Use the 15 tips in this article to get the best out of your henna and indigo powder hair dyeing session without hair loss or breakage.
Henna and indigo are a great and natural way to dye hair without causing damage. You can achieve various color shades depending on how you mix the henna and indigo.
I’ve covered henna and indigo for hair several times on the website and you can catch up on previous articles at:-
- How to Color Natural Hair With Henna and Indigo
- Can Henna and Indigo Really Loosen Your Curl Pattern?
- Henna for Hair – My Process from Start to Finish
Best Henna and Indigo Tips
1. Do a Strand Test Before Henna and Indigo Application
Always conduct a strand test before you apply henna and indigo. Even if you’ve done it many times before, you should still do a strand test about 72 hours before you dye your hair.
You can use the strands of shed hair on your comb or brush for the strand test.
Follow the henna and indigo recipe for the hair strands to see how your hair will turn out.
2. Use a Non-Metallic Container for Henna and Indigo
Use a non-metallic container for your mixes. Ideally a large glass bowl or a plastic bowl.
You can also use a large silicone bowl like the one below. Note the henna and indigo will stain the bowls so only use if it’s exclusive for your hair regimen days.
3. Detangle Your Hair
Do not forget to detangle your hair thoroughly and work out any shed hair.
If you apply henna and indigo without detangling your hair, it will end up a very tangled mess.
4. Apply Henna and Indigo Powder on Clean Hair
Do not apply henna and indigo powder on greasy or dirty hair. The dye will not stain properly and might cause tangling.
You can shampoo your hair 48 – 72 hours before you apply henna and indigo powder for the best results.
5. Use Lukewarm Water to Mix Henna and Indigo
Use lukewarm water to mix the indigo powder and henna powder. Do not use cold water.
The lukewarm water will help with consistency, better dye release, and easy application.
6. Don’t Include Additional Ingredients
The only thing you need for henna is lemon juice to release the dye and for indigo powder, water, and a little bit of salt or CMC powder.
You can also choose to mix the henna powder with water only if you want to avoid lemon juice.
Additional ingredients like, oil, conditioner, honey, coffee, etc won’t make the dye more effective.
They will prevent the dye from staining properly and may cause unintended results.
7. Use Authentic Henna and Indigo Powder
Always check for the quality of your henna and indigo powder. Ensure they are 100% natural and do not contain any additional ingredients.
Get my best henna and indigo powder recommendations at How to Color Natural Hair With Henna and Indigo.
8. Follow Henna and Indigo Up with Deep Conditioning
You must follow up the henna and indigo powder application with deep conditioning. No, it will not wash out the dye.
If you mixed the henna and indigo properly and left it in for the recommended time, then it has already stained your hair and a deep conditioner can’t wash it out.
Use a moisturizing deep conditioner with heat for 30 – 45 minutes. This ensures your hair does not become dry as the henna and indigo powder oxidizes over the next few days.
The deep conditioner you use shouldn’t have protein in it as henna and indigo already mimics protein so don’t overdo it.
9. Make Sure Hair is Saturated
Ensure every strand of your hair is saturated with henna and indigo powder. Don’t be shy with application.
Apply it the way you would apply a relaxer to hair. After all your strands are covered, you can apply any leftovers to the tips of your hair.
10. Leave Henna and Indigo On Overnight for Best Results
The minimum amount of time for henna and indigo is 2 hours but for the very best results and longevity of results, leave in for at least 8 hours.
In other words, just apply at night before bed and leave-in overnight. You can wrap a silk scarf around your head to prevent the mix from dripping onto your pillow.
11. Protect Your Hands
Wear disposable gloves to protect your hands. The henna and indigo might stain your hands.
It’s not harmful but it will take a few days to get rid of it so best to wear gloves. Vinyl or latex will do.
12. Protect Your Ears
Dab a gob of vaseline around both ears to prevent staining on your ears. You can also wear disposable ear protectors like these.
As soon as you’ve finished the henna and indigo application and covered your hair with a disposable cap, clean off any paste on and behind your ears with a towel and warm water.
13. Warm Up the Henna and Indigo Before Application
Place the bowl with the henna and indigo mix into a hot water bath. When the mix is warmed up before application, it makes it easier to spread it through your hair.
To do this, fill your sink with hot water and place the bowl in it 30 minutes before you apply for the right temperature.
This warm mix also provides relaxing effects when you go to bed afterward.
14. Store Leftover Henna Powder Properly
If you have any leftover henna powder paste, scrape into an airtight bowl and freeze. It can last for months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to use again, thaw and mix with a little bit of lemon juice to reactivate.
For leftover indigo powder paste, discard immediately. You cannot store indigo powder paste that’s already been mixed.
Keep any dry powders in their airtight containers and store them in a dry and cool place.
15. Wait At Least 7 Days After Henna and Indigo Before Shampooing
Wait at least 7 days after dyeing your hair with henna and indigo before shampooing again.
Got more questions about applying henna and indigo powder? Drop them in the comments section.
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Abi is a curly hair expert, researcher, product tester, and author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She is also the founder of Ade Ori Hair Care, Healthy Natural Hair Products, and Natural Oils for Hair & Beauty. HNHP has strict editorial standards and ensures all the information on Healthy Natural Hair Products is the best for natural hair care. Learn more about our Editorial Policies
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