Semi Permanent Tattoos

The Truth About Semi Permanent Tattoos


Semi permanent tattoos are a great option for individuals who like the idea of changing one’s look every few months. Although there is some commitment involved in certain types of semi permanent tattoos, the results have a fraction of the life expectancy of permanent tattoos. Although some individuals may feel that having a temporary tattoo applied to the skin is less appealing because it doesn’t involve a lifelong commitment, the semi permanent variety can definitely have its perks, such as being less costly, allowing the individual to “move” their tattoo to different parts of the body, and also allowing the individual to trade an old, boring tattoo for a new one with different colors and size. That being said, semi permanent tattoos aren’t for everyone as they do still tend to last several months. The following sections are intended to describe a few semi permanent tattoo options and provide helpful information for those who are considering this type of body art.




Mehndi is an ancient form of body art that, at one time, was primarily used by the people of India, Pakistan, Maldives, and Bangladesh. This form of body art, which is known as “henna” or “henna tattoos” in the western world, is a form of skin staining that is traditionally done on the hands and wrists. Today one can have a mehndi “tattoo” applied virtually anywhere on the body. Mehndi involves using a substance called henna which is dark reddish-brown when prepared for the purpose of body art. The henna solution resembles a thick paste and is applied to the skin using a cone. Traditional designs are very intricate and are often made up of a frenzy of circles and swirls that travel from the tips of the fingers, over the palm of the hand, and down to an area just below the wrist. The artist can adjust the fineness of the cone’s point by widening or constricting the opening of the cone’s point.


Mehndi is considered a semi permanent form of body art because it only lasts a few days. In fact, for most people a henna tattoo will last as few as four days and as much as one week. For those who really like the look of a henna tattoo, the process of constantly reapplying the design each week can be tedious but is also very worthwhile. Henna body art can be applied by professional body artists or a self-application kit can be purchased.


Airbrush Tattoo


An airbrush tattoo is yet another option for individuals who want the look of a brightly colored tattoo without the long term commitment. An airbrush tattoo is applied using a stencil and an air gun filled with skin-safe ink. The ink attaches to the skin but does not penetrate it, therefore that tattoo will only last as long as the ink can hold onto the skin, which is usually about four days for most people. The life of an airbrush tattoo can be extended if one avoids touching or scrubbing the tattoo, especially in the shower or bath. Keeping the skin clear of body lotions and oils can also prevent the tattoo from fading away prematurely. Airbrush tattoos can be done in shopping malls, indoor and outdoor markets, and even in beauty salons. In fact, because there is no special licensure required to administer this form of body art anyone can purchase the equipment and make their own personalized body art.


Stick-On Tattoos


Stick-on tattoos are one of the most widely recognized form of semi permanent tattoos. For most westerners, the stick-on tattoo (sometimes also called “rub-on tattoo”) is associated with childhood. The truth is that stick-on tattoos are still as popular as ever and are even used regularly by adults who want to avoid the pain, cost, and/or commitment of a traditional tattoo. Stick-on tattoos can be purchased in booklets that contain a variety of design styles or they can be purchased on a custom-made basis from companies that specialize in stick-on tattoo art. One can even buy special printer paper that will allow him/her to print their own design on the tattoo paper and apply the image to skin just like a regular stick-on tat. Party supply stores, beauty salons, and online retailers also sell this type of temporary tattoo. The estimated life of this kind of “tattoo” is between four to seven days and can be affected by scrubbing or rubbing the material on the skin. Removal can be executed by rubbing the skin with warm, soapy water.


Tattoo Pens


Although homemade temporary tats done with various colors of ballpoint pens are certainly nothing new, but some companies have taken body-doodling to a new level by creating tattoo pens. These pens are essentially permanent markers with a wide tip on one end and a fine-point on the other. They come in a wide range of colors and can be bought at craft stores, body art supply companies, and through online retailers. Realistically, an alternative to using pens that are marketed as “tattoo pens” is to simply buy a wide selection of permanent markers in both bold and fine tips.