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Friday, 20 July 2012

Lush 'Caca rouge' henna hair colour review.

My hair before the henna...Ignore the lack of makeup haha!

Yes, yes, I do know what Caca means, and to be honest it does look like it when the henna is mixed with water, but trust me its not! Caca rouge is Lush's reddest henna, for a vibrant result.
I decided to try henna as I really want to get a natural redhead (okay, ginger) finish. I did some research on-line and was generally impressed with the results that people were getting. One advantage for me was that it was far cheaper than getting my hair coloured at the salon and also that the henna would be better for my hair overall.
Henna has been used for various reasons since the bronze age, and we typically think of henna now as in henna tattoos, many people don't realise that you can use it to colour your hair. Lush's henna is sourced from Persia, which is seen as the best quality and gives redder tones, even though it can be harder to get hold of.
Lush sell their henna in blocks rather than powder form, as they have added cocoa butter to try and leave the hair feeling soft and healthy. They are £7.95 for a 325g block, depending on the thickness and length of your hair you may get two uses out of one block. I just about got two uses out of mine, I made the first batch too thick!
Basically before you even start you need to make sure you have the following, or something similar!

  • Bain marie/saucepan and heatproof bowl for melting your henna and keeping it hot (I just use a plastic takeaway box and boiling water in the sink!)
  • A sharp knife to cute the henna block (Or if you're fairly strong you can break it up like I do)
  • A non metal spoon (Apparently metal interferes with the henna)
  • Old towels, newspaper etc
  • Old clothes that you don't mind getting stained
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hair clips
  • Vaseline or Lush's Ultrabalm
  • Cling film
  • Hair dryer
  • A warm towel
  • A willing friend to help with the application!
You need to allow yourself at least half a hour, probably nearer an hour depending on how much hair you have for the application of the henna, at least 4 hours for the henna to do its stuff and then a good 20 minutes or so to wash the stuff out! I'm not going to sugar coat it-It's messy, time consuming, fairly smelly (it brings on a migraine for me) and yes it does look like you've smeared poo in your hair! 
What I would do first (I didn't do this and regretted it) is to cover the floor with newspaper or old towels, as this stuff gets everywhere, even when you don't mix it as runny as they say to!
You need to pop the gloves on and break your henna up into fairly small pieces, please don't feel that you need to grate it, unless you have nothing better to do with your time then it is totally pointless! If broken into pieces about the same size (or even a little larger) as chocolate squares then you will have a completely liquid gloop within 5 minutes. I'm pretty sure it will take you far longer than that to grate it!
If you are lucky enough to own a bain marie then use that, or a saucepan and heatproof bowl. I did my application in the bathroom so neither of these was really appropriate. Instead I poured a little boiling water into my plastic tub of henna pieces and the rest into my bathroom sink before sitting the tub in the sink. You want to keep the henna as hot as possible for this whole process, which to be fair doesn't happen when you do it my way, so be warned! 
Take your spoon and start turning the henna pieces in the water and chopping at them with your spoon. They will soften and start to break up fairly quickly. The instructions tell you to mix it to the consistency of double cream, but anyone who has come across double cream will know it really isn't that thick and I didn't fancy having it dripping everywhere, so I made it up a little thicker.
Some people add paprika, cinnamon and even red wine to the henna to try and boost the colour. That's entirely up to you but I'm not sure how much truth is behind it!
Apply some Vaseline or Ultrabalm around the hairline and I would cover a wide area if I was you as this stuff really does get everywhere, staining clothes and skin. The skin staining doesn't last too long, only a few hours as long as you try and wash it the best you can.
Start at the back with your hair clipped up out of the way and henna small sections of hair at a time. You need to really work the gloop into the hair, paying particular attention to the roots. You will kind of get a dreadlock effect if you're doing it properly.
Once your hair is covered you should wrap it in clingfilm if you want the reddest results. I gave mine a quick blast from the hairdryer after wrapping it to try and get some heat in there, as heat is what will bring out a redder finish. I then wrapped it in a warm towel for the same reason, but you probably wont look as strange answering the door with a towel on your head as you would just with clingfilm and a poo colour on your hair! Don't worry if the clingfilm goes green, this is normal and your hair isn't doing the same thing!
After at least four hours you can remove the clingfilm and start to wash your hair! I really soak my hair first, the water runs orange for what feels like forever. I shampoo twice, which removes most of the gritty bits. I really concentrate on the roots as the cocoa butter can feel and look greasy if left in. I then condition my hair twice, which helps the last bits and pieces slide out quite easily, before rinsing thoroughly until the water runs clear. Even while towel drying you should be able to see a difference. Blondes and greys will go a very vibrant ginger, and darker hair colours will likely have a reddish hue to them, or a dark copper finish. 
My hair didn't go as light or as ginger as I was hoping for. It's still copper and quite vibrant but it's just not the 'wow' change that I was expecting. Please excuse the scruffy hair (I'd just dried it quickly before bed) and the henna stained top but this is the best picture I could get of the colour, as it doesn't show up well in photographs indoors (another disappointment).
After henna

To check out Lush's range of henna hair colours please follow this Link :)
If anyone else out there has used henna or a similar colour dye to this then please share your experiences! I have to say that I probably won't bother with this again just yet and I will try another chemical dye to try and get that ginger colour that I'm after! Sorry Lush....

Update! It has been one month since my last henna application, and I've discovered it is very vibrant in the sunlight! Even after all this time it's still bright copper! I have some root growth though so I'm going to re-apply soon or try Loreal's Mango intense copper...But anyhow, here is a pic of my hair outdoors about two weeks after the second application.

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