I’ve used henna and indigo for years to colour my hair because it’s a safe way to cover greys and strengthen hair at the same time.
I usually henna first then follow that up with indigo but I’ve been waiting for my next colour touch up for some time.
I wanted to document the process of using henna and indigo to achieve brown hair instead of the usual blue-black.
If you’re interested in henna and indigo for blue-black hair, then read Henna for Hair.
This article is about how to mix henna and indigo for light to dark brown hair depending on your original hair colour.
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How Do I Mix Henna and Indigo for Brown Hair?
You can use this mix on any colour of hair even white hair but the shade of brown achieved will depend on original hair colour.
- Blonde hair – You will need to use henna a few times until your hair is brownish before you can use this recipe
- Red and black hair – The recipe below is ideal for red and brown hair. You will achieve dark brown hair
- Brown hair – You will achieve a rich, deeper, darker brown with this recipe
Just to be clear, this is no such thing as brown henna. If you come across any packaging that’s labelled as brown henna, it’s just a mix of henna colours.
There’s nothing wrong with those but you don’t know the ratio of the mixes so you can’t be sure what shade of brown you’ll end up with.
How Long Does Henna Hair Dye Last?
Henna hair dye lasts for up to 12 weeks but may fade before that if you shampoo your hair a lot in-between.
Dark Brown Henna Recipe
This recipe is for someone with APL (armpit length) hair. Adjust accordingly based on your hair length.
- 120 gms indigo powder
- 80 gms henna powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt or CMC powder
- 1 bottle of lemon juice
- Vaseline to protect your ears from staining
You can vary the ratio by using less indigo and more henna if you want a darker shade of brown.
- 2 days before you plan to dye, premix the henna powder only in a plastic bowl. Add enough lemon juice to form a thick paste. Cover and set aside in a cool area. This process releases the dye and helps it stain better.
- On dye day, add more lemon juice to the henna paste and mix until it’s a thin consistency but not too watery. Set aside.
- Pour the indigo powder into a separate plastic bowl and add in the salt or CMC powder then pour in enough lukewarm water until it’s the same consistency as the henna powder. Set aside. Indigo powder doesn’t need release time.
- Prepare the room by spreading old newspapers all over so you don’t stain your floor.
- When you are ready to colour your hair, pour the indigo paste into the bowl with the henna paste.
- In the pic below, I’ve just added the indigo paste to the bowl with the henna paste.
- You can set the mix in a warm water bath if you like. I do this because the warm mix spreads on better. Below is the mix ready to be applied.
- You can compare the colour to the colour in henna and indigo for hair to see the difference.
- Section your hair into 2 – 4 parts then slightly dampen.
- Put on gloves and start applying the henna and indigo mix in smaller sections. Take your time to cover every strand of hair especially any grey hair.
- After application, pin-up hair and cover with a disposable cap. Tie down with a scarf and go about your business for 4 – 8 hours. You can also apply at night and leave on overnight. The longer you leave it in, the more the colour will stain.
All done and ready for a nice long nap
- After 4 – 8 hours, put on a new set of gloves, then rinse out thoroughly followed by a cheapie conditioner to remove any excess paste then rinse again. You will have to rinse a few times to get all the paste out.
- Once all out, deep condition your hair with a moisturizing deep conditioner with heat for 30 – 45 minutes.
- Rinse out and style your hair.
How to Play With Henna and Indigo Mix
In the recipe above, you will end up with a dark brown shade depending on your original hair colour.
If you want a deeper shade of brown, use more henna and less indigo. If you want a light to dark brown with highlights, use more indigo and less henna.
For an even brown, try equal parts of henna and indigo.
Where to Buy Henna Powder and Indigo Powder?
Below are my preferences for henna powder and indigo powder. They’re top quality and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Have you tried henna and indigo for brown hair before? Share your experience the comments section.
If you prefer blue-black results, check out Henna and Indigo for Hair: My Process from Start to Finish instead.