Hair Makeover with Hair Magazine & The BlowDry Bar – Removal of Henna & Indigo

my hair makeover

After wearing my hair long and dark nearly all my life, I decided to finally, take the plunge and go for a hair makeover – not just a trim, but a proper makeover with a completely different cut, style and colour. It wasn’t an easy decision since I love long, dark hair and since I was terribly confused, I asked all you lovely people on Instagram whether I should go for a makeover or not. Most were of the opinion that I should go for a change – “after all, it’s just hair, it will grow back” and so I finally went ahead with it. I was also fortunate to be able to do this in collaboration with Hair Magazine and The BlowDry Bar, which is my favourite salon for nails anyway.

my hair makeover

My hair had grown quite long recently and I because of my greying, I had been using henna and indigo to cover the greys and give the hair a natural, dark black look. While this is a great way to colour hair and it makes hair lovely, there are a couple of drawbacks to it as well:

  • The indigo on top of the henna is what makes your hair black. It coats the hair and is a permanent colour, meaning it doesn’t fade from the portion where it has been applied and hence, if you’ve coloured your hair with henna and indigo, going back to a lighter colour or highlights is an extremely difficult task.
  • Indigo has since ancient times used to dye cloth dark blue. On the hair too, the undertones that it gives are blue.
  • While such a dark colour looks amazing, it also gives a sharp contrast to the grey roots, making them more noticeable (as can be seen in the pic on the left, above). Such a contrast and grey roots  actually end up making you look older.

We had not realised what an incredibly difficult challenge was ahead of us trying to get the indigo out, but Kinjal Ganatra Doshi, the Creative Director of The BlowDry Bar handled it incredibly well.

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Like I mentioned, The BlowDry Bar is one of my favourite salons for getting my nails done. They are also fantastic with hair styling and makeup and have recently added “The Yellow Chair” to their range of services. These are customised cuts and colours by the salon’s Creative Director, Kinjal Doshi Ganatra. Being a loyal client at the salon since quite a while, and having seen Kinjal in action doing hair for others, I felt my hair was in good hands.

To start with, Kinjal had a detailed consultation with me, asking me what I was looking for in the makeover, what sort of final look I wanted, my hair colouring history etc. She had dealt with hennaed hair earlier, but hadn’t heard of indigo. We then decided to start with the haircut and then move on to the colour.

Hair Makeover
Photographer: Dhiman Chatterjee for Hair Magazine

Once the hair was cut shorter with some layers added for movement and side bangs, it was time to touch up the roots. Since my hair was already dark, the roots couldn’t be too light so we went just a shade lighter.

hair makeover
Photographer: Dhiman Chatterjee for Hair Magazine

The colour on the roots was left on for the required amount of time and then washed and blast dried, after which we moved on to the pre-lightener. We had decided to go in for an ombreish-balayage so the prelightener was applied to the lower half of the hair to remove the build up of the henna and indigo so that the colour could be applied there. The pre-lightener was left on for the required amount of time, but then when checked, we realised the colour was just not lifting. So some more pre-lightener was applied and heat from the dryer too to help lift the colour.  Finally, when we washed it off, the colour had faded in a very patchy way and my hair had greenish-blue undertones!!!

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hair makeover
Photographer: Dhiman Chatterjee for Hair Magazine

I have to admit, I got pretty freaked out when I saw the patchy look and more importantly, the bluish undertones but Kinjal was calm and reassured me that it would turn out nice. We called it a day and decided to continue the next day with the colour.

The next day, Kinjal used a 6 shade with gold on the roots and ends and copper  concentrate to neutralise the blue undertones on the mid-lengths and get a lovely brown colour. And this was the final look….

Hair makeover - henna and  indigo hair colour removal

Here the hair was just blast-dried before moving on to the proper blow dry. And the finished look…

Hair makeover

hair makeover

I absolutely loved how the final look turned out. On a daily basis, I can pin up my bangs and it still looks great. The cut, style and colour looks more contemporary look and I feel it makes me look younger.


Did you like this look? Let me know your feedback. Also, if you have any questions regarding this makeover, do write to me in the comments and I’ll answer them all. Looking forward to knowing your thoughts.

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