Difference Between Mehndi and Henna

When applied, Mehndi or henna tattoos look beautiful and have a soothing effect on the hands or any body parts.


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In India, the mehndi ceremony is a part of the Indian wedding, and on this day, mehndi is applied to the hands and feet of the bride. In some parts of India, even the grooms apply mehndi on their hands.

There are no such major differences between the two terms mehndi and henna.

Both terms somehow indicate the same thing. If you have never had a Mehndi tattoo on your hands, you should surely try it. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Mehndi is a form of body art that involves creating intricate designs on the skin using a paste made from dried leaves of the Henna plant, while Henna refers to the plant itself.
  2. Mehndi has been a cultural practice in India, Pakistan, and the Middle East for centuries, while Henna has been used for medicinal purposes in many cultures.
  3. Mehndi is commonly used for weddings, festivals, and other celebrations, while Henna is used for hair dye, skin treatments, and as a natural dye for fabrics.

Mehndi vs Henna

Mehandi is derived from the Sanskrit word mendhikā. Mehndi is commonly known as henna tattoo, although it is not actually a tattoo as only the surface of the skin is inked. Henna designs are not tattoos, a tattoo is permanent as ink pierces the skin, while henna is a temporary dye which sits on the skin’s surface.

Mehndi vs Henna

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Furthermore, the word mehndi is famous in India, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, etc., while henna is famous almost worldwide.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison MehndiHenna
Definition Mehndi is a temporary tattoo that is generally drawn on the hands and feet and is made by grinding henna leaves into paste or powder. This paste or powder can also be used to colour hair.Henna is a plant whose botanical name is Lawsonia inermis and belongs to the family Lythraceae.
SignificanceIt is used in several Indian ceremonies, and people like tattooing mehndi on special occasions. Also, it fades off on some days. Applying mehndi on the hair naturally conditions your hair and also acts as a natural dye.The henna or the Lawsonia inermis is a medicinal plant whose parts, like leaves and seeds, have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral properties, etc. 
Derivation of the wordThe word mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘mendhika’.The word henna is derived from the Arabic word ‘al-hinna’.
Popular inMehndi is most popular in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, etc.The word henna is popular worldwide.
UsesMehndi can be used on hands or any other body part as tattoos or to dye hair or nails.Henna leaves can be used for dyeing hair or body parts. Henna is also used for medicinal purposes, and it is also stress-relieving.

What is Mehndi?

Mehndi is an art form in which the mehndi artists draw designs on the hands, feet or any body parts with a paste made from crushed henna leaves.

In the Western parts, people call mehndi henna. It is famous in the Indian subcontinent, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, some parts of Africa, etc. 

Mehndi is a part of Indian traditions and is often used by Indian women on festivals like Diwali, Eid, Karwa Chauth, Bhai dooj, Shivratri, etc.

The Mehndi ceremony is performed before the Hindu wedding day, and on this day, the bride and other women apply Mehndi tattoos on their hands and feet.

It is even a belief that the darker the colour of the mehndi, the luckier the bride. She will be liked and loved by her husband and her in-laws if her mehndi leaves a darker colour.

Mehndi is also applied to theirs as a natural hair dye. Besides, mehndi conditions your hair and is very soothing and relaxing.


What is Henna?

Henna is the name of a plant, but in general, people refer to it as the henna tattoo, which is made by grinding the leaves of the henna plant.

The botanical name of this plant is Lawsonia inermis, and it belongs to the family Lythraceae.

It is a medicinal herb, and its parts are used as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, hypertensive, or antiviral agents.

It can even treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, or skin infections.

The word henna is derived from the Arabic word ‘al-hinna’. It has a characteristic flower, and its leaves have a characteristic aroma.

Due to its beautiful fragrance is even used to manufacture perfumes and added to some beauty products.


Main Differences Between Mehndi and Henna

  1. Mehndi is a paste or a powder made from the leaves of the henna plant by grinding them, while henna is a plant whose botanical name is Lawsonia inermis.
  2. The term mehndi is probably famous in India and Pakistan, while Jenna is famous worldwide.
  3. The word mehndi is derived from a Sanskrit word, while the word henna is derived from an Arabic word.
  4. Mehndi can be used to make tattoos on hands or feet or any body parts and for dyeing hair and nails. At the same time, henna is a medicinal plant with antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties and a stress reliever.
  5. Mehndi usually means the dye we obtain from the henna leaves, while, to some people, henna may mean a dye though it’s a plant.
Difference Between Mehndi and Henna
  1. https://catalog.davisart.com/Promotions/SchoolArts/PDF/4_11-elementary-studio-art-lesson-plan-the-art-of-henna.pdf
  2. https://www.tu.edu.sa/Attachments/d38d647a-ad1c-495f-a4cf-91ab9a1a9e55_.pdf
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