Difference Between Mehndi and Henna

Mehndi or henna tattoos look so beautiful and give a soothing effect on the hands, or any body parts when applied.

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.

In fact both the terms somehow indicate the same thing. If you have never had a Mehndi tattoo on your hands then you should surely give it a try. 

Mehndi vs Henna

The difference between mehndi and henna is that henna is a medicinal plant with several uses while mehndi is the henna leaves that are grounded into powder or paste and then used as dyes or tattoos. The word mehndi is derived from a Sanskrit word while the word henna is derived from an Arabic word.

Mehndi vs Henna

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

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 color 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.Henna plant 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 inThe word mehndi 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 can be used to dye hairs 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 or feet or any body parts with the paste made from the 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 the Indian traditions and is quite often used by Indian women on festivals like Diwali, Eid, Karwa Chauth, Bhai dooj, Shivratri, etc.

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 is the color of the mehndi, the luckier is the bride. She would 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 anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, hypertensive, or antiviral agents.

It can even be used to treat anxiety disorders or 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 the beautiful fragrance that it has, it is even used to manufacture perfumes and is even added to some of the 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 the term Jenna is famous all around the world.
  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 also for dyeing hair and nails while henna is a medicinal plant and it has antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties and is also a stress reliever.
  5. Mehndi usually means the dye that 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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