Indigo is powder is made from the dried leaves of the indigo plant. It gives a blueish tint on light coloured hair.
Indigo used in Conjunction with Henna
When indigo powder is mixed together with henna powder or used after colouring with henna it results in red/brown, brown or black shades. The resulting colour depends on the method, the proportion of henna and indigo used and the length of time is it left on your hair.
There are 2 methods of using henna and indigo to get brown or black tones:
Method 1. Dye your hair first with henna so it goes auburn/red then dye your hair with indigo and the auburn/red turns to brown. To achieve the desired shade you need to get the right amount of time to leave the indigo on for. The longer the indigo is left on for the darker it will be. If you leave it on the maximum time it can go black. This method gives the strongest result.
Method 2. Soak the henna for at least 8 hours. When you are ready to dye your hair mix the indigo with water. Mix the henna mixture together with the indigo mixture. To get a more red/brown shade use a larger percentage of henna. To get a darker brown use a larger proportion of indigo. This method is quicker than the Method 1. To get a black shade use method 1.
Everyone’s hair is different and will take the colour differently so to some extent trial and error is necessary to get the desired shade.
The other method, which which gives a stronger result, is to dye your hair first with henna, wash and dry your hair, and then apply the indigo mixture.
How much indigo do you need?
It depends how long and how thick or fine your hair is. These quantities are for “normal” hair, but I would say to reduce these if you have fine hair or increase them if you have thick hair:
short / chin length hair - 40 to 50 gms indigo
shoulder length hair - 80 or 90 gms indigo
mid back length hair - 150 or 180 gms indigo
hip length hair - 220 or 250 gms indigo
How long do you need to leave indigo on your hair for?
If you are applying indigo after first colouring your hair with henna the length of time leave the indigo on for depends on how deep a colour you want. It varies from say 10 minutes to 2 hours, or even longer if you want!
Everyones hair is different so it is good to experiment to find the best method for your hair.
It is not recommended to use chemical bleach on hair that has been dyed with indigo or a herbal hair colour containing indigo, unless it has faded or grown out. This is because bleach will not remove indigo so you may possibly be left with a bluish colour. If you do want to try it please strand test first.