I get a call. “Hey! I want to get a henna tattoo. Just something small. A little butterfly on my shoulder.”
“Are you sure that’s all you want? I charge at least $60 for a home appointment.”
“What???” (thud as the caller faints)
Most people don’t want to spend $60 on henna. That’s understandable, especially with the economy the way it is. So, what are some options if you’d like to try henna but don’t have much cash?
Fear not! I have several options, but first, let's talk about how henna artists set their prices...
Festival Pricing vs. Private Appointment Pricing
Henna artists can get away with charging $5 to $25 per design at festivals because of volume – with dozens or even hundreds of customers, small charges add up fast. Think of it as the McDonald’s model.
However, hiring a henna artist to come to your home is like hiring a private chef to fix a gourmet meal. You wouldn’t pay top dollar to have a chef microwave popcorn, and no chef would fix a five-course meal for the price of a Big Mac.
Private henna appointments are very comparable to what you’d pay for an hour of nail services, hair styling or a therapeutic massage – and henna artists make house calls! (Try asking your hair stylist for a house call.) Also, henna artists generally do not do henna 40 hours a week; they're artists doing commissioned work, which factors into the price. An hour of henna gives you something far more elaborate than a quick butterfly on your shoulder. It’s a luxurious experience that takes time, expertise and quality products to do well, and the price reflects that also.
Henna Options for the Budget-conscious
However, if you have BMW tastes on a VW budget, you can still get your henna fix. Here are some options:
Last option is to do things the old-fashioned way: save. Yeah, we Americans love instant gratification, but putting a little in the piggy bank over time makes the rainy day sweeter when it comes.
And one last word … be wary of anyone offering henna too cheaply, especially for home appointments. You might luck out and get a talented artist with gonzo paste … or you might get someone who has never invested in quality ingredients or serious study and won’t think twice about showing up late (or not at all) and doing crap work because, hey, she’s not getting paid much!
So if you go inexpensive, be smart. Go for value, not just price.