This indigo powder for hair recipe is a natural way to dye hair jet black. The color will be maintained between treatments and hair is stronger and shinier with indigo powder.
Dyeing hair with commercial products will lead to overly dry hair and damaged hair in the long term because of the harsh ingredients. It can also cause high porosity hair.
My favorite natural way to dye hair is henna and indigo powder. It takes longer but there’s no chance of damage. Done correctly, your hair will love it.
I’ve been dyeing my hair with henna and indigo for almost 10 years and I’m yet to have a bad experience with either.
I usually henna and indigo my hair every 3 – 4 months and I’ve chronicled those sessions previously on the website.
In this article, I will be covering indigo powder for hair exclusively and showing you my step-by-step for dyeing hair black with indigo powder.
What is Indigo Powder for Hair?
Indigo powder is derived from the leaves of the Indigofera plant. The leaves from the plant are harvested then soaked overnight in water.
The mix is then sun-dried thoroughly. Afterward, the leaves are powdered to produce the pure indigo powder for hair.
Indigo powder has been used to dye hair for hundreds of years. It is even used to dye textiles.
There are many variations of indigo powder for hair but the very best remains pure indigo powder derived directly from the plant that hasn’t been altered with anything else.
Benefits of Indigo Powder for Hair
1. Indigo Powder is Suitable for All Hair Types
Pure indigo powder is 100% natural and can be used on all hair types from type 1A – 4C without fear of causing damage.
Follow my tips below to prevent unnecessary tangling for curlier hair types, especially 4C hair.
2. Indigo Powder is a Natural Way to Dye Hair
Indigo powder is a natural hair color. It contains no harmful additives and the plant-based formula is gentle on the hair.
3. Indigo Powder Prevents Premature Greying
The pigment in indigo powder deposits into the hair strands and stains deeply. These stains last for quite some time and prevent premature greying from getting through.
Additionally, it covers up grey hair quite nicely and gives it a lovely blue gloss tint.
4. Indigo Powder Eliminates Dry Scalp and Dandruff
If you have a dry itchy scalp that’s prone to dandruff and flakiness, regular treatments with indigo powder will help eliminate these issues eventually.
5. Indigo Powder Promotes Shiny Hair
Indigo powder treatments smoothen the hair and lay down the cuticles. It also coats the hair but in a good way, which leads to shinier hair.
6. Indigo Powder Strengthens Hair
Indigo powder treatments strengthen hair. When used in combination with henna powder, it’s a good protein boost for the hair without using protein treatments.
5. Indigo Powder Detangles Hair
Indigo powder makes it easier to detangle hair and prevents SSKs when used frequently.
Ensure you already worked shed hair out of dry hair before you apply the indigo powder paste.
If you don’t work out shed hair before applying the indigo paste, your hair will tangle.
Does Indigo Powder Cover Grey Hair?
Indigo powder covers grey hair but the trick here is to combine it with henna first. You have to henna first followed by indigo powder.
For the process of dyeing grey hair with indigo powder, read How to Color Natural Hair with Henna and Indigo – A Comprehensive Guide.
How To Use Indigo Powder for Hair Color
Here’s my step-by-step process for dyeing my hair with indigo powder.
I normally do henna first followed by indigo powder but this time I focused more on indigo powder for this tutorial.
Step 1 – Pre-mix the Henna
For this session, I also wanted the protein effects of the henna. Mix the henna powder with a little bit of lemon juice to form a thick paste then cover up with cling film.
Do this 48 – 72 hours before you plan to dye your hair. On dye day, add more lemon juice to form a paste that’s the consistency of mashed potatoes then set aside.
Step 2 – Mix Indigo Powder
Indigo powder is meant to be used immediately and you don’t need to premix it.
Pour the indigo powder into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of salt then add some water and mix. Add enough water to form a paste the same consistency as the henna.
When you’re ready to dye your hair, pour the indigo powder paste into the henna mix and mix together thoroughly. Make sure it’s completely mixed together.
Place the henna and indigo powder mix into a hot water bath. This isn’t necessary but I do it because it helps the mix glide on better.
Step 3 – Apply The Henna and Indigo Powder Mix
Put on gloves to protect your hands and start applying the henna and indigo mix.
I usually apply on slightly damp hair but I applied on dry hair for this experiment.
Because the mix was already warm, it was easy to work it into my dry hair and cover all strands.
You will also be able to detangle your hair quite easily with this mix. Apply to hair in small sections though. If you try to apply in large sections, your hair will tangle.
Here’s what my hair looked like after applying the indigo powder mix. You can see curl definition similar to clay washing.
Step 4 – Cover and Leave-on
Pin your hair up and cover with a disposable cap then go about your day. Ideally, you should leave it in for at least 8 hours to get a good stain.
The longer you leave the indigo powder paste on, the longer the dye job will last.
Tip – I apply in the evening before going to bed and leave-in overnight. I tie 2 bandanas and a scarf around my head to prevent stains on my pillow.
Step 5 – Rinse Out with Water and Conditioner
When you’re ready, take down the pins and start flushing your hair with water.
This will look like it’s taking forever but it’s important to get all of it out of your hair.
Once your hair feels clean, co-wash with a cheapie conditioner. You don’t need anything expensive for this. I used a $2 Aussie Moist Conditioner.
If you rinsed properly with water, you would only need to co-wash once.
If you still see bits of powder in the tub after rinsing, flush with water again until the water is clear.
Step 6 – Deep Condition
A lot of people leave out this step but this is a bad idea. Your hair will be so dry for days or even weeks afterward.
Remember, these powders mimic protein, you need to put moisture back into your hair to balance it out.
Deep condition with a good moisturizing conditioner with heat for 30 – 45 minutes then you’re good to go.
I used True by Made Beautiful Deep Treatment Masque (review coming soon).
Enjoy your lovely new hair color!
It might take forever to get it done the first few times but once you get a hang of it, the process will go by quite fast.
If you have shorter hair, it won’t take long at all. This is one of the reasons I’m jealous of people with short hair. They are in and out of regimen day real quick.
Can We Mix Henna and Indigo Powder Together?
You can mix henna and indigo together in varying degrees to achieve different hair colors – brown to auburn to blue-black.
The traditional method leaves hair blue-black with a hint of golden highlights.
For other colors, read How To Mix Henna and Indigo for Brown Hair.
Henna and Indigo One-Step Process for Black Hair
The henna and indigo one-step process for black hair is when you mix varying degrees of henna and indigo to achieve black hair.
If you already have dark hair, use mostly indigo powder but add a little bit of henna for added benefits.
For lighter hair, you will have to henna first followed by indigo powder to achieve black hair. If you mix henna and indigo, the result will not be black but brown/auburn/golden.
Best Indigo Powder for Hair
Indigo Powder for Hair Questions
How Much Indigo Powder Do You Need to Dye Hair?
Indigo powder usually comes in 100g packs. A ballpark figure for different hair lengths include:-
- TWA – 50 gms
- CBL – 75 gms
- SL – 100 gms
- APL – 150 gms
- BSL – 200 gms
Depending on the color you’re going for, you may need to use more or less indigo powder.
For instance, for this session, I used 50gms henna and 130 gms indigo powder.
Is Indigo Powder Safe for Hair?
Indigo powder is a safe and natural way to dye hair. It contains no PPD, synthetic colors, or other harmful additives that erode hair health and length over time.
Does Indigo Powder Make Hair Blue?
If your hair is completely white or a light shade, do not apply only indigo powder. It will turn your hair flaming blue or an ugly grey-green.
Only people with black hair can apply indigo powder without their hair turning blue.
For lighter shades, you must henna first then apply indigo or do a mix of the two for different colors.
Does Indigo Powder Make Hair Black Permanently?
The stain from indigo powder is not permanent. Depending on how many times you shampoo and condition afterward, it can last anything from 8 – 10 weeks.
In my next article, I will share the best tips for getting the best out of dyeing hair with indigo powder and making it last longer.
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Does Indigo Powder Damage Hair?
Pure indigo powder is 100% natural and cannot damage hair. This only occurs when it’s used incorrectly but even then, a clarifying shampoo can reset the process.
Just make sure the indigo powder you purchase is 100% authentic and hasn’t been adulterated with other powders.
I have made some recommendations above for the best indigo powder for hair.
If you have any more questions about indigo powder for hair, drop them in the comments section.
You can print the how-to card below to have on hand when you’re ready to try indigo powder for hair.
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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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