Vol.2, No.4

Henna tattoo removal

This article is a guide to the safe and successful removal of Henna Tattoos. Offered therein, are tips for protecting the skin from unnecessary damage.

Henna tattoo's on someone's face
Photo Credit: Chris Schmidt
Henna Tattoo Removal

You've seen them. They're everywhere. Tattooed people, that is. Everyone knows that traditional tattooing is one of the oldest forms of body art known to man. But for those who are a bit too squeamish to go under the needle, there are other options. Aside from the "kiddie" tattoo stickers which are applied with a small amount of water, one can opt for the Henna Tattoo. Unlike standard tattoos, henna tattoos are temporary. They can vary in color, being either natural (reddish-brown color ink) or the more popular black henna tattoos.

It isn't uncommon however, for people to grow a bit disenchanted with their body art. And for any number of personal reasons, they want them removed. Without question, the removal of standard tattoos can be very painful and quite time-consuming. The major advantage to having a henna tattoo is that it can be removed with less ease than a traditional one. There are no pesky doctor visits involved in the process. And the henna removal process can be performed in the privacy of your own home. Frankly though, it is best to allow the design to lighten itself naturally. If you simply cannot wait, however, there are some things you can do to nudge the fading process along. But as with anything you do to the skin, you must be mindful to take certain precautions. So here are a few things you'll need to know, if you'd like to remove your henna tattoo:

1. Soaking the skin in salt water for at least 15 minutes is the first thing you should do. The salt will aid in dissolving a little of the ink.

2. Understand that different skin types absorb the henna ink at various rates. Even after a bit of soaking, your tattoo may appear to be unchanged. Also note that dye on the skin of the neck will fade faster because it doesn't accept the black henna dye as well as do other areas on the body.

3. "Rough Skin Removers" (products designed to remove dead skin) can be instrumental in the removal of henna tattoos. These can be purchased at most local drugstores. But prior to using any chemical on the skin, it's important to conduct a test for allergies. Once you have determined that no allergies are present, simply rub the product over the tattooed area. Be aware that some of the henna will probably remain. So, you should avoid using the product repeatedly on the same area, so as not to damage or irritate the skin.

4. Henna designs fade as you naturally shed the outer layer of your skin. Therefore using a loofah, and a mild soap over the tattoo will also aid in "erasing" the design more quickly.

5. Sweating causes skin to exfoliate much more quickly. As strange as it may appear, any safe, sweat-inducing activity will only help in the henna removal process.

The things that people do to enhance their appearance can be minor or extreme. It's very important to investigate long-term effects of anything that you do to vary your appearance on a permanent or even semi-permanent level. Getting a tattoo is a fun way to express yourself, or simply spice up your look. But whichever kind of tattoo you decide on, make sure that you fully understand all of the potential risks of altering your skin. That being said: Happy Tattooing!