This is a review of Lush's Henna hair dye in Caca Rouge. They can be purchased at a Lush store or online and cost £7.10/$22.95. It weighs 11.4oz/approx 330g
I thought I'd already posted this, but I seem to just have saved it and not posted. :( So I figured I'd post it now. The first bit of the review was written the day I dyed my hair, the next part the day after and the final part today, three weeks after dyeing. So You'll be getting my first impressions and my thoughts after three weeks. :)
I got my sister to buy this product before she came back home for Christmas. For years now I have wished that I had red hair, and have been contemplating dyeing it. I tried once about four years ago using a non-permanent dye from L'oreal (the shade was called chestnut something) but it looked a little purpley to me. This summer I began toying with the idea of dyeing my hair again, but my mum managed (as only mothers can :) to scare me with stories of chemical burns and stuff so I didn't want to try my luck dyeing it at home. I also didn't want to have it dyed professionally as I didn't really feel like spending the money. Also, I have very dark brown hair and I know (deep down) that my hair won't go lighter unless I bleach it (which I don't want to do), so I was pretty much at a standstill with the whole red hair dream.
That's where the henna came in.
Whilst browsing the Lush site (as you do) I came across their Henna hair dyes. The Caca Rouge in particular caught my attention. Could this product give me the red locks I so desired?
I don't know yet as I still haven't taken the product out, but as I am bored waiting I thought I'd begin this review and finish it when I know the results.
Before I start rambling I'd better tell you a little about this product and what it claims to do.
So, the Lush henna cacas are blocks of henna (which is normally sold as a powder) mixed with cocoa butter and lemon juice and other ingredients. Each block is split into six squares and you can use as much, or as little as you like, according to the length/thickness of your hair. I ground my block up, so I'm not sure how many blocks I used, but I think about four (I have a lot of hair) and I put the rest in an old jam jar to use later.
There are four cacas to choose from: Rouge (for red hair), Marron (for chestnut hair), Brun (for brown hair) and Noir (for black hair).
The Caca Rouge is meant to turn your hair vibrant red if you have light coloured hair, or a warm red tinge which catches in the sun, if you have dark hair like mine.
There are instructions on the website and you should also get them if you buy these in a shop, but my sister forgot to take them with her. I highly recommend reading plenty of reviews before you use this product (or any product for that matter) so that you can learn more about the product and get tips from others. MakeupAlley has some good ones. These are the instructions, a mixture from the website and from other sources and my personal experience.
1. Cut or the henna up into small pieces, or grate it into a powder and put in a heatproof bowl. I used a glass jug and had no problems cleaning it.
2. Add hot water and mix to a thick custard/yoghurt like consistency. I used a metal spoon, but the UK Lush website recommends a wooden spoon, personally I think it would just turn green.
3. Lay old newspapers over your bathroom floor (or wherever you're doing this) and over any surfaces that might get splashed (around the sink for instance.) Put on gloves (Very important! You don't want orange hands) and apply to hair. I separated my hair and did the lower section first and then the upper, but in the end I was just smearing it all over. The website says to do it from back to front.
4. Cover in cling film for a more vibrant red. Leave on for one to six hours (depending on how red you want your hair). I found while doing my strand test that heat is really an important factor, I think it activates the henna somehow. So I wrapped my hair in cling film, put on a big old hat I had lying around and then put a hot water bottle on top of my head and secured it with an old towel. You could axe the hot water bottle and blast your hair with a blow dried ever hour or something, but I thought this would be easier. It does make your head feel very heavy though, so try to stay sitting down as much as you can, and be careful your neck doesn't get too sore.
5. Rinse, shampoo, and condition hair. You may have to repeat a couple of times to get all the henna bits out, use a comb to get the bits out.
Some tips and warnings
* This all takes a long time. The first three steps took me less than an hour, but then you have to wait ages for it to work, and you can't really leave the house with a towel and a hot water bottle on your head! So I recommend doing this when you have nothing else planned and just sit around and read, or watch a film, or read blogs or something. :)
! Beware of the smell. I smelled the block of henna and thought it was fine, but as soon as I'd mixed in the water and was doing my strand test I smell was overwhelming. Each nose is different however, case in point both my mother and my sister thought it was fine, but I hated the smell. I seriously thought I was going to throw up and one point. When I did the actual thing though I played music to distract me and that worked splendidly. Music seems to sooth me any time I feel nauseous, I used to get carsick a lot but music really helped stop it. I digress. My point is, if the smell bothers you, play some music or have a friend with you to talk to you and distract you. Also keep the window open. :)
* I would recommend wearing an old shirt while you do this, as you'll most likely need to get into the shower with your hair wrapped up in clingfilm, hat, (hot water bottle) and a towel and there's no way you can get a t-shirt over that mess! I didn't have a shirt handy, but I had an old top that I never wear which has a very wide neckline so getting it over my head was no problem. Also wear some unloved piece of clothing on your bottom half, as it may get splashed, and wear old socks that you can take off as soon as you've applied the henna to your hair so that your don't leave henna prints on the floor :)
! If you live with someone (parents, spouse, roommate for example) let them know what you are doing. Especially if you don't own the house as you might make a bit of a mess during the rinsing step. My mother is a bit worried the grouting between the tiles will be stained, but I'll try and be careful. :)
Here are some pictures of my dyeing process:
The henna mixture
Applied on my head
Cling filmed head
A hat to keep warm!
Towel, holding the hot water bottle in place
It's now been four hours since I put the mixture in, I had only planned to leave it in for four, but since dinner's in half an hour and I need to keep an eye on it I think I'll leave it for a bit longer, probably fiveish. To be honest I'm a bit worried to see how it washs out. The strand test was fine, but that was only a small strand of hair...this is my whole head and I'm reminded of the whole banana+egg mixture horror of this summer. I'd just been to the Blue Lagoon which is a geothermal spa and it left my hair horribly dry so I figured I'd just mix an egg, a banana (I think I may also have put honey in there) and put it in my hair. Bad idea! It was an absolute nightmare to get out, I think it took over half an hour and I still had banana bits left in there! I obviously forgot that my hair is very coarse and will grab onto anything you put in it, which is good in a way as it means it holds curls very well, but bad in this instance. Also, it didn't make my hair any softer. :( Oh well, live and learn.
Just a note, my scalp started itching a bit during the last hour or so, nothing horrible, but just something to be aware of if you have a sensitive scalp.
I rinsed the henna mixture out last night and was pleasantly surprised with how easy it came out. I used my trusted Tangle Teezer to comb all the bits out and shampooed and conditioned once. I recommend that you start by rinsing as much of the henna out as you can and then wash your hair. Although I think I'll have to was it again as it feels a bit dirty, like there's still some of the mixture left in my hair.
As for the colour, it came out a lot redder than I expected, and to be honest I'm not quite sure what I think. It's a sort of dark auburn shade now, and it gleams when you shine light on it. I think I just need a couple of days to get used to the change and play with it a bit.
All I'm worried about now is how long the colour will last. It says on the website that it should last a couple of months, but my hair holds colour in really well, so it will probably last a lot longer, and I'm a bit concerned with my roots showing as that will probably make my hair look greasy. So I think I'll pick up a block of the Caca Brun when I'm in London in February, just so that I can dye my hair brown again if I want to.
It's now been three weeks since I dyed my hair, and I'm very happy with it. The colour faded a bit the first couple of times I washed it, so it's not as red as it was, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. It shines prettily in the sunlight (when there is any that is!) but apart from that it's not a huge change. As I still have about half of the henna left I might redye it in March, and I think I'll buy another block in London, I probably won't buy a brown block, as I think the colour will just fade, I don't think my roots will show very much.
One thing though, I think the colour is washing out a bit when I wash my hair, as my towels seem to turn a bit yellow, but it doesn't stain. I'm not sure if it's the henna, or the henna shampoo I'm using (from Boots).
I find it really hard to photograph my hair so that the red shows up, it hasn't shown up at all in the pictures I've posted here recently. but this might be because I usually take the pictures in the morning or evenings, when there isn't much natural light, and my room has really bad lighting. But here are a couple of pictures where you can see a bit of the colour.
So that's it for my review, let me know if you have any questions!