How To Use Henna As A Natural Black Hair Dye

By | November 19, 2019
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How To Use Henna As A Natural Black Hair Dye

henna plant using henna as a natural black hair dye

And so, as it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind…so it is for her to change the color of her hair. And what better way to do this, than using henna as  a natural black hair dye…if black is her color of choice that day!

There are quite a few ways to naturally dye your hair in many different colors – yes, this is very possible. However, today’s focus will be on using henna and indigo as a natural way to color your hair.

Let’s look closely at these two plants and the goodness that they supply to the natural hair world of products and possibilities.

What Is Henna?

Henna is a plant which is dried and grounded into a powdered form and then used as a dye for hair, skin, and fingernails as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather. It is cultivated in very warm climates in northern Africa, western and southern Asia. It has been used as a beauty source for 6,000 years. Henna not only colors the hair, but it also strengthens the cortex of the hair structure over continued use.

Types Of Henna

Natural Henna which is from the Lawsonia inermis plant and has a rich reddish brown stain when applied to our tresses.

Neutral Henna from the plant Senna italica. This type of henna also strengthens your strands but does not change its color. It is often referred to as Cassia obovata.


What Is Indigo?

Indigo is also another plant – Indigofera tinctoria whose leaves are also dried and grounded into powder and used as a natural dye.

What is so wonderful about these two plants is the fact that separately they produce variations on the color red to brown to blue to black. Henna has reddish to brownish hues, while indigo has bluish to blackish hues. The intensity of either color depends on the ratio mix of both powders combined and the amount of time it is allowed to remain on your strands.

Natural Black Hair Dye Recipe


  • Henna powder
  • Indigo powder
  • Black tea
  • Warm water
  • Sea salt

This can be done in one step or two steps. It simply depends on the time available to the user. The average mix is about 100 grams and of course, this would solely depend on the amount of hair in terms of volume and length.

Once mixed, henna can be stored in the freezer for later use without harming its properties. Indigo, on the other hand, can not be stored as it loses it dexterity due to oxidation.

One Step Method

Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until it becomes a smooth paste. Apply liberally to the hair from roots to ends. Cover with a plastic cap for 3-4 hours. Rinse out. Follow up with a deep conditioner as both powders tend to leave hair feeling a little dry.

The color produced is usually black or dark brown depending on the ratio used. More henna and less indigo, say 3:1 means dark brown hue; more indigo and less henna, say 3:1 means a more black hue. One just has to experiment with the ratios to find the best suitable for one’s taste in their color pallet.

Two-Step Method

This method is more time consuming, but a method I personally love using. I apply henna and the black tea to dry hair after making a smooth paste. I cover my hair with a plastic cap for 4 hours or overnight. Then I rinse out the paste.

I then mix the indigo powder, sea salt (helps to set the dye), warm water into a smooth paste and apply to towel-dried henna’ed hair. I cover with a plastic cap for 2 hours – I like a dark black hue – it covers my less pigmented hair ( read grey hair) beautifully and naturally. I wash out the paste and then deep condition and continue with the rest of my hair regimen.

The beauty of henna and indigo is that they are plants which are natural and gentle on the hair. It should be said that the color really ‘pops’ after 48 hours and it is ever so beautiful once the sun’s rays shine on your hair. Because it is natural, you can do a henna treatment anytime you want to add some color to your hair.

I am sure once you can get past the herb smell of the mixed powders, and try a natural black hair dye as a hair coloring aid, you will be thinking – what took me so long!

I hope you enjoyed this article and that it was informative. Please let your thoughts be known in the comment section.

Thank you.

[Updated Nov 2019]

Images courtesy of Pixabay, UnSplash,, and Pexels.

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