Do you like the look of body art in traditional Indian or middle eastern weddings? Or do you want to know how a tattoo would look on you without committing to something permanent? Then you might want to consider henna tattoo designs.
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Henna (or Mehndi) tattoos are temporary body art made by applying a paste from henna powder or dried henna leaves. The tattoos are common at weddings and other cultural events in Asian, Middle Eastern, and African countries. However, they are not limited to one culture, religion, or event; anyone can get them for any reason or occasion.
Top 30 henna tattoos designs
What does a henna tattoo symbolize? Henna tattoos have different symbolisms, which vary from one design to the other, one culture or religion to the other, and even one person to the other. They can stand for many things such as happiness, prosperity, new beginnings, love, unity, harmony, power, and eternity.
1. A flower
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Flowers are one of the most common henna designs you will come across. They range from simple to intricate designs, which you can apply anywhere – hands, legs, back, and abdomen. Flower henna tattoos can have several meanings, such as happiness, joy, beauty, and new beginnings.
2. A sun
The sun is one of the most common symbols in henna body art. Sun drawings are one of the several beginner and easy henna tattoo designs. However, you can make yours as intricate as you want and combine it with other celestial symbols.
Sun henna tattoos can have many meanings, including happiness, endless love, life, spiritual knowledge, resurrection and renewal. They are usually drawn on the hands, legs, and back.
3. A dragon design
Dragons are one of the most common tattoo symbols, and you will find them even in the henna culture. It has several meanings, including power, courage, and mystery. Some cultures even consider dragons to be a symbol of luck and prosperity. Most people draw dragon henna tattoos on their arms (sleeve), legs, and back.
4. A heart design
Heart drawings are another common henna tattoo design which symbolizes love. They are usually worn on the hands and are common during romantic events such as weddings, engagements, and Valentine's Day. Hearts also make for matching henna tattoos and can be worn by both men and women.
5. A lace design
Lace designs are another common type of henna tattoo. Depending on the tattoo and where it has been drawn, they can have different meanings, for example, purity, innocence, and even an expression of sexuality. They are common on the hands and legs but can also be worn on the back, shoulders, thighs, and other body areas.
6. Dots and arrows
Dots and Arrows are common symbols in tattoo culture and make for cool but straightforward henna designs. Depending on the design and culture, they can mean different things such as courage, love, moving on, new beginnings, or a symbol for warding off evil. They are usually worn on the arms (especially the fingers) and legs.
7. An elephant design
Elephants are another common element of henna tattoos, especially among Indians. They are primarily religious or spiritual, as an elephant is a sacred animal in the Hindu religion. Therefore, most people prefer to wear them where they are most visible, such as on the hand and arm. However, you can also wear them on the legs or the back, especially for the more intricate designs.
8. Paisley henna designs
Paisley is a distinctive and intricate pattern of curved, teardrop-like shape. It is a common design used in henna drawings, especially for brides. They are commonly worn on the hands or feet.
Paisley henna tattoos symbolize prosperity, a wish for happiness and fertility, and a sign of development, energy, and immortality. They have also become synonymous with Indian fashion and art.
9. A rose flower
A rose is another common symbol used in floral henna designs. Most rose flower drawings are simple, though some people prefer theirs to be intricate. They represent beauty, femininity, love, grace, and power. Rose henna tattoos are ideal for the hands, arms, shoulder, legs, thighs, and back.
10. Moon designs
The moon is another common celestial symbol that is used in henna tattoos. It represents love, partnership, femininity, beauty, health, fertility, good luck, change, and protection.
A moon tattoo can be small and simple or detailed as a part of a large henna design. You can combine it with another celestial symbol such as the sun or stars. Moon tattoos are usually drawn on the hands or legs.
11. A sahasrara henna tattoo
Sahasrara is a lotus-like pattern, referred to as the seven primary chakras or the crown of chakra in the yoga traditions. It is another floral design used in henna tattoos.
It is mostly religious or spiritual, symbolizing one's spiritual connection to a god or the universe, but it can also stand for unity. The tattoo is mostly drawn on the hands (palms) but can also be worn on the arms, legs, shoulder, back, and other visible places.
12. A snake henna tattoo
Snake henna tattoo designs might not be the most common, but you can still find many people wearing them. They are mostly worn on the arms, legs, or back. Depending on the culture, they can have different meanings, including knowledge, wisdom, fertility, and desire.
13. Wings henna designs
Wing designs are a more modern type of henna tattooing and are quite popular in western cultures. They symbolize freedom or spirituality. Some people also use them as a "test drive" to get a feel of what a permanent wing tattoo might look like. Most people will have the henna design drawn on their back or the abdominal area.
14. A peacock design
The peacock is the national bird of India and thus one of the most popular elements in henna tattoo designs. The bird represents beauty and prosperity. For some people, a peacock henna design can also represent the connection between earth and heaven. The design is mostly placed on the hands, legs, or back.
15. V-inspired henna tattoo design
V-shaped or triangular designs are common in henna tattoos, especially in Indian culture. In the Hindu religion, triangles symbolize the deities Shakti and Shiva, and thus they represent spirituality and power. Some people also believe that the triangular shape helps to protect them from evil spirits. These designs are mostly worn on the hands.
16. A bracelet design
Bracelets are another common henna tattoo design. There are two variations to this design – bracelet only or a bracelet connected to the fingers, especially the ring finger. These designs mainly express beauty, though they can feature elements such as flowers, celestial symbols, lacey designs, and triangular symbols which have deeper meanings.
17. A mandala henna design
Mandala henna designs are inspired by traditional Indian mandala art. They feature several layers of curves (swirls) and points, creating intricate and beautiful henna tattoos. They can represent spirituality, a connection to deities, or harmony with the cosmos. You can place these tattoo designs anywhere on your body, from the hands, feet, or back.
18. A dream catcher design
Dreamcatchers are popular talismans with origin in the Native American culture. People believe that they capture dreams, filtering bad dreams away. They have become common in henna tattoo designs, especially in modern cultures.
People wear them as a symbol of positivity, an expression of beauty, or to ward off evil spirits. Common placement includes the hands, legs, shoulders, and back.
19. A butterfly design
Butterflies are a popular symbol in henna art. They represent rebirth, change, transformation, and new beginnings. They can also symbolize a wish for a happy marriage – especially two butterfly designs. Some of the most common placements include the hands, legs (especially the thighs), shoulders, and back.
20. Yin and yang designs
The yin and yang are one of the most common symbols in body art practices. It originates from the ancient Chinese philosophy of how two opposing forces can be interconnected, creating a perfect balance. As a result, they have become quite common in henna art in recent years.
Yin and yang henna designs represent different things such as male and female, sun and moon, dark and light, masculinity and femininity, earth and heaven. They symbolize balance, harmony, interconnectedness, and dualities. They also make for perfect matching henna tattoos.
21. A dragonfly design
Dragonflies are another common animal symbol used in henna body art. Like butterflies, they stand for freedom, transformation, and new beginnings. They are perfect for beginner, simple henna tattoo designs, but you can make yours as intricate as you desire. Most people place them on their hands, legs, shoulder blades, or back.
22. A hand glove henna design
Glove-like hand henna designs are more common during events such as weddings, engagements, cultural festivals, and other celebrations. They are a sign of beauty, joy, and positive spirits. They are also painted on the brides during weddings to wish them good luck, health, and prosperity.
23. Vine and leaves designs
Aside from flowers, vines and leaves are another common plant symbol in henna body painting. The designs for these tattoos range from small and simple to large and elaborate. They represent happiness, prosperity, longevity, strength, and beauty. They are mostly drawn on the hands, especially the fingers, but people also wear them on their legs.
24. An eye-inspired design
Henna tattoos featuring eye patterns symbolize wisdom, prosperity, and good health. However, they can also stand for an evil eye, which offers protection against evil spirits, thoughts, and wishes. Most people draw them on their hands (palms, wrist area, and sleeves) or the back (around the neck area).
25. Henna tree of life designs
Trees are another common inspiration for henna tattoo designs. There are several types of henna tattoos featuring trees, which symbolize concepts such as growth, development, being grounded, and reaching for your dreams. Common placement for these tattoos includes the hands, legs, back, and abdominal areas.
26. Bird designs
Aside from peacocks, henna art features several other types of birds, such as parrots. They represent a connection between earth and heaven or as a symbol of freedom, free soul, or happiness. They can be simple or intricate; you can have yours drawn on the hands, fingers, legs, shoulders, and back.
27. Om henna tattoo
Om (Aum) is a sacred spiritual symbol in the Hindu religion or yoga practice. It is a mantra chanted to express harmony with the universe or gratitude. Due to its deep religious meaning, it is a popular symbol for henna tattoos. Common placement for these tattoo designs includes the hands, legs, and back.
28. Feather designs
Feather designs are a popular form of henna art across many cultures. They can have different meanings that vary from one culture or individual to another. For example, they represent freedom, truth, honour, justice, strength, trust, and order, among other things. They are commonly placed on easily visible parts such as the arm or legs.
29. Spiral designs
Spirals are another common symbol in henna art with religious or spiritual meaning. In ancient cultures, they represented the living energy of an individual. They were also used as symbols of deities, life, rebirth, and growth from within. You can have a spiral henna tattoo on your hand, leg, or back.
30. Phoenix designs
The phoenix is another common bird in body art and is popular even in henna tattooing. It represents rebirth, transformation, development, and new beginnings. Common placement for phoenix henna tattoos includes the hands, legs, and back.
How long do henna tattoos stay?
Henna tattoos are temporary. But how long do they last on your body? The longevity of the body drawings is affected by several factors, such as:
- The strength of the henna dye used – the stronger the dye, the longer it will last.
- The location of the tattoo – if it is on an area of your body exposed to water and soap (for example, the palms), it will fade faster.
- The skill of the artist
- The care of the tattoo – moisturizing oils such as coconut oils can help increase longevity.
Depending on these factors, a henna tattoo can last between two weeks and one month. However, you can remove the tattoo earlier by washing it with soap, water, and exfoliating scrub. Natural ingredients such as salt and lemon can also help speed up removal.
The above are some of the top henna tattoo designs that you might consider. There are also several other designs you can find out there with different meanings. On top of that, you can make your custom designs. The trick is to find something that fits your style.
You can make this traditional pattern by using flowers, skulls, and panthers which carry different meanings. Check out the article to learn more.
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