Indigo powder comes from the dried leaves of the Indigofera tinctoria shrub. Our indigo is organically grown in northern India. This plant has been used for centuries to dye fabric blue and also to dye hair. Indigotin, the substance responsible for the blue colour is reputed to have antiseptic and antioxidant properties and studies have shown that indigo may protect against liver damage from chemicals like carbon tetrachloride.
Used in combination with henna, indigo dyes hair in various shades of brown to black. Used without henna, indigo will dye blond or grey hair blue.
Henna/Indigo hair dye: This two-step method using henna and indigo can work very well for covering grey. Dye your hair with plain henna as explained on the henna page. Doing the henna application first helps the indigo attach to the hair. In a different bowl, mix up the indigo powder with enough warm water to make a smooth paste. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes but no longer. The green mixture will turn a purple/black on top. Apply it to freshly henna’ed dry hair, in the same manner you applied the henna paste. Wrap in clingwrap and a towel and leave it on for 45 minutes to 4 hours. Keeping your head as warm as possible will help the indigo to release the dye. Rinse thoroughly, shampoo and condition. Some people prefer not to shampoo straight after rinsing, but to wait for 24-48 hours to allow the indigo to oxidise. You can also just use a conditioner after the rinse, and not a shampoo. On some hair types this helps the dye to be more effective and you might need to experiment to find the best method for your hair.
You can try adding 1 teaspoon of salt per 100g of indigo to the mixture to help the indigo to ‘fix’ more effectively.
If you wash your hair daily, the indigo will not last for a long time.
Please do a strand test to determine the application time. If you are aiming for dark brown/black hair you can probably leave it on for the maximum time. Sitting under a salon dryer for some of the application time will help considerably with the dye ‘taking’, and also shorten the application time.
Your hair and skin are unique so when using natural extracts please bear in mind that they will react differently for everyone. Have fun experimenting!
Please note: for external use only.
Any leftover indigo mixture cannot be frozen. If you have unused dry indigo powder, reseal the packet and store it in a cool, dry place.
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