I’ve been using henna to dye my hair for a couple of years now to achieve red hair and great gray hair coverage. For the first time, I recently tried something a little different – a henna and indigo blend for a medium brown shade. Fooling around with indigo is something I intended to get into from the first time I used henna, but it turned out that I really liked the red for a long time and found the idea of experimenting with recipes and proportions of two dyes to be more effort than I wanted to put in. So for this change in routine, I decided to try a Medium Brown henna and indigo blend from The Henna Guys, which is available on their website as well as Amazon.
The Henna Guys offer a fairly extensive selection of different color blends of reds and browns, as well as straight henna and straight indigo. There are 13 options! I think that’s impressive, and very helpful for people for me who want to outsource the work of figuring out color recipes. I bought mine from Amazon, but I later noticed that the packs are actually cheaper when purchased directly from the Henna Guys website.
When I opened the packet I was expecting there to just be powder in there, but actually there was a smaller sealed packet of powder that you can just pull out, as well as a plastic glove, plastic shower cap, and some instructions. I paid $13.95 for 100 grams on Amazon, which is a lot more than I’ve been paying for regular henna at a nearby herb store, so I definitely think I paid for those extra bits.
This mix basically includes henna, indigo, and a few other herbs that I assume either help the color to absorb or to help condition the hair and scalp. Some brands use fewer than that and some use more, and in this case they don’t seem to affect the consistency of the mix and how it feels to apply it and rinse it out. Oddly, this powder seemed to have a weaker herb scent compared to the others I’ve tried.
The instructions tell you to do what I’d say is the bare minimum. They say to soak the henna for a couple of hours and then leave it on hair for a couple of hours. I typically leave henna soaking for about 8 hours before using, which is probably more than but it’s what the internet recommends and it works for me. In my personal experience, I also think that it should sit in the hair longer than that. I think the sweet spot is about 4 hours. I see certain people on the internet say they only leave henna in for 2 hours and I find that confusing, but I guess everyone’s different.
So, I just did what I’d normally do. I soaked it with just enough water to allow all of the powder to get wet, and left it for about 8 hours. At the end of the day, I added the juice of one small lemon, as acid tends to help henna dye vibrantly. I applied it before I went to bed and slept with it in, and rinsed it the next morning. I used the provided shower cap, which I thought was great, but the glove was very crappy so I used my own plastic gloves that I keep for these occasions.
In the end, I think I got good color, and it’s definitely a nice medium brown. I tried to grow out my roots a bit and see if the old henna in my lengths would fade a little (it fades over time, but very slowly and my color was still generally in pretty good shape, minus the grow-out). The color on my roots is a golden brown tone and my grays are 100% covered, and my lengths are a slightly deeper auburn. The difference between my roots and lengths was expected because my natural roots are so ashy. I may re-dye again in 2-3 weeks to give an extra boost of color to the roots, but I think it looks pretty great right off the bat.
This dye conditioned my hair just as well as plain henna does, rinsed out easily enough, and I definitely noticed less bleed when drying my hair right after rinsing. The directions indicate that red shades will experience more bleeding than brown shades, so I’m guessing it’s due to the shade blend, but it’s still fantastic to get to use my towel on my hair right after rinsing. I’m not used to that!
So, all in all, this stuff is generally more expensive than henna I’ve purchased before, but it works pretty well and I like the color selection. The only weird thing is that I somehow ran out of it as I was applying it (it’s ok, I just had a little bit of hair left at the very back of my neck, no big deal), and I typically have a tablespoon or two left from 100g of powder. That’s kind of a mystery to me. But otherwise, it all went well.