Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best henna tattoo kit

Henna body art has been practiced for thousands of years, but the popularity of these temporary tattoos is only growing. These days, you can even do your own henna tattoos at home whenever the mood strikes with a henna tattoo kit. But if you want the best results, you have to find the right kit for your needs.

With such a wide range of henna tattoo kits on the market, though, finding the best option isn’t always easy. You have to decide on the type, shade, application method, and other features to make sure you get the tattoos that you want. Sorting through all the choices can definitely become frustrating.

Here at BestReviews, we strive to make shopping as pain-free as possible. We handle all the product research, so you have all the facts you need to choose the best products for your home. If you’re in the market for a henna tattoo kit, continue reading our handy shopping guide. It has plenty of advice for choosing the best kit for your henna tattooing needs.

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Henna tattoos don’t apply as well to areas of the body with thinner skin like the face or neck. Areas with thicker skin like your hands, feet, wrists, and ankles are a better choice.

What are henna tattoos?

Not exactly sure what henna is? Henna comes from a small flowering plant of the same name. While the blooms are often used for perfume, henna leaves are dried and crushed into a powder. That powder is then used as a dye for clothing and hair, but it can also be used to temporarily stain the skin. When you apply a henna tattoo to your skin, it usually lasts for one to three weeks.

Henna tattoos are often used in Indian culture as a part of celebrations and ceremonies. Tattoos that are applied to the hands and feet for weddings and other festivities are known as mehndi. However, it’s not just an Indian tradition to use henna tattoos – Arabic and African cultures also use some form of henna body tattooing.

Types of henna tattoo kits

Starter kits

If you’re applying henna tattoos at home for the first time, a starter kit is usually your best bet. These kits tend to be smaller, so you can get the hang of the process without investing too much money. Some starter henna tattoo kits even contain a mix of materials. That way, you can try out different application methods to see which type works best for your skill level.

Pre-mixed kits

Pre-mixed henna tattoo kits include a henna paste that’s ready to use, so you don’t have to do any mixing yourself. The paste usually comes in applicator cones that make it easier to apply to the skin. Because these kits are quick and easy to use, they’re an ideal option if you’re applying henna tattoos to a large number of people for a wedding, party, or other event.

Powder kits

Powder henna tattoo kits come with powdered henna that must be mixed with lemon juice or essential oils to form a paste for the tattoos. Mixing and applying powdered henna is usually more difficult, so it’s a better option if you’re experienced in applying henna tattoos. However, powder henna lasts longer than pre-mixed pastes and offers easier storage. It can also be used with an applicator bottle, cone, or transfer paper.

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For your safety
Wear protective gloves when applying henna tattoos to avoid accidentally staining your skin.

Features to consider for henna tattoo kits

Kit type

When you’re choosing between the different types of henna tattoo kits, use your experience and skill level as a guide. Starter kits are obviously ideal if you’re new to doing at-home henna tattoos because they take much of the guesswork out of the process. Pre-mixed kits are a good option if you have some experience with at-home henna tattooing but aren’t advanced enough to mix the henna yourself. Powder kits are best if you’re fairly experienced with henna tattoos and are confident in your ability to mix the henna properly yourself.

Some henna tattoo kits contain a mix of pre-mixed paste and powder henna, so you can choose between the two depending on each specific application.


Henna is naturally a reddish-brown shade. If you want traditional-looking henna tattoos, opt for this type of all-natural kit. However, some henna tattoo kits use paste with other dyes added to it to change the color of the henna. You can find kits with henna paste in shades like black, brown, red, blue, white, and pink.


Some henna tattoo kits include plastic squeeze bottles with several different nozzles – you fill the bottle with the henna paste to apply to the skin. The nozzles come in different sizes, which allows you to choose smaller, finer nozzles for more detailed designs and larger, wider nozzles for areas where you want to apply more color.

Other kits have pre-mixed paste in disposable cones or tubes, which also feature a tip that makes it easy to apply the henna directly to skin. There are also some henna tattoo kits that feature henna pens, which allow you to draw directly on the skin. Tattoos made with the pens usually don’t last as long on the skin as traditional henna tattoos, though.


It can be very difficult to freehand henna tattoo designs, especially if you’re applying the tattoos to yourself. Many kits include stencils or templates so you can create beautiful, intricate tattoos even if you’re not an artist.

For the best results, look for a henna tattoo kit with adhesive stencils or templates. Because they stick to the skin, you don’t have to worry about the stencils moving while you’re applying the henna and ruining the design.


Some henna tattoo kits contain extra accessories to make the tattooing process even easier. Kits with powder henna often include bottles of essential oil to mix with the powder and form the paste. Henna tattoo kits may also include transfer paper, which allows you to create custom designs to apply to the skin as a guide for a henna tattoo. Some kits include nylon cloth, so you can strain the henna paste before you apply it to the skin.

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Did you know?
Warming the henna paste when it’s on your skin with a blow dryer can often help you achieve a darker tattoo.

Prices for henna tattoo kits

Henna tattoo kits vary in price based on the type of kit and its contents. In general, though, you can expect to pay between $6 and $75.

Small starter henna tattoo kits that contain only henna pens or cones with pre-mixed henna paste usually cost between $6 and $15.

Henna tattoo kits that contain pre-mixed henna paste in cones and include stencils usually range from $15 to $36.

Henna tattoo kits that contain henna powder, mixing oil, applicator bottles with tips, applicator cones, stencils, and other accessories usually range from $36 to $75.


  • Before you start applying henna tattoos to the skin, make sure to wash and dry the skin to remove any residue that might affect the dye.

  • Whether you’re using an applicator bottle, cone, or pen to apply the henna tattoo to the skin, it helps to practice on a piece of paper or cardboard to get the hang of using the applicator before applying the henna to the skin.

  • If you make any mistakes when you’re applying the henna paste, use a cotton swab to wipe away the dye as soon as possible.

  • Allow the henna to sit on the skin for at least two to three hours before covering it with a latex glove or plastic wrap. Keep the tattoo covered for six to 12 hours before using olive oil to gently peel off the excess henna.

  • Henna tattoos tend to darken over time, so if you’re applying them for a special event, it’s best to apply the henna two to three days beforehand.

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If you want to freehand a henna tattoo design, it helps to draw it on your skin first with a washable marker or pen, so you have a guide when you apply the henna.


Q. Are henna tattoo kits safe?

A. Henna tattoo kits are usually safe because henna dyes are all-natural. The dye doesn’t actually penetrate the skin either, so you don’t have to worry about it entering the bloodstream. However, henna tattoos shouldn’t be applied to children – those with the rare glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency are especially at risk. You can also have an allergic reaction to henna tattoo paste, so it’s best to do a spot test on the inside of the wrist and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction before applying the henna to a larger area.

Q. How long do henna tattoos last?

A. Henna tattoos typically last anywhere from one to three weeks. It usually depends on where the tattoo is applied. Because you wash your hands frequently, henna tattoos in that area may only last a week. Henna tattoos on the feet and other areas that don’t get wet as often may last two to three weeks.

Q. How can I prevent a henna tattoo from fading?

A. Avoid getting a henna tattoo wet for the first 12 hours after application. After that, you can shower normally, but don’t scrub the area, exfoliate, or use harsh soaps. It’s also best to stay out of swimming pools, hot tubs, and other chlorinated water because chlorine can cause the henna to fade.

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