How the Move Away from Calling Henna Art Tattooing


Henna art is a form of body art, just as tattooing is though there is one main difference between the two. Henna art is a temporary form of body art while tattooing is a permanent form of body art. So how do we get away from calling it henna tattooing? And why did this term come up anyways?

The term henna tattoo became because of marketing. Henna tattooing was used as a marketing strategy to get more people interested in it; to help gain popularity in North America. Henna art is a temporary form of body art while ink tattooing is a more permanent form of body art, but marketers wanted to create the sense that the two are tied together to help gain interest and popularity in this new form of body art.


The word tattoo comes from the Samoan word tatau which means to strike or mark made on the skin. Tattooing is done with ink driven into the skin via a needle, while henna art uses a paste made from henna powder to stain the surface of the skin. Both these actions are very different in how they act towards the skin; one penetrates the skin while the other dyes the skin's surface.


So is henna art like tattooing? In reality no it is not. There is a design being placed on the skin however one is permanent and the other is not. So let’s start calling henna art what it really is, henna body art and stick away from the marketing gimmicks that are put out there.