Baptisia australis, commonly known as blue wild indigo or blue false indigo, is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae (legumes). It is toxic.it is native to much of central and eastern North America and is particularly common in the Midwest, but it has also been introduced well beyond one its natural range. Naturally it can be found growing wild at the borders of woods, along streams or in open meadows. It often has difficulty seeding itself in its native areas due to parasitic weevils that enter the seed pods, making the number of viable seeds very low. 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 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.
Indigo is a bit of a chore to use as a hair dye, but the results are gorgeous!
Advantages of Indigo:
- Indigo mixed with Henna gives your Hair rich brown color
- Indigo applied over Henna treated Hair gives it a lush black color
- Completely natural and doesn’t have any chemicals
- Gives your hair Shine and Texture
Application of both pure henna as well as indigo powder mixture is really messy but great results always let you forget the struggle you have put into applying them to your hair. You will need the following things to apply the Indigo & Henna:
- A plastic or wooden bowl
- A plastic or wooden spoon
- Indigo Powder
- Shower cap or plastic wrap
- Plastic Gloves
- Petroleum jelly
- Old useless towel
MIXING THE INDIGO POWDER AND WATER
Take a bowl and add indigo into it. This quantity varies for the for different hair lengths. 100g will be enough for every six inches if your hair has normal thickness. For the more healthy or curly hair, you may need more, you may say 200g for every six inches. Add warm water to it and stir with a spoon thoroughly until the mixture is uniform and thick like yogurt. Add some salt for the better development of the colour.
LET THE MIXTURE SET
Cover the mixture with the plastic wrap and leave it for one hour. The indigo mixture will turn deep blue-black. Stir it once again before the application.
PROTECT YOUR HAIRLINE
Use Vaseline or Petroleum jelly on your hairline, ear, or anywhere you don’t want the hair dye to stain your skin. If you don’t have Vaseline no need to purchase. You may apply baby oil, coconut oil or even just wipe off if any hair dye drips onto your skin
APPLYING THE MIXTURE ON HAIR
Don’t forget to wear some old shirt and gloves because indigo can stain your wearable clothes, make the partitions in your hair to thoroughly apply the mixture. Always apply the color to the tips for the maintenance of hair color. Make the partitions as small as they could be. Use the hair color brush to apply the mixture.
WRAP UP YOUR HAIR
After the color is applied wrap up your hair with the plastic wrap or in the shower cap. This way the color will develop fast
RINSING THE DYE FROM HAIR
After 2 to 3 hours, rinse your hair with the tap water. If you have mixed this powder in the henna it may take longer for the color to develop like 6 to 7 hours. Indigo is not very messy to be removed, it will wash out easily. Do not use shampoo for at least 3 to 4 days after the application of the indigo because its color would be washed out with the shampoo.
- Do not keep any mixed indigo powder in the fridge-freezer or in direct sunlight.
- Store any unmixed indigo powder in a zip lock bag sealed tight and in a cool dark place.
- For best results, use in combination with henna or after henna.
- Use shampoo after 24hrs but before 46hrs to lock in the color tones.
- If Indigo does not stick so easily to your hair, you may add egg white to the mixture.
Reminder: If you only apply indigo powder on gray hair, it will have little to no color. Indigo powder is best used in combination with henna or after dying your hair with henna.