This is Gwyn.
She is a model
and one of her best features is her lovely black curly hair.
Gwyn dyes her
hair black with indigo and henna to keep it in the best condition
I know this isn't fiction because Gwyn is my daughter and I dyed her
Gwyn normally has dark brown hair with streaks of near blonde
when it gets sunbleached in the summer. When Gwyn was in High
School, she dyed her hair black with commercial black hair dye until
she started wheezing and developing blisters and sores from the
para-phenylenediamine in the dye. All commercial black hair dyes
have para-phenylenediamine and people may people progressively more
allergic to this chemical with each use. It can have devastating
effects on a person's health. The health problems forced her to
stop using commercial hair dye, but still thought she looked prettier
with black hair than brown.
People in the Middle East and North Africa have dyed their hair black
with Indigo and Henna for thousands of years. Indigo and Henna
are both plants that have a natural dye in their leaves. Indigo
dyes blue. Henna dyes red. If you dye Indigo over Henna,
you get black. The combination of henna and indigo is very good
for your hair, and makes it
strong, soft and lustrous.
People used Henna and Indigo to dye their hair until about sixty-five
years ago when synthetic hair dye became available. Henna and
Indigo are, to be honest, a messy and inconvenient to use. People
got rid of Henna and Indigo and changed to tidy little bottles of
chemicals, which were convenient, but were also very toxic. If you want
to know just how nasty these chemicals are for you, see: http://www.sphosting.com/reverndbunny/PPD_references.html.
As these plant dyes coat the hair strand, the Henna and Indigo
treatment made Gwyn's hair THICKER! Gwyn normally has fine hair
that get frizzy and tangles easily. The Henna and Indigo relaxed
her curls and made her hair full, manageable, and glossy! The
final color was rich, natural black with aubergine highlights,
sometimes glinting blue-black. All the split ends and tangles
vanished with the henna.
Indigo is a plant that has a molecule in it that dyes blue. Your
jeans are dyed with Indigo. If you open a package of real,
natural, Indigo, you'll see green powdered plant leaves, and it will
smell like frozen peas. If you mix water and Indigo powder to
make a paste, in about half an hour you'll see the surface of that
paste turn dark blue.
Indigo is often sold in a package marked "black Henna." This is
because it was used with Henna to dye hair black. However, there
are many products on the market right now that are marked "black henna"
that are NOT INDIGO and may be very dangerous to use! If you have
a package of "black Henna" hair dye and want to see if it's Indigo or
something nasty, go to: http://www.mehandi.com/closeup/Indigo.html
Sometimes you can find good Indigo at a Middle Eastern market, but if
you want Indigo you can depend on, order from the Mehandi.com shop.
Here's how to dye your hair
black with Henna and Indigo:
Get a friend or two to help you. This is not a one person job!
- First, read http://www.mehandi.com/hair/hennahair.html.You
have to dye your hair first with Henna.
- When you've rinsed out the Henna, you
dye over that with natural Indigo.
- Mix Indigo with water and stir it
up. The Indigo paste should be as thick as stirred up yogurt,
though it will be very lumpy like porridge. It will be a green mush
that smells like frozen peas.
- Mix Indigo about 10 minutes before
you plan to use it! This stuff is ready FAST, and if you wait too
long, you won't get good results
- Lay plenty of newspapers, or a tarp,
on the floor where you'll apply the indigo. Indigo will stain
linoleum and cloth. Wear plastic gloves or your hands will have
gray-blue stains. If you don't wear gloves, your fingernails will
also turn gray and you will look like a flesh-eating zombie. If
you're Gwyn, you'll think this is great. If you're most other
people, you won't. So wear gloves.
- Put the indigo into carrot bags ,
section and squish it into the hair, down to the roots. then down
the lenth of the hair. Work it down to the scalp, and mush it in like
you're trying to plaster a wall with guacamole. Try to get indigo
evenly into all the hair. It's messy. It's stinky.
Remember that women believed the uglier they got during their beauty
preparations, the lovelier they'd be when they were done.
- Wrap the Indigo-laden hair with
plastic wrap into a great mooshy sloppy peas-smelling turban and let it
stay there half an hour. Wipe all the Indigo drops off as they
dribble down the neck, forehead and back! These will leave gray
streaks if you don't wipe them away!
- Rinse this all out of your
hair. It takes about a day for the indigo to oxidize completely,
and then your hair will be amazing black!
How much Indigo do you need?
If your hair
is short, one hundred grams will do. If your hair is straight and
comes to your collar, two hundred should do. If your hair is straight
and comes to your shoulders, three hundred should do. If it's
waist length, try five hundred. Gwyn has very curly hair that
stretches to mid back, and her hair is very thick. It took five
hundred grams to do her hair.
s hould NOT dye with Indigo?
- Don't do this if you can't stand a
mess or if you're in your parent's house and they can't stand a mess.
- Don't do this if you don't have a
friend to help you.
- It's best to do this if you have
brown hair to start with! If you're a blonde, redhead, or light
brunette, harvest hair from your hairbrush and try henna and Indigo on
that to see how it'll come out. Once the Indigo is in your hair,
it's there for a long time! Make sure you like it before you go
- If you've dyed or bleached your hair
in the previous year, harvest hair from your hairbrush and try henna
and indigo on that to see how it'll come out. Once the Indigo is
in your hair, it's there for a long time! Make sure you like it
before you go for it!
- Don't do this if you like to change
your hair color frequently. This is a commitment. Once you
do your hair with Indigo, you'll have to keep doing it with Indigo or
let it completely grow out.
What's Indigo going to do to your hair? Will it be
wonderful? Will it be awful? Harvest hair from your hair
brush and try some! Want samples of Henna and indigo? I'll
send you enough Henna and Indigo to do a few tests on your hair for
$1.00 each! How often do you get a chance to play with something
fun and squishy and avert disaster for a dollar?