Henna Tattoo Designs are popular all around the world thanks to their fleeting appearance, solid colors, ease of application, and inexpensive materials. They are widely renowned both for their beauty and the amazing symbolism behind them. Henna tattoos are an ancient tradition in Africa, the Middle East, India, and many western Pacific islands. They are especially popular among brides and grooms on their wedding day. If you are looking to do something new and exciting, then getting a henna tattoo is right up your alley. They are temporary stains using a very safe material, so there’s not a downside to the experience. They may not be permanent, but they’re still beautiful.
What are Henna Tattoos?
Henna tattoos are made with a paste that is applied directly to the skin. The paste is made up of the leaves of a henna plant. The leaves by themselves don’t stain, but crushed leaves or powdered leaves will color the skin. Unlike traditional tattoos—which are more similar to scars—henna tattoos only affect the top layers of your skin. This is the reason that they are temporary—all of those top layers will fall off as they naturally would, taking the stain with it. Most henna pastes will have a few additives to prevent it from spoiling or drying up. The additives are nothing exotic, with lemon juice, water, molasses, and tea being the most popular of them. For the most part, authentic henna pastes will smell strongly of lemon juice…not pleasant, but tolerable for the period of time the paste will be drying. Mehndi is the art of henna tattooing, and some artists might call it that exclusively.
Traditional Henna Tattoo Designs and Meanings
But what is the real meaning behind henna tattoos? Getting a tattoo on your palm represents generosity, while the back of the hand represents inner strength. The right hand is masculine, while the left hand is feminine. Getting a tattoo on your feet even has its own special meaning—but we’ll talk more about that in a bit. If you are not getting your tattoo for an occasion, you can go wild with design ideas. Flowers, vines, and leaves represent life, joy, and energy. Birds represent the heavens, butterflies represent renewal, and fish represents a woman’s eyes. Oh, did that last one seem out of place? Well, I promise it’s not. In Hindu belief, it is a reference to the almond-eyed and very generous Avatar of Parvati, Minakshi.
Of course, the symbolism doesn’t stop there. The lotus blossom represents purity and strength in adversity, an eye by itself is said to ward off evil intentions, reptiles represent wisdom, and dragonflies represent rebirth. The sun, moon, and stars, along with any other celestial objects you can think of, represent a love that is as vast as the sky. The meaning behind henna tattoos varies between cultures, but these are general starting points.
Different occasions call for different types of henna tattoo designs. While it’s perfectly acceptable to get random designs drawn, bridal Mehndi designs with significance behind them are almost required for soon-to-be-weds who want to celebrate an ancient tradition. Women get their tattoos on their hands, feet, and sometimes upper back. Men get their tattoos on their arms, legs, back, and chest. These types of tattoos rarely feature animals and instead focus on geometric shapes. The sun and moon are easy to sneak in, along with the uniform shape of flowers. Sometimes vines and leaves can sneak in, since their shape resembles fractals. The real focus of these tattoos is beauty, so they will usually have very thin, precise lines and a design that covers as much of the hand as possible. The sheer amount of detail is enough to awe anyone, and if the artist is particularly good, their design can be absolutely mesmerizing.
Henna Tattoo Patterns & Stencils
Most henna tattoo artists will have a portfolio of designs to choose from to make the process more streamlined. Henna tattoos are a much less serious affair compared to actual tattoos, so don’t worry about picking a henna tattoo pattern on the fly. A competent artist will be able to mix and match designs to suit your needs, as long as the base design is something they know or an easy henna design.
If you find an artist who will do completely custom patterns, you can expect the tattoo to be more expensive. You can find patterns online and print them out to bring with you. Artists should have no problem doing tattoos based on henna tattoo patterns, but they have to take into account the amount of henna that will get used and the amount of time that design will take to make. If you are doing your own henna tattoos and aren’t confident in your abilities, you could always try buying a henna tattoo stencil from online retailers!
Black Henna Tattoo & Permanent Henna Tattoo Designs
Black henna tattoos are dangerous. Natural henna has been used for thousands of years, with complications staying about as frequent as food allergies. When you use natural henna, it shows up on your skin as red or reddish brown. Black henna is not natural henna and contains very toxic additives. I can’t emphasize enough that black henna is dangerous. Cases of blisters and burns are incredibly common, and any reaction will be accompanied by a lifelong scar. When you get a henna tattoo, ask your artist what color it will be—if they say black, choose someone else for the job…unless you’re alright with a permanent henna tattoo!
Whether you are getting a henna tattoo for an occasion or just for fun, it’s sure to turn out beautifully. Who knows—you just might get addicted to it! They’re inexpensive, awesome, beautiful, simple to get, and you can pick a new design every month. What’s not to like? These beautiful henna tattoos serve as a snapshot to your ever-changing life. As time goes on, they will serve as bookmarks in the novel of your life!
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