On my third attempt I used henna for 3 hours and the indigo for 1 hour. As always I got a really nice dark ash brown and it's still looking good after 3 washes. I'm not sure I believe I could really get black with this combo. It is still fading a little with each wash but not as much as when I first tried it. I'll leave the indigo on for even longer next time. I'd like to get the ends to stay really dark so I just have to redo the gray roots and not the whole thing every time--that would save a fortune! (My ends are lightened from using chemical dyes to dye my hair darker. I always end up lighter doing that
My henna and indigo is not so fresh as I bought it about 2-3 years ago, but the "use by" date on the henna packet is years away. It'll be interesting to see what happens when I run out and order fresh henna and indigo.
The procedure used to dry my hair out temporarily (I think it was all the lemon juice in the henna) but I fixed that problem by rinsing with globs of conditioner (really helps the henna/indigo slide out), and later slathering lots of coconunt oil on the semi-dry hair and leaving it overnight. It's really shiny and conditioned the next day, instead of taking a few days to settle down.