Results and Observation from Using Indigo on Fine Natural Hair

Last updated on June 26th, 2020 at 05:42 pm

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 from using indigo on fine hair (mine).

henna head

When I purchased my first batch of Henna, I purchased it with a batch of Indigo powder. The Indigo is supposed to be applied after the Henna so that it turns that reddish tone from the henna application, to 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 on fine hair so I decided to finally give it a whirl.

indigo on fine hair

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

Indigo on Fine Hair? 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 application of Indigo on fine hair. It makes my hair feel absolutely gooky and nasty.  I don’t like it and it was just awful washing it out.

The henna I use is a very fine sift, so 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 just going to have to be 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 3-5 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 may have contributed to).

Have you ever used Indigo?  What are your experiences?

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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian natural hair enthusiast. She's been natural for 20+ years and shares natural hair care tips and easy hairstyles for those with low density or thin fine natural hair. It's her joy to inspire you to live by faith in God while caring for your "crown."

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Tammy

    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. Michelle

      Thanks Tammy! I have 1 bag left and I was going to give it away. Maybe I’ll try it with the guar gum 🙂

    2. Lambie

      I’m actually glad I saw this because I was hoping to come across tips for an smoother indigo paste. Although, I may be using indigo just to touch up my roots from now on because I only really want to cover my greys now. I like the color of the Rajasthani henna that I’ve used and the burgundy highlights on my strands in the sun!

      1. Michelle

        I can not stand indigo because of the consistency. and it never works for me to do it mixed with the henna so its good you are doing the 2 step

  2. The BrownBerry

    I’m eager to learn more about Ayurvedic treatments – my hair is asking for it lol

    1. Michelle

      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!

  3. Annabel

    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. Michelle

      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

      1. Annabel

        Thanks so much, I think my next plan is to try the henna gloss– baby steps! I’ll definitely try to lower the dye content too. Have a great weekend!

        1. Michelle

          Sounds like a plan! You have a good one too 🙂

  4. Annabel

    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. Michelle

      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.

  5. Shannon

    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. Michelle

      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

  6. Miche'al

    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. Michelle

      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.

  7. Alison

    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. Michelle

      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 Mehandi. 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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