Lightening Indigo -- My Results

40 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2010-09-12


I started hennaing in 2004, with BAQ henna purchased here. After 3 years of deep red/burgundy, I tired of it and decided to incorporate indigo to mimic my previously (salon-dyed) coffee bean brown (at the time I decided to do this, I was about 50% gray and so the "red" was getting brighter than I wished).

I used many different indigo processes and combinations. I've used two-step, mixed amla in, tried hendigo (fades quickly on gray hair). Cut most of it off, let the growout be root-touch-ups with hendigo only vs. doing whole head, 2-step henna-indigo apps (thus getting rid of opaque black), but still darker than I wanted. I had black hair, and it didn't suit me.

Last 2 weekends, I experimented with removal/fading. Here are my results

Methods and Results

Weekend 1: 2 shampoos with baking soda: Wetted hair, applied cheap shampoo (Suave), added handfuls of baking soda, lathered. wrapped in plastic bag then towel (for warmth), left in 10 minutes, rinsed well. Thought I saw slight brownish tint in water. Repeated. More brown water in second rinse. Conditioned briefly and dried. Result: I noticed a *slight* modification of color. Roots (most recently hendigo'd) definitely faded. Hair dryer than before, but not too bad after conditioning. Very tangled.

Weekend 2: 3 shampoos with baking soda. Most brown on second shampoo (quite a bit). Immediately after, saturated hair in cheap conditioner (Suave coconut), rubbing in well and pulling through ends, squeezing it and drawing hands down to ends. Drip-off of conditioner was bringing out even more dye. Wrapped and left to sit for 1 hour. After rinsing out and wrapping in a towel, I noticed a lot of orange streaks on the towel: henna! From my roots! (now faded to natural gray). Result: I noticed definite modification, edge taken off black, more natural looking. A "warm black" or deepest-darkest brown. But still too dark. Still, I saw progress. Hair very dry.

Tonight: 2 Vitamin C shampoos: Wet hair. Added cheap shampoo. Lathered in 2 handfuls of Vitamin C powder (you can buy it this way). Wrapped in plastic bag and towel. Left in 1 hour. Rinsed. Repeated. Water clear after both shampoos. Hair very clean but not feeling tangled, just a little dry, as after a normal shampoo (with cheap shampoo). Saturated with cheap conditioner, wrapped, left in for 1/2 hour. Rinsed and dried. Figured since no color in rinsewater, that at least I got my hair clean and reconditioned; felt better than before baking soda treatments. Result: Amazing... the color has actually faded to an espresso color! For the first time since before I henna'd, I have brown hair.

Still darker than what I would like, but now I know I can fade it more.

And... I have to redo these gray roots (I need to figure out that mix; probably hendigo/buxus in one step will match what I have, timed properly.

So, there is hope. If my layers and years of indigo can fade, yours may be able to, too. I'd recommend trying the Vit C first -- easier on the hair.

Joined: 2012-06-11
Re: Lightening Indigo -- My Results

 I can't tell you guys how much I'm in love with this Vitamin C!

I've always been lousy at getting the right colour that I've wanted from henna and/or indigo, it has always turned too dark or too brown for my liking...with the lighter roots of course, so very uneven colour... I even went back to a chemical dye because of it 'cos I knew it would make my hair all one colour as I like it. But just two chem dye application left my hair feeling so unhealthy, tangly and awful that I don't ever want to do that again. I can't believe how I've done that for years before I found the secrets of plant dyes!! I tried all the so-called gentle ways to remove the unwanted darkness; honey treatments, clarifying shampoos, oil treatments...didn't get any truly visible results. 

To the point.. :) I tried my first Vitamin C treatment on a strand of hair on head. My hair colour at the moment was very dark burgandy brown henndigo + chem dye at the ends, with lighter red roots with just manic panic and henna... First application I wasn't completely sure if anything had happened, I thought I saw some slight change in colour but I wasn't sure as hennaed hair always looks different depending on the light... So I did a second application on top part of my head (for some reason the hair that's on top of my hair is a lot darker, obviously because I've dyed it more carefully than the back and therefore there's been more henna paste there resulting in deeper colour and stronger build up of colour)...

Now the strand that I had tested on first and which now has had two applications IS clearly lighter than the part which has had only one treatment. I'm amazed at how effective this is. Since I'm not actually looking to lighten my hair a lot, just to get a lighter shade and more even colour all over my hair, this seems to work wonderfully!! I am so happy!! And I'm relieved to know that if I ever fall asleep with the henna in my hair and it goes too dark, I can always do this and it will help! Because the only negative thing about plant dyes was to me that you couldn't really fix it if something went wrong...

Who ever first came up with this should be honoured and given some sort of price for saving many people from hair misery and easing the way for new henna lovers with information that henna isn't quite as permanent as we imagined! 

PLUS my hair doesn't feel at all damaged, not yet shines like mad though! :) :) I would be interested to try how Vitamin C would work with conditioner rather than shampoo...I would like the know what's the role of the shampoo in all of this...