It’s easy to learn how to remove a henna tattoo, but hard to actually accomplish. Henna tattoos are unique in that, while they aren’t permanent, they actually stain every layer of your skin. This is why henna tattoos last so long—it takes six whole weeks for your body to use, shed, and grow back those layers of skin. Since your antibodies don’t absorb the dye from the henna, the skin that grows back will be the same color it started as—this is the main difference between henna tattoos and real tattoos. If you wanted to truly remove a henna tattoo, it would have to be a surgical procedure that physically removes the skin. Doesn’t sound too great, does it? Thankfully, there are ways to speed up the disappearance of a henna tattoo.
The methods we’re using are all things that can be done at home. We’ve discussed how to remove a tattoo before, and some of these methods will be the same. That’s because these techniques deal with removing and shedding your skin quickly. While these natural methods work much better on henna tattoos than real tattoos, real tattoos have the advantage of instant surgical removal that would be excessive for using on a henna tattoo.
The washing method is simple and straight-forward: wash your henna tattoo every day, using soap that contains a small percentage of alcohol. The alcohol will work to dry out your skin and flake it off faster than usual, making the tattoo fade away quickly. Moisturizers and hand sanitizers that have alcohol content will also get the job done, if you don’t have a place to shower in the middle of the day. If the henna tattoo is in a hard-to-reach location, such as your back, it might be worth it to recruit some help.
You will have to wash much more frequently than usual to notice a change—three or four times is a good number. If you wash too much, your skin will become red and raw, drawing unwanted attention to the area. This is why I recommend that you only wash the part of your body that contains the tattoo. Your skin has a delicate ecosystem of beneficial bacteria, and washing too frequently will destroy that system and cause all of your skin to dry out, rather than just the tattoo.
If you want to speed up the removal of your henna, combine washing with the abrasive method. Abrasives such as salt and sand provide some extra umph that removes all of the skin you’re drying out. While this does make the skin a little red and raw, it causes the tattoo to fade faster than the other method. You can add in honey or aloe vera to the mix to sooth your skin (constant washing and sanding will be painful after a while). These additions both ease the irritation and provide your skin with nutrients for skin regrowth.
Although some sites insist on using sandpaper, I sternly disagree with them. You should not apply sand paper to your skin. While you can certainly sand away every layer of your skin, you will be left with a gaping wound that oozes blood and will almost certainly scar. It’s not worth it to use sandpaper! If absolutely have to get rid of a henna tattoo for school or business purposes, there is one more way to do it that definitely trumps scarring your skin.
Simply put, you cover it instead of removing it. We’ve already talked in depth about how to cover a tattoo, so I’ll just go over the basics here. All you need is some powder that matches the color of your skin and some lipstick. You apply the lipstick over your tattoo and then use the powder to smooth it out and blend it in. The result is a very natural-looking, hidden tattoo! Of course, there are a few more techniques that are required for a perfect concealment. If you need it to be waterproof, be sure to use waterproof lipsticks and powders.
In Case Of Allergic Reaction
In the event of an allergic reaction—or anything that involves the health of your skin—please seek out a doctor. I am not a doctor. A doctor can gauge what to do depending on the swelling and the time since your skin was first tattooed. The most likely case is that they will give you some benedryl and you can go on with your life. In certain cases, though, it might require emergency surgical removal. You can trust a doctor to know how to remove a henna tattoo!
Even if you don’t have an initial reaction to the henna or the soaps you are using, your skin will end up red and raw using these techniques. If you notice any irritation or bleeding, you should ask your doctor if you should continue. If the redness persists, you may need some topical applications that will aid the health of your skin. That’s something that only a doctor can give you, so make sure they know of what you are doing and see what they recommend.
Now you know how to remove a henna tattoo—or at least, speed up its removal. Because of the nature of henna tattoos, it’s impossible to remove them without surgery. With constant washing, you can vastly speed up the fading of the tattoo. After a few weeks, it should be nearly invisible. Again, if it’s necessary to remove it instantly due to allergy, you need to speak to a doctor. In every other case, it is most beneficial to wash frequently or hide it. Honestly speaking, henna tattoos do not last very long—so covering them with makeup is your best bet for dealing with it temporarily, and it doesn’t damage your skin at all. If you find yourself discouraged at the speed of its disappearance, just remember that it would be much more vivid if you were not tending to your skin!