A lot of people might want the option to change their hair colour; a healthier alternative to dying hair with a chemical dye could be henna and indigo. We are all aware of the issues that are associated with hair dyes, now this is not to say that there are not a lot of people with long healthy dyed hair. However some other people may want a more natural alternative to hair dyes which may not require extra maintenance and care for their hair and this is where henna & indigo come in. Also for those with relaxed/texlaxed hair dying your hair with henna & indigo might be a healthier alternative as opposed to a box dye where your hair will be exposed to two chemicals both the relaxer and hair dye. Henna & Indigo are readily available In Nigeria as well as in other Countries for example in Nigeria you can get Henna & Indigo from Konga, the Sizzelle Store and many other shops.
I personally have been toying with getting my hair dyed with henna & indigo because I want dark black hair like I used to have. Henna & Indigo are plant-derived naturally occurring pigments that can dye the hair while still actually imparting the hair with numerous benefits. Henna is a plant that contains a red-orange dye molecule. It acts as a conditioner to the hair; it gives the hair shine and also has excellent strengthening capabilities. Indigo is a plant derived from the dried and powdered leaves of “Indigofera tinctoria” it contains a dark-blue dye molecule. Indigo adds strengthening qualities to the hair, it also possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Indigo cleanses the scalp, restores the natural PH of the scalp and promotes hair growth. To identify authentic indigo powder it should be green in colour and smell like frozen peas. When mixed with water a blue gaze forms over the top. Also when you place wet indigo powder on a piece of paper or cloth, blue dye should leak out.
|I am currently contemplating dying my hair with henna & indigo
Henna used on its own will give hair a reddish tint
Indigo used on its own will give hair a bluish blackish tint
Indigo mixed with Henna will give a medium to deep brown hue
Indigo applied over the top of Henna Treated Hair will give a glorious black colour
Amount of Henna/Indigo to be used – General Guide
100 grams (1 box) – Shoulder length Hair
200 grams (2 boxes) – Medium Length Hair
300 grams (3 boxes) – Long Hair
I will be highlighting how you can use Henna & Indigo together to get your preferred Hair Colour
Mixing Indigo with Henna for a Medium to Deep Brown Hue
Prepare the Henna by mixing it into a paste with some warm water and letting it sit for about 12 – 24 hours in a cool dark place by which time the dye would have been released.
Then mix the indigo into the henna paste until you get a yoghurt like consistency. If you feel it is too thick, you can add some warm water.
Allow the henna & indigo mixture to sit for about 15 minutes.
Next section your dry or damp hair and begin to apply the henna & indigo mixture as you would a relaxer or hair dye thoroughly coating all your hair strands. Be sure to protect your hands with gloves and drape a towel over your shoulders to prevent staining during application. You can also put some Vaseline around your hairline and ears to prevent staining.
Cover hair in a plastic cap and leave on for about 1-6 hours. You can also leave the mixture in your hair overnight to get a really dark effect. Also using an extra cap or scarf would produce more heat allowing faster dye release.
Then proceed to rinse your hair to remove any residue. Next you can do a light deep condition with a moisturising deep conditioner. (Rinse your hair, do not apply shampoo as this will strip your hair of the colour which needs about 24 -48 hours to oxidize.
You can repeat this process every month to maintain and improve the colour.
Note: The higher the proportion of indigo you use, the darker the brown will be.
Applying Indigo over Henna Treated Hair for a Black Colour
This is an excellent method for covering grey hairs, for this process you will need to apply Henna to your hair first before you can follow up with Indigo.
First you will prepare the Henna by mixing it into a paste with some warm water and letting it sit for about 12 – 24 hours in a cool dark place by which time the dye would have been released.
Then you will apply the henna as you would a relaxer or hair dye thoroughly coating all your hair strands. Be sure to protect your hands with gloves and drape a towel over your shoulders to prevent staining during application.
Cover hair in a plastic cap and leave the henna in your hair for about 1-4 hours. Using an extra cap or scarf would produce more heat allowing faster dye release. Then rinse.
Next mix indigo with warm water until you get a yoghurt like consistency. Optional tip – You can add a teaspoon of salt per 100 grams of indigo for a darker colour. Allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes.
Next section your dry or damp hair (previously hennaed hair) and apply the indigo paste as you would a relaxer or hair dye thoroughly coating all your hair strands. Be sure to protect your hands with gloves and drape a towel over your shoulders to prevent staining during application.
Cover hair in a plastic cap and leave on for about 1-8 hours.
Then proceed to rinse your hair to remove any residue. Next you can do a light moisturising deep condition, do not use a protein deep conditioner.
It is important to use indigo almost as soon as possible after mixing it as the release of colour starts immediately.
When washing out henna and indigo be sure to thoroughly rinse your scalp to prevent any dye residue from settling there.
Do not use shampoo for 24-48 hours after treating hair with henna & indigo.
You can do this henna & indigo colouring process over a two day period if it is more convenient for you.
If you have a lot of grey hair which you want to cover up it may be advisable to do more frequent henna and indigo treatments in the beginning so as to maintain the hair colour.
Then as time goes on you can reduce the frequency.
In your attempt to cover up grey hair do not use indigo alone as this will make the hair still grey in colour and will not give any noticeable improvement or worse, grey hair may turn blue.
You can repeat this process every month to maintain and improve the colour.
To get good colour indigo it is advisable not to mix it with anything else apart from water.
Henna & Indigo may cause your curl pattern to appear looser over time.
You can also do a conditioning henna treatment where you allow the henna to fully oxidize before you mix the conditioner in or a henna gloss treatment where you apply the conditioner to henna from the start.
You can also mix your henna with about 3-4 green tea bags, water with lemon juice or orange juice or vinegar as opposed to warm water alone.
When buying henna and Indigo be sure to buy Body Art Quality.
Indigo used on its own does not tend to dye hair properly, it is best to use it mixed with henna or on henna treated hair.
After dying your hair with henna & indigo you may want to switch to more gentle shampoos to preserve the colour.
Do not use metal utensils when working with henna & indigo always use plastic or glass containers.
Thank you all for reading this post on dying your hair with henna & indigo. If you have experience with dying your hair with henna & indigo please share your method and results. I will also love to know if any others are willing to try this method of dying hair. Please don’t forget to leave any questions or comments you might have.
Forgive me my loves, I am currently trying to sort through the Hair Growth Challenge Participants and will be making the announcements shortly.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – Frank Herbert, Dune