How to apply Indigo Powder on hair?

What if you want to go black or dark brown but don’t want to use the synthetic/chemical hair dyes, because you don't want to risk their natural shine and strength or even worst, your health? or you are allergic to them? Most of the synthetic black hair dyes have harmful para-phenylenediamine, mentioned as PPD in the ingredients in them that will slowly but eventually damage your hair & affect your physical health.

So what’s the best and safe way to dye your hair black? Indigo Powder combined with henna powder, an abundantly used natural hair dye combination to get the lovely and shiny black hair that has been used since almost 4000 years ago when no artificial hair color was even thought to be invented. Indigo powder is grounded leaves of the plant famous as IndigoferaTinctoria. It is named as the indigo powder because it has the deep blue pigment in it. Although indigo powder has blue pigment it only gives dark brown/black hair color and not blue.

(Indigo powder itself does not work effectively on grey hair, it has to be applied either by mixing with pure henna or after applying pure henna (2 step method) on your hair)

Some brands sell indigo powder as “Black Henna” which is most of the times not pure or safe to use, these may contain chemicals/metallic salts. Especially henna & indigo products out there that are being sold very cheap, most probably contain harmful chemicals. Make sure the indigo powder you are using is green in color and smells like dried up peas when mixed with water it gives ink blue colored paste.

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Indigo powder is mostly used to get the deep black hair or dark brown hair color but for the blonde, gray or white hair, getting black hair with indigo powder requires a two-step process. In this case, you first need to apply the pure henna to the hair that will dye your hair orange-red and then apply the indigo powder in the same way. This will give you a deep black color with wonderful shine.

The color pigment in the indigo powder works really well with the orange color of the henna that is already present in your hair, otherwise, you will get NO COLOR at all (on white or gray hair) or the lite bluish colored hair. If you apply the mixture containing both pure henna and indigo powder you will get different shades of brown depending on the ratios of each powder used.

Reminder: If you only apply indigo powder on gray hair, it will have little to no color. Indigo powder is best used in combination with henna or after dying your hair with henna.


  • A plastic or wooden bowl
  • A plastic or wooden spoon
  • Indigo Powder
  • Shower cap or plastic wrap
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Gloves
  • Old towels
  • Water/black brewed coffee/tea


Indigo may stain your surface, so do handle with care. By following the simple and easy steps stated below you may easily apply indigo on your hair:

Estimated amount needed for your hair:

Short Hair & Half Beard

1/3 (4.5 tbsp)

Shoulder Length & Full Beard

2/3 (8tbsp)

Mid Back

Full Pack

Hip Length

1&1/2 pack

Mustache & Eyebrows

1/4 (3tbsp)


It is very important to follow each step very carefully.


  1. In a bowl, mix Indigo Powder with warm water until it forms into a pudding/cake-like batter consistency. The indigo mixture should be thin enough to apply easily but not too watery that slides off your tresses. It is recommended to leave the mixture out for only 15-20mins before applying. Your indigo powder may harden over the wait time, just apply a little water to loosen it up a bit. (it is recommended not to use any metallic utensils)


  1. Please make sure your hair is clean and dry in order to achieve maximum results. Do note, you may add anything into your mixture as desire; however, we do not recommend adding any oils to the indigo mixture. You want as much product on your hair. You can always apply any oils afterward if needed.


  1. Put your gloves on & separate your hair into sections to achieve maximum coverage. With a brush or with your gloved hands, apply henna mixture from root tips working down; each section at a time. Continue applying until all of the henna mixture is applied to your hair. At this point you should feel well coated with henna mud & a bit heavy (please note henna smells like nature). For facial hair: please use your fingers to deeply color the area and then go over with another smooth coat.


  1. Cover your head with a and wait for 2-3hrs. The Longer you wait for the darker color you will get but you need to leave it on for a minimum of 2 hours for good color (3hours recommended). For facial hair: the recommended amount of time is 1.5 to 2 hours.


  1. Now it’s time to rinse out. This will take a bit more time then rinsing out regular hair dye. To better rinse, out do not layer your hair on top to rinse. Start from the roots and rinse downwards. Rinse indigo with cold/cool water (no shampoo) with/without conditioner and rinse until water runs clear. Cold water helps to lock in the tones. This goes the same in washing any facial hair.


Please shampoo your hair between 24-48hrs of application to lock your color. Don’t see the desired color yet? Wait for 48-72hrs to see your results. Since our indigo powder does not contain the chemicals required in developing the color right away, you may need another application (especially on gray hair). Gray hair tends to be stubborn and when it comes down to henna being so natural; nature will take its time. If you smell indigo powder even after washing, don’t worry it will go away in about 1-2days, as well as any indigo powder stains.


First-time indigo powder users


Please note your results may vary and it may take up to 3-4 application for your hair to recognize henna/indigo. Henna naturally conditions strengthens, removes excess oil, & protects your hair from sun damage! Leaving your hair silky and soft. Also, if you are trying to color your hair to dark brown-black, it always highly recommended you apply our pure henna first and then indigo powder.


Oops! Did your skin get stained? No worries, the color on your skin will fade away with time. Just be sure not to try rubbing it off with oils or anything else as it will darken the color.


Tips: (Here are some tips from our customers, individual’s results may vary) You do not need to apply or add anything if you do not wish to.

  • You may apply Vaseline along your creases to avoid henna stains
  • Mixing with warm brewed black coffee helps darken the color
  • Add 1-2tsp of salt if your first try didn’t work out
  • If you have gray hair you may mix 2-3 tsp of apple cider vinegar (helps henna to hold onto gray better)
  • Mixing our essential oils (lavender essential) in henna mixture or dilute and apply to your hair to avoid henna smell
  • You may want to wear old clothes to avoid any stains
  • Store leftover henna in a dry cool place in a Ziploc
  • Avoid any heat styling to keep hair color last longer
  • It is recommended to use sulfate free or natural shampoo/conditioner



Hi Henna Guy,
I’m interested in achieving the pale blue tint on grey/white hairs.? I know that you advise against using only indigo but I find the pastel blue effect attractive at least a change from the ash brown achieved with a henna mix. Been using henna for years and get tired of the same look to cover greys:- either flaming orange (straight henna) which doesnt look great with grey regrowth, or mousy dark browns If you are able to suggest ways of getting the pale blue to stick better to grey ,pastel blue would be a fun alternative…Alternatively could pastel pink be achieved from Hibiscus added to henna mix for greys? Just random ideas. Thanks.

Karen Turi September 29, 2018

Will the blue hue on my gray hair and blond steaks fade out? Or what can I do to get the blue myout of hair?

Dora September 29, 2018

It is always recommended to dye my hair first with henna and then applying indigo powder mix. The black colour is super with Indigo & henna with reddish colour don’t shampoo for 2days.

Devi September 29, 2018

Elizabeth – never use conditioner between henna and indigo or the indigo will not take (this is ESP true when using sulfate free conditioners). I’ve been a henna head for over 6 years.

Tee September 29, 2018

Hello I dye my hair two days ago with henna and attempted to diet with Indigo after I did the henna but the Indigo did not go through after I get the henna I did apply conditioner to my hair and let it sit for about 10 minutes and I’m wondering if that’s why the Indigo didn’t take at all also I wanted to know can I read I my hair with the indigo being that I haven’t washed my hair since I attempted to do the first dye job

Elizabeth August 07, 2018

Hello, on one part of this article you advise to wait 3-4 days to shampoo after applyibg the indigo but at the end of the article you mention that one should wait 24 hours to shampoo. I am confused. Also, does waiting 24 hours or 3-4 days apply to using conditioner or can it be used immediately after rinsing the indigo?

Addis September 29, 2018

can i mix some indigo with brown henna to make it darker

jaqnice September 29, 2018

Hi it’s really work wonder instead of applying chemical hair dye it’s good to try this

Divya Ravindra September 29, 2018

I first dyed my hair with your light brown henna color (mix of henna and indigo). It was really nice at first but eventually faded into a bright orange. I figured I would go back over it with indigo to bring it back to a more neutral brown color. Big mistake. The ends of my hair are completely blue and it won’t come out. I’ve tried bleaching it and dying over it….nothing works and in fact every time I try to get rid of the blue, it just becomes more blue. Ugh. So frustrated and I’ll probably have to end up cutting a large amount of my ends off.

Emily September 29, 2018

Hello. I plan to use the light brown henna then indigo to prevent red color. My question is how long after doing the henna do I use the indigo, should this be done one the same day? Also do I apply the indigo on dry hair? Many thanks

Sara September 29, 2018

I am confused.:above in part 6 you say " Do not use shampoo for at least 3 to 4 days after the application of the indigo because its color would be washed out with the shampoo." But right below that you say " Use shampoo after 24hrs but before 46hrs to lock in the color tones." 48 hours is just 2 days.Which is correct ? Thanks !

Cynthia September 29, 2018

I tried mixing hyna and indigo powder in equal proportions, with warm tea water. Kept it overnight and applied it in the morning. Washed it off after 2 hours. I got normal brown shade that i usually get with hyna. I need black shade.. Kindly help

Girish September 29, 2018

Thank you so much for the information?

Hema jain September 29, 2018

Hi as my husband’s family name means henna we are not supposed to use henna at all. It may seem funny but it’s the fact. So, I was just wondering is there any substitute to use instead of henna before using indigo powder for my grey hair. I am 29 years I have lot of grey hair??? please help

Sravana priya reddy Maharaja Chidambar September 29, 2018

How to mix pure indigo powder I received it today but there are no instructions on how to mix I have short hair I have used the henna mix now I want to finish covering my grey

Angela D Horton September 29, 2018

How to mix pure indigo powder I received it today but there are no instructions on how to mix I have short hair I have used the henna mix now I want to finish covering my grey

Angela D Horton September 29, 2018

THANK YOU for your information I will definitely try this on coming Sunday

Sajad January 17, 2018

I have the same problem. It just ends up orange again no matter what I do. Like you I am considering Indigo as it is my last hope to avoid this orange tent on my hair. I will be interested to see what kind of answers you get. I have a lot of anxiety about my orange hair. Don’t like it.

David Bucklew September 29, 2018

Hello! I’ve been dyeing my hair with your dark brown henna but it fades drastically after the first wash which I do normally 3,4 days after applying it. So I am considering going only with indigo next time. Do you think I will achieve a darker and long lasting color? Any advice? Best wishes Kelly

Kelly November 28, 2017

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