Typically a henna tattoo stays on anywhere from one to three weeks. Henna artists work with henna paste, also called mehndi, which dyes the skin for a short period of time. An important part of Indian culture, the use of henna has become increasingly popular in the United States, with henna artists providing henna tattoos for weddings, as event entertainment and for other special events. Henna artists typically apply their designs to the palms and backs of the hands, the wrists, up to the elbows, and from the feet up to the knees. To preserve the rich color of your henna tattoo and help it set, avoid water as much as possible within the first 24 hours of application. The color will be richest during the first week. Brides may want to have their henna tattoos applied one or two days before the wedding for optimal results.
Henna tattoos, as they are called in the United States, have a long tradition in Indian, African and Middle Eastern cultures. For centuries, the leaves of dried henna plants have been ground into a fine paste to be used as a temporary and nontoxic skin dye. This form of body decoration has been used in celebrations, weddings and ceremonial rites of passage in many cultures. Often in Hindu weddings, henna artists decorate the hands and feet of the bride (and at times the groom) with intricate designs. In some Muslim traditions, henna artists paint women with henna designs as they are in their final stages of pregnancy. In the United States, popular culture has adopted this beautiful body art and henna artists provide brides (and sometimes grooms) with temporary henna tattoos. Henna artists are also a popular choice for entertainment at corporate events, birthday parties, bachelorette parties and festivals. Henna artists may charge anywhere from $10 to $300 per hour.
Nationally, the average cost to hire a henna artist is between $100 and $180 per hour. Rates will vary by location and the experience of the individual henna artist; it’s possible to find artists who charge less than $50 per hour. Some henna artists charge an hourly rate, especially for corporate events or festivals where they are providing service to multiple people within an hour. They may also charge flat rates for bridal and wedding services or special events. Here are some examples of average cost:
- Hourly rate: $65-$85 or more per hour. Price is dependent on event size and number of attendees.
- Starting rate for minimal palm designs: $15 or more.
- Henna tattoos covering the hands and wrist and bottom of feet up to the ankle: $175.
- Henna tattoos covering the hands to the mid-arm and feet to above the ankle: $300.
- Henna tattoos covering the hands to the elbow and the feet to the knee: $450.