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Indigofera tinctoria, commonly known as indigo, is a famous herb found mostly in Asia and Africa that is considered one of the most widely used natural dyes in ages. It is also for various medicinal purposes.
The easily available indigo powder is derived from crushing the leaves of the plant. It is used to color fabric of all types and also human hair. Indigo is filled with natural compounds that have been proven to be beneficial for the hair.
Dyeing is considered a good form of caring for one’s hair, although the use of dyes filled with harmful chemicals and synthetic colors can damage the hair. For this reason, many people go for naturally derived options and indigo powder is one of them. It is great for coloring hair black naturally and is free from harmful components such as ammonia. (1)
Benefits of Indigo Powder on Hair
Here are some of the medicinal benefits of indigo when you incorporate it into your hair care routine.
1. Prevents hair fall
Anyone who has experienced excessive hair loss knows how anxiety-provoking it can be. The good news is using indigo powder for your hair can prevent hair fall. It provides strength to the hair follicles, which then prevents hair from falling out. If used regularly, it can also be great for volumizing the hair.
A 2019 research has shown that indigo provided promising results for preventing hair loss when used with other herbs including amla, hibiscus, and bhringraj. These herbs, as concluded by the study, can be a better alternative treatment option to hair loss than topically and orally available medications.
How to use:
- Combine 2 tablespoons each of indigo, hibiscus, and amla powder in a bowl.
- Add water to make a paste and allow to sit for an hour.
- Apply the hair mask to your hair and scalp and cover your head with a shower cap.
- Wait for about an hour and then wash your hair with shampoo and water.
2. May help in fighting scalp infections
Indigo is suggested to have therapeutic properties as it is a good antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent. This is why it will be helpful in treating various scalp infections. (1)
This effect, in turn, helps in promoting hair growth because the health of your scalp has an impact on the natural growth and retention of your hair. Therefore, caring for one’s scalp is essential for hair growth and quality. (2)(1)
How to use:
- Applying indigo powder as a hair pack is a good way of keeping away scalp infections that cause dandruff.
- You can also mix indigo powder with your hair oil and massage the mixture on your scalp regularly to provide nourishment to your scalp.
3. Improves hair health
People live in an age of increasing pollution. Exposure to pollution, and other harmful things such as straighteners or curlers that use heat and chemical-filled dyes, can make the hair dull, brittle, and easy to break. (3)
Using indigo powder daily can provide your hair with all the required nourishment, making your hair healthy, glowing, and bouncy. (3)
How to use:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of indigo powder with 2–3 tablespoons of coconut oil.
- Massage your hair with this mixture.
4. Slows the graying of hair
Some people experience graying hair early in life, and this can be hard to deal with given it is a sign of untimely aging.
If you decide to dye it to improve the appearance of your hair, then the indigo powder is the way to go. It will not reverse greying but can for sure bring back the lustrous color of your hair, making it look young and healthy.
The alternative to this is chemically made dyes, which will in fact make the greying worse as they only coat the hair but don’t slow down the graying. Indigo, on the other hand, will also slow down the process of graying hair, making it a good dye option. Also, the indigo powder does not have any side effects. (1)
How to use:
- Rinse your hair well and let your hair dry.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of indigo powder with warm water to form a paste.
- Apply the mask to your hair and leave it on for an hour. You can leave it for a longer duration for a more intense color.
5. Improves hair growth
Indigo powder mixed with hair oil can be used to massage your scalp as it contains therapeutic properties. It will not only strengthen your hair but also promote hair growth.
Indigo can make your hair healthy and glossy. It provides nourishment to the hair deep within the roots, while making sure your hair remains detangled and easy to manage. This gives the hair a very healthy appearance as well.
Moreover, indigo has antioxidant properties that help in combating oxidative stress, which causes hair fall. (4)
How to use:
Massage your hair with oil obtained from indigo leaves. This oil is known to provide strength to the roots of your hair and keep the hair intact.
Most-Asked Questions About Indigo Powder
How is indigo powder produced?
The leaves of Indigofera tinctoria are turned into a bluish dye through fermentation, which is done without any chemicals.
The leaves of the herb are soaked for a night in water. This produces a bluish sludgy mix, which is then dried naturally in the sun. When dried, the leaves become crispy, which means they are ready to be turned into powder by crushing and grounding.
No chemicals are used in the process – even the drying and grounding are done without the use of big machines or chemicals. (5)
What are the other uses of indigo powder?
Indigo powder is the most famously used natural dye for your hair. It is naturally bluish and thus gives your hair a similar hue. If you have naturally dark hair such as black, you may need to first apply henna for a lighter base for the color to appear. (1)
How to apply indigo powder to dye the hair?
Follow these steps to dye your hair with indigo powder:
- Wash your hair well and let them dry completely.
- While your hair is drying, form a paste with water and indigo powder.
- Section your hair into thin segments, and apply the mixture evenly from the roots of the hair to the tips.
- Let it sit for at least half an hour for the color to appear.
- Rinse with water but don’t shampoo till 24 hours.
Indigo is a famous herb that comes with tons of uses. Indigo powder, obtained by crushing the leaves of Indigofera tinctoria, is a widely used natural hair dye that has replaced artificial hair dyes. It does not contain any chemicals or toxic compounds and is very gentle on the hair.
Apart from hair coloring, it has tons of benefits for your hair from fighting scalp infections to ensuring proper hair growth.