Indigo as a Hair Dye

How do you dye your hair Fabulous Black hair with indigo, even if you're blonde or gray?

Dye your hair first with henna, then dye over that with indigo.

Indigo Powder

Partly fermented, dried, powdered indigo leaves, often referred to as 'vashma' or 'bashma',  showing the release of blue dye.

You can get a quick overview of indigo at:
Indigo: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/med-aro/factsheets/INDIGO.html

Indigo: http://www.chriscooksey.demon.co.uk/indigo/

Indigo is a plant that has a blue dye in it.  You probably have indigo dyed cloth in your closet, in a pair of blue jeans.  Jeans are dyed with indigo.  People have used indigo alone or in combination with henna to dye their hair black for at least 4000 years. During the 19th and 20th century indigo was such a common hair dye in Europe and the US, that it was marketed as "black henna".  Henna is never black, henna never dyes hair black, but powdered indigo resembles powdered henna and it DOES dye hair black.  So, when indigo was sold as hair dye, it was called "black henna".  When it was sold to dye cloth, it was called indigo. There are are still many boxes of indigo in stores marked "black henna" as a legacy of this old misnomer. 

Some boxes of "black henna" are real indigo. Some boxes are cellulostic material and PPD, para-phenylenediamine, a hazardous aniline (coal tar) dye.   If you open a box of "black henna" that is indigo, you'll see green powder that smells like frozen peas.  If you mix that with water, you'll see a blue glaze form on the surface after a while.  If you plop some wet indigo powder on paper or cotton, blue dye will leak out.  Indigo hair dye looks like what you see above.  This indigo is from Mehandi.  

If you open a box of "black henna" or "black mehndi" and the powder is brownish black or black, it probably has PPD in it.  If you mix it with water, blackish brown liquid will leak out. That stuff is not henna.  It's not indigo.  It's chemicals and it may hurt you. 

Indigo is a bit of a chore to use as a hair dye, but the results are gorgeous!
indigo

Click HERE to see how Gwyn dyes her hair with indigo
Click on the following links to learn more about using indigo to dye your hair:

Indigo, Indigofera Tinctoria
This will tell you want the plant is, and what you need to know to learn how to dye hair with it.

Mix Henna and Indigo for Brunette Colors

Mix Ancient SunriseŽ Indigo  to Dye Hair Black over Henna

Dye Hair Warm Black with a One Step Henna-Indigo Mix Over Chemically Dyed Graying Blonde

 Dye Graying Light Brown Hair Black with the Two-Step Henna-Indigo Process

Dye graying roots black with the Ancient SunriseŽ two-step process of henna and indigo

Here's a video that shows how to dye hair black with henna and indigo: