What Are the Best Tips for Henna Removal?

Donna Tinus

Henna tattoos are temporary tattoos drawn on the skin with henna ink. Brides in India and other countries apply henna tattoos, called wedding mehndi, to their hands and, sometimes, feet before the wedding. Henna is not a permanent tattoo, and it will fade over time. The henna stain may take several days to fade, depending on where the henna is located on the body. The best tips for henna removal are to soak the area in salt water, exfoliate the skin, exercise to perspire and use hydrogen peroxide.

A pumice stone, which can help with henna removal.
A pumice stone, which can help with henna removal.

Soaking in a chlorinated pool or hot tub for a minimum of 15 minutes will help fade the henna tattoo. If if a large body of chlorinated water isn't available, soaking the area in salt water is recommended. The chlorine or salt aids in the removal of the ink that has penetrated the first few layers of skin. Table salt added to a bath will soak off some of henna applied to the body. Henna on hands and feet can be soaked in a bucket of salt water.

Exercise that causes perspiration, such as jogging, will aid in the removal of a a henna tattoo.
Exercise that causes perspiration, such as jogging, will aid in the removal of a a henna tattoo.

Aerobic exercise will cause perspiration, which will aid in the removal of the henna tattoo. Any activity that causes heavy perspiration should aid in removal of dead skin, thus removing the tattoo. Jogging, bike riding, tennis, squash, or any other aerobic exercise is recommended. After activity, a bath or shower with soap and an exfoliating loofah or pumice stone should help with the henna removal.

Salt can be added to water and used to help remove henna.
Salt can be added to water and used to help remove henna.

Hydrogen peroxide can aid in henna removal for some people. Applying the hydrogen peroxide to the tattoo with a cotton ball may help remove the temporary tattoo. This technique may not work for all skin types, but has proven to be an important aid in some henna removal. The solution is found over the counter in most drug stores and is a nontoxic, benign solution. If it doesn't work, no harm is done to the skin.

A person's skin type affects the rate at which henna is absorbed into her skin.
A person's skin type affects the rate at which henna is absorbed into her skin.

Henna adheres better to different areas of the skin. Skin type also affects the rate at which the henna is absorbed into the skin, thus influencing the rate of henna removal. Henna applied on the hands and arms should fade more quickly than henna applied on the back or feet. If a lemon and sugar preservative was applied after the henna, the tattoo may be more difficult to remove. Even without any active measures to remove the henna tattoos, they will eventually fade over time.

Henna tattoos will fade over the course of several days.
Henna tattoos will fade over the course of several days.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

discographer

I've been looking for a way to remove the dry henna paste from my hand. I usually wash it off, but that takes a long time and it also makes the henna fade faster. I finally found the right way to remove it.

I apply henna before I go to bed so it's completely dry by morning. In the morning, I use the back off a butter knife (it's not sharp), to scrape the dry henna off. Afterward, without even washing my hands, I apply almond oil. This is the best way to remove dry henna.

ddljohn

@fBoyle-- Did the tattoo artist not tell you that it takes about two weeks for the tattoo to fade?

I don't understand why you want to remove it. It will fade away on its own anyway. Henna on the hands fade the earliest because we wash our hands so often. I don't think that anything extra has to be done to remove it. Trying to exfoliate it and using chlorinated water will dry out and irritate your skin.

It's so weird for me to be talking about henna removal. I'm from India and henna is so important in our culture. We apply henna for all special events, especially at weddings. Brides have henna applied to their hands, arms, feet and legs. In fact we say that the darker the henna color comes out on the palms, the more the groom will love the bride. Brides are also not supposed to do any house chores until their henna fades.

So we actually want our henna to stay intact, we don't want it to fade!

fBoyle

I had a henna tattoo done on my hand at the mall two days ago. I want to get it off, I'm going to try the salt water. I hope it works!

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: