Pure Henna Hair Dye Basics:
What Colour will I get? Which henna is for blondes?
How long will it last?
How much henna do I need to use?
How do I get Indigo Blue Black?
What Hair Colour will I get with henna / indigo ?
Answer: Do a Strand Test to Determine your End Colour- especially on blonde and ash colour hair !
I can’t guarantee the end result hair colour, so a henna and indigo strand test is strongly recommended, especially if you have blonde hair colour or light ash colour hair. As a rule of thumb, henna / indigo will always darken and deepen your hair colour, not lighten it. If you’re a blonde hair colour and you’re looking for some funky hair colour streaks, have a look at the Carly friend photos in the Blonde Hair Colour Gallery photos where Carly has highlighted blonde hair with henna streaks that look just awesome!
Cassia obovata is commonly confused with henna and mistakenly known as "colourless henna" or “neutral henna” though in fact it comes from an altogether different plant. When crushed, it looks similar to henna leaf powder but is lighter in colour. It promotes healthy, soft and shining hair, and is also reputed to help clear dandruff. Cassia obovata is for deep hair conditioning and, on blonde hair, it will naturally highlight the blonde without changing hair colour (on darker hair colours it will not impart any noticeable colour). Cassia obovata can be combined with rhubarb root for an even deeper hair conditioning treatment and to further enhance golden blonde tones.And it can be combined with just a touch of pure henna for strawberry blonde, and with acacia catechu for dark blonde.
How to Predict Henna Hair Colour
To predict henna and indigo colour, follow the strand test instructions in the Renaissance Henna Hair Colour Kit. Cut a few strands of hair from the nape of your neck for testing or ask your hairdresser to save some hair for testing next time you have a trim. If you want, send me your hair and I’ll test it for free and I’ll put the results up in the Hair Colour Gallery for your hair colour. Be warned, however, that strand tests are generally disappointing compared to the real thing ! A strand test will give you a glimmer of hope, but the full hair application will give you sheer passion and hair colour to die for! Nobody’s quite sure why this is; some say it’s the magic of henna. It’s probably got to do with body temperature, and the fact that henna is a “changing hair colour” - the colour oxidises during a period of approximately 48 hours and adjusts differently and uniquely on real hair on real heads fired up by the warmth of beating hearts. You don’t get all that in a strand test. The full head application is a unique experience. Something that everyone on the planet should try at least once in their lifetime. Because it’s the key to a better way; the gateway to freedom from chemical hair dyes that certainly do no good. And goodness is in high demand and deserves your attention and deserves to be acted upon as a priority over that which produces no benefit.
What I can tell you is that you will get translucent colour that binds to your own hair colour and that it won’t be a disaster. Natural pure henna and indigo are not disaster colours (provided you use indigo correctly - see “A Word about Indigo” in the Dangers & Warnings Section). Remember, they are nothing like the nasty compound hennas. No matter what killer chemicals you’ve been using you won’t get caught in a catastrophe with pure henna and indigo natural hair colour. They are supreme natural colours that work with you, for you, and entirely to your benefit. They give you natural hair colour that reflects in the light. They simply and magically enhance your own hair colour, or deepen it to something beautiful. It’s slightly mysterious. And it’s extremely beautiful. It takes 48 hours for the colours to adjust to their final hair colour shade, determined by your body chemistry alone.
Understanding the Hair Colour Gallery Photos
If you have a look at the Hair Colour Gallery photos ( see links above ) you’ll see the results of henna and indigo strand tests which I’ve carried out on different hair colours: blonde hair colour and ash hair colour, and brown hair colour. Have a look and see if you can identify the closest match to your natural hair colour. You’ll also see before and after hair colour photos on all hair colours including grey hair. You’ll see that grey hair on a black hair colour is covered beautifully with henna and indigo hair colour. The Instructions in the Renaissance Henna Hair Colour Kit attempt to predict hair colour shades as best as possible, but a precise hair colour chart is not possible. For anyone with black hair colour or brown hair colour, the change is not drastic, but for anyone with blonde hair colour or ash hair colour, it is a drastic change and my hair colour advice is that it’s something you need to carefully consider, unless your heart’s made up that you want a really funky hair colour or a red hair colour ! But the funky hair colour comes with henna hair colour alone; once you apply indigo you’ll be able to tone it down to brown or black.
You may find it helpful to create a virtual makeover with a particular hair colour shade to see how you’ll look. Go to http://hairstyles.virtual-hairstyles.com/virtual_hairstyles.asp for help with finding an answer to the question “what colour should I dye my hair ?”. I’ve put together the Hair Colour Gallery photos because I didn’t want to bedazzle you with L’Oreal style jaw dropping hair colour chart colours. I felt it would be more realistic, and honest, to simply show the actual change in colour with first henna, then indigo, to the basic range of across the board hair colours.
Hair Colour Advice : Philosophy First !
I do get lots of people asking for hair colour advice and wanting to know what their end colour is likely to be and how to achieve a particular hair colour shade. But it’s the same answer - no one can guarantee your end result hair colour. Henna and indigo are first and foremost a beautiful philosophy in our time (liberation from chemical hair dyes), and then they are vibrant, superb, and lasting hair colours which are unique to you and I, and which I am sure you will love. It’s very much a learning experience and learning to think differently. To achieve darker hair colour shades you need to experiment by leaving the indigo in for different lengths of time - so I find myself suggesting to people to do 2 or 3 strand tests at a time, leaving the indigo in for 15-20 mins, 35-45 mins, and an hour+. You can leave it in longer - the longer it’s in for, the darker it goes. Full Instructions ( & further useful info.) are all in the Henna Hair Colour Starter Kit , so please try it ! I sincerely apologise for not being able to answer specific questions as they are just so many, and much as I’d love to be able to guide each person individually, it is simply not possible to put together detailed individual replies. I can only urge you, if you are new to henna and indigo, to try ! Study the photos and the hair colour advice on how to change your hair colour in the Hair Colour Gallery. Generous quantities of powders are included together with full Instructions and useful info. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Once you’re fired with the resolve to make a real change in your life, the Instructions in the Kit and the info. on this site are all you need to get started.
If you’re prepared to work with henna and indigo, then you have to be prepared to experiment to an extent and to understand and learn how you can vary the hair colour shades depending on the quantities of the powders you mix and how long you leave them in for. Once you get the hang of it, it’s dead easy to fiddle the colours ! The Instructions in the Kit will guide you through and help you get started, and frequent reference back to this site, in particular keeping an eye on the photos in the Hair Colour Galleries will help you to get the colours you’re after. A huge range of hair colour shades are possible, and, yes, every grey hair can be covered ! Henna and henna / indigo give gorgeous translucent hair colour. You’ve just got to be prepared to experiment a little. And I will post further info. on other plant dyes and natural additives as I source the best and safest available.
How Often Should I Colour My Hair ? / How long does henna / indigo last ?
How long does it take for your new roots to grow through? How quickly does your henna hair colour seem to fade? That’s the only way to gauge the timing of repeat applications. When you use henna and indigo hair colour you’ll see that they pretty much work like permanent hair colour. If you have grey hair or a light hair colour shade then you’ll notice the difference in colour as your roots start to show new hair growth. It does vary from person to person. I find that at certain times of year my roots show up quicker than at other times - for me, it generally varies from between 3 weeks to 6 (even 8) weeks; but sometimes it’s as fast as 2 weeks. It just depends how fast your hair grows. I generally choose to do a full head application each time my roots start to show, to get new gloss and colour build up in my hair - the more you use it, the more the colour builds up and the longer it lasts. If you’re grey and you have very short hair you may need to henna / indigo more frequently if your hair grows fast; on longer hair,and layered hair, you’ll probably find you can get away with longer gaps as the previously coloured long hair and layers will most likely frame your face and fall over your roots and completely hide them.
Henna hair colour tends to be permanent by itself the more you use it, but it does fade over time. How quickly it fades varies, again, from individual to individual;repeat applications are needed to maintain rich glossy hair colour. The only way to determine how often you need to use it is to start using it and see how long it lasts on you. Indigo has a tendency to wash out quickly in the beginning, especially if you’ve not applied it for long, but after a couple of applications you’ll find it does also build up permanent deep rich hair colour when used over henna. I find that using indigo hair colour regularly over henna hair colour has built up a rich deep dark colour which is permanent. I can sometimes notice redder “highlights” in my black brown hair as the indigo fades away, but no matter how much the indigo fades or washes out, the longer length grey hair maintains deep dark colour and although it fades to brownish, it does not revert to orange red ( orange red is the original henna only colour) or grey. Only the new roots show up as grey hair. I find that even faded henna / indigo hair colour on my greys is quite acceptable as it shows up brown; and brown hair in black hair or black brown hair still looks natural.
At the end of the day, the answer is you can henna indigo as often as you wish, or as often as you need to.
How much henna for hair / indigo do I need to use and how long do I leave it in for ?
It depends how long and how thick or fine your hair is. As a general rule of thumb, I suggest these quantities for “normal” hair, but I would say to reduce these quantities by about 10 - 20gms for really fine hair, and double the quantities here for really thick hair : If you’re in a country that doesn’t use grammes, sorry, just try to adjust according to the weight of the pack , eg 50gms = a quarter pack of the 200gms bag of henna, 100gms = half a pack & so on ) :
short / chin length hair - 50 gms henna / 30 or 40 gms indigo
shoulder length hair - 100 gms henna / 70 or 80 gms indigo
mid back length hair - 200gms henna / 140 or 150 gms indigo
hip length hair - 300 gms henna / 210 or 220 gms indigo
Roughly, I would advise to leave henna in your hair a minimum of 2 hours; the process can be speeded up by use of a hair drier, set to a moderate heat setting, if you’re in a real hurry.
How long you leave the indigo in for depends on how deep a colour you want. It varies from say 10 minutes to 2 hours, or even longer if you want ! Ten to fifteen minutes will be sufficient to change your rich reddish henna tones to a muted brown hair colour ; half an hour would give you a really deep brown black hair colour ; an hour would give you black hair; 2 hours an intense deep raven black hair colour. You get the idea anyway. To start with, if you’re aiming for brown hair colour, leave the indigo in for ten to fifteen minutes and no more. Then you can determine if you need to leave it in for a longer or shorter period the next time round. You’ll find it useful to study the hair colour gallery photos and note how long each person applied henna / indigo in their hair to get the hair colours shown in the hair colour pictures.
Indigo Blue Black Hair Colour
There seems to be a difference of opinion on how best to mix indigo to achieve blue black hair colour. I personally always recommend mixing indigo with (preferably) cool to luke warm water ( alkaline mineral water / UK tap water ) and salt plus cider vinegar, then leaving the hair totally exposed to air, or as much air as possible by lifting the plastic wrap from time to time to allow air to circulate underneath. But some people swear it works best by mixing it with half plain cider vinegar and half boiling hot water ( some even heat the vinegar up with the water ) and say apply for as many hours as you can bear ! Take heed - if you want to try this, make sure you’re in a well ventilated area. Indigo mixed with hot water stinks, and if you’re sensitive, you can end up with a nasty headache, a smelly house, and feel totally queasy. I’m sensitive to the hot water indigo mix, but some people claim to be fine with it.
NO Essential Oils Please in Your Henna for Hair !
By the way, I wouldn't recommend essential oils of any kind in a henna or indigo mix for hair as it will probably result in an absolutely throbbing headache - beware ! Additives in henna / indigo hair mixes will enter the bloodstream though the scalp and can cause side effects... that includes coffee due to the caffeine ! Ditch the additives - go for straight henna and straight indigo to get the best colour take.