Henna is the most ancient cosmetic on record today, and its popularity hasn’t dimmed with time. This inky paste is made from a native plant that thrives in Asia and off the Mediterranean coast of Africa.
Painting henna on the skin in beautiful, intricate patterns is one of the oldest wedding traditions practiced throughout Asia, India and Africa.
The process is referred to as Mehndi, and this tradition has even made it to some weddings and special occasions in the western world due to its beautiful and elegant appeal.
Last year, I was invited to my best friend’s wedding in India. One of the most exciting parts of the week-long ceremony and celebration was getting henna painted on my hands and forearms with my best friend.
The design looked absolutely amazing and I was thrilled to be part of such a beautiful tradition. Dressed in a sparkling sari with elaborate makeup and jewelry adorning my face and the Mehendi designs painted on my hands, I felt like I was in a movie. I never wanted these times to end.
Having a henna brings you a feeling like you have a tatoo. But of course, the time henna is on your skin is shorter. It's really interesting but unfortunately, the celebrations did come to an end and it was time for me to get back to my life in the States.
As I was thinking about the big business meetings I had to attend once I got home, it occurred to me that I would have to get this henna off of my skin fast. The trouble with henna is that it can last two weeks before it fades enough to be unnoticeable. In a panic for a quick solution, I turned to Google and found a lot of effective advice.
I tried a few of the techniques I found and my henna faded more with each treatment. I came across some old photos from the wedding today and the entire experience came back to me. I thought it would be a great idea to put together a tutorial for all the ladies in the world who are faced with this problem today.
What you’ll need to Follow This Tutorial
The solutions in this tutorial each require basic household items that you probably already have lying around your kitchen or bathroom. If you don’t have them already, you can find them in any supermarket or pharmacy. Check around your house and see if you have any of the following items:
- Warm water
- Olive oil
- Exfoliating face scrub
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Antibacterial soap
- Baking soda
Depending on which items you have in your home, you can get started with any of the 9 corresponding treatment methods below. Feel free to use multiple methods in one day, as needed.
The Top 9 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Henna Fast
1. Warm Water Rinse
While this method is the most natural, it doesn’t remove the stains instantly. It’s a good method to use if you don’t need to get the henna off of your skin right away, but you want to hasten the process so that it comes off in less than two weeks.
- How to do it: Soak your henna-covered skin in warm water for 15-20 minutes, then gently rub the area with a loofah.
- How often you should do it: You should only do this soak once a day, but you can wash with soap and warm water up to three times a day.
2. Olive Oil Massage
Olive oil is another great natural ingredient you can use to remove henna. It’s gentle on the skin and effective at removing the ink stains.
- How to do it: Add a little bit of salt to a few tablespoons of olive oil. Use a cotton swab to soak up the oil, then rub it over the henna. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Your skin will probably absorb most of the oil, but you can wash with soap and warm water after 10 minutes.
- How often you should do it: Multiple times a day, as often as you want.
3. Exfoliating Scrub
A simple face exfoliator can be effective in speeding up the henna removal process. The little beads in the scrub wash remove the outermost later of skin molecules gently. The henna ink in those molecules gets washed away with them.
- How to do it: Simply take your favorite face exfoliating scrub wash and massage the areas of your skin colored by henna for at least two minutes.
- How often you should do it: You can use this method once per day. You should see the henna begin to fade pretty quickly.
4. Use Toothpaste
Toothpaste can be used for many things besides brushing your teeth, and removing henna quickly is one of them. Be sure to apply moisturizer after trying this method as toothpaste dries the skin.
- How to do it: Rub a generous amount of toothpaste over the henna stains. Wait for it to dry and then rub it off of the skin.
- How often you should do it: Toothpaste is pretty abrasive, which is why this method should give you awesome results the first time you try it. You can apply this treatment once every other day until the henna stains are gone.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide Rub
Hydrogen peroxide might sound a little scary, but it’s a non-toxic solution that is excellent for cleaning and removing stains. You can find it in any supermarket or pharmacy. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to test a patch of skin first before you rub it all over.
- How to do it: Soak a ball of cotton in the hydrogen peroxide and rub it over the henna. Let it sit for about three minutes. Wash your skin with warm water and soap.
- How often you should do it: This is an extremely effective method for henna removal, so you should only need to do this once. If you need to do it again, wait a day between treatments.
6. Salt Water Soak
Salt is a powerful natural cleanser. Using a salt water soak to remove your henna stains will speed up the fading process significantly. Remember to moisturize after this treatment method as salt can make the skin extremely dry.
- How to do it: Fill a large bowl with water and about 1/8 to 1/4 cups sea salt. Soak the area of your skin covered with henna in the solution for 20 minutes. When you’re done, pat your skin dry.
- How often you should do it: You can use this method once a day until the henna has faded away completely. It is not advisable to do it more than once a day because salt can really dry out your skin.
7. Antibacterial Soap Cleanse
Washing your hands and henna-covered skin with an antibacterial soap is the most convenient way to help the stains fade, but it’s also the slowest method.
- How to do it: Simply wash the area of your skin with henna on it with antibacterial soap and warm water.
- How often you should do it: You should wash your skin around 10-12 times a day, or once per hour, until the henna stains fade. Always moisturize immediately after washing to keep your skin hydrated.
8. Lime Bleaching
Lime is a powerful natural cleanser that works great for removing germs and stains. Bleaching the henna stains with a lime solution is a very effective removal method. Before you use this method, check your skin for any nicks or cuts. Lime juice will burn any open wounds.
- How to do it: You can squeeze fresh lime into a bowl of warm water and soak your skin in it, or you can rub the juice of fresh lime directly onto the henna on your skin. Either way, soak your skin for at least three minutes.
- How often you should do it: Use this effective henna removal method one to two times a day until your henna stains have faded away.
9. Baking Soda Solution
Baking soda and lime are two powerful, all-natural bleaching agents. They also work really well for removing stains. Together, they make an extremely effective treatment method for removing henna stains from your skin.
- How to do it: Mix 1/8 cup baking soda with the juice from one or two fresh limes until it forms a thick paste. Apply the paste to the areas of your skin that have henna stains and let it sit for 10 minutes. Once the paste has dried, gently rub a loofah over it using a circular motion. Rinse the solution off using warm water.
- How often you should do it: This method should be extremely effective after just one time. You can repeat it again after a day if you need to. Remember to moisturize thoroughly after using this method as baking soda can be really harsh on skin.
I hope you find these methods helpful and effective. If they worked for me, I’m sure they’ll work for you too. While henna can be a beautiful thing in the moment, it’s important to know how to get rid of it quickly when it’s time for you to get back to your busy life.
If you have any comments or questions, please leave them for me here. Let me know which method you found helpful and whether you’ve used any other effective henna removal treatments that aren’t listed here.
If you found this tutorial helpful, don’t forget to share it and help other ladies who need some pro-level advice on how to get rid of henna fast.