16 Henna Tattoos You’ll Want This Summer
by Elle Wignall
The biggest problem with tattoos? Commitment. You’re young; tattoos are forever. We get it. But every once in a while we are willing to bet you scroll through a dozen Pinterest boards of cute tattoos and wonder if you should get one. Or four. Luckily, there is another way. Henna tattoos have been around for more than 6,000 years and are cooler than ever. The tradition of letting a plant paste temporarily dye your skin and hair originated in Egypt and has left its mark on many cultures in the Middle East and India. Henna tattoos leave a stain that typically lasts between one and three weeks, depending on quality and after-care. Check out these seriously cool designs before your next henna sesh or henna DIY. Note: The henna tattoos in this slideshow that appear “black” haven’t had the paste removed from the skin yet. Henna is never black, and anyone who uses “black henna” is using a paste that is toxic to your skin.
Prenatal henna is said to bless the mother and her baby while being a relaxing experience. If you are expecting a little one soon, consider getting a belly-centric design like this one by Blue Lotus Henna.
Traditional Wedding Mehndi
It’s a ceremonial ritual of many traditional Pakistani and Hindu weddings for the bride to have her hands and feet embellished in mind-blowing henna designs that often have personal meaning to the couple, like this design photographed by Wedding Documentary.
Traditional Intricate Design
If you are going for a traditional look, find an artist who is well versed in henna and its tiny, perfect details. We could stare at this gorgeous stain by Traditional Henna by Karen forever. Notice that the stain appears darker on the hand. Skin with more dead layers such as calluses will stain better than thin skin on the face or wrist.
When your hands meet, they complete the design! Try a fishnet look, like this heart design by Sarahenna.
Bedazzled Wrist Cuffs
It’s like having bracelets with every outfit! We like these cuffs by Syra Skins with or without the sassy studs.
Khaleeji style henna is an Arabic celebration of body art. While just as intricate as traditional Indian style henna, it often appears more free-flowing, like this line design from Henna Trails.
Henna Hand Sun
Sneak some sunshine into your day with a sun-inspired design like this one from Henna by Heather. The henna rings are the perfect finishing touch.
Modern Tribal Henna
This simple hand design by Henna Trails gives the tribal vibe with a modern street-art twist. This look would be so great for a summer vacation.
Welcome to the world of hipster henna! Take your favorite feathered tattoo pattern to your henna artist and have it re-created for a temp tattoo your friends will envy. We love this compass design from Sarahenna.
Your shoulders want in on the fun, too. You’ll be excited to show off your shoulders this summer with an epaulet design such as this one from Henna Lounge.
Flowers and Birds
Hiding birds and flowers in the tiny details of henna has long been in style. This shoulder peacock embedded in flowers by Volcano Henna is a great take on this lovely tradition.
The mandala is an intricate symbol of the universe and looks gorgeous as henna, like this back piece by Zen Henna Montreal.
This calf-and-foot henna from Henna Lounge makes us want to do yoga on a sandy, faraway beach. Sigh.
Foot henna is traditional and often lasts longer because the henna stain has more thick layers of skin to seep into. Even the toes are included in this fun design from Syra Skins!
Henna-Inspired Nail Art
If you are a super commitment-phobe, then a henna nail design like this one from Colores de Carol might be your perfect wipe-away-whenever fix.