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

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