How to Make Henna

Henna has been used for hundreds of years for the dying of hair and skin. Henna is a powder made from a small plant found in various regions around the world. It is a green powder that has to be mixed with a liquid in order to create a paste. The paste is then applied to the skin and has to harden before removal. Once the hardened paste is removed from the skin, it will leave behind a dye that gets absorbed into the skin. Henna is natural and non-toxic, therefore the dye left in the skin is safe and not permanent. The amount of time the tattoo will last depends on how long you let the dye set in and what kind of henna powder you use. Henna tattoos are a great alternative to permanent tattoos, because they last for a few weeks as opposed to a lifetime. It is easy to make your henna paste and begin your own tattooing at home.

What You Need

To make henna paste, you will need henna powder, lemon juice, sugar or honey. Henna is usually sold in Middle Eastern or Indian grocery stores. It can be ordered online as well. If you do a little research, you might be able to find a store close by that sells henna powder. The longer henna sits on the shelf, the less strong it becomes. It is important to order henna that is as fresh as possible. If you buy old henna, the color will not show up as bold.

  • 2 tbsp henna powder
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar


To apply henna, you will need an applicator. These can come in various forms such as cones, bottles and tubes. To create an applicator at home, all you need is a plastic sandwich bag. Make a very tiny hole in the corner of the bag to release the henna paste. To make the henna paste, you will need to dissolve the sugar into the lemon juice. Once mixed, pour the lemon-sugar mixture into the henna powder and combine until the mixture is smooth and not lumpy.

You should have clean, oil-free skin before applying the henna. The dye will be able to absorb into the skin better if your pores are open. One way to open your pores is to place a warm, wet towel over the desired area. Apply the henna in the desired design and let the paste harden. It is important to let it sit for as long as possible. Do not try and scrape off the paste. You can apply a lemon-sugar mixture over the paste to keep it moist. This will help the dye absorb better into the skin and prevent it from cracking off prematurely.

You should keep the henna on for five to nine hours. This will give you the best results. Keep dabbing it with the lemon-sugar liquid and avoid water in that area for 24 hours. After you remove the hardened paste, apply tea tree oil over the tattooed area. For the next four to six hours, do not wash that area with water. You will have a great tattoo with a bold and rich color. 


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