While the famous blue dye made from indigo has coloured the clothes of kings and workers for centuries, the plant is less known for its effect on the hair. Activated by hot water, indigo imparts an inky black colour to hair, and its intensity can be nuanced with an expertly balanced mix of ingredients.
True indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) is a shrub from the bean family that is cultivated under tropical and subtropical climates. Indigo powder is obtained by finely grinding the little, oval leaves of the beautiful plant after they’ve been dried.
In Lush products, the powder helps obtain a wider range of natural hair colouring than just the red of henna. Although indigo is a dark blue dye, mixing it with other ingredients such as henna or coffee allows for chocolate, brown and black hues to appear.
Unlike henna which dyes the hair optimally when kept warm under a towel, indigo will develop its darkest hues if left exposed to air. Its colouring power is, however, activated by heat, so it is recommended to stay in a warm room in order to have the best results. Waiting in a steamy bath surely works even better! After rinsing the preparation from the hair, the colour will still develop slightly for a few days, as it will continue to oxidize on contact with air.
Lush purchase indigo from Iran, despite the political turmoil of recent decades that has made it difficult to trade at times. Our supplier, who also provides us with red henna, mills indigo leaves collected from farmers of the Kerman and Sistan provinces. They are committed to producing excellent indigo powder whose quality is regularly tested.