Henna – A Beginners Guide

A Beginners Guide To Henna

People often question me about my henna so I thought I’d write a simple guide on how to use henna for beginners.  Henna is a natural dye derived from a plant (the Lawsonia inermis, also called hini).  It’s sometimes referred to as mehndi, which is the Indian word for henna.  This ancient form of body art has become increasingly more popular over the last few years, in the UK.


Henna Paste


The henna cones I use are ready made and are a dark brown paste.  The paste is made from the powdered dry leaves of the henna plant.  There is no other natural colour of henna.  Some places sell what they describe as black henna.  This should be avoided at all costs because in order to create the “black henna” high levels of a dangerous chemical dye is required which can lead to permanent scarring.  You can read more about the risks on the NHS website.

These are the cones I use, I buy them here and they’re perfectly safe and natural.

henna cones


Henna Designs

There are many different designs you can look at for inspiration on Pinterest.  I, personally, prefer to freestyle mine because I’m pretty rubbish at following instructions.  I’ve been using henna for three years and I find the whole process really relaxing.  It’s not so easy to do it on yourself because there’s a bit of a technique to holding the cone and applying the perfect amount of pressure for the paste flow.

henna design


How To Use Henna

doing henna

When you first apply the paste, it comes out as a really dark colour.  Once you’ve finished your designs (the more intricate they are and the more details you use, the better they look), it takes around 30 minutes to dry.  Once it’s completely dry, the paste just flakes off in crumbs leaving your henna in an orangey/yellow colour.  The next day, it turns to dark brown and lasts for a couple of weeks.  I think it’s great for children during the summer holidays because it’s so pretty, it’s natural and doesn’t last too long.

henna design lovely

If you want to remove it sooner, you can use lime juice and sugar as an exfoliant, but I’ve never had any success in completely shifting a fresh design.

Hope you find this helpful.  Thanks for reading.  Do check out some of my other posts.  You can read about my other favourite things here.

Lu Lovely


  • Reply September 10, 2017


    My daughter loves applying henna,your article is very helpful plus lovely sharp pictures.

  • Reply September 11, 2017

    Natalie Dickinson

    It’s so pretty! I always admire people’s henna when I see it and think it looks so unique. I don’t think I’d have the guts to do my own though.

  • Reply September 11, 2017

    Beth @ BethinaBox.com

    Oh, that’s so beautiful. I’ve always loved Henna designs and I’m sure my 7 year old would really love it.

  • Reply September 12, 2017

    Nicky L Ashworth

    I wish I could do patterns like this on myself! On someone else? Easy! On myself not so much!! Loved this post though maybe i’ll try one more time!

  • Reply September 14, 2017


    I recently had some henna done and it was so pretty, and lasted about a month! I was really pleased with it.

  • Reply September 18, 2017


    I love having henna on my hands but I have never tried doing it myself mainly because I have no talent at all at drawing. However, every time I go to India I get my hands covered in henna, is so pretty. I never had the black one through and I would never choose it.

  • Reply September 19, 2017


    I’ve always been interested in henna and I really want to try it out but I am awful at that kind of artistic stuff. Lol. I might try if they make stencils! I got henna done on my leg once while on vacation and the guy was awful at it lol.

    xo, Kimberly

  • Reply September 20, 2017

    Leigh-Ann Otto

    I adore the intracacy of henna designs. I’ve somehow never thought of doing it myself but I’m going to give it a shot this weekend! Here’s hoping I don’t mess it up!

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