Maintaining graying brown hair with henna and indigo

Close up of henna, indigo, and cassia powder.

My first-time using henna for hair color was due to a sensitivity reaction I started having with chemical hair dye.  I wanted to go back to my natural medium brown after many years of blonde highlights.  Fortunately, I had a friend who was using all-natural Ancient Sunrise henna and indigo to achieve beautiful brown hair.  I learned when indigo is mixed with henna you can achieve shades of auburn, browns and even black!  I wanted a medium brown so I used a color mix of 40% Sudina indigo and 60% Ancient Sunrise® Twilight henna to achieve this over my graying, chemically lightened hair.  The result was a beautiful, shiny, medium brown with highlights of different shades of auburn.  The highlights showed where my hair had been lightened and where I had started graying.  I was about 40% gray at this point.

After I used this mix for about two years my hair was all dyed using henna and indigo and I was 50% gray. I was a medium brown with highlights where I was gray, and the highlights blended FABULOUSLY after each root touch up.  My highlights were now a rosier auburn and showed fiery, copper tones in the sun.

henna paste in green bowl

As my grays increased to over 60%, my hair was leaning towards reddish tones with highlights.  My grays were showing as red more than auburn.  I talked to an Ancient Sunrise customer service rep about wanting my results to be less red. The rep suggested adding table salt to my indigo. Salt opens the hair shafts to slightly ruffle them and allow the hair to process the indigo-henna mix better. I also was advised I could do an indigo gloss over my entire head to tone down the red. After only one indigo gloss I was able to achieve the browns and auburns I loved. My hair is very healthy and shiny due to the use of henna. 

My brown hair has since grayed to about 70%. I changed my mix to 50% indigo and 50% henna to maintain the results I have grown to love.  I have only done root touch ups for many years.  My color has stayed consistent with a few tweaks here and there. I love all the beautiful highlights that cover my grays.  You must embrace getting older and see the gray hair changes as a natural gift that creates amazing highlights.  My hair is very healthy, full and shiny with great natural dimension.

Henna, cassia, and indigo paste on hair.

While using this 50/50 mix for several years, my brown hair color was consistent. My hair became wavy from the 70% gray. I enjoyed the change in texture and felt more fashionable since beachy waves have become such a trend.   While using the new Ancient Sunrise® salon for a photo shoot, I had my whole head hennaed BUT the colorist used two different mixes: 50/50 on the roots and then used a mix of 50% of cassia, 25% indigo, and 25% henna over all my previously henna and indigo dyed hair. 

Cassia powder with Malluma Kristalovino

Cassia is a natural colorless plant powder that diluted the mix to prevent my previously dyed hair from darkening. Cassia is also a conditioning treatment that lifted my hair to have more volume and more consistent waves.  If I use heat to enhance the waves in my hair, the waves hold for three days from the cassia treatment. 

After photo of henna and indigo on gray hair.

I have been more than pleased with my hair since starting my henna and indigo journey. It is also environmentally friendly and contains no chemicals at all.  I encourage you to start on your henna journey with nothing but natural Ancient Sunrise products.
Ancient Sunrise’s live customer service team will help you with all your questions about the color you want to achieve.

Michele • Ancient Sunrise® Inventory and SEO specialist

4 thoughts on “Maintaining graying brown hair with henna and indigo”

  1. Amen henna sister. I’ve been using henna and indigo in my hair for at least 16 years. I am 59 and my below shoulder length almost black hair is so healthy and shiny down to the ends. I’ve got about 75% gray hair. My side burns are the most stubborn to cover. I will try the salt trick as I’m due to henna very soon.

  2. Wow your hair is gorgeous! I had naturally very dark brown hair and have since gone blonde because it’s less trips to the salon. Would love to go brown like yours but I don’t know how it would take over blonde dyed hair because with regular permanent hair dye they say you have to “fill the hair” with red before dying it brown or else it will turn a terrible greenish brown. I’m wondering about this?

  3. Awesome! I have just finished my treatment. First applied henna (mixed I’m apple juice and coffee), the indigo and henna (2:1). The Grey’s are a little ginger for my liking and some parts very dark. I’ll wait 3 days before deciding what to do next. All in all, it’s turned out not too bad as I know henna and Grey’s can be tricky.

  4. I am 69 and have never dyed my hair. My hair is roughly 15% white and grey combined and the natural colour is a combination of dark brown with some dark orange highlights that are natural. Off and on I have used Henna all my life as it I like that extra shine and body that one gets from using it. Since the greys have started emerging I have been more regular about applying Henna to my hair. It does bring out a lot of red in the areas that have greyed and although it suits me I wanted the red parts to be a little darker – besides the Henna was not quite the red I hoped it would be nor did it cover my greys very well. Then I happened to stumble across an article somewhere on the net that claimed that by adding just lemon juice to henna instead of water the colour would take to grey hair more evenly. Plus by throwing in some clove powder (I usually add around a tablespoon or two but not less than a tablespoon) the bright red will be a darker shade shade of red. I tried that and added the juice of one orange as well – partly because the price of lemons does go up here from time to time – and they are not always very juicy. Anyway, it worked! So now I do that all the time. I know it looks good – but the confirmation came from a woman of my age who stopped at a supermarket and complimented me on the colour. Oh! and I do make the mix the day before and leave it on the bench and keep it on for around 4 hours. I hope you don’t mind me passing on my little tip about what I have found out works for greying hair when the coverage is not right or if it is too much of a brassy red.

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