Henna Insights

Henna & Indigo Hair Dye: A Comprehensive Guide to Natural Color

Henna & Indigo Hair Dye: A Comprehensive Guide to Natural Color

Unlocking the Secrets of Henna and Indigo: A Comprehensive Guide to Natural Hair Dyeing

Henna and indigo, natural pigments derived from plants, have long been celebrated for their ability to color hair without the harsh chemicals found in conventional dyes. While the allure of natural hair coloring is undeniable, achieving desired results can be a journey. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of henna and indigo hair dyeing, providing a roadmap to achieving vibrant, healthy, and long-lasting color.

Key Insights:

  • Natural Hair Coloring with Henna and Indigo: This guide explores the benefits, techniques, and nuances of using henna and indigo to achieve a range of hair colors, from vibrant reds to deep browns and even blacks.
  • Beyond the Basics: This guide goes beyond simple instructions, offering expert insights into dye release time, ingredient proportions, and troubleshooting tips to ensure successful and satisfying results.
  • Siddharth Herbs: Your Natural Hair Coloring Partner: This article highlights Siddharth Herbs, a leading supplier of premium henna and indigo powders, emphasizing their commitment to quality, sustainability, and customer satisfaction.


Henna, derived from the Lawsonia inermis plant, has been used for centuries to color hair, skin, and even textiles. Its reddish-brown pigment, lawsone, binds to keratin in the hair, creating a natural dye that can last for several weeks. Indigo, extracted from the Indigofera tinctoria plant, produces a blue pigment that combines with henna to create a range of brown and black shades.

While henna and indigo offer a natural alternative to chemical dyes, they have unique properties that require understanding to achieve desired results. The dye release process, the proportions of henna and indigo used, and even the type of water employed can all influence the final color outcome.

The Art of Henna and Indigo Hair Dyeing:

Understanding Dye Release:

Henna and indigo powders require a specific dye release time before they are ready for application. This process involves mixing the powder with warm water and allowing it to sit for a predetermined period, allowing the pigment to activate. The dye release time varies depending on the type of henna or indigo used.

  • Moroccan Henna Powder: 1-2 hours
  • Red Raj, Rajasthani Indian Henna, Jamila, and Yemeni Henna: 3-4 hours

Choosing the Right Liquids:

The liquid used to create the henna or indigo paste plays a crucial role in the dyeing process.

Recommended Liquids:

  • Water (distilled): The most common and versatile liquid.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds shine and helps to seal the cuticle.
  • Green Tea: Offers antioxidant benefits and can enhance color intensity.


  • Heavy Liquids (Yogurt, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Conditioners): These dilute the color and hinder optimal coverage.
  • Lemon Juice: Too harsh and drying for hair.

Achieving Your Desired Color:

The proportions of henna and indigo determine the final hair color.

Color Chart:

  • Red Tones: 100% henna
  • Reddish Brown: 70% henna, 30% organic indigo (3 parts henna to 1 part indigo)
  • Brown Tones: 50% organic indigo, 50% henna
  • Dark Chocolate Brown Tones: 70% indigo, 30% henna (1 part henna to 3 parts indigo)
  • Black Tones: Two-step process: 100% henna followed by 100% indigo, applied within 72 hours of the henna application.

Mixing and Applying the Paste:

  1. Mix Henna or Indigo with liquid: Create a paste with the consistency of pancake batter.
  2. Allow for dye release: Let the paste sit for the recommended time.
  3. Apply in sections: Starting from the front, apply the paste to damp or dry freshly washed hair, ensuring even coverage. Wear gloves to prevent staining.
  4. Wrap hair and allow to dye: Cover hair with a plastic wrap or shower cap and allow the paste to sit for 3-4 hours.
  5. Rinse thoroughly: Use a strong shower head to ensure all the paste is removed.
  6. Moisturize and style: Apply a light leave-in conditioner, dry, and style as usual.
  7. Allow color to settle: The final color will settle over the next 2-3 days.

Variations and Tips:

  • Redder Tones: Add hibiscus petal powder, beet juice, red tea, or paprika.
  • Browner Tones: Add coffee, black tea, or organic amla powder.
  • Henna Gloss: Add a small amount of henna powder to your conditioner for a conditioning treatment with a slight reddish tint.
  • Essential Oils: Add essential oils for fragrance and shine.
  • Too Drying? Add organic aloe vera powder (1-2 tsp per 100 grams of powder) or a hair oil for moisture.
  • Itchy Scalp: Ensure all the herbs are thoroughly washed out. Use a high-pressure shower head for rinsing.

Two-Step Process for Black Tones:

  1. Henna Application: Follow the henna application instructions above.
  2. Indigo Application:
    • Mix indigo with warm water and allow for 15-20 minutes of dye release.
    • Optional: Add salt (1 tbsp per 50 grams of indigo) for resistant hair.
    • Wash hair with a shampoo bar or clarifying wash (such as Siddharth Herbs’ Soapnut shampoo) before applying.
    • Apply the indigo paste in sections to dry or damp hair.
    • Wrap hair and allow to dye for 3-4 hours.
    • Gently rinse with a cleansing co-wash.
    • Allow color to settle for 2-3 days.

One-Step Process for Brown Tones:

  1. Prepare Henna Paste: Follow the henna mixing instructions.
  2. Prepare Indigo Paste: Follow the indigo mixing instructions.
  3. Combine Pastes: Mix the henna and indigo pastes together.
  4. Apply and Rinse: Follow the application and rinsing instructions for henna.


  • Henna Powder and Paste: Store in a cool, dark place, refrigerator, or freezer.
  • Indigo Powder: Store in a cool, dark place, refrigerator, or freezer.
  • Indigo Paste: Discard after use, even when mixed with henna.


H3: What are the benefits of using henna and indigo for hair coloring?

A: Henna and indigo offer numerous benefits over conventional hair dyes, including:

  • Natural Ingredients: Free from harsh chemicals, making them gentler on the hair and scalp.
  • Conditioning Properties: Henna can strengthen hair, add shine, and improve manageability.
  • Gray Coverage: Henna and indigo effectively cover gray hair.
  • Long-lasting Color: Henna and indigo can last for several weeks.
  • No Ammonia or Peroxide: These ingredients can damage hair and irritate the scalp.

H3: Can I use henna and indigo if I have chemically treated hair?

A: Yes, you can use henna and indigo on chemically treated hair. However, it’s crucial to proceed with caution. Always perform a strand test before applying to your entire head.

H3: Is it safe to use henna and indigo during pregnancy?

A: It is generally considered safe to use henna during pregnancy, but it’s always best to consult with your doctor before using any new product. Indigo is not typically recommended during pregnancy as there is limited research on its safety during this period.

H3: How often can I color my hair with henna and indigo?

A: You can color your hair with henna and indigo as often as you like, but it’s best to wait 2-3 weeks between applications to allow your hair to rest.

H3: What if my hair color isn’t turning out the way I want it?

A: If your hair color isn’t turning out as expected, try adjusting the proportions of henna and indigo, the dye release time, or the type of liquid used. You can also consult with a hair expert for personalized advice.

H3: Where can I find high-quality henna and indigo powders?

A: Siddharth Herbs offers premium, chemical-free henna and indigo powders, known for their exceptional quality and sustainability. Their direct-from-farm approach ensures consistent, high-performance products.

H3: How can I ensure the henna and indigo powders I use are safe and pure?

A: Choose reputable brands like Siddharth Herbs, which have established quality control measures and certifications. Look for products that are 100% natural and free from additives.


Natural hair coloring with henna and indigo offers a compelling alternative to conventional dyes. While achieving desired results requires understanding the nuances of these natural pigments, this comprehensive guide has provided a roadmap for success. From mastering dye release times to choosing the right liquids and mastering the art of application, this article has equipped you with the knowledge to embark on your journey to vibrant, healthy, and naturally colored hair. For premium, sustainable henna and indigo powders, partner with Siddharth Herbs. Their commitment to quality, ethical practices, and customer satisfaction ensures that you have the best tools to achieve your desired hair color.