Coloring dark hair using henna with indigo is a natural and healthy alternative if you want to add depth and sheen. Whether you are thinking of going for a rich brown hair color or a lush deep black.
With more people becoming conscious about chemicals that are in products herbal hair colors do seem to be making a comeback. Especially as one of the big names in hair product company’s L’Oréal have recently brought out their Botanea range of herbal hair colors. With the three ingredients being henna, indigo and cassia.
But do remember that these products will not lighten your hair.
What Is Natural Henna.
Henna is a herbal dye that is produced from the leaves of the Lansonia inermis plant. When you purchase your henna, you are in fact getting a crushed powdered form of these leaves.
The red pigment that these powdered leaves contain is released once mixed with hot water.
As henna is a natural plant-based color the exact shades of red are very hard to regulate and can change depending on the location as to where the henna was grown and harvested.
What Is Indigo.
Indigo is a natural dye from the plant Indigofera tinctorial which thrives in hot and humid countries.
The color produced from the plant is a rich hue between a blue and violet. This dark violet blue herbal dye has been used in the clothing industry to color fabrics for years. Blue denim jeans being a very good example.
Buying Natural Henna and Indigo For Coloring Dark Hair.
The one important aspect when shopping for the ingredients when you are looking at coloring your hair with henna and indigo. Is to ensure that you buy only 100% pure henna and indigo they should not include additives of any sort. Both products should look like green powder.
You will generally find both products for sale in most Indian stores.
When Buying Henna Be Wary Of Henna Hair Colors.
Unfortunately, not all henna dyes are completely natural so do not mistake compound henna for 100% henna.
A lot of henna hair colors are what are commonly known as compound hennas. Meaning that additives have been used to change the natural color of the henna.
These additives can range from other plant dyes like walnut chamomile or indigo.
Or to a far worse mix including chemicals or even metallic salts such as lead copper or cobalt just to name a few.
Why Use Natural Henna With Indigo When Coloring Dark Hair.
These herbal colors are a great way to color dark hair for a natural look.
Natural henna and indigo are all-natural hair dyes.
Henna with Indigo will not harm your hair.
Henna is a good conditioner as it locks in nutrients and moisture in your hair structure.
These natural colors will blend white hair.
When indigo is mixed with henna at a correct ratio it will give your hair a rich brown color.
If indigo is applied over henna it will give your hair a lush black color.
5 Useful Tips When Using Henna With Indigo To Color Your Hair.
Tip 1. I would recommend that you do a patch test first to check if you are sensitive to the natural dyes in both henna and indigo.
Tip 2. These colors will stain your clothes and towels as well as any area that you spill it on. It is essential to make sure that you prepare the area you are going to be working in before you start.
Tip 3. Always use nonmetallic implements when mixing natural henna with indigo Such as a wooden or plastic spoon and a glass or plastic bowl.
Tip 4. The longer you leave the mixture on your hair the richer and darker the color will be.
Tip5. Because everyone’s hair is different even using an identical mix on two different heads. Will in fact produce slight variations in the color results.
Henna With Indigo Mixing Ratio For Dark Hair.
How much indigo you add to your henna mix will depend upon the depth of color you wish to achieve.
This may take a little bit of experimenting on your part and that’s why I do recommend mixing a small amount and doing a strand test first. If you are not sure how to do a strand test check here.
But as a rough guide if it is a reddish-brown color you want. Mix use 60 to 70 percent henna and 30 to 40 percent indigo.
For a dark chocolate brown 60 to 70 percent indigo and 30 to 40 percent henna.
If you are after a lush deep black color you are best to do a two step process. By first applying the henna paste and then after rinsing applying the indigo paste over the top.
Application Process For Coloring Dark Hair With Natural Henna And Indigo.
Natural henna with indigo maybe applied on dry or towel dried wet hair which ever you find the most convenient.
- Mix your henna powder with hot water making sure that you add this slowly. Because you want to slowly mix until you achieve the consistency of a thick paste. Once done cover your bowl with clingfilm and let stand for a couple of hours. This allows the dye to be released.
- Prepare the area you will be going to work in. Remember these products will stain.
- Prepare your ratio of indigo powder. Put this into a bowl and slowly add hot water until you have the consistency of a thick paste. Allow this to stand for around thirty minutes.
- Apply petroleum jelly to your hairline and your ears to prevent staining them in case your application is a little messy.
- Section your hair into four parts so that you can apply to small sections one at a time to ensure even coverage.
- Mix your two pastes together.
- Using a brush or your gloved hands apply the paste to your hair. Section by section from root to tip.
- Once completed cover your hair. By using a plastic cap or cling film. Leaving the natural henna with indigo paste on your hair for a couple of hours. Remember my forth tip. The longer you leave the paste on your hair the richer and darker the color will be.
- Finally rinse the paste away and condition your hair.
If you find that the application technique is to troublesome or messy for you to do at home and yet still want to color your hair without using chemicals.
Consider a visit to a hair salon that stocks the Botanea range.
L’Oreal’s Botanea Range Of Herbal Color.
The range of herbal colors by L’Oreal use natural henna with indigo and cassia.
These coloring products consist of a trio of powder pigments that offer true vegan herbal hair coloring from a warm blonde to jet black.
Your stylist will use a mixture of one or more of these pigments to produce the hair color of your choice. Remembering that this will all depend on your natural hair color as these products will not lighten your hair.
Having discussed henna and indigo two of the three ingredients that are in the professional Botanea range. Let’s talk about the third cassia pigment.
What Is Cassia.
Cassia is produced from the leaves of the Cassia obovate plant and is sometimes described as a neutral henna.
Although technically this is not correct as firstly it is not henna and secondly it will stain light hair with golden tones.
Mixed with hot water in the same way as you would with henna and indigo.
Cassia powder when used on its own will deeply condition your hair and add a lustrous shine. On blonde or grey hair it will produce golden tones and if you add a little henna a strawberry blonde color.
My Final Thoughts.
With more awareness being shown for the earth and natural products herbal hair color is seeing a revival. If you have dark hair and are looking at herbal colors be sure to read the ingredients list to ensure that only natural ingredients are included. Experimenting is part of the fun when it comes to using herbal colors. And yes maybe you will need to do a couple of strand tests mixing henna with indigo before you find the ideal color for your hair. The plus point being that you will have a unique color hue knowing that no one else will have exactly the same.
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