Henna tattoos are temporary tattoos drawn on the skin with henna ink. Brides in India and other countries apply henna tattoos, called wedding mehndi, to their hands and, sometimes, feet before the wedding. Henna is not a permanent tattoo, and it will fade over time. The henna stain may take several days to fade, depending on where the henna is located on the body. The best tips for henna removal are to soak the area in salt water, exfoliate the skin, exercise to perspire and use hydrogen peroxide.
Soaking in a chlorinated pool or hot tub for a minimum of 15 minutes will help fade the henna tattoo. If if a large body of chlorinated water isn't available, soaking the area in salt water is recommended. The chlorine or salt aids in the removal of the ink that has penetrated the first few layers of skin. Table salt added to a bath will soak off some of henna applied to the body. Henna on hands and feet can be soaked in a bucket of salt water.
Aerobic exercise will cause perspiration, which will aid in the removal of the henna tattoo. Any activity that causes heavy perspiration should aid in removal of dead skin, thus removing the tattoo. Jogging, bike riding, tennis, squash, or any other aerobic exercise is recommended. After activity, a bath or shower with soap and an exfoliating loofah or pumice stone should help with the henna removal.
Hydrogen peroxide can aid in henna removal for some people. Applying the hydrogen peroxide to the tattoo with a cotton ball may help remove the temporary tattoo. This technique may not work for all skin types, but has proven to be an important aid in some henna removal. The solution is found over the counter in most drug stores and is a nontoxic, benign solution. If it doesn't work, no harm is done to the skin.
Henna adheres better to different areas of the skin. Skin type also affects the rate at which the henna is absorbed into the skin, thus influencing the rate of henna removal. Henna applied on the hands and arms should fade more quickly than henna applied on the back or feet. If a lemon and sugar preservative was applied after the henna, the tattoo may be more difficult to remove. Even without any active measures to remove the henna tattoos, they will eventually fade over time.