A basic introduction to Henna and Indigo ...Colour Me Black!
Henna (and indigo) has been used safely for centuries. Henna dye comes from the crushed leaves of the henna plant and its botanical name is lawsonia inermis. Indigo dye comes from the crushed leaves of the indigo plant and its botanical name is indigofera tinctoria. For centuries, these two plants have been used to colour hair and to heal the body. That is, if you don’t want red orange or auburn tones in your hair. But if, like me, you were always aiming for more muted natural brown to black hair, then you always needed indigo to go with henna, but you just never knew it ! The difference between henna and indigo and chemical hair dyes is that, firstly, herbal hair colours are natural and have never been known to kill or to damage health - they are well known for their benefits. And, secondly, henna and indigo leave well alone inside your hair and do not disturb the natural chemical make up of the hair that you were born with. The henna colour coats each individual hair shaft without infiltrating it and is self sealing. It locks itself onto your hair and makes it feel immediately thicker, fuller, and altogether more alive. The exception seems to be grey hair - henna will penetrate the inner hair shaft of grey hair and dye it red orange, but using indigo immediately afterwards will turn it a deep brown to black, depending how long you leave the indigo in for.