Hi guys! Today’s post is a little different – I’m going to be taking you through my experience with using indigo to dye my hair black.
As many of you know I had a golden brown balayage last year! And as much as I loved it, having naturally dry curly hair, it took a toll on my hair and I wanted to go back to my naturally dark hair and stay clear of hair dye (at least for now LOL).
I’m sure most of you can relate to the struggle of wanting to keep your hair healthy and growing versus wanting to be able to switch up your hair.
I’ve dyed it black a few times now but it just seems to keep washing out even though I only wash my hair maximum 3 times a week and co-wash it for 2/3 of those washes (using my fav Boucleme Curl Cleanser). I tried a black henna kit and it somehow dried my hair out more which I was really surprised by and finally I thought I’d give indigo powder a go.
The organic indigo power I bought was from Pure Organics from Survana. It is Soil Association certified so you know it’s that good shiz.
I purchased 200g and it might have even been a little too much for my hair which mid back length. To be fair if I followed the guidelines on the website I should have the gotten 150g packet.
What you will need
Depending on what hair colour your have currently and what you’re trying to achieve you may need to use henna first because indigo can pull quite green/blue. You can always ask Tricia at Survana if you’re unsure of what you will need which is what I did.
My ends which were previously balayaged kept washing out when I dyed them black so they were a dark brown. Tricia advised that I wouldn’t need to use henna before hand and that I could just go straight in with indigo without having to worry about looking like seaweed.
A large bowl
The larger the better as this stuff can get messy. Try to stay clear of plastic – it will stain very quickly. Try glass or china instead.
An old tshirt that you don’t mind getting stained
An old town that you don’t mind getting stained
Hair dye brush
A load of conditoiner
Plastic bag/ Old Shower cap
WARNING: This is a messy process (sorry Mum!). Make sure you’re doing this in the bathroom and removing anything that you do not want to get stained including white shower curtains, rugs etc.
If you can – get someone to help you.
This is a really long process – I tried to fit it in within 2 hours and it was an epic fail for my mums bathroom LOL.
You want to do this on day one or day two hair (if your hair doesn’t get greasy easily). Avoid putting lots of oils into your hair as the oil can act as a barrier.
What to do
- Pour the packet of henna/indigo into a bowl. Add water gradually and mix until you get a yoghurt like consistency.
- (optional) Apply coconut oil (see which one I like to buy here) to the parameters of your face to avoid indigo stains.
- Separate your brushed hair up into sections and apply from the root to the ends. I heavily coated my hair using my hands for the most part. I used the hair dye brush to get into the roots and any tricky areas.
- Clip away sections that have already been coated so it does not stain your face or get in the way.
- Continue until you have covered all of your hair.
- Massage it in (I focused more on the ends of my hair because they were the lightest).
- Be prepared to look like you’re wearing a condom on your head and cover it with a plastic bag or a shower cap that you don’t mind getting dirty.
- Wait for it to develop… go watch Game of Thrones if you haven’t already. Clean up the mess you’ve made from indigo splattering around before it stains. Do something! You can leave it on for a couple of hours – obviously the longer you leave it the darker it will get. Unfortunately I can’t tell you a guideline on how long to leave it on for desired results because indigo and henna react differently to different hair types and also I’m no expert so I’d ask Tricia from Survana for advise. I left mine on for an hour and twenty minutes and I got the soft shade of black I was after. Keep in mind that it does continue to darken after you wash it out as well.
- Rinse it out. By this point I was trying to hold back the tears because the shower curtain looked like all 50 shades of grey.
- Use a tonne of conditioner (ok not literally, but like a lot of conditioner – maybe use a cheap one?) to help get the dye out of your hair. The indigo/henna will dry onto your hair like a paste so the conditioner just softens it up and makes it easier to get rid of.
- Do not use shampoo – this will reverse all your hard work. Just rinse with water and conditioner until it’s all out and the water runs clear.
- Style as usual (see how I style my curls here).
As you can probably already gather, this is a messy and long process. I would advise getting help to do this. It’s something you really need to clear half the day for. Girls – you can finally use the “Sorry I’m washing my hair tonight” excuse on a guy and it will be legit.
Yes it is a lengthy process but this doesn’t bother me too much as I don’t have grey hair yet and my roots will not need to be retouched as they are naturally black. If you’re someone that will need touching up quite often then this might not be the most practical method for you.
The indigo powder smelt very earthy which I happened to enjoy but just giving you guys a heads up to those sensitive to smell.
However having said that, it left my hair soft and shiny and covered the brown well. My hair feels healthier since dying it with indigo in comparison to using other natural hair dyes on the market. It was almost like a hair treatment. It might have to do with the quality of the indigo as I did purchase organic indigo.
For 200g I payed £11.25 which I don’t think is bad considering the quality and the fact that I would have payed at least 5 times this much in a salon (although I would have avoided the messy bathroom situation!).
Overall this is getting a thumbs up from me. I wish there was an easier, less messier way to apply this but I really loved the results and think I’ll be using this again. I was left with glossy black locks and I think I may even do another coat in a few months time to rejuvenate the glossiness of my hair.