Google Header -->
Skip to main content
Curly Nikki

F.A.Q.–Henna and Dark Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202121 Comments

F.A.Q.--Henna and Dark Natural Hair
A reader writes:
“…your hair looks like it is jet black, is that all from henna? I’d love to get that dark shiny look.”

I know it sounds weird, but the color changes depending on the setting. It’s sort of like a rinse…a transparent copper-y rinse. Imagine drawing with an orange crayon on black construction paper- under most indoor lighting, the paper still looks black (albeit shinier), but if held under the light, just right, you’ll catch a glimpse of orange. Outdoors, in sunlight, my hair glows auburn, so much so that my sis and hubby call me ‘red head’, but indoors it’s a rich black. There are some instances (back lighting, etc.) where you can really see the red indoors, but I can never really catch it on camera.

With that said, if your hair is lighter than mine naturally (sandy brown, etc) the henna red will be very evident–your hair may appear auburn in most lighting conditions.

Many women use a two step indigo treatment to cover stubborn grays and dye the hair a rich, shiny, blue-black. I’ve never used indigo and don’t plan to, but the results I’ve seen look gorgeous. Hope this helps!

Later Gator,

Please leave your henna/indigo mix experiences below!


  • Newbie says:

    I'm a transitioner, my hair is just a mess. Would like healthy thick hair. can someone suggest some products to get started with?

    Thanks guys,

  • Anonymous says:

    She doesnt do Indigo, because she probably doesnt want to darken her hair to a jet black.

  • Mel B says:

    I just gave myself a henna this pass weedend. I wasn't necessarily looking for a color change. I used it to help color my gray,and because I no longer want to use a box color. (The chemicals you know.)I'm not sure I did it right. I checked so many sites out,that I became confused. It was so hard for me to rinse out the indigo. I'm not even sure if I got all of it out. What can I do to color my gray. I left the henna on for 4 hrs. only got minmal coverage. Please help. I don't want to use chemical anymore.

  • tallncurly says:

    Curlynikki, congrats on your pregnancy! I also love your hair and this site. I refer others to your site regularly. I love to rinse my hair black with a semi-permanent rinse that claims to be so safe that you can do it with a relaxer…I know this is probably a no-no with natural hair. Can I henna and maybe do an indigo treatment if I have rinsed my hair for the longest? I'm afraid that my hair will turn greenish or have another negative effect. Please advise.

  • Anonymous says:

    What brand of indigo do you suggest using?

  • Noveechops says:

    Thanks for tips! I am trying to keep hope
    alive with these stubborn grays!

  • Anonymous says:

    I know someone on this board was asking why not use Indigo…hope you don't mind my two cents…but for those who don't want jet-black hair, that maybe a reason they dont want to use indigo after henna (if you already have dark hair). I've used both. I use Indigo after I henna to cover those sneaky little grays…depending on how long i leave the Indigo on, my grays have ended up a deep chocolate color and if I leave it on longer…they turn jet-black. Hope this was helpful.

  • BROWNBROWS says:

    For those who are hestitate, stop hesitating and jump in. Believe the hype, henna is the bomb. I loved the dark redish color it gave me. I felt sooo sexy and confident,lol. And yeah my husband loved it.

  • ChrLvsBks says:

    I apply henna then indigo when my pesky grays come in (typically every month). The indigo lessens the coppery look of my grays. I have done the two step process of henna and indigo twice since September. I love the results–darker hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm a henna-head considering indigo. My hair is naturally very dark and even though I can hardly tell, I am just not a fan of the cherry-chocolate color that a lot of folks get. So I think I'm going to start doing an indigo gloss after my hennas so darken up it a bit.

  • Unknown says:

    Like Anonymous 6.23pm comment, I'm curious why the consensus seems to be yes for henna but no for indigo? Curly Nikki can you please shed a little light? Thanks.

  • Unknown says:

    CurlyNikki, I trully love your hair. It's absolutely beautiful. I wonder what it looks like after you wash it shrunk and all? Would you be willing to show us the right after a wash picture. I feel like it's still as shinny, bouncy and healthy but a bit shrunk. Hope you will be open to sharing with your followers. Thanks and have a great evening.

  • Anonymous says:

    CurlyNikki your hair looks beautiful as usual and has fabulous shine. My hair is more Sandy and so far more redish tints are noticeable. I henna every two weeks and this will be my third one in about a week maybe the color will change with more or less intensity? keep up the great work on your site. I'm always stalking I mean checking your site out and picking up info.

  • Tina Beanie says:

    I have some grays so when I henna with the African Henna, which tends to be more amber in color and add a couple of tablespoons of indigo and amla to cool the redness, I'm left with nice dark amber hightlights.

  • Unknown says:

    I did my first henna treatment this weekend as well. After doing lots of research at various sites online, including Nikki's pictorial, I was very excited about trying it. I did not see a lot of change in the color of my hair, which has red and copper highlights that have grown out several inches. I did not really do the henna to change the color of my hair, I was most interested in the conditioning properties that I have read so much about. I figured it would enhance the red at the ends of my hair, which it did do. All in all, I am pleased with the results, my hair is shiner and feels softer as well.

    I am not sure if it loosened my curl pattern or not as this was not my primary reason for doing it. I will reserve my judgements until I have tried it a few more times as well. I plan on doing this once a month. Perphaps in the future I will follow henna with a indigo to dye my hair all one color. So, I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts on indigo?

  • Anonymous says:

    I just did my first henna treatment this past weekend. I followed Nikki's tutorial (but used chamomile tea instead of green tea)It didn't harden my hair which a see a lot of curlies have problems with and I didn't notice significant loosening of my curl pattern either (the front of my hair is more wavy while the back and sides are curly). After I did a deep conditioning treatment the loosened curls were back to normal. I have to admit it is pretty time consuming so I understand why Nikki does it over night (that's using your noodle, Nikki). While Saturday was my first time using it, I do not necessarily want to post a concrete opinion until I have more experience. I do plan to do a treatment every week for a month and I will post my experience then.

  • MizzNiecy says:

    I want to use a henna, but I'm not sure what kind. I dyed my hair about 4 months ago and have about 2 inches of new growth and not sure if I should use a henna. Please Help

  • kj says:

    I have used the henna immediately followed by Indigo. I mixed apply vinegar, honey, black coffee, and olive oil. The Indigo is very grainy and was a tad bit annoying to work with and even more of a pain to remove from my 3B type curly hair. Eventually I got it all out and was left with a beautiful shiny, jet black head of hair which also glowed warm brown in the sun. My hair was extremely dry for the first week until I did several deep conditioners and co-washes with Aubrey's Organic Honey Suckle Conditioner. It's been a little over a month and I love the color.

  • Unknown says:

    I emailed you a while ago what happened when I used Lush's Henna. Lush has different colors of dyes. Marron (what I used), Rouge, Noir, Brun. My hair is pretty dark and the henna did lighten it up a bit, even with using the Marron (which is a like a chestnut brown, coffee is put into the henna). If someone is looking for darker color without using straight indigo and they want something that's already premixed, they should go for Lush.

  • Anonymous says:

    what’s wrong with indigo?

  • Anonymous says:

    That’s the exact same thing with me!!

    My hair looks jet black when it’s pulled back or left natural (still havent transitioned yet :[) but in the sun it looks red. I have a couple of strands of red natural hair (I’m 14 so it’s not aging I dont think) and they really pop out.

    –Just a random comment from me, lol.

Leave a Reply