Henna/Indigo Natural Hair Dye/Conditioner (Long Method)


I’m a henna head!  Henna is a plant used to dye hair, skin, fingernails, wool and leather.  Henna hair dye will also leave your hair soft and manageable. Indian women have  thick beautiful rich hair because they use henna. It all natural and is the only hair dye that is good for your hair.  Henna stain is reddish/orange. Dying with henna dying can fall into a broad range, from auburn, to orange, to deep burgundy, chestnut-brown or deep blue-black.   Henna will not change brown or black hair to red.  To achieve a color that is more brown or black, you must use indigo hair dye as well as henna. The final color result depends on your original hair color. Other factors to consider includes:
-quality of the henna ( I buy my henna and indigo from www.hennahut.com)
-region where the henna is from
-amount of time the henna is left on the hair to process
-whether it remains wet on the hair, or is allowed to dry
-the amount of heat retained on the head during the dying process

I henna my hair using a combination approach using a henna gloss (addition of a non protein conditioner to henna paste) and a henna/indigo/alma mix. Henna can be prepare in a number of ways.  I use the following recipe to condition and dye my hair black. Adjust ingredients measurement to the length of your hair.

2 tbsp. high quality henna
3-5 tbsp. indigo powder
1 tbsp.  amla (darkens henna, adds strength, softness & shines)
2 cups warm coffee, black/green tea
1/2 cup GVP conditioning balm (for henna gloss recipe)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp neem powder (prevents excessive hair fall; strengthens hair roots/follicles)
5 drops essential oil of choice (i.e rosemary, lavender, lemon grass, tea tree, or cinnamon)
1/4 tsp CMC powder, Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose Gum (binds and holds the henna paste together (optional)

You will need:
– high quality henna, two glass bowls, spatula,  warm liquid (coffee/tea), amla, sea salt, protein free conditioner (w/lots of slip), essential oil, measuring cup, measuring spoon, gloves

Place the henna powder and add warm liquid. Add enough  to make a thickened paste with the consistency of toothpaste. Cover the bowl and let sit for 8 – 12 hours until the dye color changes from green to brown. It takes about 8 – 12 hours for the henna paste to fully mature. Prepare hair by washing with a clarify shampoo or apply to dry stale hair. Do not condition hair. 

Uncover henna paste. Mix indigo powder, all remaining dry ingredients and liquid until the thickness resembles that of regular hair dye or softened yogurt and let stand for 15 minutes. Combine both mixtures together and mix thoroughly. Add more liquid as needed.  Apply mixture to hair and leave uncovered. Do not wrap hair in plastic wrap.  Wrapping hair will reduce henna/indigo color absorption.  Leave mixture on for 4 – 6 hours. 

1. Rinse thoroughly with water and protein free slippery conditioner only.  My favorite henna rinse out conditioners are Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and Suave Almond and Shea conditioners.

Do not shampoo for 48 hours. Color will oxidize and darken over the next two days.

2. Oil Rinse (recommended for type 4 or dry/brittle/breaking hair).  This step is awesome for eliminating dry, brittle and breaking hair.  Click here to learn how to oil rinse.

3. Wrap and dry hair with an old pillowcase or t-shirt to absorb excess water and reduce frizz.

4. Apply NaturallyFitQt Deep Conditioning Moisture Magic to damp hair. Do NOT rinse out!

5. Apply Smooth Shea and Body Butter (optional during warm weather if I oil rinse) to hair to seal in and lock-in moisture and twist hair or:

6. Apply styling cream (of your choice) and twist or style as desired (optional). I like to use Shea moisture styling milk, Cantu Moisture Curl Activator, Shea Moisture Curling Souffle (my favorite during winter/dry air months), Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel, Kiss My Face Styling Gel or Wetline Extreme Styling Gel.

7. Air dry hair thoroughly.  Keep hair twisted in an updo or untwist hair with lightly oiled hands.

Note: During my protective style period, I  oil and massage my scalp twice daily or as needed for five minutes.

DIY Henna Gloss – Conditioning Purposes only

Add warm water to 100g of henna powder slowly whilst mixing until it forms a paste that is still thick in consistency
Set the paste aside in a warm place for 6 hours
Add a cup of conditioner to your paste and mix it thoroughly
Apply it to sections of your hair from root to tip
Cover with a shower cap and allow it to sit for 30 minutes or as long as you wish
Rinse the gloss and style as usual






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