Indigo does not dye hair black on its own because it does not attach to hair. You will have to use it with Henna because indigo attaches to henna.
Indigo powder is from the ground leaves of the indigo plant (Indigofera tinctoria) which releases a deep blue dye used for centuries to dye textiles and hair. Indigo combined with a henna application on hair produces deep rich red/brown shades through to a rich jet black colour. This is considered safe alternative for people who are sensitive to chemical dyes. A doctor should be consulted if you have any concerns.
Things to note about Indigo
- Blended with henna, it creates a medium brown to rich deep brown hair dye
- Indigo applied over henna treated hair makes a lush black hair colour
- Adds richness, shine, and texture
- Covers gray hair
- Use as often as you like for healthy dark brown to black hair colour
- Non drying
- NO chemicals, preservatives, PPD or nut derivatives
- Does not dye hair black on its own.
Indigo Henna Dye recipe for touch up treatments.
What you will need.
- Indigo and Henna
- Wooden spoon
- Enamelware bowl
- Old T-shirt that you don’t mind if it gets stained
- Wide toothed comb
- An acidic liquid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- Warm water
- Essential oil (optional)
- Prepare henna paste and cover bowl with plastic. Put bowl in a warm place and allow to sit for 12-24 hours until the dye has released. Follow directions for henna here.
- Mix indigo into the henna paste. You may adjust the consistency with warm water until it’s the consistency of thick yogurt and allow to sit for 15 minutes
- Protect your hands by wearing gloves and wear an old top or drape your shoulders with a towel because the mixture will stain your clothes
- Apply the indigo/henna paste to freshly washed damp hair in sections, completely coating all the hair down to the roots, starting at the nape/back of the head moving forward.
- Wrap your hair in a shower cap or plastic wrap and allow to soak in for 1-6 hours
- Rinse or shampoo or co-wash to remove any residue as many times as it takes for the water to run clear of the dye or until you are satisfied that you will not stain your clothes.
Condition to soften hair and style as usual.
- You may deep condition after the herbal dye treatments to counteract dryness.
Repeat: Monthly for healthy, thick and shiny, dark locks
- The higher proportion of indigo to henna the darker the colour will be
- The longer you allow the paste to soak in the darker and richer the colour will be
- Takes about 2 days for the colour to oxidize and show its true shade
Dying hair black for the first time.
To dye hair black for the first time, do a 2 step process for best results.
Step 1: Use henna first for your base tone
- Follow directions for henna here.
Step 2: follow with an Indigo treatment for jet black hair.
- Mix indigo with warm water until it’s the consistency of thick yogurt.
- Optional, add 1 teaspoon salt per 100 grams of indigo powder for darker colour.
- Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- For a scent you may add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to your paste mixture.
- Apply indigo over the freshly hennaed and washed hair to create the deep black colour and rinse out as usual.
Indigo powder: cool dark place.
Paste: use immediately as indigo paste does not freeze or keep well.
How much do I need?
Short Hair: 100g
Shoulder Length Hair: 200-300g depending on the amount of hair & thickness
Long Hair: 400-500g
Please perform a strand test before using any of these recipes or products on your hair to be sure you like the colour and result.
When using natural products please keep in mind that every product will react and colour your hair uniquely. The result will be different and unique on everyone depending on hair type and condition. There are many ingredients and recipes to try, have fun experimenting!