Henna For Nails: How to Apply, Mix, Benefits & Drawbacks

Henna For Nails: How to Apply, Mix, Benefits & Drawbacks
Henna For Nails: How to Apply, Mix, Benefits & Drawbacks

Henna, also known as Mehendi, is a natural plant-based dye. It is commonly used to either create temporary skin tattoos and artwork or as a natural hair tint.

Now Henna can also be used to safely and effectively color your nails. And it is popularly used in both the Indian and middle eastern communities as a natural nail polish alternative.

So in this article, we will guide you on How you can use henna on your nails and the pros and cons of doing so.

How to Apply Henna To Nails

Step 1 – Prep & Clean Your Nails

Firstly, prep your nails by pushing back your cuticles and then gently buffing the nail plate using a medium grit nail file.

Then clean your nails with cotton pads soaked with either acetone or rubbing alcohol.

Step 2 – Apply Vaseline

Before applying the henna you should apply vaseline to the skin around the nail plate. This helps to prevent the henna from staining your skin.

Step 3 – Apply Henna Paste

Carefully apply the henna paste onto your nails using either a brush or a henna cone. Let it dry for 20 minutes or for 5 minutes if you use a blow dryer.

Once the paste is dried wrap the nails with foil paper or if you want you can wear latex gloves to keep the solid henna paste onto your nails

Step 4 – Leave the Paste to Dry

Leave the henna on your nails to dry for at least 2 hours but you can leave it on for longer if you want a darker color.

Step 5 – Remove Paste

After 2 hours use a cuticle pusher to remove the dried-up paste. Now you will notice that your nails have a light/subtle color. DONT PANIC, After 24-48 hours the color will darken to how it should be.

If you want your nails to be darker than it is after 48 to 72 hours have passed you can reapply more henna to your nails.

Step 6 – Apply a Clear Top Coat

If you want your henna nails to last longer & have a glossy sheen, you can apply a clear top coat over them after 48 hours have passed.

Video of How to Apply Henna to Nails

Recommended Henna For Nails

You have 2 main choices with henna you can:

  1. Buy pre-mixed henna paste in cones (easiest & quickest method
  2. Or you can make your henna paste from powder.

1- Pre-mixed Henna Paste Cones

These are cones that contain premixed henna paste which you can directly apply to your nails. The fine tip of the cones allows for the henna to be easily applied onto your nails without making a mess.

You can click here to see the price for a pack of Premixed Henna Cones on Amazon

2- Mix Your Henna

Henna sells in a powder form which you then have to mix with water and lemon juice to make it into a paste. The advantage of using henna powder allows you to control the thickness of the paste.

Note avoid making your henna paste too watery this allows it to dry faster and prevents it from running onto your skin.

Video of How to Mix Henna Powder to make Paste

Recommended Henna

The Henna Guys have some really high-quality henna, you can click here to see the available colors on Amazon.

Black Henna for Nails

If you want to create black nails you will need to use a black henna dye. But you may need to apply it at least 2 times to have a solid black color.

You can click here to see the price for a pack of black henna dye on Amazon.

How Long Will Henna Nails Last

Henna will permanently stain your nails, though the color will gradually fade. You should be able to enjoy the solid color for at least 2-3 weeks until it starts to slowly fade.

Now the stain will remain on the nails for at least 3-5 months until new unstained nails have grown.

Why is the Henna Color So Light on My Nails

Once you have removed the henna paste from the nails, the color will be light and subtle but the color will darken after 24-48 hours have passed.

This is because the henna dye needs time to react to the air and oxidize for it to reach its true dark color. Citation.

Precaution When Using Henna

Even though henna is a natural plant-based dye it can still cause allergic reactions. So I recommend if you are trying henna for the first time, conduct a patch test to ensure your skin won’t react to the dye.

To do a patch text just apply a small amount of henna on your skin and leave it for a few hours and watch for any reactions.

Benefits of Henna Nails

  1. More natural when compared to nail polish and other nail products.
  2. Plant-Based
  3. Long-lasting

Drawbacks of Henna Nails

  1. Takes a while to apply – 2 hours for the paste to dry and 48 hours for a solid color to show up
  2. Inconsistent – the degree of color will vary depending on your mixture and how long you leave the henna on.
  3. Lack of color options to choose from.
  4. Will stain your nails for 3-4 months.

A Natural & Alternative to Henna For Nails

Peel-Off nail polishes are water-based, non-toxic nail polishes that are simply amazing. You can click here to learn more about them.

Healthiest & Safest Types of Manicures.


Is Henna Safe – Healthline.

Healthline – Antimicrobial Effects