Hair Coloring

The Best Natural Hair Dye For Grey Hair [DIY Guide]

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If dyeing your grey with synthetic hair dye is one of your major challenges, you might be one of the many considering a natural hair dye.

Today I will show you how to make the hair dye, how to apply it, instructions, the pros, and cons.

So what is the best natural hair dye to cover grey hair?

Henna is the best natural hair dye so far if it comes to covering grey hair. It is very effective when combined with the partner Indigo. Apart from giving your hair a close shade natural black colour, it also improves hair strength, shines, and health.

The henna powder gotten from the Lawsonia Inermis plant is also known as Mehendi. It is a trendy colouring plant in India for temporary tattoos and hair colouring.

Unfortunately, the tutorial in this post is for people that want to colour their grey hair to a natural blending of black (Not total black)

Also, don’t forget to check out our article on grey hair turning to black naturally.

NB: Henna hair dye will not lighten your hair; it will only darken and make your hair shinier.


How To Use (Step By Step Guide)

Our goal is to cover grey hair and make it blend with black hair. The tutorial you see here may be different from what you see elsewhere. But believe me, this method is tested, working, and trusted.

Strand Test

We have people that are allergic to natural fruits, do you think henna and Indigo will be different? Nope

That is why the strand test cannot be neglected, no matter how natural the product is. It will help know if you’re allergic to henna or Indigo.

Strand testing will also help you figure out how long you will let the mixture sit on your hair. The final result you get after the strand test will help you decide if it is what you want.

Also See: The Good and Bad Side Of Keratin Treatment on Curly Hair

The Prep

  • If you are new to henna hair dye, make sure you do the mixing and application outside the house or protect the surface of where you want to sit and apply. Its stain anything it comes in contact with; without mercy.
  • Wear old cloth that can protect and cover your body very well.
  • Make sure your hair is chemical-free and clean before you apply this hair dye.

Note: This method is two times processing (i.e., you will apply, wash, apply again, then rinse). I know you are confused but don’t worry, you will understand when very soon.

Here’s a list of what you need to get started.

  • An old ceramic or plastic bowl (small-sized, because it’s just for mixing)
  • A spoon or anything that can help steer the contents very well (no metal).
  • An old toothbrush or dispenser bottle.
  • A pair of gloves.
  • Hair clips and comb or brush.
  • Essential oil.
  • Most importantly, your henna and indigo powder.
  • Old cloth or towel.

Step 1: Use of Henna

  1. Warm 1½ cup of water (distilled would be great, but not compulsory), just make sure it’s not too hot.
  2. Pour into the bowl 50-80g box of henna for short hair, 100g for medium length hair, and 200g for shoulder-length or long hair. If you are only covering the roots, just use a few tablespoons that will be enough. (depending on your hair thickness or volume).
  3. After getting the exact quantity, add warm water into the bowl containing the henna powder ( Make sure it feels creamy, not too thick, not too watery, just something in between). Then stir the mix very well with your spoon until you get a paste-like mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the dispenser or squirt bottle ( You are free to skip this step if you can apply the mixture to your hair very well).
  5. Divide your hair into four sections; this makes it easier for the henna creamy mixture to penetrate every part of the hair starting from the root.
  6. Run Vaseline or essential oil around your hairline to avoid skin stains.
  7. Apply the henna mixture to your hair, starting from your root down to the ends. If you want to cover an area with grey hair, just apply the mixture to that area. Then cover the hair up very with any disposable plastic heat cap. Shower cap, for example.
  8. Let it sit for at least 3 hours or even more.
  9. Rinse off with only water. There’s no need for shampoo or conditioner now.
  10. Towel dry hair, but make sure to leave it damp for the next step.

Henna- The Best Natural Hair Dye For Gray Hair

The First Step, Expected End Result: Orange or blending red highlights.

Step 2: Use of Indigo

Hey! Don’t make the mistake of interchanging the process Because the Indigo needs the henna first before it can perform.

Here’s our step by step process to mix Indigo to cover the new red-orange hair.

  1. Pour your packet of Indigo (same measurement with henna) into your mixing bowl then add a pinch of salt.
  2. Add your distilled warm water and stir it till you achieve a creamy texture. Just like you did for henna. Infant, there’s no significant difference between the two steps.
  3. Apply your indigo mixture again on the red-colored hair.
  4. Cover the whole hair with a heat cap and let it sit for some hours. The number of hours you let it stay on your hair depends on how sensitive your scalp is and the level of dark hair you want to achieve.
  5. Lastly, wash it off with water and use tons of conditioner to get out all the extra stuff.

Expected Results: After 1 hour or so, the result be light brownish or golden color (it may differ depending on how your hair reacts to the mixtures), but after 1-3 days, the full results (black hair) will be showing off. Just take one tablespoon of patience and wait while the Indigo oxidizes with the henna.


  • It can be stored for a long time after use.
  • Henna makes your body looks and feels thicker, plus healthier.
  • It adds protective layers to the hair cuticles.


  • The process is messy.
  • It takes too much time to achieve.
  • It deprives you of using synthetic hair dye for an extended period.
  • Henna doesn’t lighten the hair.

How Long Does Henna Hair Dye Last On Hair?

It depends on a few factors such as the colour you turned your hair to, your hair texture, and your hair care regimen, but on average, henna colour does last between 4-8 weeks.

Just keep in mind that “the lesser the shampoo wash, the longer the hair color last.”

Helpful Tips

Before you proceed to use henna, make sure you know what henna is, how to use often, and what your hair will look like afterward.

  • It’s much easier to apply the henna mixture with a dispenser or squirt bottle.
  • Feel free to add vinegar or lemon juice to the henna mixture if you want coppery or golden color instead of black hair color.
  • You can use this two steps henna method to cover your gray roots alone, but this will create uneven color tones as the dye fades. So you should use henna all-over.
  • Do not shampoo your hair at least two days after using henna and Indigo.

Now I would like to hear from you:

What’s your experience so far with Indigo?

Do you believe that henna plus Indigo is the best natural hair dye for grey hair?

Just let me know your thoughts by leaving your comment below right now.

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I am Stanley. A Unisex Hairstylist, Writer, and book lover. After 12 months of the apprenticeship program as a stylist, I started working with my boss for an extra one year. This time frame made me accumulate knowledge and experience in the hair industry, of which I will love to share with friends all over the world through my blog.

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  1. I love this discussion but would like to know how to identify natural and synthetic henna. Are all products of henna natural

  2. I have been a cosmetologist for 46 1/2 years. Literally. I love colors and all other chemicals processes. About 4 years ago I started have breathing problems due to the chemicals. Vent, better gloves, mask, worked for about 4 years. About 4-3 months ago I started not feeling good. From November till now. Horrible allergies. Swelling, fever, hives, blisters the size of quarters. But anaphylactic shock was the worst. Thought I was having heart attacks. Not completely sure I wasn’t. Basically did not go into shop more than a couple of hours a day through the month of December. Added charcoal filter system to shop. Better gloves, charcoal filter mask. I look like Darth Vador in Pink????????????. Broke out a little on back of neck last night. Last chemical was a perm. Trying to do no more than 3 chemicals a day. So let’s talk Henna….. I apply the Copper Brown. Then after totally finishing that I mix the indigo and do it all over. Or do I mix the brown with the indigo rt off the bat? I still have about 3 weeks before I decide whether I will ever color my own again . The Henna will obviously bed for me. If worse comes to worse, I will do my customers and just go gray. Something I never thought I would say. But I can honestly say, that I don’t think I could endure the pain. I own the salon, am training a new girl to do my chemical services. Just don’t want to get to where I can no longer touch a head of hair that is not truly virgin. Or can no longer go into my own salon. What Henna do you recommend. When you respond I will shoot you something I have been looking at. My Armstrong rep sent me 3 colors of some kind of henna. I believe the ingredients include PPD. Believe me at this stage I scour all ingredient labels. Even am going natural with cleaning chemicals at home. Thank you for your information. 13 Doctors visits from November till Dec30. Dr said the only symptom I did not have was DEATH. And he was very serious….. And as you know we don’t go to the DR. HELL…. we think we are one. Just underpaid????????????????. Glad to be laughing again. Must say. Has not been very funny. Cookie

    1. Firstly, I would apologize for the late reply, Too many spam comments hindered me from seeing this comment, am deeply sorry.

      I believe you didn’t become allergic all of a sudden because of the chemicals in the hair dye products but looks more like that you’re getting older and your skin can’t hold the reactions anymore. That’s a sign that you should quit chemical dye and product and am glad you are already doing that.

      For the application process, you should first mix your copper brown before mixing and using indigo, This has been working fine. Be careful most henna product in the market now contain PPD only a few are free.

      My advice is that you make sure you consult your doctor regularly for best recommendation on your next moves.

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