Results and Observation from Using Indigo on Fine Natural Hair

Here on the blog, I like to share from time to time what’s been termed Hair of the Day aka HOTD. Today’s hair of the day is more of a reflection and observation.

henna headback of head with henna

I stand corrected. When I purchased my first batch of Henna, I purchased it with Indigo. The Indigo is supposed to be applied after the Henna so that it turns that reddish tone jet black.

Now, let me say I absolutely love jet black hair. It’s so shiny and pretty. However, I was kind of lazy doing the second step of Indigo (up until this weekend) so I just kept on using the henna. The result is my fine natural hair kept getting just a little redder.

Over the course, of time I have grown to really love the reddish color that Henna provides all by itself. Yet, I still wanted to experience the effects of Indigo so I put in my hair this weekend.

Hair with Indigo

The results were OK. Not as black as I would have liked, mainly because I ran out.  I only had 100 grams of Indigo and needed about 150 grams (doesn’t this sound like drug talk? LOL).

Why I’ll Use Indigo Just OnCe More and No More

In spite of the fact that I really like jet black hair, I’m going back to that red tint. Here’s why…

I can’t stand the way Indigo makes my hair feel. It’s absolutely gookey and nasty.  I don’t like it and it was worst washing out than Henna.  Because I use Henna with a very fine sift, it’s easy to wash out when used alone. Indigo however…blah.

On top of that, chemical coloring is not an option so jet black is a thing of my past. I have one bag of Indigo left which I will use but after that I’m just continuing with my every 3 weeks of Henna-ing.

In spite of all the trying this and that, I’m almost pleased with my progress (for the exception of some breakage which I think the Indigo contributed to).

Have you ever used Indigo?  What are your experiences?

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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She’s a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their “crown.”


18 thoughts on “Results and Observation from Using Indigo on Fine Natural Hair

  1. I know this is old but I wanted to comment in case someone stumble on it. Using guar gum in indigo make it so much better to use. A teaspoon per 100 g or powder is great. I could never get it to work before trying the guar gum. Xanthan gum works too but guar gum is less expensive. You can find both at healthfood stores in the baking sections.

    1. I’m pretty new to ayurveda. I just know some of the basics but hey we can learn together! I’ll share what I find out.

      So far, I’m experimenting wich a number of oils and plant based products including:

      *Henna
      *Indigo
      *Zizyphus

      Will share more on ayurveda for skin and hair!

  2. Gotcha, gloves = essential! Thanks!

    I think I will have to do a little research regarding henna and cassia. I’d hate to miss out on all the benefits of henna (moisture, shine, etc), but am still weary of the color. I read on CN that one could try mixing the henna with a protein-free conditioner, to reduce the color qualities and still receive some of its nourishing properties.

    Perhaps I will hold off on trying it until I’ve chopped off all of my relaxed ends. Your hair looks gorgeous with the henna, I’m just terrified, I might end up with a flaming red color– I could always do a strand test.

    One more question (sorry), does sun exposure lighten the color over time?

    Thanks again!

    1. Oh yes I almost forgot about that. You can do what’s called a henna gloss. On CN’s site, she has a tutorial for that as well and it won’t stain the hair as red. Also, if you are too concerned about the color change, when you do the henna gloss, you can use a henna with a lower lawsone content. That’s the dye content. As for the sun, I don’t think it makes any difference at all. At last I haven’t noticed any lol

  3. Hi! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the advice you posted on my blog!! Now I’m really itching to try henna! It’s reassuring to know that I won’t end up with red fingers and a tub to match!

    Your hair looks so shiny and radiant in the post-henna picture.

    Is there a way to control the amount of redness the henna leaves in your hair. Does it correspond to the length of time left in the hair? I would just be interested in doing it to strengthen my hair and give it shine. However, since I have reddish brown hair, I’m concerned the henna would intensify the color.

    1. Oh you still have to wear gloves or your hands will end up red!

      If you don’t want to add the red color, you can actually use Cassia. People say it’s the “other” henna. Really, it’s a different plant altogether. It strengthens the hair without adding color – only the effects aren’t as long lasting.

  4. I went to Whole Foods about a year ago intending to try Henna, but then reading the instructions I got a little freaked and ended up not buying it. It seemed complicated. I’ll check out that video, though, and consider giving it another try.

    I think your hair looks great!

    1. Thanks Shannon. It’s not as complicated as it is time consuming. If you decide to get it, I highly recommend getting it from mehandi.com

  5. I have used the Indigo and my family hated it. They said that it just didn’t go with my complexion. And you are right it is sooooooooooo horrible to wash out. I found my self rinsing out Indigo days later. I so miss that auburn red color that I got the first time I did henna. Hopefully it will come back soon.

    1. Yeah, your skin looks a little light for jet black hair. However, the reddish will come out. Do 2-3 hennas with a high dye content like that Rajathshani and it will come back.

      i have 1 more indigo left. I’m going to mix it with the henna next time.

  6. Really would like to hear your take on henna. I want to color my hair (get rid of grey but avoid the toxic stuff in regular color/dye) but I’ve heard comments pro and con. What say you?

    1. Hey Alison- I LOVE Henna! It makes the hair strong and totally covers the grey. You have to use body art quality henna though.

      I started henna-ing my hair about 3-4 months ago. I get my henna from http://www.mehandi.com/shop/hairhenna.html. Henna for African Hair is good and so is Rajathshani Henna. They completely cover greys. The pic of me with the twist in the front was grey as I don’t know what.

      Also, Curly Nikki does a great tutorial at http://www.curlynikki.com/2008/12/henna-pictorial.html

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