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Can You Get a Real Tattoo Over Henna

Did you just come back from a vacation where you got an awesome henna tattoo, or did you receive one locally for a special event? After a while you will notice it begin to fade, as it’s supposed to. In a few more weeks it will be gone completely. If you’ve grown quite fond and accustomed to it, you may come to the conclusion that you’d love to have the it made permanent. Subsequently, you’re wondering if you can tattoo over henna. It would make the transition from a temporary tattoo to the real deal seem seamless. However, you should not tattoo over henna.

Before a tattoo, your epidermis should be clean and completely free of dirt, debris, lotions, and any other foreign particles, including the paste that makes the henna used to apply your temporary body art. Tattooing over henna can compromise the new ink, its ability to set, and ultimately the integrity of the same design that you want to be made permanent on your skin. So what can you do to transfer your beloved henna art into a real tattoo? Let’s review.

What to do to Transfer a Temporary Henna Tattoo Into an Exact Replica for a Real One

Track Down the Original Art

Seeing as you should not tattoo over henna, you will need to get a copy of the original work that the henna artist used to apply it to your skin. If not from a local boutique brick and mortar establishment, find out if the henna stand/kiosk business has a social media profile that you can use to get in touch with them. They are usually happy to provide you with a “hardcopy” for a small fee. It’s worth the $20 (or so) to get the design you have a deep affinity for. Take the copy to your tattoo artist, which they can transfer over to the special thermal paper they use to apply it to your newly cleaned and cleared (of the old henna) skin.

What If You Can’t Get the Original?

If you don’t have a hardcopy of the design or it was applied by freehand, you will need to take a careful photo of the temporary henna tattoo before it fades any further. The flatter the surface area of your skin, the better. If it wraps around your arm or leg (etc.) you will want to use the panoramic feature on your smartphone camera to create as flat of an image as you can. Edit the photo by using the contrast function to better differentiate the henna design from your skin tone, then convert it to black and white, and be sure to maintain the high-resolution prior to printing the photo. This printed photo will be all that you need to take to your tattooist. From there they will transfer it to thermal paper for skin application.

Schedule a Consultation Before it Fades Any Further

Even if you have the original or have transferred your henna tattoo to a printed photo to take to a studio, it’s very important to schedule a consultation with a tattooist. Do so before the henna fades any further, or in other words – do it today. Your tattooist wants to see firsthand exactly what the henna looks like on your skin, including how the design works with the contours of your body. They may take video or photos of the current design to ensure that the real tattoo is placed exactly where the temporary one is. Remember, the henna design must be gone before the tattoo is applied, so by waiting to book your consultation can result in a less accurate replica.

If you live in the Greater Vancouver BC or Toronto ON area, book an appointment so that one of our tattooists can analyze your henna tattoo right away.