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.