removed, the henna is not at its full color.  It will continue to cure in your skin releasing dye molecules for 24-72 hours after henna paste removal.

Below is the Beachcombers Favorite Henna Recipe henna from Beachcombers standard powder henna and was left on for about 6 hours on me.  I have very low blood pressure and I'm always cold.  This means I have to work extra hard to get good color with my henna, lol!  I hope you are not cursed with the same!  A lemon sugar sealer was used, but the design was not wrapped and no additional heat was used.  For darker color, use our professional henna powder brands.

Henna design with wet henna paste still on the skin

< Drying henna paste with a lemon sugar sealer.


Henna design with paste imediately removed, before curing

< Henna tattoo moments after paste removal.  The henna still needs time to cure to develop full color.

Henna tattoo design 36 hours after henna paste removal

< The same henna tattoo approximately a day and a half after the henna paste removal.  Nothing special was done during this time, this is just the natural life cycle of henna.    v

~ More about super dark henna color here ~

Henna and glass Indian bangles at Beachcombers Grand Opening.What Kind of Henna is Best for Me?

New to henna? Overwhelmed with the choices?  Don't know the differences between different kinds of henna?  Beachcombers to the rescue!  Learn the pros and cons of each type of henna so that you can select the henna that is best for your needs.

What is henna?
Henna is a bush (lawsonia inermis) that when ground into a very fine powder and made into a paste, stains your skin leaving a temporary tattoo. Henna used in this artistic form is called mehndi (in India), though most people still refer to the art of mehndi as simply henna.  Henna is also used to color the hair, but this article is about henna as a skin stain, not henna as hair color.

Henna was originally used as a way to cool the body in the desert.  People would cover the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet with henna and found that as long as there was a stain, their body temperature stayed lower.  This practiced migrated from covering the entire palms and soles to one large dot in the center and, eventually, to artistic designs.

A seldom realized henna fact:  Henna is a permanent stain.  The henna does not fade away, the skin exfoliates off and thus "fades" the henna design.  Skin typically exfoliates completely in a cycle of every 20-30 days.

You should NEVER use henna without listed ingredients or henna that contains any type of chemicals.  All Beachcombers henna is chemical-free and has all natural ingredients listed in the book or flyer. Learn more about the dangers of PPD and chemical laced henna here.

A natural henna tattoo will start out orange, just after paste removal.  The tattoo will continue to cure over the following day or two darkening to a brownish or reddish hue.  You can expect good color 5-10 days and the stain will be completely gone in 1-3 weeks depending on a number of factors.

Anything called henna that leaves a deep black stain and lasts more than a day or two contains PPD and is dangerous.  Read about the dangers of "black henna" here.

Henna is available in pre-mixed paste or powder that you mix into your own paste.  Pre-mixed henna paste is super easy and ready to use, giving good results.  Powder henna needs to be mixed and takes a bit of time, but can yield exceptional results.

Standard Natural Henna
Pre-mixed Henna Paste vs. Henna Powder
Is premixed henna paste or henna powder right for you?  Well, that depends on what you are looking for from your henna tattoo and how much work you want to do to achieve those results.

Wet henna paste on the skin.        Henna tattoo 36 hours after henna application.
Pre-mixed paste (picture coming soon) is easy and fun leaving a lighter color.
Powder henna is what you need for long lasting dark henna tattoos.

Looking for fun, easy, short term results from your henna tattoo?
Pre-mixed paste henna is for you. If you don't want to be stuck with a henna design that will last for 3 weeks or more (especially if you are new and want to practice often or to change your henna design often), pre-mixed henna paste does not stain the skin as deeply as freshly mixed powder.  Pre-mixed henna designs typically last 5-15 days and are not as dark as freshly mixed henna powder.  This gives you a bit more flexibility and is more forgiving when you are a henna beginner.  Pre-mixed henna paste is super easy to use.  Just knead the cone or tube and apply your design.

As you grow as a henna artist or if you want darker longer lasting results, you can help your pre-mixed paste by mixing in some natural ingredients and/or using a sealer to keep the moist henna in contact with your skin longer.  This is a great way to create a bridge between using pre-mixed henna paste and mixing your own henna straight from henna powder.

Tips for helping pre-mixed paste
(applicator required: empty cones, applicator bottles...)
Squeeze your pre-mixed henna paste into a small bowl.  Add sugar in a ratio of approximately 4 parts henna to 1 part table sugar.  Mix WELL.  Mix REALLY WELL.  Allow the henna sit for a minimum of 1 hour in a warm location away from sunlight. 

Serious about henna?  Looking for extra-dark long-lasting henna tattoos?

Our fresh henna powder is the henna for you! Mixing your own henna paste from powder is more time consuming but can yield astonishingly good results.   Be ready to commit to your henna design, as results typically last 2-3 weeks with some designs leaving traces up to 5 weeks with exceptionally good care.  One of the best things about mixing your own henna is you get to create your own personal henna recipe.  The Beachcombers Favorite Henna Recipe is a very easy henna mix to start with and gives fantastic results. 

Beachcombers Bazaar offers a few kinds of power henna, standard powder henna, triple sifted Jamila powder henna (professional henna), and organic Rajasthani henna (professional henna).  You can read about the differences in these hennas here

If you are still unsure of what kind of henna is right for you or if you want to try it all, try the Big Bad Henna Starter Kit.  This kit contains both pre-mixed henna paste and henna powder along with the basic henna tools and supplies you will need to start your henna adventure.  After you have had some fun with the different types of henna you can re-order the specific henna products you like, because you already have all the accessories you need.   v

Henna Glossary of Common Terms

- a plant, lawsonia inermis.  The leaves are dried and ground into a very fine powder that is then made into a paste for staining the skin and dying the hair.  The art of mehndi (henna as a skin stain) is most often referred to as simply henna.  Henna leaves a stain on the skin that can range between orange, brownish, deep reddish, or similar and lasts between 5 days and 4 weeks depending on circumstances.

- the art of using henna as a skin stain for creating temporary henna tattoos on the skin.  The art of mehndi is most often referred to as simply henna.  Mehndi is the Arabic word for henna.

Black Henna
- often refers to a substance that stains the skin jet black claiming to be henna.  Henna is NEVER black unless mixed with other substances.  Any "henna" that leaves a dark black stain that lasts more than a day or two is very dangerous and likely contains PPD. 

PPD (para-Phenylenediamine)
- often called coal tar, PPDA,
para-Diaminobenzene, para-Aminoaniline, Orsin™, Rodol™, or Ursol™.  P-Phenylenediamine is a chemical used in hair dye, "black" henna, and other substances.  PPD is a well known contact allergen and can cause severe life-long allergic reactions.  PPD should NEVER be applied directly to the skin.  Every time a person is exposed to PPD, it increases their risk of a reaction and a more severe intense reaction.

Henna Oil
- can refer to an number of different oils to mix with henna powder.  Myrtle, lemon, lavender, cajeput, and tea tree oils are often referred to as henna oil.  Know what is in your henna oil, as some oils are actually kerosene, gasoline, or other petroleum based oil.

Henna Sealer/Sealant
- used to create a darker longer lasting henna tattoo.  Sealers are applied after the henna has set, but before the henna is dry and cracking.  A number of items can be used as a henna sealer including spray bandage, liquid latex, lemon sugar mixture, hard-hold hair gel, or even Elmer's glue with water.

Moroccan syringe tip henna applicator bottleProfessional ORa Moroccan Syringe
Tip Applicator Bottles

- these henna applicators use blunt syringe tips to control the henna flow.  These are the best and highest quality tips available! They can be used with soft plastic bottles or with a syringe.  These are NOT used to pierce the skin, only to apply henna on top of the skin.  Moroccan applicators come high quality polished steel tips.  They also work with multiple size bottles, 1/2 oz and 1oz. 

Jac or Jaq metal tip henna applicator bottle

Professional Metal Tip Jaq Applicator Bottles

- these applicator bottles are typically 1/2 oz or 1 oz soft plastic bottles with removable nips.  Machined stainless steel tips in multiple sizes can be applied on the nip for extra fine henna lines and extreme control of application.  These are often referred to as jac or jaq bottles.

Transfer Paper
Beachcombers! henna transfer paper for henna tattoos- used to transfer a design to be hennaed to the skin.  The design is traced or free-hand drawn to create a transfer on a piece of paper.  Using a drop of activator on the skin, the paper transfer is pressed to the skin, leaving a transfer that henna can be applied over.  This allows for a professional looking henna design regardless of artistic ability.  It is very useful for complicated "knot" style designs, symmetrical designs, or things like company logos.  Also good for giving a "henna" design to children that are too young to be hennaed.

Transfer Paper Activator
- a glycerin based solution used to apply a transfer to the skin.


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