How to Make Henna Tattoos Last Longer

Henna tattoos are a popular form of temporary body art made from the crushed leaves of a henna plant. Traced back to Ancient Egypt, henna tattoos have traditionally been used to celebrate joyous occasions such as weddings. After being applied to the skin, henna designs darken into a distinctive rusty burgundy hue over 24 to 48 hours. Typically, these tattoos fade with your skin's natural exfoliation after about two weeks, but you can make your henna tattoo last longer with a few extra measures.

Leave henna paste on for four to six hours after application before peeling off the skin. The longer you leave on the paste, the darker the tattoo will be. And the darker the tattoo is, the longer it will last. To ensure a darker stain, expose your henna tattoo to steam while the paste is still on, which will keep henna moist, prevent cracking and release more dye. When it comes time to remove paste, peel it off gently with a butter knife or by running it under water.

Keep your henna tattoo dry for 12 hours after removing paste. Moisture during this time will disrupt the darkening process and, in effect, shorten the life of your tattoo.

Avoid exposing your henna tattoo to sunlight within the first 48 hours. Keep henna covered to allow the tattoo to develop fully.

Moisturise the tattooed area with baby or massage oil daily. Moisturising keeps the top layers of skin healthy, prolonging the life of your tattoo.

Dab lemon juice on your tattoo. Lemon juice seals henna, protecting it from exfoliating, shaving and other potential harmful elements.

Treat the tattooed area carefully while showering or bathing; do not scrub it. Instead, lightly rub the area with mild soap and pat dry with a towel.

Steer clear of the pool. The chlorine in swimming pools can cause your body art to fade. If you must swim, cover your henna tattoo with spray bandage sealer.

Stay away from saunas and steam rooms, which expedite the skin regeneration process and, in turn, contribute to the natural exfoliation of your tattoo.

Things You'll Need

  • Butter knife
  • Baby or massage oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Mild soap
  • Spray bandage sealer
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About the Author

Genevieve Rice is a freelance writer currently living in Phoenix, Ariz. Rice has been published in a variety of publications, including the "Oklahoma Gazette," the "Oklahoma Daily" and "Boyd Street Magazine." She earned a Bachelor of Science in multidisciplinary studies from the University of Oklahoma.