Henna and Indigo Treatment for Gray Hair

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SavvyBrown takes us along while she experiments with Henna and Indigo!

This post is about my attempt at covering my gray hair with an henna and indigo hair treatment. As you know, I’ve done henna before, but I was getting tired of the henna turning my grey copper. I just wanted them GONE. I had come across this video on Youtube and this tutorial from Hairscapades and so I thought I would give it a try. Apparently, when you apply indigo after you apply henna, the henna binds to the proteins in the hair and the indigo binds to the protein.

So as you can see, I have a few more grays than the last time I posted about henna. So a few weekends ago, I decided to do a full henna treatment.
I used Jamila henna as per usual and I steeped it in green tea to let the dye release, but this time I didn’t add marshmallow root powder and I swapped out the Suave condish for Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle conditioner. Afterwards I did a MANDATORY deep conditioning treatment, with a mix of AOHSRargan oilraw honey and jojoba oil.

Henna Result

My grey is now copper. Yay! My hair felt really good this time too. (I left the Deep conditioner in almost as long as I left the henna in.)

Next up…Indigo Treatment

savvy brown, mehandi indigo, Henna and Indigo Treatment Next up is the indigo step. (Be sure you are using certified Indigo from a reputable company. I ordered mine from Mehandi).
Now here’s where I deviated from Kimmaytube and Hairscapades advice. I did not do the indigo treatment the next day. For two reasons.
1. I didn’t have any indigo. (My order from Mehandhi hadn’t arrived yet)
2. Even if I did have the indigo, I didn’t have another 4 hours that weekend to spare. (Got things to do!)
So I waited until the following weekend to apply the indigo treatment.
Here’s what I did.
My Indigo Treatment Mix
 
  • I bought 11 ounces of indigo from hennaforhair.com (aka – Mehandi)
  • I also bought a couple of ounces of COJ (This is added to make the indigo mix smoother)
  • I added 1 cup of water to the indigo powder then added 1/2 tsp of the COJ powder to the mix and mixed it well.
  • I let it steep while I took a shower. (Indigo only takes a few minutes as opposed to henna which needs at least 3 hours).
  • (I forgot to add salt like Hairscapades suggested).
I applied the indigo the same way I applied my henna from back to front and then wrapped my hair in a plastic bag and a scarf and let it set for about 3.5 hours. I used conditioner to wash it out, but then rinsed it a few more times. Here was the end result.
  savvy brown, henna and indigo treatment
I like it, but it really doesn’t look any different than if I just did a henna treatment. I think maybe the salt is more important than I thought. Also, maybe you really can’t wait that long between henna and indigo treatments? I don’t know.

What do you think?




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  1. BlueCornMoon

    I’ve been doing henna indigo since 2010….5 years… and I get my henna & indigo from Mehandi. I mix amla powder with my henna for the acid content and salt with the indigo. Nothing else. I let henna stay in my hair for 4 hours & indigo for only about an hour as it can be drying. I end up with absolutely beautiful jet black hair….its natural color plus it’s in good condition. I then do a moisturizing deep conditioner .I used to use Bigen for my gray edges but it made my hair dry & brittle plus it contains the carcinogenic chemical PPD which is in most commercial dyes…even Naturtint …which I wanted to avoid since 2 family members had cancer & one died from it. Also, I never read anything bad about henna & indigo & both have been used for thousands of years. I HIGHLY recommend them for anyone who wants to dye their hair themselves. It may be a bit messy at first til you gain more experience, but I think it’s worth it. Some women have told me they don’t want to go thru all that mixing & would rather have a salon dye it.

    • savvybrown

      Hi. Thanks for that advice. I’m going to try alma next time. Do you get that from Mehandi too? Or Blue Rose Organics? Yeah I stay away from most of the commercial stuff because cancer runs in my family and I’m a stroke survivor. I’ve never had a salon dye my hair so I don’t even have the experience to compare it to!

  2. Tina-Valarine Mackey

    Savvy Brown, I want to know what does AOHSR mean? And COJ powder? I’m not familiar with these terms. #Greyhair #henna

    • savvybrown

      Hi there. AOHSR is short for “Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose” Conditioner. (Sorry, I talk about it a lot on my blog so sometimes I forget that not everyone knows what that is.) And COJ powder is my mistake it should read “CCP” Powder or Carboxymethyl Cellulose Powder. (It’s that little packet of white powder in the 3rd pic) Mehandi suggests you use to release the acidity of the Indigo. BUT. I think I’m going to take BlueCornMoon’s advice and mix alma powder with it next time. Sorry for the confusion. Hope that helps!

  3. yep

    I do the half henna(moroccan from Henna Sooq) half indigo and I leave it on overnight. Next I do pure indigo and leave in on most of the day or overnight and I get really good coverage.

  4. Julie

    Mixing conditioner with your henna makes it a henna gloss. For best dye release mix the henna with tea. I have also mixed my henna with coconut milk and essential oils for moisture and scent. The indigo needs to be done immediately because it takes three days for henna to oxidize in your hair. Also, the salt is crucial in mixing indigo.

  5. Jasmine Nieves

    This was all so helpful. I’m starting to notice a lot of new gray hairs (i haven’t dyed my hair in 3 years) I have been thinking about trying henna but never thought about indigo. Looks like i have a new diy project to try. Thanks!

  6. NappyFu

    You hv to wait the proper time. You know Mehandi gives you detailed instructions for thier products. Following it exact gives the desired results.

  7. Erika Nikole

    I’ve always wanted to try Henna. I see it has a lot of great benefits to it. I don’t have gray hair yet but i still won’t mind getting my hands on it. Now indigo is something i haven’t consider but i won’t mind trying that either. Can anyone recommend great and trusted websites i can order these from?

  8. LeeLee

    Okay, I also indigo post henna to cover grey, and here’s why I KNOW you didn’t get the black results – You let the indigo “steep” – if you chat on Mehandi, they will tell you, indigo has a limit on it’s effectiveness and you applied it at a less potent phase (they tell you to apply it immediately bc it will cease to be able to dye post an hour or so). Also, salt IS important when covering stubborn grey bc that hair is usually very different from the bulk of your hair in texture and porosity. As for technique, Mehandi recommends you mix the smoother in BEFORE adding the water (FYI: Vanilla instant pudding, yes, from Jello, works as good as, if not better than the COJ powder IMO). And I will now tell you the SECRET NO ONE ELSE SAYS UNTIL YOU’VE WASHED OODLES OF INDIGO DOWN YOUR DRAIN!!!!!! You need to wash out your henna with NOTHING but WATER GIRL! Dey ain’t gone TELL you DAT! Come to find out, that lovely Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle yo Toes Condish is a sulfate free one, right? Well, that INHIBITS indigo UPTAKE! So, that’s what coated OVER your henna and prevented it from attaching properly to your hennaed strands! Now I follow Hairscapades as well, and bc she doesn’t WANT all of her hair dark, it’s cool for her. But if you want a more uniform color throughout, skip doing anything between rinsing out your henna and just use water. Now I’ll be honest, I’ve been lazy too, so I too have done the “it took me a week to get around to the indigo part” before, and if you MUST, then do an ACV wash before applying the indigo. Now, give it another go!


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