Henna for Beauty & Body Art

Henna & Indigo Hair Dyeing: A Comprehensive Guide

Henna & Indigo Hair Dyeing: A Comprehensive Guide

Henna and indigo have been used for centuries to naturally color hair, offering a safe and effective alternative to chemical dyes. But navigating the world of natural hair dyeing can be daunting, with countless recipes and techniques circulating online. This comprehensive guide, drawing on the expertise of Siddharth Herbs, a leading manufacturer of premium henna powder, delves into the science and art of henna and indigo hair dyeing, providing a clear roadmap to achieving your desired shade, while prioritizing hair health and sustainability.

Key Insights

  • Henna and indigo offer a chemical-free way to color hair and cover gray, promoting healthier hair.
  • Dye release time, proportions, and application techniques are crucial for achieving the desired color.
  • Understanding the unique properties of henna and indigo is essential for creating beautiful and lasting results.
  • Siddharth Herbs provides high-quality henna powder and expert guidance for a successful natural hair dyeing experience.

The Allure of Natural Hair Dyeing

The appeal of henna and indigo lies in their natural origins and ability to nourish hair while delivering vibrant color. Unlike chemical dyes, which can damage hair and expose users to harsh chemicals, henna and indigo work by coating the hair shaft, gradually depositing color over time. This process strengthens hair, improves its texture, and adds a natural shine.

The Science Behind Henna and Indigo

Henna, derived from the Lawsonia inermis plant, produces a reddish-brown color. The active ingredient, lawsone, binds to the hair protein, creating a natural dye. Indigo, extracted from the Indigofera tinctoria plant, produces a deep blue color. When combined with henna, it creates a range of brown hues, from reddish-brown to black.

The Art of Henna and Indigo Dyeing

Achieving the desired color with henna and indigo requires careful planning and execution. This involves understanding:

Dye Release Time:

  • Each henna powder type has a specific dye release time, crucial for maximizing color intensity.
  • Moroccan henna typically takes 1-2 hours, while Indian henna varieties like Red Raj, Rajasthani henna, Jamila, and Yemeni henna require 3-4 hours.


  • The ratio of henna to indigo determines the final color.
  • For red tones, use 100% henna.
  • For reddish-brown, use a 3:1 ratio of henna to indigo.
  • For brown tones, use a 1:1 ratio.
  • For dark chocolate brown, use a 1:3 ratio of henna to indigo.
  • For black tones, apply henna first, followed by a second step of 100% indigo.

Recommended Liquids:

  • Use warm to hot water, apple cider vinegar, or green tea for mixing the paste.
  • Avoid heavy liquids like yogurt, shea butter, cocoa butter, or conditioners, as they dilute the color.

Application Techniques:

  • Apply the henna paste to damp or dry, freshly washed hair, section by section.
  • Wrap your hair and allow the paste to sit for 3-4 hours.
  • Rinse thoroughly with a strong showerhead to remove all paste.

Color Development:

  • The color will continue to develop over 2-3 days as the henna and indigo bind to the hair shaft.


  • Add hibiscus petal powder, beet juice, red tea, or paprika for redder tones.
  • Use coffee, black tea, or amla powder for browner tones.
  • Create a henna gloss by mixing henna powder with conditioner.
  • Add essential oils for fragrance and shine.
  • For dry hair, incorporate aloe vera powder or hair oil into the paste.

Indigo Application for Black Tones: A Two-Step Process

  • Step 1: Henna Application: Follow the henna application instructions above.
  • Step 2: Indigo Application: Apply indigo paste within 72 hours of henna application.

Mixing Indigo for Black Tones:

  • Mix indigo with warm to hot water and allow it to release for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add enough water to create a paste the consistency of pancake batter.
  • Optionally add salt (1 tablespoon per 50 grams of indigo) to improve adherence to resistant hair strands.
  • Wash hair before applying with a natural hair wash or shampoo bar.
  • Apply indigo paste section by section, wrap hair, and let it sit for 3-4 hours.
  • Gently rinse with a natural cleanser.
  • Allow color to settle for 2-3 days.

Indigo Application for Brown Tones: A One-Step Process

  • Step 1: Henna Preparation: Prepare henna paste as directed.
  • Step 2: Indigo Preparation: Mix indigo paste separately.
  • Step 3: Combining Henna and Indigo: Mix henna and indigo pastes together.
  • Step 4: Application: Apply the combined paste to hair, wrap, and let it sit for 3-4 hours.
  • Step 5: Rinse: Gently rinse with a natural cleanser.
  • Step 6: Color Development: Allow color to settle for 2-3 days.

Storage Tips:

  • Store henna and indigo powders in a cool, dark place, or refrigerate or freeze them.
  • Discard indigo paste after use, even when mixed with henna.


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

Henna and indigo offer several benefits over chemical dyes. They are natural, chemical-free, and can actually improve hair health by strengthening and conditioning it. They also provide a longer-lasting color compared to chemical dyes, with less fading over time.

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

Yes, you can safely use henna and indigo on chemically treated hair, including hair that is relaxed, permed, or chemically dyed. However, it is always recommended to perform a strand test first to ensure compatibility with your hair type and any existing chemical treatments.

How long does it take for the color to settle after applying henna and indigo?

The color will continue to develop over the next 2-3 days as the henna and indigo bind to the hair shaft. Patience is key to achieving the full color potential.

Can I use henna and indigo to cover gray hair?

Yes, henna and indigo can effectively cover gray hair. However, it may take multiple applications to achieve complete coverage, especially for very resistant grays.

Is it possible to lighten my hair with henna and indigo?

Henna and indigo are primarily used for coloring and darkening hair. They cannot lighten hair color.

Are there any risks associated with using henna and indigo?

Henna and indigo are generally safe for most people. However, some individuals may experience allergic reactions. It is essential to perform a patch test before applying henna or indigo to your hair to ensure you are not allergic.

Where can I find high-quality henna and indigo powder?

Siddharth Herbs offers a wide range of premium, chemical-free henna and indigo powders, sourced directly from their farms in Rajasthan, India. Their commitment to quality, sustainability, and ethical sourcing makes them a trusted source for natural hair dyeing ingredients.


Henna and indigo offer a natural, safe, and effective way to color hair and cover gray, promoting hair health and reducing exposure to harsh chemicals. By understanding the science and art of natural hair dyeing, and utilizing high-quality henna and indigo powder from trusted sources like Siddharth Herbs, you can achieve beautiful, vibrant results while nurturing your hair. Embrace the transformative power of nature and unlock the beauty of your natural hair color with henna and indigo.