Indigo as a Natural Hair Dye

Natural Indigo is one of the few hidden Ayurvedic herbs. The powder particularly carries a deep and rich colour, which is useful to hair dyes. Thus, it is an excellent natural alternative to artificial hair dyes. In addition, it can lend your hair with a dark brown or shiny black colour when you use it with heena powder.

For these reasons, it is especially a great alternative to black hair dyes. This is because the latter contains PPD, which is a chemical that can cause allergic reactions. However, since indigo comprises of natural plant leaves, it does not leave behind any such side effects. The organic nature of this plant can provide powerful benefits to the hair and skin.

The Indigo herb can especially help haircare. First, it treats and prevents premature greying, hair fall, and baldness. Secondly, it adds a sheen and lustre to the hair. Third, it smoothens tangles and makes the hair smooth. Fourth, it treats dandruff and conditions hair dryness. Above all, it is a simple and efficient herb to use for haircare if you apply it correctly. So, here’s a guide on how to use Indigo to dye your hair easily.

Indigo for Haircare

Indigo is one of the oldest hair dyes you can find. In addition, it was especially popular in the clothing and textile industry. You can derive powdered Indigo by simply grinding leaves of the Indigo plant, Indigofera, otherwise known as ‘blue gold’. Over time, many people began to opt for synthetic forms of this herb. However, do not forget that only pure Indigo powder suits your hair best. Hence, while buying Indigo powder for hair, make sure that you choose a brand which is 100% natural and organic.

The production of natural Indigo is a long process. First, indigo leaves must soak in water for a minimum of 7-8 hours (preferably overnight). As a result, the plant and water solution turns to a thick blue paste. After this, the mixture undergoes sun-drying to dry out the leaves. Finally, you can obtain indigo powder by grinding these leaves.

This process is amazing since it is a simple one, and has been in practice for thousands of years. Thus, you need not rely on a factory or external means to purchase this, but can make it at home as well. Further, it involves no chemicals, additives, or extras. So go ahead and use this freely – even you won’t remember the grey bits of your hair once you have dyed it.

Using Henna and Indigo: A Stepwise Process

To colour your hair black, brown, or auburn, make sure to use henna alongside Indigo powder. You’ll also need some other ingredients such as yogurt, eggs, tea, coffee, lemon juice or plain water. Each of these act as colorants or moisturisers which can lighten or darken your hair. Best of all, these are all-natural ingredients and come without side effects.


Take a large mixing bowl and add in the required quantity of henna as per your hair length. This should fall between 100-300 grams. Next, mix this with tea or coffee. Coffee, in particular, can add a reddish tinge to your hair. Finally, add in a dash or lemon juice for lightness, as well as some egg or yogurt, as a moisturiser. Leave this solution to sit overnight.

The following day, you can apply this paste on clean and ‘chemical free’ hair using a brush. In other words, make sure that you have not applied any serums, creams, or shampoos before this. Any of these can ruin the texture and constitution of your hair. After leaving this mixture on for an hour, rinse your hair thoroughly with water as many times as you need. Then, let your hair dry.

Now prepare a separate paste using Indigo powder (100-300 grams; depending on hair length) and warm water. When you apply this to your hair, do not use your hands directly. Rather, go for gloves, a spatula, or paintbrush. Leave the solution on your hair for 45-120 minutes, in accordance with how intense you prefer the colour. Finally, rinse this off with water. The next day, you can wash your hair with shampoo.

Make sure to use this method 2-3 times a month to get the natural black hair you want.

Extra Tips

Everyone has a couple of queries in the beginning. Perhaps you have naturally oily, dull, or frizzy hair, and are unsure if this mixture will suit you. Alternatively, you may be concerned about specific steps regarding application and cleansing. If this is your first time, it definitely helps to have a few foolproof tips handy to make the process simpler.

Firstly, and most importantly, you must ensure that you are not allergic to any of these ingredients. This is unlikely, since they are entirely natural, organic, and chemical free. Nevertheless, you can perform a patch test on your forearm with a small quantity. This will confirm that this is safe for application.

Secondly, make sure the paste you prepare is of a pudding-like consistency. In other words, it should not be too thick or wet. While applying the paste, cover your shoulders and wear rubber gloves to avoid stains. Further, you may wish to wear old or worn-out clothes in the off-chance that you accidentally spill some dye.

Thirdly, divide your hair into sections and clip these up. This can help you apply it thoroughly and conveniently. Then, begin with the root ends as you apply this dye section wise. Roll each strand when you finish applying the dye, and clip this higher above on your hair. Use this method to proceed through each clipped up sections. Finally, apply any leftover paste across untouched areas of your hair.

Other Queries

If your hair has undergone chemical treatment, that’s completely fine! Just make sure to maintain a 5-6 week gap between treatment and hair colouring. The colour may last 4 weeks or less. Most importantly, remember that you cannot use Indigo hair dye without henna to colour your hair black. The colour itself can last between 1-2 months, depending on your hair type.


Indigo is one of the most viable hair dying herbs. It is 100% natural and organic, and comes without side effects. Further, it keeps your hair smooth, shiny, and soft. However, be sure to use this alongside henna paste. This is because the henna can lend it a brown or black colour (alongside coffee or tea), which Indigo alone cannot achieve.

Check out our Cureveda growth plant biotin for advanced haircare nutrition here. 

Come join us here at Mekosha for an Ayurvedic retreat in Kerala. 

Article By:

Mekosha Ayurveda

"The Mekosha team works hard to put together curated knowledge to help you with your holistic healing journey. Subscribe now to receive more such useful articles."

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