What Exactly Is Henna?
Henna tattoos are temporary tattoos that are drawn directly onto the body using a special type of ink, which gives the tattoos their name. The ink is made from the dried, powdered leaves of the henna plant, which is a small, flowering shrub that is native to northern Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Because these particular tattoos are drawn on rather than transferred directly from a temporary tattoo transfer, they can be as completely original and unique as you want them to be. They are the perfect alternative to getting an actual tattoo because they are long-lasting, and yet they do fade in time and can be washed off with alcohol or alcohol swabs if you need to get rid of them before they fade naturally.
Where Did Henna Originate?
The art of applying henna tattoos, also known as mehndi, dates back as far as the ancient Egyptian time period. It is widely believed that even the beautiful Cleopatra used henna to decorate her hands and body, and archaeologists have proven that the Egyptians used henna to decorate the bodies of their mummies to make them more beautiful and pleasing to look at. Mehndi has also been linked to India, Persia, and many of the Slavic countries. Today, people all over the world use henna to decorate themselves.
Is The Tattooing Process Safe?
The answer to this is yes, absolutely, 100 percent! Mehndi is a completely non-invasive process. Because henna temporary tattoos are simply drawn onto the skin, there are no needles or other invasive instruments used in their application. They are drawn or painted on the skin in much the same way as people face-paint or draw on themselves with pens or markers.
In fact, because henna ink is made from an organic, all-natural source (the henna plant), it is actually much safer for you than drawing or painting on yourself with common paints and inks. The ink is hypoallergenic and is sourced naturally from the henna plant, meaning it won't leave your skin feeling raw, itchy, or burned. It is safe enough for people with even the most sensitive skin, and it has, in fact, been proven to help skin. Scientists have been testing henna for years to back up the claims that it helps treat skin conditions, and they have found some pretty amazing results. Some of the illnesses and maladies that henna has been known to effectively treat are:
- Athlete's Foot
- Burns and Scrapes
- Hair Loss
However, before using henna ink or henna temporary tattoo kits, you should always check the ingredients in the ink to make sure you aren't allergic to any of the extra additives some inks have to enhance their colors. Some inks do contain grapefruit, lemon, and orange cosmetic oils for just this purpose.
When Should I Use Henna Temporary Tattoos?
These tattoos are incredibly versatile in many different ways; they can be used by many different types of people of all ages, ethnicities, and colors, and they can be used for many different occasions in a person's life, ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary.
For years, people of the Hindu faith have been using henna as a way to decorate brides' hands on their wedding days to symbolize happiness, joy, beauty, and spirituality. People of Africa use henna to decorate their bodies for all types of ceremonies and rites of passage. People who live in Morocco even use henna on their doors to keep away evil spirits!
Over the last several years, though, henna has become much more popular in the United States, Canada, and other regions because of its elegant beauty and easy application. Many people want tattoos, but tattoos are often expensive and, of course, they are sometimes painful. Furthermore, there is always the risk of diseases from infected needles with real tattoos. Henna temporary tattoos are a gorgeous compromise; they are 100% safe; they are not painful in the least; they are inexpensive; and they look just as amazing as real tattoos.
Now people use henna for special occasions such as weddings, proms, homecomings, birthday parties, and more. Another popular option for some people is to get henna symbols and designs painted on them while on vacation. Still other people use henna in their normal, every day lives just because they love how the tattoos look and how they make them feel. Plus, because henna is so inexpensive and can be done at home with henna temporary tattoo kits, just about anyone can do their own mehndi.
Who Can Use Henna?
Henna can be used by anyone. Both men and women can use henna, although it is typically used by more women than men. People of all ages - from children to seniors - can safely use henna because it is naturally sourced and hypoallergenic. Henna also works well with all shades and colors of skin.
Henna designs can also be put anywhere on the body. From the tips of the fingers and toes to the back, the chest, or the bikini line - there is literally nowhere henna can't go!
What Are The Pros And Cons?
The pros of henna are many, and the cons are very few. We will start with the pros:
- They look amazing.
- The ink has many health benefits.
- Skin after henna becomes fresher and firmer.
- They can be applied anywhere on the body.
- Henna does not leave a sticky residue on skin.
- They are easy to draw (and stencils are available if you can't draw well).
- They are inexpensive and can be changed as often as desired.
- They are beautiful but not permanent.
Henna does not have many cons; however, there are a few:
- They are temporary, so if you get one you love, it isn't going to last forever.
- Depending on certain factors (prolonged sun or water exposure), they can fade in 5 days.
- If you receive a sunburn and begin to peel, your tattoo will peel, as well.
What Kind Of Designs Is Henna Capable Of Making?
As mentioned already, henna is simply drawn onto the skin, so the possibilities for designs are endless. If you can draw it, you can make it into a henna design. However, for those of us who aren't quite as artistic as others, there are stencils available to help.
There are letters, words, phrases, butterflies, floral designs, cartoon characters, animals, and symbols from which to choose, and they are all incredibly easy to use. So whether you are in the mood for something fun and flirty or something more elegant and mature, henna definitely has something for you!