Apply Henna and Indigo More Effectively with these Tips

Henna and indigo is a safe, natural, and healthy way to color all hair types from type 1 – 4C. 

You can achieve various shades by coloring hair with henna and indigo such as jet black, blue-black, rich auburn, and flaming orange.

However, depending on the application method, it doesn’t always end well especially for first-timers to henna and indigo.

Learn how to apply henna and indigo more effectively with these four tips, which I’ve collated from coloring my hair with henna and indigo for the last 9 years.

Get More Out of Your Henna and Indigo Session with These Tips

Henna and Indigo

I usually carry out henna and indigo treatments every 8 – 12 weeks depending on if I’m wearing my hair out or in a protective style.

Towards the end of 2015, I decided I was overdue for a henna and indigo treatment.

However, I did a few things differently, which made the experience easier and less cumbersome than usual.

I use Nupur Henna and The Henna Guys Indigo for my treatments.

I assign one day of the weekend for it because this takes all damn day on my shoulder-length hair. 

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Apply Henna and Indigo More Effectively with these Tips

1. Slightly Heat the Henna Mix

I placed the mixed henna in a warm water bath for a few minutes before application.

Once it was warm, I whisked for about 5 minutes before I applied to every strand of hair. I found heating it up helped the henna spread through more evenly.

It also gave me a relaxing feeling as I applied and helped me enjoy a great nap while I left it in for 8 hours.

henna mix for natural hair

The first pic is the initial mix 36 hours before application, pic 2 is after dye release and pic 3 is the final mixture when I was ready to use it. 

2. Wash Hair 48 – 72 Hours Before Henna and Indigo Application

I washed my hair with diluted Giovanni SAS Moisture Shampoo. I wanted clean hair without stripping it and this was perfect.

Another option is CON Argan Oil Moisture Shampoo. You can also try any of the shampoos suggested in this article

On henna day, I sectioned my hair into 2 parts for the application. I then wrapped it up in cling film afterward. 

henna after applicaiton on natural hair

3. Add CMC Powder to Indigo Mix

When the time came to apply the indigo, I mixed in a packet of CMC powder. This helped make the mix creamier and easier to spread.

Indigo is grainy and very annoying to get through the hair. The CMC powder made all the difference and helped control how much I applied without wasting it.

The CMC powder brand I currently use is Cake S.O.S CMC Powder. You can see more on this brand HERE.

henna and indigo application on natural hair

4. Deep Condition After Henna and Indigo Application

Deep condition after rinsing out the henna and indigo. I deep conditioned with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner.

Any favorite deep conditioner would work. Before I rinsed out the deep conditioner, I co-washed my hair. Not sure why the second pic is blurry. 

henna and indigo for natural hair

The results of doing all of the above was a very deep blue-black hair color, big bouncy curls, and hair that felt very strong when stretched.

I braided while it was damp with a mix of the following hair care products:-

I commenced my 2016 protective style challenge the next day. I had good results previously from using henna and indigo.

However, the results from applying the 4 tips above led to a significant improvement in the look and feel of my hair. 

Shop Henna and Indigo Recommendations

Below is a compilation of the products recommended in this post.

Godrej Nupur Henna

Nupur Henna

The Henna Guys Indigo Powder

The Henna Guys Indigo

kinky curly knot today for braid spray

Kinky Curly Knot Today


Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner

giovanni smooth as silk moisture shampoo

Giovanni Smooth As Silk Moisture Shampoo

Cake S.O.S CMC Powder

Cake S.O.S CMC Powder


Castor Oil


Sweet Almond Oil


Vitamin E Oil

Have you tried to color your hair with henna and indigo? Do you have any questions about using henna and indigo? Ask in the comments section. 

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.

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