How Do I Become a Henna Artist?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Henna artists make designs using dye made from the foliage of the henna tree. Often, a person with this title also creates henna tattoos, which remain on the skin temporarily. To become a henna artist, you will typically need to develop artistic skills of high enough caliber to create henna designs for pay. Taking a few art classes may help you build basic drawing skills, and then you can buy a henna kit and practice making designs on paper, cloth, and your loved ones' skin. Once you have developed enough skill to sell your work, you should create a plan for selling your art, such as at festivals and fairs, through a shop you set up, or by answering ads placed by people in need of henna designs.

Henna artists need artistic skills to create body art designs.
Henna artists need artistic skills to create body art designs.

Unlike many other career choices, becoming a henna artist doesn't usually require a high school or college education. Since you may end up running your own business, however, you will likely benefit from building basic reading, math, and writing skills. You might also consider taking a business class at a local college or university to gain the type of knowledge you'll need if you start a business as a henna artist. Additionally, getting training in sales or gaining experience with customer service may help you build the sales and communication skills you will likely need once you become a henna artist.

Some henna artists run their own business.
Some henna artists run their own business.

Artistic skill is necessary when you want to become a henna artist. You might have natural artistic talent and work to build your skills at home via books about drawing and painting and possibly by using online art tutorials. Taking drawing and painting classes through a local community college or art school can also be beneficial. Such classes can help you learn and improve a range of artistic techniques that may help you succeed once you become a henna artist. If you can find a class specifically intended for teaching henna artistry techniques, you might benefit from taking such a class as well.

You will also have to gain experience working with the natural dye made from henna tree foliage when you want to become a henna artist. This means practicing artwork creation using this dye on your own. You can purchase a henna kit that contains a selection of henna dyes and tools for this purpose and practice creating art on various types of paper and cloth. Enlisting family and friend volunteers to be recipients of temporary tattoos may also help you prepare for this career.

Jobs for henna artists are not typically as readily available as other types of positions. For this reason, you may have to start your own business and seek clients interested in your artistry. As such, you will need a plan for where and how to sell your work, such as at fairs, festivals, and special events; via a store you open; or as a freelance artist who finds clients through advertisements and word of mouth.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


@discographer-- There is a beauty school in my area that offers classes in henna designs. Henna is actually becoming more and more popular in the US. Some artists work freelance, but certain salons are starting to offer it as well. Those who are interested in safe, temporary tattoos are preferring henna. So you might find classes in your area.


@discographer-- I don't think there are any schools that teach henna. You can actually learn from anyone who has a good handle on it. Try contacting the Indian associations in your area and ask if there is someone who would want to teach you mehndi. Mehndi is what Indians call henna.

I had Indian friends in college and most of the girls knew how to do henna designs. Since they use henna so often for special occasions and events, every girl is like a henna artist.

You can also find information and pictures of designs online. You can even buy a henna kit to get you started. I think practice makes perfect, so keep practicing. You can practice on paper or practice on your friend's hands! Beware that some of these henna kits contain old henna so their color doesn't come out very good. Fresh henna results in the best dark color.


I want to learn how to make henna designs and do it as a freelance/part time job in my free time. I think that henna designs are beautiful and it must be fun as well. But where can I learn this skill? Are there any schools that actually teach this?

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