Back-to-Black Using Indigo and Henna Gray Hair Dyes

To get black and jet black shades you should dye grays with henna first, and then indigo. As soon as you rinse out the henna from your hair the next dye you should apply is indigo to get the best results.

Follow the steps for dyeing your gray hair with henna by following the instructions in the article: Red To Auburn Highlights Using Henna- Recipe and Instructions.  After you are done, follow the steps outlined below to get your gray hair looking black again.


1 cup indigo powder

1/2 cup warm filtered water (might need more)

1 tsp salt (salt will enhance color)


Mix indigo powder, salt with water until it reaches the consistency of yogurt. It should be a paste–not runny. After rinsing out the henna hair dye, section your hair and add the indigo paste to your hair piling it on thick to all areas of your head, wear plastic gloves on your hands and use the necessary precautions before you dye your hair.

Put on shower cap and wrap towel around cap for increased warmth. Leave the paste on the hair for an hour or an hour and a half. Using an overhead dryer will increase the staining process but you should still leave plastic cap on for an hour. Rinse the paste out with cool water when your time is up.

Your hair will be black. Sometimes there will be a green tint to the hair, do not worry this will fade after a day or two.

Tip: Do not use indigo alone to dye your gray hair; your hair will have a purple blue tint if you do. If this is not a color that you want, then using henna first and then indigo will give you the black shade you desire.



  • JoJo said:

    After rinsing henna from the hair, the hair are required to be dried first before applying indigo mixture? Or is it just okay with moist hair?

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Jojo…It is best to towel dry the hair and let the hair be somewhat dry, I am not sure if it is okay to use indigo on moist hair.

  • vinni said:

    Hello Brenda .. I would like to know what would the best ingredient to make a perfect good hair oil which can be a substitute of Mineral Oil or White Oil … what are the things that makes hair looks shiny to add it in hair oil.

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Vinni,

      A perfect hair oil involves finding a good carrier oil that works for your hair. Carrier oil includes coconut, castor, olive and almond oil. Check out this link

  • kumu said:


    I want to know. if I’ll stop applying it. will my hair started becoming grey. as i have seen lots of girls using dye having all grey hair.
    please reply me. as I want apply it with heena. I apply herbal heena regularly but have doubt for this dye.

    • Brenda said:

      If you stop applying the dye and your hair is gray, the roots of your hair will grow back gray. You have to do a regular touch up for the dye above to cover your grays.

  • KC123 said:

    Hi Brenda,
    Where can I get indigo powder?

  • laxman said:

    can we apply coconut oil regularly after henna and indigo application any other precautions to avoid black color fading out

  • doreen said:

    i loooooooove this site,thanks alot and keep me posted. Did i say i just looooove your generousity,God bless you.

  • Sukhbir Tuli said:

    Can I mix indigo oil instead of indigo powder with henna??

  • Amy said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I apply henna and indigo in two steps. Bt I get dark brown hair and not just jet black. I want to color very black.
    How to rinse hair after applying indigo? Should I use shampoo and conditioner? Will that fades color of indigo? Or just water rinse will give me more black color?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Amy,
      Some persons only achieve jet black over a period of time when using indigo. My mother uses the two step method too and only after six or so applications her hair is actually looking black instead of deep brown. To be on the safe side though, don’t use shampoo, only conditioner after you wash out the indigo with plain water.

  • Johnna said:

    Hi Brenda:

    What is the best moisturizer to use after dying your hair that wont fade or strip the color?

  • divia said:

    Yoghurt or egg is considered as a natural conditioner,is it okay if i make the indigo mixture with any of these instead of water.My hair is very dry and i regularly need to use these on my hair.It may save me from another wash of conditioning.

  • Pat said:

    Can I just use black henna on my gray hair to make it black?

  • Kudra said:

    How long does this dye usually last?

  • Kaisha Nicole said:

    Hello Brenda,
    So excited to find your site. I want to offer natural dyes in my salon, but under NC law. Natural Hair Care Specialist can’t do even natural dyes. The 12 hours for the dye to take is a long time.
    Do you think sitting under dryer will speed process?

  • sadaf said:

    Hi Brenda how many time use in a week henna after indigo to get jet black color

  • Danielle said:

    If I want to put indigo mix again in my hair after the first attempt with henna and indigo, maybe a month after, do I need to do henna again or just apply the indigo mix because I already have henna in my hair from a month ago? How about In a week?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Danielle,
      Put in the henna again and then the indigo. How did it go the first time around, was your hair black? My Mom’s only became dark brown, we are blaming the indigo for being too weak.

  • rajendra said:

    Hi Brenda,

    shall i apply coconut oil after 2-3 using henna and indigo.

  • magda said:

    Hello, thank you for all your helpful information. I use bigen permanent hair color every 2 weeks on my grays . Is it ok?

  • sushma said:

    my hair has turned a bit red after henna application,nd i hv no idea of this Indigo hair color,so pl;z let me know wat cn i do to reduce this redness of hair

  • vee said:

    Hi friends, i was chemically dying my hair but now want to switch to henna and indigo.I coloured my hair with henna which left my grey turned orange,,,which i hate,then i used indigo but no result of the indigo as if there was just no effect.I had soaked indigo in warm water with salt then applied but no help.can anyone of you please help through your experience how to go about it?

  • azfim said:

    i am 29 and all my hair have become grey or white you can tell.i use only natural gives a red or brown color but i do not like this color.

    can i get black color, after applying hena and indigo?

    please help

    • krushnapriya said:

      i am 45 and all my hair have become grey or white you can tell.i use only natural gives a red or brown color but i do not like this color.

      can i get black color, after applying hena and indigo?

  • DP said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I have been applying henna for years. And my gray has also increased a lot. Henna gives a good reddish brownish tinge to my hair. But a lot of the gray looks orange too, which I do not like. I am thinking of using indigo powder to only certain areas of my hair, like the sides and the edge right above the forehead. Also the muddle parting has started to look horrendous with toooo much red. My question is : will it ok to use indigo to only certain areas and expect ONLY those areas to change color?vDoes indigo spread to areas that I don’t want it to spread to?


  • sonia handa said:

    Is there any side effect of indigo

  • Sandhya said:


    I coloured my hair with henna and indigo mix and it gave a nice black colour. I just rinsed my hair without shampoo or conditioner and the color was good. After 3 days i washed with shampoo and that removed the indigo color completely leaving all the grey hair red.
    How can i prevent the indigo color from being washed off?

  • pavanroopchandani said:

    how much quentity of indigo and how much of heena shoud b mixed in this remedy

  • Nicole E said:

    Hi, how long does the indigo usually last before you have to apply again.

  • shai said:


    I used the combination of Heena and Indigo. It covered my grey hair but after washing it with shampoo after 24 hrs. Every time I comb my hair my comb turns black and the softness of my hair is lost they have become dull and dry.

    I don’t understand why than indigo powder particles come out from my hair when I comb.

    Pls help.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Shai,

      This doesn’t sound good. I am assuming that a lot of things could have gone wrong here. I would suggest rinsing your hair again, conditionin with a moisture rich conditioner and then finish with a weak Apple Cider Vinegar rinse, three parts water to one part ACV.

  • Shalu said:

    May we use shampoo or soap to rinse the hair after applying indigo?

  • Markoline said:

    Hey Brenda, :) :) :)
    how long does the hair remain black after applying the Henna and the Indigo?

  • Suada said:

    If i have black hair and use only indigo will my hair be black?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Indigo does not adhere to the hair like henna does. That is why henna is used first and then the indigo goes on top. If however you are looking for a ‘temporary’ blue black color, that you will only see in certain lights, then indigo will do that for you. Expect it to wash out after your next shampoo and be careful with wearing any light colored clothes!

  • priya said:

    Can indigo lead to more greys? Just as we have seen dyeing hair lead to more and more greys.. So can indigo also lead to more greys?

  • Lisa said:

    Commenting late in this string – Shai – You don’t shampoo your hair within 24 hours of a henna/indigo treatment. You need to wait at least 3 days before shampooing. Give the color time to oxidize and settle into the color it will be. I use a shampoo or conditioner that is for color-treated hair. There is nothing you can do to keep the indigo from fading. I hear using a indigo gloss would help if you can find the recipe.

  • priyanka said:

    Kindly guide as to how to get indigo colour my hair after chemically colouring them. Even after repeated application of henna and thereafter indigo on chemically colored hair, indigo is not giving colour.

  • varsh said:

    is indigo natural color because I have allergy of hair color. please guide me if my hair will turn in black with this mixture my life will very exciting.


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