“How long does henna last”? Have you been seeing a lot of women using henna and you have been wondering if it is permanent or not? Well, just like other types of dye, henna is a type of tattoo that dyes the skin. Henna can last from a week to 3 months of wearing it.
It’s gotten from a tree called Henna tree also known as plant Lawsonia intermix.
In cosmetics, the dye prepared from the tree is called “henna” this is seen among Indians, Africans, Middle East and Muslim women during weddings or as a fashion.
In the olden days, people believed using henna would bring them good luck so they use it on their skin, silk (clothes), animals and even beards (hair).
If you have a lot of questions about henna, reading this article will help you answer them.
How long does henna last?
When the dye from the plant is applied to your skin, it may last from a week to 3 months depending on how you applied it and how often you wash your hand or any part you applied it on.
Although, in two weeks the dye will start to fade away gradually. So even if it lasts for months, it won’t look as attractive as it did in the first 2 weeks of you applying it to your skin.
On the hair, henna may last longer. Could go up to four weeks before it starts to show signs of fading.
When applied to the hair, it is usually harder to wash completely away from your hair. So when you try to even go for a lighter shade of dye, it might become difficult to achieve if you frequently use henna on your hair.
How to remove henna
When you use henna dye, one thing you should always keep in mind is that there is no magical way to remove the dye from your skin immediately.
It has to go through a process of gradual fading that will last for at least some days before it completely comes off.
When you think of removing thick stains or dye on the skin, the first thing that might come to your mind is bleach. Yes, this might work. But, never use bleach on your skin because it might burn, dry and damage your skin.
Also, avoid using toothpaste. To quickly remove henna from your skin or hair, there are several methods you can use which can help you hasten its fading. (Please note if you are using any of the methods and you notice it irritates your skin please discontinue)
1. Try Micellar water
Micellar water might be a very gentle cleanser, but it is very effective in dye removal from the skin.
The advantage of using micellar water is that due to its gentle nature you don’t fear any irritation on your skin. It also contains vitamin B3 which is good for the skin and smells fresh too.
2. Use oil
Different oil can be used to remove henna from the hair and the skin. Baby oil coconut oil, argan oil, extra virgin and olive oil can all be used to pull henna dye away from the hair and skin.
To pull out henna from the hair you mix argon, extra virgin, olive and coconut oil together then apply it to your hair. Leave it to stay for about 30mins to an hour then wash it off with shampoo. You will see all the dyes gradually coming off.
To remove henna from the skin with oil, you can apply baby or coconut oils to your skin then leave it for about 5-30mins then wash it off with a cleanser to avoid any part of the oil staying on your skin for too long because this might clog your pores and cause skin infections.
3. Wash with antibacterial soap
This method can be very effective, because of the components of the soap which can fade away colours.
One thing you should know before using this soap on your skin is that you have to moisturize immediately.
Because you have to wash your skin longer with soap to see its effect. This can start to make the skin dry up. So moisturizing it can help keep the skin balanced after washing with soap.
4. Use warm water and soap.
Using warm water and soap can simply do the trick of pulling out henna from your skin or hair.
The water should not be too hot so as not to damage your skin. After washing, always moisturize to keep the skin balanced because warm water and soap might damage the balance of the skin.
5. Saltwater soak
This is another homemade method you can use to remove henna tattoos.
Add 1⁄2 cup of sea salt and soak for 20 minutes. It will gradually remove henna out of the skin or hair.
This is beneficial to the skin because the sodium chloride in salt helps nourish the skin cells and remove dead cells.
6. Hydrogen peroxide
If you have some diluted peroxide it can come in handy in removing henna tattoos.
Apply it on the tattoo and leave it for some time when you see it fade you can wash it off and keep applying daily till the dye it’s totally off.
7. Warm milk
This can be used for the skin but it is mostly very effective for the henna stain on fabric or silk.
To remove henna with warm milk, you heat up the milk and place it over the dye for around 20 to 40 mins then wipe it off or rinse it out as the case may be and you should see the stain gradually wear off.
Alcohol is a well known stain removal and can be also very effective to remove henna dye, especially from the hair.
You can pour the vodka directly on your hair or apply it with a sponge then leave it on for about 20 mins then watch it with shampoo.
9. Witch hazel
Witch hazels are flowering plants that are antioxidant-rich with vitamins.
They have several benefits to the skin and can also be used to remove henna tattoos from the skin.
You can apply to your skin with cotton and leave to dry off then wash off and moisturize and keep doing this till the dye fades away.
10. Lemon juice and baking soda
This is another effective method to remove henna tattoos because lemons are known to effectively lighten the skin so they can help remove the dye.
When you mix with baking soda and apply it to the henna, leave it for about 5 mins then rinse with warm water and pat dry then moisturize.
11. Exfoliate more regularly
Exfoliating body or face wash can be very effective in removing henna. The product you choose should be dependent on what part of your skin the henna is.
12. Hair conditioner
Hair conditioners are also effective to remove this dye. Apply a layer of the conditioner on the tattoo, let it stay for a while before rinsing it off with warm water.
13. Make-up remover
Some make-up removers are also capable of fading out the henna.
Use a ball of cotton to apply to the tattoo then leave it to dry off before washing it off. Do this daily till it is completely wiped off your skin.
Can henna become permanent?
No. Henna cannot be permanent. Unlike permanent tattoos that are being inserted into the skins, hennas are just colouration that is applied on the skin so it’s just a temporary skin dye and usually faded out within weeks depending on how frequent you shower.
If you use a remover method to wash it off it will fade off within days.
How to care for henna tattoo
To enable your henna tattoo to stay fresh and last longer they are things you need to do and do some of them are:
1. Let it stay long before washing off dry flakes
When your henna tattoo is still new, you have to leave it for about 6-24 hours before you can wash off the dry flakes and when washing off the dry flake you have to use mild soap and water if you use harsh soap or remove flakes too soon the tattoo will fade off quickly
2. Apply sugar and lemon juice on the tattoo
Coating the henna with lemon juice and sugar, helps it keep the paste moist for longer, seals and protects the designs.
When you apply lemon juice, you just have to be careful not to rub the tattoo on the surface, because it might wipe it off very easily.
Lemon juice can easily fade henna. To apply, use a ball of cotton to carefully apply the sugar and lemon mixture to wrap up the design and leave it overnight.
3. Do not touch
You should try as much as possible to get your hands off your tattoo because this may completely damage the design.
You should at least wait for about an hour.
Then you don’t have to worry about your hands touching your tattoo.
4. Wrap up the design
Wrapping up the tattoo helps it to appear darker, and also prevents the flakes from spilling all over the place, it starts to dry off. When the tattoo is completely dry you can remove the wrap.
When the paste is completely dry and removed, you should always moisturize your skin to protect the design.
You should avoid moisturizers that contain lightening agents and go for something natural.
6. Bath with mild soap and water
When bathing, always use mild soap. If you use antibacterial soap and warm water it will quickly fade away the tattoo.
If possible don’t rub soap on the tattoo you can rub it around it to avoid it fading off too quickly.
7. Dry off when soft towel after bathing
After bathing, you should make sure to dry yourself up with a soft towel. Because some hard towels can completely ruin the henna design on your skin.
Is henna healthy to use?
Naturally henna is healthy and completely safe to use. But these days it is very difficult to get natural henna so we go for the use on sale which actually has other ingredients added to them.
These hennas are safe for adults to use on their skin on hair but can come with some side effects which can be as a result of allergic reactions to some products that were added to the henna you purchased.
Before buying any henna it is advisable to look out for its component to see if you are allergic to any of it.
6 things to know before using henna
Before using henna they are certain things you should know and look out for:
1. It’s component
If you are not using natural henna you should look out for its component before applying one to your skin or hair.
Some henna products can be okay for others but cause allergic reactions for some so it would be wise to always check the ingredients of the products before applying.
2. After using henna on your hair it might be difficult to colour otherwise.
Henna hair dyes take longer to wear off and can also give the hair a dark look even after it has faded off making it hard to colour your hair to another lighter colour.
So before using henna hair dye you should put it at the back of your mind that when you decide to go for another colour you will have to go through a very long process.
3. Henna dye requires preparation
To use henna dye you have to prepare it, unlike other regular dyes. The good thing is that every henna product you get comes with an instruction on how to properly combine it.
4. It’s can stain your skin and clothes
Henna can be very messy when in use.
You have to be very careful when you apply it to either your skin or hair so as not to leave the whole place messy with dyes, to minimize stain you can wear a hand glove and gently apply the dye
5. It is usually harder to lift off compared to regular dye.
Regular dyes can be removed with just water but henna requires another stronger method to lift it off your skin or hair.
6. Avoid black hennas
Black hennas are in the market but they contain p-phenylenediamine, which is not meant to be applied to the human skin.
Though ink marketed as black hennas last longer and are darker they are not to be used because they are very harmful to the skin.
It has been banned in some countries for this reason including the US.
7. It takes longer to set and stays longer than regular dye when applied to the hair.
It can take up to 24hours for henna to stay on the hair or the skin but when it is set it takes longer to fade away compared to regular dye.
How to make henna last longer
To make your henna last longer you have to care for it with all the tips listed above.
Applying sugar and lemon juice on it can help it take longer to fade.
Also, use mild soap and soft towels when bathing. This will enable the henna not to wear off before time and even last longer than usual.
How to store henna
Henna can be perishable if not stored properly. To store henna powder you place it well covered in a cool dry place it can last up to 3 years.
You can also put it in the freezer once you open it you should lock it back tightly to avoid air from getting in.
To store henna paste you can keep it in the refrigerator. Henna paste stored in the freezer usually lasts longer than the one stored in the refrigerator.
Henna, when natural, are very safe to use but when packaged with additives, one has to be careful before using them because some ingredients might cause skin irritations and allergies.
Henna cannot be permanent even as hair dyes you have to keep applying it to make it look darker and not fade away.
If you looking for a lasting way to dye your hair or want to get that unique look you can use henna tattoos on your hand this is very attractive and can make you look so elegant but it usually goes well in Indian-like dresses and not cooperates dresses