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Mehndi Tattoos

Updated on January 25, 2012

What are mehndi henna tattoos?

Henna tattoos (mehndi) are temporary tattoos that became popular in the west in the 1990s. They are typically applied to the hands and feet of women preparing themselves for weddings or special ceremonies. In some parts of the world, getting a mehndi is as common as getting a manicure or pedicure in the US.

Mehndi designs tend to be very intricate, focusing on floral patterns, geometric themes and other varieties.

Men are even starting to have henna tattoos applied now however. They are completely natural, temporary and, best of all, painless!


Mehndi is the Indian word for henna.

Madonna Mehndi Tattoos
Madonna Mehndi Tattoos

Famous mehndi

Western stars who've sported mehndi tattoos

Most people saw Madonna sporting mehndi henna tattoos. What other celebrities get this decoration applied? Sting and his wife Trudy. Prince (the artist formerly known as), Gwen Stefani, Mira Sorvino, Elijah Wood, Justine Bateman, Pink, Liv Tyler, Yasmine Bleeth, Kassim Ouma (professional boxer), Michael Katsidis (professional boxer), Erika Badu, Nicole Eggert..

Natural Expression's website published this pictorial of celebrities adorned with henna body art.

The Indian website mehendi additionally lists Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore, Darryl Hannah, Angela Bassett, Laura Dern, Kathleen Robertson and Naomi Campbell.

What is the process?

How are mehndi tattoos applied?

The Method Of Application

Mehndi tattoos are temporary skin decorations made by applying a paste of mehndi plant-based henna dye. The paste leaves a brown to red marking on the skin that will fade within 1 to 4 weeks depending on the type of application used.

Some mehndi artists apply their work freehand, whilst others will use stencils or guides. The application consists simply of painting the henna paste onto the skin. Nothing is applied beneath the skin's surface (as with tattoos), thus the temporary nature of this skin decoration.

Watch Mehndi Tattoos Being Created - This intricate design is applied freehand

Watch as a mendhi artist paints their design freehand on the inner forearm, wrist and palm of a bride.


Where can I get my own mehndi tattoo?

Places where you can get a mehndi tattoo

Types of salons that usually apply mehndi tattoos and a few links to mehndi salons.

Professional mehndi artists will offer their services in Indian salons. Increasingly, traditional tattoo parlors are also offering mendhi applications.

If you're ambitious, you can try to apply your own mendhi. "Mehndi tattoo kits" consist of a pre-mixed tube of henna, stencils for applying the henna and other needed utensils. These are sold in a variety of locations, even on eBay!


How much will a mehndi tattoo set me back?

The amount of money spent on a mehndi henna tatto varies about as much as that of real tattoos (or even hair cuts or dye jobs) does. It will depend on a variety of factors: the complexity of your design; the exclusivity of the salon; the skill of your artist; the size of your design..

At home henna kits usually run between $10 to $20.

Buy Mehndi Stencils on - Get intricate designs even if you have zero artistic skill

Use mehndi stencils to create intricate looking hand-painted mehndi designs yourself. Here is an entire kit available for sale on, including the henna paste, tools and stencils.

Instant Mehndi Henna Tattoos - Do it at home by yourself!

Can't make it to a salon to get this done? Maybe you don't have a salon close to you that performs mehndi tatttoos. That's OK, order these instant mehndi tattoos online from eBay!

Avoid "blue" or "black" hennas

The dyes used have a tar base to them and can be dangerous when absorbed through the skin.

Great Mehndi Tattoo Body Art Books - Traditional Mehndi Designs and More.

If you're interested in Mehndi, you may want to get a few books illustrating the traditional Mehndi Designs and telling you a little more about this Indian art form. Here are some books available on


How do I get rid of temporary mehndi tattoos?

They fade naturally.

Usually within 1 to 4 weeks.

A good indication of how long the mehndi will last is how well the color takes initially. If the color is a nice, rich and deep color, the mehndi will last longer. If the mehndi didn't take that well, it also won't last a long time.

There is a saying that when a bride's henna comes out darker on her hands, her husband will love her more.

If you want to get of a mehndi tattoo you've had applied before it fades, you can try the following methods:

  • swimming in a highly-chlorinated pool for at least an hour
  • spending time in a jacuzzi or "hot tub"
  • swimming in the ocean
  • applying ReNu contact lens solution to the offending design
  • applying Crest ultra-white, ultra-brightening toothpaste and let it stay on for 20 minutes, then scrub..
  • scrubbing alot

Are you a Mehndi Artist or Afficionado?

Want to showcase your own work?

Sign up at Squidoo and start writing your own lenses! Its alot easier than you think and it offers you an excellent opportunity to showcase your own mehndi work and design! Send me a message with your lens' address and I'll give you my feedback!

Squidoo Affiliations - I'm a member!

Have you ever had a mehndi tattoo? Why did you get one? Was it for a wedding, other special day or maybe just to be cool? Do you have a real tattoo of a mehndi design? Did you just find out about this? Leave your comments here.

Contact Laura Schofield

*If you would like to suggest any links or have your own photos and / or stories published, please send me an email. I can be contacted through my personal homepage, If you enjoy the work I've done here, I do offer professional copy writing, photo restoration / manipulation, search engine optimization and web design services. I can again be contacted for any of these services through my website.

Contact this page's author or leave a comment here - Your views on mehndi

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Just nice!

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • dawngibson lm profile image

      dawngibson lm 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the warning about questionable hennas. My cousins and I plan to do henna at our next gathering.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for this great lens! I love henna designs!

    • Laura Schofield profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schofield 

      7 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      @Tyla MacAllister: Thanks for the blessing. You know, I've got a permanent tattoo, but never had a henna one :/ I think I'm going to give it a try this summer!

    • Tyla MacAllister profile image

      Tyla MacAllister 

      7 years ago

      I think Mehndi tattoos are beautiful. I could never get a permanent tattoo but I would like to try a henna one. I think it might look good with my coloring. And if I don't like it will be gone soon enough.

      *Blessed by a SquidAngel.*

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Henna tattoos are a great choice for those who don't want a permanent tattoo.

      Thumbs Up!

    • LotusMalas profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice! Very comprehensive guide to Mehndi tattoos! They are so lovely and delicate. I've been meaning to have one done for quite some time, but have yet to do it.


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