How to use indigo powder for hair - indigo dye as natural hair dye
Our Organic Indigo, the dried, ground leaves of the Indigofera Tinctoria plant, is a completely organic gift from nature for dyeing hair. It can be used in conjunction with organic henna (henna treated hair) to get a variety of shades from black, to brown, to red-brown, or used on its own to darken brown or red hair.
Some people get fantastic results from it and can even get a black shade like the customer's photographs below showing how her white roots went from white to red with henna powder, and then from red to black with indigo.
Everyone's hair is different
Some people's hair is porous and therefore easier to dye and holds the hair longer than others. Some people's hair can be very resistant to dye and will produce a lighter colour. Certain types of Asian hair can be very resistant to hair dye. Hair at the temples can be more resistant to dye and doesn't take the colour as strongly as the rest of the hair.
If your hair is porous it will be easy to dye and you can get away with shorter processing time whereas if your hair is resistant you will have to follow all the rules and tick all the boxes and possibly leave the colour on for a longer time.
The only way you can know beforehand how your hair will take to the colour Indigo Paste is to strand test first.
Red henna will usually take well on everyone's hair but indigo will not take as well on some people's hair if it is resistant.
The tips below will help indigo to take better on your hair.
Indigo hair dye tips, do's and don'ts
1. Indigo should be mixed with luke warm (not more than 50°C) water, to the consistency of yogurt.
2. It is best not to mix Indigo directly with an acidic liquid or with a lot of amla powder as the acidity can inhibit the dye release of indigo.
3. If you are trying to get black hair you can add 1 teaspoon salt to 100g Indigo.
4. Once the indigo is mixed with liquid it should be used immediately and not allowed to sit as it will deteriorate and lose its dying ability. If it takes a long time, more than half an hour to apply the indigo paste to your hair then it would be best to mix up as much indigo as you can apply in half an hour and then mix up a fresh lot of indigo for the rest of your hair.
5. Apply to clean dry hair. It is OK if your hair is bit damp as long as it is not too wet. If it is too wet it could dilute the colour.
6. Some people find it helps to rub their hair with a few spoonfuls of baking soda before applying indigo paste. Indigo likes an alkaline environment and it seems to help the indigo work better.
7. There should not be any substance on your hair which may block or prevented the colour from bonding with the hair - e.g. residue of conditioner, styling product, oil, or heat protective serum.
Silicone based hair care and styling products coat your hair like plastic and prevent hair dye from sticking to your hair.
Silicone based products are often used to protect your hair from heat styling such as straightening irons or hair dryer styling.
They are very difficult to remove and cannot be removed by ordinary shampoo. You need to use a special product, like It's Pure Pre-Colour Clarifying Treatment. Styling products sold on Suvarna are not silicone based.
8. Make sure your hair is thoroughly saturated with colour during application
9. To achieve a stronger colour leave the product on for a longer time up to them maximum allowed for the product.
10. If the colour is still not dark enough you can apply a 2nd coat either all over your hair or if there are patches of hair that are not coloured dark enough you could put the colour on again just in those areas without putting it all over your hair.
Please note that if you repeatedly put layers of colour on all over your hair it may build up too much colour on the ends of your hair and make them too dark.
11. If your hair is proving to be difficult to dye with indigo one thing you can try is applying heat whilst the paste is on your hair as this may help the indigo bond with your hair.
One way of gently warming your hair is to wrap your hair is cling wrap or plastic processing cap and then wrap in a towel round it to keep your head warm. For a more intense heat you could try sitting in the sun or applying a hair dryer over your hair for 10 to 15 minutes. Before applying direct heat your hair colour should be protected by the processing cap on plastic cling wrap.
12. If you use part of a packet of hair colour powder and keep the rest of the packet for a later application, it is important to make sure it is very well sealed in an air-tight plastic bag or container and stored away from sunlight and heat. If not properly stored it could deteriorate.
13. When you wash the indigo out of your hair, try washing it out with just water and not shampoo.This may help it to stay in better.
Tips on preparing and applying the paste
The paste should be soft and creamy enough to spread on your hair. If it is too thick and hard to spread and falls of your hair in lumps, add a little more liquid. If it is too thin and runs down your neck it means there is too much liquid in it. 100g of Indigo would need about 300ml water, if this seems too thick add up to another 25ml water. If it takes you a long time for you to apply the paste you may find that the paste dries out a bit in the bowl before you have finished and becomes too stiff. In this case you can add a little more water to the paste.
You can apply the colour with an applicator brush but we prefer to use gloved fingers to apply it because it gives you more flexibility. If you do use gloves to apply it you may find the thicker gloves latex or nitrile better than the polythene gloves.
After care to enhance the longevity of your indigo hair colour
Following all the application tips above will also help to enhance the longevity of indigo on your hair. It also depends on your hair type, how often you wash your hair and what you wash your hair with.
The more you wash your hair the quicker the colour will wash out. We recommend using a mild natural shampoo without any sodium lauryl sulphate or ammonium lauryl sulphate.
The Logona Colour Shampoo is very good here because it is mild and contains a small amount of natural colouring that helps to top up the colour on your hair in between dying it: Logona Natural Colour Care Shampoo
The Logona Colour Fix Conditioner is specifically designed to help extend the life of your hair dye as it coats your hair to lock in the colour: Colour Conditioner
Why choose a product with organic certification?
Eco, organic or bio refers to products that have not been genetically modified, and no artificial fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides have been used for cultivation. In organic certified production there is a great transparency of the entire process, from ingredients to final product.
If you plan to colour hair with indigo or any other natural dye, I hope you have found this blog post useful. If you need any further hair colour advice or information on indigo mix, indigo hair treatment, natural hair colourants / natural hair dyes, new hair growth, or help on any other subject, then please contact us.
You can buy pure, 100% organic indigo here.