How Long Does Henna Last

How long does henna last?

Henna dye can last on the back of the hands and tops of the feet for more than two weeks. The length of time henna will last depends on which part of the body it was used and how it is managed. Most henna have consistent color and the design is easily seen but as the week goes by, it will start to fade, although some factors like washing the area of the body frequently can make its removal to be faster. Henna is not a permanent dye, it is temporary so you should know that it will clear off after some time. You can also clear it off personally by using some natural and home ingredients.


Henna has been in existence for over 5000 years in places like India, Pakistan, African and the Middle East. Henna is a flowering plant whose height is about 12 to 15 feet, it is from the specie of the Lawsonia genus. This plant is used to make a dye for tattoos. 

Henna is used to dye the hair, brows, fingers, skin and even fabrics. This plant has an lawsone, a dye with reddish-orange color that can bind to the protein (keratin) in our skin thereby causing stains. The stain from henna can range from pale orange to deep burgundy depending on factors like the type of skin and quality of the plant. To get the darkest stain, you should use a good henna that is fresh and either from the hot or cold climate.


You should know that henna is not a religious substances, it is cultural and traditional. The uses of henna can be classified into cultural and medicinal.

Cultural uses of henna are:

  • As a form of beauty and adornment
  • To express one’s self
  • During celebrations like weddings, child blessings, birthdays and holidays
  • As a form of reminder for someone
  • To cover up a scar 
  • For blessings and well-being like for a bride or new baby
  • As a part of ancient tradition
  • To be used in place of tattoo.

Medicinal uses of henna are:

  • It has healing properties. It is only used on the skin to treat wounds, fever, sunburns, headaches, stomach pains, athlete’s foot and hair loss.
  • It is cured with salt and applied to bags. Henna can be used as an insect repellent. 
  • Henna is used on the noses of animals to prevent sunburn.
  • It has antifungal properties and used to treat fungal diseases.


To be used for tattoos and body decorations, the leaves are first dried and grounded into fine powder. The next step is to make a creamy pasta with the powder with some techniques. The paste is then used to draw design on the skin, staining just the top layer of the skin. The natural state of the paste will dye the skin either an orange or brown color. 

When the henna paste is applied on the skin, the color may be green or even dark brown depending on the plant. Afterwards, the green paste will fade off revealing an orange color. A day or three days after, the stain will change from orange color to reddish-brown. The stain is darkest around the feet because the skin around there has more keratin and also the thickest. If the decorations are far from the legs and hands, the stain will be lesser. The face produces the lightest stain.


Using henna on the hair is natural, vegan and preservative, it is a synthetic free day for the hair that does not change the natural structure and condition. It is perfect for all hair type and everyone including pregnant women or those who want to improve the natural color of their hair. The henna dye when used on the hair will have a rich and vivid color, you can coat the paste and color as much as you want.

After applying the paste, the color will start to build up to become thick and with different dimensions. Henna is a dye that is to be used continually. The color is very noticeable for the first 4 to 6 weeks before it may start to appear fade. Henna can last for about 3 to 5 months on the hair. If you wish the color to be vibrant always, you will have to reapply the paste after 6 weeks. 

There are factors that determine how long henna will last on the hair, these factors are:

  • How long did you allow the paste to rest in the hair?
  • What liquid did you use to mix the paste before application?
  • How long has the paste been applied on your hair?
  • What liquid did you use to wash off the paste?
How Long Does Henna Last
How Long Does Henna Last


Henna can be used to dye the eyebrows. The stain or dye can stay on the brows for up to 6 weeks. People with dry skin type will have their henna dye lasting more than those with oily skin. This is because the skin releases oil naturally that helps to renew the cells everyday, so those with oily skin will have their henna dye fading faster.

Also, if you have skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and others, yours will fade off quickly as well. Unlike the hair, henna dye is not permanent, it is semi permanent so if you wash your face regularly and use of makeup removers, your brows will wash off quickly. One thing about this semi permanent dye is that you can go back for touch-ups. The process is easy and hassle free.

There are some factors that will determine how long your henna will last on the brows, these factors are:

  • How much henna you used
  • The type of skin you have
  • Aftercare or skincare habits


The hands are mostly busy with activities and always come in contact with water, so using henna to dye the hands may not last like other parts of the body. Henna dye can last on the back of the hands and tops of the feet for close to 2 weeks. If you wash your hands regularly or use exfoliating products on the hands frequently, the color will fade off faster.


The henna dye can last on the skin between a few days to weeks depending on which part of the body you applied the dye and how frequent you expose the tattoo to water. If you expose the tattooed skin to water frequently, the color will fade away with time. 

  • If you apply henna on the feet, the color will last for about 2 weeks. But if you wash your feet too much, it may fade faster.
  • If henna is applied on places like the thighs, lower legs, and lower arms, then the dye will last for about 10 days to 2 weeks.
  • If you use henna on the shoulder, chest, back, buttock, back, belly, and upper arm, then the dye will last for 7 to 10 days.

According to Medicine Net, there are some factors that can cause your henna dye on the skin to fade faster.

These factors are:

  • If you swim frequently
  • Exfoliating regularly
  • Old age 


If you want your henna design to last longer than normal and look its best, you have to care for it and keep the skin moisturized. Here are some ways you can care for your henna design.

1. Allow The Henna To Set

You should not directly touch the design after it has been applied as it will still be moist. You are expected to keep the part of the body away from objects and obstructions like clothing, hair, water and others. These obstructions can smear the paste and spoil the design. The paste can be dry within 5 to 10 minutes but it can take 39 minutes to be fully dry. Do not wash off the henna paste, let it stay on the skin for as long as possible.

The longer you allow the paste to stay on the skin, the darker the stain will be. Allow the paste to be on the skin for about 6 hours or even overnight. You should not wash it off, clean it off or accidentally smear it on anything. You can use sugar and lemon juice to apply on the design when you notice the henna paste drying off. You can allow the mixture to stay on the design for few hours or even overnight.

The sugar and lemon juice will help to seal the henna and protect the design, it will also highlight the color of the henna. Keep your skin and the henna designs moist and warm. If your skin is warm, the henna paste will stain the skin faster. You can drink hot water or tea for moisture and warmth.

2. Remove The Paste After 6 To 24 Hours

Use a clean toothpick, blunt knife, finger nail or a file. Rinse your skin with room temperature water after scraping off the paste. Do not use soap and avoid water from touching the design for 24 hours. Soap and water can make the stain less darker.

3. Care For You Henna Designs

Moisturize your skin with a lotion, oil or butter. Moisturization will help to prevent exfoliating and protect the design. Avoid any cream or oil with chemical or bleaching ingredients. 


Henna is a dye used for many cultural and medicinal purposes, it is mostly used for body adornment especially during ceremonies. Henna is not permanent but it can last long depending on how you care for the design, your skin type and the part of the body you used it on. If you want your henna designs to last longer than they should, you have to care for them and most importantly, keep your skin moisturized always.

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