Quantities & Mixing

It isn’t easy to gauge the quantity of powder you need if you’re mixing henna and indigo for the first time. It depends how long and how thick or fine your hair is.There are no hard and fast rules about quantities and ratios.

How much henna for hair / indigo do I need and how long do I leave it in my hair for ?

We recommend the following quantities for mixing henna and indigo,and we recommend that you reduce these quantities by about 10 to 20gms for really fine hair, and double the quantities here for really thick hair. [If you’re in a country that doesn’t use grammes, sorry, just try to adjust according to the weight of the pack , eg  50gms = a quarter pack of the 200gms bag of henna, 100gms = half a pack & so on ] :

  • short to chin length hair – 50 gms henna / 30 or 40 gms indigo
  • shoulder length hair – 100 gms henna / 70 or 80 gms indigo
  • mid back length hair – 200gms henna / 140 or 150 gms indigo
  • hip length hair – 300 gms henna / 210 or 220 gms indigo


Renaissance Henna Powderin a small metal bowl with a teaspoon
Renaissance Henna Powder


We recommend that on your first time henna application you leave henna in your hair a minimum of 2 hours. The process can be seeded up by use of a hair drier, set to a moderate heat setting, if you’re in a real hurry. Remember: we include a detailed Instructions and Guide Booklet with the beginner’s Henna & Indigo Natural Hair Dye Kit which takes you through the natural hair dye process step by step and answers all your questions. On medium length hair the 200g long hair packets of henna and indigo in the Renaissance Henna Natural Hair Dye Kit may stretch to two or even three applications.

How long you leave the indigo in for depends on how dark you want your hair colour to be. It varies from say 10 minutes to 2 hours, or even longer if you want. We recommend a maximum application time of one hour which is sufficient to get you jet black hair colour. Ten to fifteen minutes indigo time will be sufficient to change your rich reddish henna tones to a muted auburn brown hair colour. Half an hour would get you to  a really deep brown black hair colour. An hour will get you to black hair; 2 hours an intense deep raven blue black hair colour. You get the idea anyway. To start with, if you’re aiming for brown hair colour, leave the indigo in for ten to fifteen minutes. Then decide if you want to aim for a longer or shorter indigo application next time. You’ll find it useful to study the hair colour gallery photos and note how long each person applied henna / indigo in their hair to get the hair colours shown in the hair colour pictures.


Mixing Henna, Renaissance Henna, photo of back of woman with red hair facing a green bush, wearing a beige jumper
Mixing Henna: How Much depends on the Length and Thickness of Your Hair


As you get used to using pure henna hair colour you’ll instinctively know how much to use and you’ll build a good understanding of the natural hair colour spectrum that you can work within.

Mixing Henna : Adding Water to Henna & Indigo


Adding Water to Henna, Renaissance Henna, picture of a water tap outdoors
Adding Water to Henna, Renaissance Henna

When you’re mixing henna and indigo, be careful not to add too much liquid. A little at a time is the best way to form a mud paste. Press down into the powder to break up the globs as you mix. It’ll look dry and crumbly, but as you add more liquid it’ll smooth out and absorb everything until it looks something like mud /custard / thick gravy. It doesn’t have to be silky smooth. Once you’ve got a mud like paste – not too thick as it has to be workable – then it’s ready to enter the dye release time zone.  Cover your henna and leave it alone. Don’t cover indigo, leave it alone for just a minute or two before you apply it to your hair. Cassia obovata may be left up to 20 minutes, covered or not, before you use it – or you can use it immediately.

Water & Dye Release


Herbal Hair Colour Dye Release

Once henna paste is ready to use, you’ll see that the colour of the paste has darkened from green to brown, almost brown black on top. But underneath that surface it’s a dull green brown. Stir it up and apply the henna paste to your hair.

Indigo paste will turn from green to bluish black. Again, stir it up just before you apply the paste to your hair.

Cassia paste will be a dull yellow green colour.

If any paste is too thick, just add a few more drops of water and work the paste a little to get it nice and smooth again. You may want the paste slightly wetter if you’re applying it to dry hair or slightly thicker if you’re applying it to wet hair; the choice is yours. Very gently heating the pastes on the stove will help to get rid of lumps and smooth it all out.


Identifying your Herbal Hair Powder with a White Paper Test 

If you’re not sure what powder you’ve got, stick a piece of white paper in it and leave it overnight, or at least 2 hours. If the papers turns brown or orange brown, it’s henna. If it turns blue it’s indigo. If there’s no colour change or it takes on a mild yellow tinge, it’s likely to be cassia obovata.


How to Colour Hair at Home with Pure Henna Hair Dye


Applying Natural Henna to Hair
Henna Dye Brush

To apply henna to your hair, either section your hair starting at the base of your scalp and work upwards, or just “shampoo in” as best you can – there are no precise hair colour application rules for henna hair dye. You may find it easier to roughly section the hair if it’s wet, and just to shampoo in if it’s dry, parting it as you go to get it into the roots and along the hair line front, back and sides as best you can; once it’s all in, cover and gently press down to get it to seep down to the roots. Don’t worry about precision and don’t approach it as you would a standard boxed hair dye … relax ! It pretty much takes care of itself once it’s all in. It’s virtually fool proof. You really do not need to pay anyone to do this for you. It’s a very straight forward at home hair dye. It takes time, and it is messy, but it’s worth it !


What Henna Hair Colour?