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How to use a natural hair colour: a first person account using the Krya natural hair colour

This post was last updated on January 29, 2020 by Preethi Sukumaran

The Genesis of the Krya Natural hair colour range : for safe and toxin free colouring

We have written extensively about the dangers of frequently using synthetic hair colour and how it damages hair. The Krya Damage Repair hair range of holistically heals and treats over processed and chemically damaged hair. However, there is a still a need for safe and effective hair colours that are kind on hair. The Krya team worked over a year on 50+ safe, natural, ayurvedic hair colour formulations. This post will explain how to use a natural hair colour like the Krya hair colour to safely and naturally colour your hair.

The difference between synthetic hair colours and Krya’s all natural hair colour

The very thing that makes natural colours so safe and gentle on hair, makes them slightly time consuming for use. Our earlier posts speak about how synthetic hair colours work on hair. To create a semi permanent dye, ammonia is used to break the hair’s disulphide bonds and life the hair cuticle. Once the hair cuticle is unnaturally lifted, PPD is injected into the centre of your hair.

This makes the hair dye difficult to wash out and rinse out. But it also injects a carcinogenic substance into your hair which can quickly infiltrate the body via your blood stream. This process also severely damages your hair leaving it dull, dry and straw like with poor hair growth.

We’ve explained the chemical dyeing process and its effect on hair, eyes , etc  here, here and here.

How does a natural colour like Krya’s all natural hair colour work instead?

Herbs like Henna and Indigo bond physically onto the hair’s external cuticle. There are specific dye receptor sites present on the surface of the hair cuticle. The herbs in the natural colour paste bond with the dye receptor sites on the cuticle. This bonding takes place in the presence of moisture, so your colour paste should be moist throughout. Once bonded, the colour coats the cuticle physically with the dye. This physical coating is temporary, and externally applied. as the hair grows or is washed repeatedly, this physical dye slowly fades.

Natural herbs and colours are safe for hair

Most importantly, the herbs used are renowned in Ayurveda for being safe, non toxic and are good for hair and skin. So there is no side effect or toxins that you need to worry about.

How long does this colour bonding take?

The time for colour bonding depends upon the health of your hair. If your hair is chemically damaged, and dry, there are gaps in the hair’s cuticular structure. This means that the dye receptor sites which are supposed to be present on the hair are missing . The dye receptor sites could also be unevenly present and available in some areas and not in others.
The presence or absence of dye receptor sites influences the colour bonding time and colour quality.

How to improve dye transfer in damaged hair?

To help cement the dye bond better with Hair, We advise using the Krya Creamy Colour Strengthening Hair Mask, every time you colour your hair with one of our natural colours. This is not a general use Hair Mask and has been formulated to help the colour bonding process with Hair strands for natural colours. The Krya creamy Colour strengthening Hair mask can be used to improve colour uptakes even while aplying henna or other natural hair colouring herbs. This mask is excellent to condition hair and improve dye bonding with hair.

In addition, to help heal the chemical damage to hair, we suggest using the Krya Damage repair hair revitalizing system.

This hair product system consists of the Krya Damage repair Hair Oil, the Krya Damage repair Hair Mask and the Krya Damage Repair Hair wash which have been formulated to help heal and restore the health of chemically damaged hair. When these products are used regularly, the hair structure improves and the cuticular structure slowly heals. So in time, the dye receptor sites increase on the hair surface and the colour transfer improves. Therefore, if you find that the colour does not work very well in the beginning, you should persist with it and also add our hair healing products. In time as your hair heals, the colour works much better on your hair.

As soon as we launched the Krya range of natural hair colours, we received queries from interested consumers about how easy / difficult the whole process was. We had tested the product in many ways before launch: on swatches of untreated raw human hair, on ourselves, and on consumer’s hair. Some of these were applied by salon professionals, and some consumers did the application themselves.

The all natural Krya hair colour

But to answer the question as authentically as possible, I decided to give the product the acid test, and apply it myself with minimum equipment to understand just how messy / difficult the process can be.  In my testing I broke most of my own instructions to see how bad things get, if you don’t follow our very extensive set of “how to use” instructions on the website.

How to use a natural hair colour: testing Krya Truffle Brown

The Krya Truffle Brown shade has a dedicated fan following at Krya. we developed this as a gentle, natural alternative to synthetic chocolate brown shades. There is obviously a world of  difference between the Krya All natural Truffle Brown and a synthetic chocolate brown shade.  The colour that you see on your hair is unique to your hair’s genetic pattern. So everyone who uses the Krya All Natural Truffle Brown hair colour will have a deeply personal shade. The shade varies depending upon the original colour of your hair, the way light reflects off it, your prakriti make up, and of course the health of your hair.

The Krya Truffle Brown shade is not our best shade fro 100% grey coverage. For this, we recommend the Krya midnight Black shade or the Krya Natural black shade. For very dye resistant greys or a high set of greys (above 50%), our 2 step hair colour, Dwii-midnight black shade is ideal.

But if you have hair with naturally red or brown tones and have a lower need for grey coverage, The Krya Truffle Brown hair colour is a fantastic shade to try out. Because of the high proportion of conditioning and healing herbs, the Krya Truffle Brown shade strongly heals and nourishes hair with every use.

I wanted to use this colour because my hair has several tones of brown and reds that come from both my Pitta constitution and my earlier experiments with our colour range for the last year. I was not interested in grey coverage at this point (unless it was achieved serendipitously) and simply wanted to see how the colour transferred on my hair and how easy it was to apply.

Krya Truffle Brown - natural hair colour

Do natural hair colours give you 100% grey coverage immediately?

Generally you get better grey coverage if you go for shades that are darker than your natural colour, or if you repeatedly apply shades that are close to your natural hair colour. Natural hair coloiurs need a bit more patience than synthetic dyes as the colour latching process can take time. Natural colours saturate the hair with repeated applications.

Naturally dyeing herbs like henna, indigo, cassia, and Manjishta contain dyeing proteins that bind to the surface of the hair’s cuticle and stain it. As you colour repeatedly, these protein bonds are enhanced and the stain becomes deeper, giving you a richer and more vibrant shade. Just like your hair has different tints through the length of its hair and differing tints between strands, the staining from natural herbs follows the same, naturally uneven pattern.

So your hair colour will not look even and similar – instead your hair looks natural, with slight tints and highlights coming from how the natural dyes have interacted with each hair strand.

Krya all natural hair colour range: Single and Two Step colours

The Krya natural hair colour range is a range of single and two step colouring products.  The Single step colours are suggested for a lower grey percentage – maximum of 40% greys. Single step colours come pre-mixed with dyeing and hair nourishing herbs, so you have to apply the product in a single step, without any layering. Single step natural hair colours are easy and convenient to use especially if you are experimenting with natural colours for the first time.

We have a Two step version of our colour, Midnight black, called Dwii Midnight black.. This is recommended for very high percentage of greys or greys which are unusually dye resistant. Here the colour process is split into 2 steps which should be ideally done over two days. This split of the colouring process helps us get a very fast and stronger colour compared to our single step colour as the dyeing process gives the colour 2 coats helping colour bonding.

The colour you use must be mixed in water to achieve this consistency:


Consistency of Krya hair colour

How to use a natural hair colour: amount needed

I started by taking the correct quantity of powder I would need from my pack. In the hair length chart below, my hair measures as “MBL – mid back length” which needs roughly 175 gm of hair colour.  If in doubt, use a little more colour rather than less because you don’t want to run out halfway through your application.

How much colour to use for different hair lengths


Use clean water to mix your natural hair colour for better results:

We recommend using clean, filtered water to mix your colour. We are basically reducing interference between the colour and your hair so that the colour latches onto your hair – using tap water, hard water or dirty water gives your hair colour something else to latch on to instead of your hair, making your dye transfer poorer.
I then added water a little at a time to the colour in a ceramic bowl and mixed it using a ceramic spoon. You can use a glass bowl as well to hold your colour. As we add mildly acidic herbs to our hair colour, it is best not to use metallic bowls or spoons to mix the colour.

 How do I know if I mixed my Krya hair colour correctly?

The Krya hair colour is prepared with many herbs including strongly conditioning herbs like fenugreek seeds. We have finely milled, sifted and sieved the product until it reaches the right granularity making it easy to apply and rinse off.
So you should aim to mix the colour to the consistency of a really creamy chocolate mousse, without any lumps. The colour tends to thicken slightly as it stands, so you don’t have to worry about the colour dripping or getting watery around your hair.

Krya note: How the manufacturing process can affect dye uptake:

The dyeing agents in plants are tightly bound within the plant and migrate to the skin and hair only under favourable circumstances including the right pH, and heat. The manufacturing process allows the dyeing agents to be easily available so that they can be released when mixed into a paste using water, and in the presence of other synergistic herbs.
If the plants are not powdered to the right granularity or sifted properly, you will have both a poor dyeing and a poor rinsing off experience.

How to apply the Krya hair colour for a smooth and even finish

We advise that you use a either a wide dye brush (sold in India as a “Mehendi brush”) or gloved hands to apply your Krya hair colour smoothly. however, in my testing, I used my bare hands to apply the Krya Truffle Brown colour. This is to observe how the colour interacts with my skin and also to see how much the skin stains when using our all natural hair colour.

To prevent staining of your floor and clothing, we advise spreading newspapers on the floor and wearing clothes that you wouldn’t mind having stained when using Krya’s all natural hair colour.

I had washed my hair 2 days before colour application. You can get away with this if you are working in a sanitised office environment and it is not too hot. For best dye transfer, we recommend applying the colour as close as possible to your hair washing. This ensures the hair is clean and oil free, ensuring better dye transfer.

I parted my hair into 6 sections with each section measuring about 2 inches. I used a wide comb to de-tangle my hair, and sectioned away my hair leaving open only the section I was going to apply the Krya hair colour on.

Applying a natural colour - sectioning and colouring hair
I smeared about 2 – 3 tablespoons of paste evenly across the length of my hair covering both the inner and outer side. If I saw any greys, I made sure I applied the paste properly on the greys to physically cover them. Once I was done, I did a forward roll of this section applying colour along the roll and then plastered the roll to the top of my hair with more hair colour paste to make it stay on my head.

I did this across all the sections, and then finished by using the left over paste all over my head to cover any missing spots with hair colour.

Does the Krya natural hair colour stain skin?

I made sure I mopped up any drops of hair colour that fell on my face or ears. So there was no staining here. My hands had been working with the colour for about 20 minutes – so there was a faint brownish tint on my skin when I rinsed it out. I have no doubt that if I used one of the Krya black shades, my hands would be stained darker. So unless you are doing a stress test like me, I would recommend using gloves.

Temporary staining can be expected with natural hair colours

Waiting for dye transfer: Lengthier process with a natural hair colour

A safe natural hair colour takes longer than a synthetic hair colour to transfer onto hair. But, this means that the process is much safer, has no carcinoegens involved and does not do any structural damage to your hair. Remember a natural hair colour takes atleast 60 minutes to transfer properly onto hair. Sometimes it takes much longer. The longest we have seen is 5 hours. If it happens very quickly, then you can be sure that your hair colour is contaminated with PPD or uses extracts which are not natural.

We recommend covering your hair with saran wrap or a piece of cloth to keep warmth and moisture in and ensure no hair colour falls on the floor.

In my testing, the consistency of the Krya hair colour held well . Our formula is non-drip and it is truly non drip until it dries out.  Once dry, the hair colour does not stain too much, so you can pick these up and put it straight into your compost. This is another reason why wrapping your hair makes sense.


Will using the Krya all natural hair colour give me a cold?

This is an area of concern for most consumers as henna is considered a strongly cooling herb. The Krya hair colour was cool and soothing on the scalp but not COLD and mucous forming. The mixture did not make me catch a cold, sneeze or suffer in any way. None of our other testers have also complained about this. In fact all of us felt very soothed and cool during the process.

Henna, Manjishta and Amla are all excellent herbs for the hair and reduce excess pitta that is generated by the eyes and brain. The colour application felt very cooling & soothing for my scalp and eyes.

Amla is one of the many hair imporving herbs we add into hair colour

Krya recommends colouring ONLY in the warmth of day . Begin around 9 am o leave the colour on for 2 – 3 hours. Wrapping the hair with plastic or cloth also retains heat which is a good thing for cold sufferers. Do not use the AC during this time or stand in a windy location. Avoid colouring if you are excessively tired, or are coming down with a cold . Follow the same precautions you would take before an Abhyanga.


Take care of your neck when using an all natural hair colour

Applying colour on long hair can increase the load on your neck.  If you are not careful, this can strain your neck. Always be aware of this when applying a natural hair colour. This is not the time to over strain your neck.  This is not a problem if your hair is short.

Rinsing out the Krya all natural hair colour :

We recommend leaving on the colour for atleast 2 hours. You can go on longer if you want a deeper or richer shade. I left my colour on for close to 3 hours just to understand the effect.

I brought down my section curls and then rinsed off the Krya hair colour with plain water. Do not wash hair with a product at this stage.  Do not oil hair at this stage as it interferes with colour development.
Rinse the colour paste thoroughly.


How does hair look and feel after the Krya hair colour is applied on it:

Using the Krya hair colour gave my hair a nice natural shine from the reflective pigments . The hair felt slightly stiff, as is expected after using a natural hair product. The hair also felt voluminous as the herbs bind to the hair’s keratin creating additional volume. This is excellent sun protection for the hair (in the nature of a physical block).
However, while the hair feels stiff, it did not make it rough, frizzy, tangled or cause it to break.

This is why we recommend using the Krya creamy colour strengthening hair mask as your first product after colouring. You can do this immediately after rinsing out your colour or within a day or two. I chose to do it 2 days later to see how the mask would change things for my hair.

Colour development and Grey coverage after Krya hair colour application:

The Krya hair colour takes between a day to 2 days to fully develop. The colour reacts with oxygen in the air and get much darker.

I have about 10% greys in my hair. Some of these are in the front of my hair near my forehead. Some run through the length of my hair. The parts I missed focusing on did not get any grey coverage.

Truffle brown gave me a very interesting and rather beautiful set of shades on my hair. Depending on my hair’s tint I saw shades ranging from ash blonde to light brown , and much darker chocolate brown. The hair looked very beautiful and artfully highlighted.

Develoment of natural colour shade using Krya hair colour

Krya tip on achieving better grey coverage with a natural hair colour:

If you are very particular about grey coverage, section your greys properly and focus on these areas. If you have a very high proportion of greys you may need two applications of colour .

For better grey coverage choose a shade that is similar to your shade or darker than your natural colour. The Krya Midnight Black and the Krya Natural Black are excellent shades for high grey coverage.


Krya creamy colour strengthening mask: an ideal add on for naturally coloured hair

Now this is one of the Hair colour team’s favourite products. The Krya team  loves the creamy texture of the mask and is after effects on hair. You know how we at Krya feel about artificial silicone based conditioners.  We have described how silicones are added to HIDE the damage caused by synthetic shampoos. So under that shiny plastic coating lies broken, porous damaged hair which is not being treated.


The Krya Creamy colour strengthening hair mask beautifully conditions hair. It also deep nourishes hair and strengthens colour bonding without using any dubious chemical .  This ensures that your colour lasts longer and the hair feels softer, smoother and well conditioned after your hair colouring.


We add loads of gorgeous plant butters and oils into our creamy conditioning colour mask . So this is an excellent product to use on hair in genera. This is Krya’s recommended first wash product after applying the Krya hair colour. You need to use no other hair product (shampoo or conditioner) when you use this mask.


How to use the Krya creamy conditioning hair mask:

I applied the mask by sectioning my  hair into 4 sections to speed up the process. We recommend that the Mask be left on for atleast 15 minutes before washing. You can go upto an hour with it or until the point the Mask starts to dry out.

How to use the Krya hair colour hair mask
The mask is very smooth and easy to rinse out. It left my hair feeling very smooth and conditioned and quite clean. If there were any remaining bits of hair colour, the mask removed this as well from the hair. Once the hair is dry, the hair was very smooth and easy to comb. The hair retained its volume because of the hair colour.

To conclude: a first person account of using the Krya natural hair colour

Natural hair colours come with several obvious pluses. They do not cause long term harm and do not cause cell mutagenesis . They are obviously better for hair. They do not imbalance and damage hair and nourish, heal and promote good quality hair growth. They do not cause dermatitis, eczema, anaphalytic shock, delayed skin reactions or death.

Natural hair colours can be safely used by everyone including pregnant and breast feeding women.

If you would like to try out Krya’s natural hair colour range, please explore the links given below. If you have any queries on the Krya natural hair colour range, please write to us.

Krya’s all natural hair colour range:



Krya’s products to heal chemically damaged hair:

Krya damage repair hair system for chemically damaged hair



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srinivas krishnaswamy
srinivas krishnaswamy

Srinivas is Krya's Co-Founder. He brings in a unique perspective to Krya with his dual Masters in Physics & Management.

At Krya, Srinivas is motivated by the challenges of crafting the company's DNA - products that delight consumers, manufacturing excellence, a winning team and sustainable profitable growth.

He is deeply committed to defining the first principles of Dharmic Entrepreneurship in order to build a world class organisation rooted in Indian Knowledge Systems.

Articles: 168


  1. Preethi, when should the hair oil for coloured hair be used. Post wash, or the 2-ce a week. Since i use the conditioning oil currently, should i stop that for some time?

  2. Nice to know about product. I have couple of doubts. When is approach professionals for hair coloring (apply henna), hair will be smooth for sometime. When I did same for self hair will be rough.
    You suggest no need to apply oil then did you experience soft smooth hair?Longevity of color??
    Since people like me have more damaged hair because of pollution and various reasons some products won’t show any result , is this OK for more damaged hair?

    • Hi Padma,
      I mentioned applying colour on clean and oil free hair because oil interferes with colour uptake. You definitely need to use the Krya creamy colour strengthening mask post colour application – that reduces the dryness. Afterwards we recommend regular oil application with one of our Krya hair oils (you can try teh Krya vibrant hair colour hair oil) and using an appropriate Krya hair wash – when this is done, your hair will regain its health and texture.

    • Padma: yes it is suitable for people with damaged hair. however, dye transfer will not be very good at first, but will improve with time. We suggest using the Krya hair colour along with the Krya Damage repair hair system to improve hair quality and heal the damage.

  3. Preeti, I have the midnight black color on my hair right now! So excited..I wanted to check with you on how long the color would last.. This is the first time I’m covering my grays (~10% of total hair volume) and would like to know how frequently the hair color needs to be applied. Thanks!

  4. Is your hair colour 100% organic. i am having a seviour PPD and ammonia allergy. I am having 30% white hair . Is your colour is 100% safe . Can i use it without having doubt of any allergic reaction .
    please suggest.

    • Hello Nisha,
      We use exactly between 5 – 8 ingredients in each Krya hair colour, all of which are declared on our website.They include organic Indigo, Organic Henna, Annato seeds, forest collected Khadira bark, organic Amla, Organic hibiscus flower, Organic cloves, etc. The ingredients add up to 100% and there is no hiden PPD, Ammonia, etc. We buy every single herb whole and process them ourselves to ensure there is no adulteration or contamination.
      Having said that, some people are allergic to the Indigo herb (Indigofero tinctoria). So we ask that everyone trying out our colour for the first time do a patch and a strand test to rule this out.

  5. I used the Krya Midnight Black colour for my hair on June 3 – left it on for 4 hours. Was very happy with the grey coverage. Didn’t wash for next 2 days, used the mask thereafter as per ur advise too. But The colour faded almost completely in 10 days.
    Repeated the process again, but there was barely any grey coverage the second time around and when washed after 2 days, my hair appeared totally uncolored . I had kept the color for 3 hours second time.
    Both the times I used a shower cap after color application, and don’t remember it drying .
    Now my querry is what went wrong the second time plus y is it lasting barely 10 days.
    FYI I haven’t used any artificial hair colours since lockdown, and just henna a couple of times before using the Krya product.
    Pls let me know

    • Kavita,
      Have you just started using our colours? Fading quickly is initially a problem: as the dye pigmentation builds up in hair with regular use the colour lasts longer.

      We suggest doing the following:

      1. Regular hair oiling between colour to maintain health of the cuticular structure (as our colours deposit on the strand)
      2. Switch between our pure henna or High henna colours like Truffle brown and Midnight black: this allows equal deposition of Henna followed by indigo: these layer onto each other reducing fade and deepening colour

    • yes you can. however it will stain skin – so we suggest applying petroleum jelly on the skin like a barrier to ensure the dye does not stain the rest of the skin.

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