How to Use Henna and Indigo for Curly Hair ~ Guide by Curl Boss

Posted by Elizabeth Alex on

@Curl.boss Safia has been using henna and indigo for three years now and says it has brought unprecedented improvement in her hair length, density, volume and growth! This hair dying method does wonders for her hair and provides body and definition to her lush curls. Safia loves henna and indigo and says this method helps her dye safely while offering nourishment and protection to her hair. Learn more from her experience and tips below. 

To go black or brown, use Indigo also, here's why.

While henna is an amazing natural conditioner making hair healthy, voluminous and strong the bright orange color may be unflattering for some. To achieve darker shades of brown and black, try this method of using henna with indigo.

Indigo powder is obtained from the grounded leaves of the plant known as Indigofera Tinctoria. It releases a blue-purple dye. Indigo cannot work alone effectively on grey hair, it has to be applied either by mixing with pure henna or after henna treatment on your hair. Using henna and indigo doesn’t affect natural melanin of your hair so this is a damage-free method.

People with curly hair use it because it’s safer than traditional dyes. As a curly girl I prefer natural ingredients anyway! Also, after using henna your hair is stronger, shinier and healthier because it fills in the weak areas of the hair strand hence it works like a protein treatment

The One Step Method

Prepare henna first by soaking it overnight ( in acidic mix) for almost 8-12 hours. When you are going to apply henna, you prepare fresh indigo paste and mix according to your desired ratio for achieving your desired hair shade. 

    • Soak henna+ acidic mix overnight .
    • When you are about to apply, make indigo paste in lukewarm water and add  salt (optional, 1tsp for 100 gms indigo).
    • Mix it with henna according to your desired ratio and apply.
    • Cover with a shower cap.
    • Leave it on for 3-5 hours .
    • Wash it out using a low poo or cowash.
    • Buy Indigo in India

You can achieve auburn to a medium brown shade using this method. Please note this zero chemical method won't dye your dark hair into lighter tones. 


Important: Do not apply the henna and indigo mixture for less than 3 hours and more than 3-5 hours or don’t apply overnight. This is because indigo dye molecules start getting weaker after 3-4 hours, whereas henna gets stronger the longer it is left on the head. That’s why if in case the mixture of henna and indigo applied is left more than the recommended time, the henna paste will overcome indigo dye molecule and results could be redder rather brown.

The Two Steps Method

In this method both henna and indigo are being applied to your hair in 2 steps. I follow the two steps method because it turns my grey roots black. It is also long lasting. 


  • You will prepare the henna by the same method described above
  • Apply it on clean hair and leave it for 3-4 hours. Cover with a shower cap.
  • Then wash it out with plain water. 
  • Then make fresh indigo paste as described above. 
  • Apply it immediately and cover again with a plastic/ shower cap
  • Apply on damp hair, not wet, as the dye will keep trickling and it gets really messy.
  • Wash it out with a low poo or cowash after 20 minutes if you want brown shade and 1-2 hours if you want black shade.

These are my results after the 2 step method.

Where to Buy Indigo

I get henna and indigo from Organic Roots, Pakistan. Erum is the founder and I want to give a big shoutout to this woman for standing out with her unique work and also for saving my hair from all the future chemical damage. She has revolutionized hair dyeing by introducing this method. As a pioneering non-chemical hair brand in Pakistan, I wish Erum comes up with so much more. Best wishes! 

Buy Indigo in India

This article was written by Safia and edited by Elizabeth, Founder HonestWorks. We hope you find it useful. Please share it with your loved ones and let us know if you will try!

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