scared. planning to henna for first time. Advice for very dark hair


I have never colored my hair. I am 40. My hair is very dark brown, almost black. Some people call it black, but it's really dark brown. I'm starting to go gray, and with such dark hair, those hairs stand out like a beacon! I am transitioning to a no chemical cosmetics life. I make my own soaps, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, deodorant, etc. So, I certainly don't want to use the dangerous hair dyes. Plus, I want the conditioning that is said to come with henna use as natural shampoos and conditioners tend to make my hair less sleek, probably because I don't use the silicone-based smoothening agent anymore.

This is my dilemma:

1) I love my natural hair color. But, I'm also curious about what I would look like with reddish hair. With such dark hair, am I correct in assuming that henna would only produce a warm, maybe burgundy effect in my hair, while the white hairs would be bright red?

2) If I did want a slightly lighter auburn than burgundy, how would I accomplish that?

3) If I started with henna, could I dry and style my hair first before then applying indigo if I decided that I didn't like the henna?

4) If I did do that, would the 2nd application (after henna) be indigo + henna mixed to accomplish very dark brown (rather than straight indigo...which would produce jet black, correct?)

thank you for the help!

1. Henna will actually only show up on your gray, turning it any where from copper to auburn depending on how strong the henna you use is. Henna, however, cannot lighten and will not cause a visible color change on very dark brown to black hair. You will get a red sparkle in the sun, but thats it.

2. Lightening your hair first. Upkeep is a pain cause you'll have to lighten your roots every time.

3. You can dry your hair, but I would not style it if that includes styling products of any kind. Indigo will apply easier to towel dry hair though.

4. Your natural color would actually probably go black or a deeper black regardless while the whites of your hair turn dark brown. Henna and indigo do not dye just the grey like chemical dye does, it will change everything. Straight henna will not change your color because its too dark (though it does technically still dye everything.. you just cant see it!), but because you're throwing indigo in.. it will get darker.


ACWN gave you good advice and answers above.  I would just like to add that, being a dark brunette like you, I have a feeling that (if you only have few grays now) you would prefer the results of a long (4 hours) henna-only application, using a henna with the highest lawsone content you can get (Celebration, Rajasthani Twilight, or similar) instead of doing a "hendigo".  The henna by itself will give you deep auburn on the grays, and infuse the rest of your hair with a reddish "glow" without changing the brown-black base much.  It's a very natural look, and very easy to maintain.  The grays will still stand out, but in a "we're deliberately-done highlights" way as opposed to a "we're old lady's graying strands" way. Sometimes the smallest changes are enough...if you started adding indigo from the get-go, the rest of your hair might go reaaaaally dark, while your grays may or may not go deep enough...which would only perpetuate the drastic contrast that you feel you currently have.  

Later, when you start getting more grays, you can start tweaking your method to include progressively more indigo, if you feel you need more darkness. Or, you can embrace the reddish strands and become--finally--a redhead!  


Thank you, XYZ. What you're saying sounds "just right" to me. I think that's what I'll do. I'm excited!