2 step henna + indigo--anyone done this?

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Hello,

I used henna and indigo mixed 50/50 for a long time to cover gray in my very dark brown hair, but it bothered me that the indigo faded quickly and my hair ended up very red. The color was never quite dark enough, either. (I used to leave the mix in for 3 hours).

From what I've read, if you use henna first, then rinse that out and do indigo in a separate step, you will get black. From the videos I've seen, this technique actually gives a very dark brown, which would be perfect, but I'd love to hear experiences from those who have done it. I'm tempted to try this but do not want goth jet black hair as that will not be too flattering to me .

I'm thinking of leaving the henna in for 2 hours, and then the indigo in for 2 hours.

Anyone tried this or seen the results?
And it worked out great. I left the henna in for 3 hours, and the indigo for about 15 minutes. I got a really nice dark ash brown and it covered my gray well. If it doesn't fade this will be my new go-to technique
And it worked out great. I left the henna in for 3 hours, and the indigo for about 15 minutes. I got a really nice dark ash brown and it covered my gray well. If it doesn't fade this will be my new go-to technique
Originally Posted by hairy situation
Please let us know how this works out for you. I want to try this to but i am worried the coulor might fade.

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Also english is not my first language so forgive me when I get the grammar wrong
And has a reddish tone. Then again, I didn't leave the indigo on long at all. Next time I might be braver and leave it on longer. The results are still darker than when I applied the henna and indigo mixed together. I'll try to remember to update in a few weeks.
Sounds like you are getting good results. Good for you :-) It is going to be interesting to hear if the color fades.

Sent from my GT-S5690 using CurlTalk App
Co-wash; Tresemmé
Conditioner; JC Too Shea/ Tresemmé
Leave in; KCNT/JC Too Shea
Styler; KCCC
DT; JCWDT
PT; AOGPB
Sealants EVOO/KC Gloss pomade
Henna Monthly
Also english is not my first language so forgive me when I get the grammar wrong
If you leave the indigo on for longer you're likely to go black. When you do it's irreversible. It can still give a reddish hue in the sun but the colour would be black.

I used to do the 2-step method for years. Not for the colour (my hair is nearly black) but for the conditioning purposes. I love the effects of henna but with indigo I tried to cover the redness of henna. Now with the CG method I haven't found the henna necessary.

The indigo might fade of the gray strands but with repeated use it should stick better. I used to add salt to the indigo (1 tbs) and amla to my henna.

Be careful with indigo if you want to avoid black. I would recommend the mix of henna-indigo instead of 2-step if you want dark brown.

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You might want to add amla in the mix to take away some of the red of henna. Also different henna gives different colour. The henna from Sahara is not so red, more brownish colour. You could try some Moroccan henna in the mix.

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3 a / low porosity / medium texture and density

Two daughters:
3 c / low porosity / fine texture / medium density
4 a / low porosity / fine texture / high density
I just ordered henna, indigo and amla, which should arrive in about a week. Will use it to cover my grays and also to try and achieve a deep red (like wine). I'm using the amla to further calm down some of the red and to try and prevent my curl pattern from loosening.

If you're interested, I'll be posting comments about my results (possibly pics, too) in the 4a forum, under the thread I created called "Is Amla still Working for You?"
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I haven't tried Amla, but I've read about it over the years. Maybe I'll give it a shot. Does it fade out, or does it make the henna bond to the strand in a different colour? I notice that henna never fades and is very permanent (which is great).

Mixing the henna and indigo and doing a one step process tends to fade to red pretty fast for me, and it's never quite dark enough. I did it for years but am a bit bored with it. I think I might go in a black direction next time, though it would be great if it was almost black but not quite. The indigo is still fading from my first attempt.

I've always used Yemen henna for the gray coverage. I'll have to try a few different ones.
I haven't tried Amla, but I've read about it over the years. Maybe I'll give it a shot. Does it fade out, or does it make the henna bond to the strand in a different colour? I notice that henna never fades and is very permanent (which is great).

Mixing the henna and indigo and doing a one step process tends to fade to red pretty fast for me, and it's never quite dark enough. I did it for years but am a bit bored with it. I think I might go in a black direction next time, though it would be great if it was almost black but not quite. The indigo is still fading from my first attempt.

I've always used Yemen henna for the gray coverage. I'll have to try a few different ones.
Originally Posted by hairy situation
Such good questions. I'm still kind of ignorant about these things. One of the reasons I'm opting to use both indigo and amla w/the henna is because both of these darken the hair so that it'll hopefully turn a deep red, like what it sounds like you're aiming for.

If you want, you could wait to see my results before going totally black (although black is a pretty bad azz option)? I'm really not even sure this concoction will work. We'll see. I'll likely use 3 parts henna to 1 part indigo and 1 part amla respectively. It's going to be a minute before I actually do my head though because I definitely am taking my time to strand test until I see the exact or near-exact result I want! Also, I know my results won't necessarily determine yours because we're starting out w/different hair colors, but I could certainly share the ratios I end up using if they might help you

ETA: It just occurred to me that you don't have to wait for me to do your own tests if you already have these 3 powders. You could do your own strand/hair ball tests to see what ratios might work well for you
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Amla cools down the red from henna. What I've noticed is that when used with henna in the 2-step process it makes indigo stick and hold better. Looks like the indigo fades less when used on henna-amla mix.

This is how I do my 2-step. I mix 100g of Moroccan BAQ henna (ie. Tazarine) with some lemon juice and warm water. I might add some crushed cloves just for the smell. I cover the mix with plastic and place the bowl in a warm place. After the colour release I mix in the amla, maybe about 50 g. I let the henna stay on my head for about 2 hrs, then rince. Right after I mix 100 g of indigo with a table spoon of salt, then I add warm water. I spread the indigo on my "towel dry" hair and cover my head with plastic as quickly as possible. Indigos dying power fades when in touch with oxygen. I leave the indigo on for 1 h, rince well and voilà, black hair that shouldn't fade.

Not sure if this helps but it might give some ideas.

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3 a / low porosity / medium texture and density

Two daughters:
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4 a / low porosity / fine texture / high density
Tariwate,

I hope to find a formula that works for me the way you've been able to balance things.

According to founder/administrator over at the Henna for Hair forum, the henna is supposed to be mixed with the amla in warm water for dye release (no lemon juice, ACV or other acidic liquid needed) - that lemon juice isn't needed or recommended if using amla with the henna, as the amla already serves as a dye release, due to its acidity ... and that using both can lead to hair dryness on people prone to dry hair already. Do you experience any dryness w/your mix?

Also, the folks in the forum have said adding crushed cloves does more than just add smell - that it deepens the overall color of the henna mix, which sounds perfect if you're aiming for black (like your recipe), but I wonder if adding the cloves (along w/indigo, henna & amla) could make the color too dark if someone is aiming for deep red instead of black(?)
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Yes, I think you're right about amla having to be mixed with henna for the colour release when doing a henna-amla-indigo mix. It was good that you pointed it out. I have never done that when doing a 2-step as my natural hair colour is so dark and the end result of 2-step is black anyway. The same goes with the cloves: never thought that it could have some darkening effects. My heritage comes from Northern Africa and I've been doing many things because "this is how they were always done" without thinking about them too much. Thank you for the more precise information!

I never found it too dry to have both lemon juice and amla in my henna, but I could imagine it can be. I've heard that only lemon juice by itself can cause dryness for some. I think indigo for me was the more drying part, but in the end of the day the goodness of henna + amla took care of that.


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3 a / low porosity / medium texture and density

Two daughters:
3 c / low porosity / fine texture / medium density
4 a / low porosity / fine texture / high density

Last edited by tariwate; 12-14-2012 at 12:45 AM.
Which country are you from? North Africa - I'm very drawn to it, and not just the people and the culture, but also the food and music LOL We haven't had our honeymoon yet but I'm pushing for us to go to Morocco

I spoke to the people at hennafor hair.com again today and now they're saying that cloves really WON'T darken the hair after all. Not sure what to think anymore now

What do you do about the drying affects of the indigo? Do you just condition you hair afterward?

Thanks for answering my other questions!
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Very confusing with the cloves... Personally I doubt that they would make a huge difference in the colour. I use them also in the henna paste that I use on the skin, but when I've been in places where there are non the colour of the henna on the skin hasn't been that different...

You should definitely go to Morocco. If you haven't been on that side of the world it would be a great experience. The food is beautiful! Keep us posted if you decide to travel there.
I'm a mix of Algeria and Morocco, and a bit of northern Niger (the very south of Sahara desert). A berber mix (the indigenous people of Northern Africa).

After rinsing off the indigo I put a few drops of Argan oil on wet hair. That took usually care of the dry feeling. Then again, before going mod-CG my hair was very dry in anyway, so I didn't know any better. I haven't done the 2-step after starting with CG method, as I don't feel I need henna now. I used to use henna only to condition my hair, not to dye it. Indigo was a must afterwards because I don't like too much of reddish hue on my hair. Now I've learned new methods to take care of my hair.

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3 a / low porosity / medium texture and density

Two daughters:
3 c / low porosity / fine texture / medium density
4 a / low porosity / fine texture / high density
You just helped me more with my research because now I'm confident that cloves really won't make a difference in color. So I'll consider adding cloves to my mix for the smell! Thank you.

You have a lovely mix of cultures! I want to go into the Sahara and take love pics of the rolling hills of sand, and the people. The Berber people are so beautiful too I will definitely talk about my trip on here. I'm sure I'll love it.

It's good to hear you no longer have to do all those hours of henna/indigo treatments to condition. Wow, that was lot of effort just to condition your hair. I'm glad you found the CG routine conditioning enough (definitely seems like the faster and easier way to condition). ... I'm using henna for the color
3b/c?

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* 2 blogs this week: Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop! AND Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream* My Albums
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.
I really hope my experiance helps you. I started putting indigo in my hair directly after henna for the same reason you dislike indigo- the fading problem. I have henna'd my hair for years...and always mixed indigo to tone down the red...so I thought you know what if its black it won't fade. Wrong. Not only have I never successfully made it black...it fades just as quickly. I still use indigo to tone my red..but that is now it's only faithful purpose. It never holds for me. The darkest I get is the first week of dark brown. It fades out to auburn within about two weeks.
Thanks Kayrae. I wonder why so many websites say it will be black and permanent! Weird. Still, it does look good and doesn't fade any worse than dark brown chemical color (which also fades and leaves my hair red since my hair has so much red in it naturally), so I'll likely stick with it unless I find something better.
And it works better each time and lasts longer. I now leave the henna on for 3 hours and the indigo for 1 hour and 15 mins. It's a very dark ash brown. I can see how you could get black, even a blue black if you just leave it on longer. It lasts about 6 weeks before it starts to fade significantly, and by then my roots need attention, anyway.

Love this! I just wish it didn't take so long

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