“ Brand: Lush / Type: Hair Colour „
***What the heck is it?***
Lush caca brun is a block of all natural hair colourant which combines Persian Henna which adds red tones, Indigo which adds blue/black tones, Coffee/Clove/Geraniol (for aroma more than anything else), Lemon (henna works better when in an acidic media) and Cocoa butter which helps the product stick to the hair. A block which is composed of 6 squares will set you back £7.95 which is rather steep for a hair colourant but then again some of these new L'Oreal/John Frieda colourants are approaching the £10 mark.
Now Lush do a number of these poo (Caca) blocks in the following shades:
Caca Rouge - All henna no Indigo therefore imparting a Copper red shade to the hair
Caca Marron - Predominantly henna with a wee bit of Indigo - previously used this and it has a slightly purply/burgundy tone (not chestnut as suggested by Lush from my experience)
Caca Brun - More Indigo than Henna therefore providing a lovely deep warm chocolate shade
Caca Noir - Alot more Indigo and a little henna therefore providing a deep black tone not blue/black as the henna (yellow/red tone) reduces the blue tone.
Any one that tells you that this method is not messy is either lying or has memory issues as the stuff gets everywhere so remember to cover everything in either Metro papers (so they have a use after all) or a dust sheet.
--- Firstly grate your block - I know this takes a while but honestly it's much better in the long run and I really don't care for Mark's (Lush's Boss) chop it up and then put it in a bain marie waiting for it to melt method as this is time consuming and not effective.
---Then add boiled water from the kettle to the grated block stirring until your mixture resembles greek yogurt.
---Go to the bathroom, get in the bath, put your gloves on, check to make sure that you're not wearing your beloved wedding dress and then working from the bottom to the top in sections applying the mixture to your hair with your gloved hands.
---Once the mixture is on your hair pile it on your head and then wrap in clingfilm/carrier bag (I recommend M&S) and then wrap again in an old towel you don't care about.
---Leave on for a minimum of 4 hours although I prefer to leave it on all day; inevitably having to answer the door to the diet coke chap courier when normally it's an older, balder and rounder chap that delivers my mail.
---Rinsing - Now admittedly this can be a sod but provided you do the following you cannot go wrong. Remove towel, remove clingfilm carrier bag, get into standing shower and stand under warm/hot flowing water for at least 5 minutes without touching your hair allowing the water to flow through and loosen the mixture, then add a golf ball amount of some really really really cheap conditioner to your hair and you will find that the mixture comes out of your hair after that.
--- Look in the mirror and realise that you forgot to add vaseline to your forehead, ears and neck and now have a lovely colourful band around those areas that no amount of make up will cover - opt for a big hat but admire your hair which is flowing from the hat down (Maybe miss out the last part and don't make the mistake that I made on two, yes two, occasions)
I have had the good fortune to use Lush Henna Caca Brun on 2 separate occasions and have on both occasions been really happy with the lovely Chocolate brown which glimmers with a soft red tone in the sunshine. Unfortunately as is the case with all hair colourants, even all-natural colourants, my hair colour has a tendency to fade to more of a copper tone due to my hair not holding the Indigo for as long as the henna which is absolutely fine with my skin tone but I admittedly prefer the initial chocolate shade that I signed up for with this product.
I have also used the Caca Noir which was lovely but a touch too dark and thankfully faded as again my hair doesn't hold Indigo as well as henna. The Marron shade is a burgundy shade which does not suit my colouring but will suit others. The Rouge shade made my hair very orange, almost electric orange, but thankfully this developed into a lovely natural rich orange/red/copper shade but it was not me.
***Would I recommend***
Yes, for people with patience and that wish to use a natural option to colour their hair. However, I definitely recommend that you peform a strand test as well as a sensitivity test as people forget that allergies are just as likely to occur with natural products as artificial chemical based products.
This is the 2nd time in a month I tried the Lush Caca Brun Henna.
I've got fairly long dark brown hair and I've started to get some greys around my temples and a few at the front crown.
I usually use mainstream brown touch-up dyes from Boots which cover the greys brilliantly.
However I've started to notice short, flyaway hairs on the top of my head! I can't tell if this is new hair growing back, or if it is hair that has broken off because i keep dying the top of my hair and the temples to get rid of the grey.
In case they are broken hairs from the dark hair dyes, I thought I'd try henna instead as its supposed to strengthen the hair not break it.
I definitely did now want a reddish tint: i wanted to stay dark brown.
The young sales assistant in Lush said he'd used it; He had beautiful thick dark brown hair so was a good advert for it! However he was too young to have any greys to start with!
I didn't have a problem using the henna - got it quickly down to fine art.
You definitely don't need to bother with a cheese grater.
Just get a sharp bread knife and slice a few thin slices - about a handful. It cuts easily.
Then put it in an old ceramic soup bowl and top up with boiling hot water - about half a cup full and blend it with a metal soup spoon. Done!
I read on here if you add some drops of lemon juice is good if you're dying grey hair. Maybe I should have tried that.
Easy to apply as I wasn't doing my whole head.
I didn't even use gloves the 2nd time. Just slapped it on with my fingers!
You don't need to oil/vaseline your skin/hairline either with this colour henna: it washed off my skin and hands in a second, though my nails maybe are slightly tinged!
Don't bother with cling film either! I tried that and couldn't get the darn stuff off the role - it must have been a cheap brand! In the end I used a Tesco carrier bag wrapped round my head and secured with a clip!
Much quicker and took 10 seconds!
I think the key to getting it to have an effect is keeping the mixture slightly moist as its on your hair.
I figure once it starts to dry too much, the hair isn't going to absorb it anymore and it ain't going to do much!
So I found that if I sat at my pc with the bag on my head (husband said I looked like an old bad head!), if I put my hands against the bag on my head every few minutes to keep the henna warm and moist, it absorbed better.
I left it on for about 2 hours. It was starting to really smell and make me feel bit queasy and also starting to feel too heavy on my head, like cake-mixture. I've no idea how people sleep the nite with this stuff on. Must be really dedicated.
I then washed it off. Didn't really want to use shampoo - just rinse it, in case I stripped some of the dye out; but I used a mild organic shampoo in the end to get rid of the smell.
I have to say I am slightly disappointed with the result for covering greys.
It may be that I didn't leave it on long enough, but if it doesn't do it in 2 hours, then I'm not that impressed.
It definitely has taken the edge of the grey: they are nowhere near as bright and silvery as they were before.
Its more like it slightly mutes them with a light shade of brown so they blend in better to the rest of my dark hair, but it doesn't get rid of them completely.
The other downside is there is a very slight greenish tinge! Not enough to notice really - its dark brownish green but it is slightly there if you really peer at it! ( I read that covering greys with henna can go a bit greenish!)
Over all though: the hair does look less grey than it was before. So in that sense it works
However; it doesn't cover the greys like a regular hair dye.
What you need to balance out is: is it worth it in terms of smell, time needed to leave it on, against the damage and potential side effects of chemical dyes...
What I like about henna is that you can really slap it on with your fingers; rub it right into your scalp etc without worrying it is going to cause nasty chemicals to penetrate your scalp/skin.
I also like the fact it feels like an ancient link to women of the past; putting herbal paste on your hair etc
So will I use it again?
Possibly.. May give it one more try, but I think what I am going to do, is try and experiment with another brand of henna - maybe a liquid one if I can find one and see if I can find one that completely covers the greys and get the best of both worlds.
I haven't dyed my hair since I was in my early 20's, and recently I have noticed an increasing amount of grey/white hair appearing : ( I am Chinese and have straight long dark brown/blackish hair which is almost waist length. So the white hair really stands out, instead of trying to pull them all out! I thought I'd try some natural henna. I'm not too keen on dyeing my hair with artificial chemicals because they dry out and weaken the hair.
I bought Caca Brun (£7.25) I used the whole 6 squares in the block as I have a lot of hair to cover. The block was really hard so I put the whole lot into a non-stick saucepan and poured boiling hot water over it to just cover the whole block. I didn't mind the smell, it was kinda of herbal, it reminded me of Chinese herbal medicines, which isn't unpleasant, it's better than smelling the strong chemicals in hair dyes which used to make my eyes water.
When I purchased the henna it didn't come with any printed instruction but the sales advisor gave me a copy of the Lush magazine which had some instructions. Wasn't sure whether the henna should be applied to wet or dry hair, so looked it up on the internet. The henna needs to be applied to dry clean hair, so went to wash my hair.
Summary of steps
1) Put henna in a non-stick sauce pan, pour boiling water over the block to cover it. Leave to soften.
2) In the meantime shampoo hair (no conditioner) and dry with hairdryer.
3) Put on an old dark t-shirt and track suit bottoms that you don't mind getting henna on it.
4) Cling film at the ready.
5) Cover your bathroom floor with old newspapers.
6) Use a thick cream ie. Cocoa/Shea butter or Vaseline and cover around the hairline, ears and the back of your neck to avoid the henna staining your skin.
7) Back to the sauce pan with henna block. Use an old wooden spoon to break up the softened henna block, the water may have gone a bit cold, so re-heat the henna on a low heat until completely dissolved. The consistency should be like double cream/yoghurt. Leave to cool for a while so it's a nice warm temperature.
8) The rubber gloves supplied by Lush weren't long or thick enough, so I gave up and used my marigolds instead which worked much better.
9) Start from the back of your head working your way to the front, apply henna with fingers rubbing the mixture in and coating all your hair. Best to section the hair in parts to make it easier.
10) After applying the henna my head felt very heavy! I wrapped my head in a piece of cling film and for good measure I also wrapped my head with a dark towel to keep my head warm and to speed up the colour development process.
11) Leave the henna in for around 2 and half hours, relaxed and pottered around the house.
12) Rinse all the henna out under the shower, by now the henna is quite hard, so took a good 10-15 minutes to get the bits out, shampoo hair and rinsed until water turned clear instead of green.
13) Blow dry hair. Result.
After blow drying my hair and looking at the colour under a bright light. All the white hairs had disappeared and turned a dark red/copper colour so they looked like lowlights. My hair felt really soft and shiny with a brownish red hue, it wasn't bright red but it was a very subtle effect, which I was after as I just wanted a way to cover my white hair and to add some shine with a hint of colour without damaging my hair. I'm really pleased with the result!
I was playing it safe with Caca Brun, I didn't use Caca Noir as I naturally have some brownish tints in my hair and I didn't want a bluish tint. But I may try the Caca Marron next time to give my hair a brighter reddish tint or even Caca Rouge if I'm feeling adventurous.
Under normal artificial lights my hair doesn't look that much different, except that the white hairs have gone but under bright lights or sunlight, you can see a reddish tint which is very flattering. I'd definitely use Lush's henna again in a month's time probably when the colour has faded, also it doubles up as a deep conditioning treatment for your hair and covers up grey/white hair. Brilliant! And it's natural even better.
My natural hair colour is strawberry blonde, not full on ginger, but when the light hits it in just the right way you can see the slight touch of red lowlights. Now I fully understand that some people would love to have this colour hair, but I've always hated it and ever since I can remember I've been bleaching it. This means my hair has taken a lot of abuse over the last 20+ years, but now things are going to change, I've decided to embrace my hairs natural red tint and even enhance it. You see I really fancy a change, a big change and on my last visit to Lush decided to take the plunge and ask advice on using their Henna based hair dye, the Caca.
==What's this Caca then?==
Henna is a flowering plant that has been used as a dye for millennia, as well as being used to dye hair it's also been used to dye skin, fingernails, leather and wool. Pure Henna is also known as red henna and the active 'ingredient' is a burgundy compound called Lawsone which bonds particularly well with proteins. Henna will therefore tint hair a reddish colour, but how intense that red is depends on the amount and quality of henna along with original hair colour, time it's left on and even the condition of the hair. Even using exactly the same amount of Henna on two different people can produce startlingly different results. Black Henna, is not actually henna, rather it is either Indigo or PPD (a very nasty chemical that can cause allergic reactions or even burn the skin), so it's very important to make sure you're using pure red Henna with or without Indigo.
Lush Caca is made using Red Henna along with some natural enhancing and conditioning ingredients. Although it is available in four colours (brun/marron/rouge/red) I will now being focussing on the Caca Brun, as this is the colour that I was advised to use. Along with the Red Henna, Caca Brun contains Cocoa Butter to moisturise and condition the hair, Indigo and ground coffee to enrich the colour, nettle powder, Irish Moss powder and clove bud oil and a small number of ingredients extracted from natural oils to enhance the scent. Lush's website tells me that every single ingredient is natural, even the very ambiguous 'perfume' and as this comes from Lush I can be assured that no little bunnies have been hurt just so I can colour my hair.
I'm going to be a little bit different here, and write the rest of the review in the form of a diary as I get to grips with my first foray into the world of Henna, starting with.
Just because something is natural doesn't mean that there isn't the chance of allergy or that I was going to like the results, so before I went any further I decided to do a strand and allergy test. The very nice lady in the Lush shop broke me off a square of Caca Brun for me to take home and try out and as I was also planning to get my hair cut before dying it, I simply cut a good sized strand of hair off to test. Preparing the Caca was a bit of a faff, if truth be told, I grated a small amount into a bowl, added boiling water, stirred it into a paste and then liberally coated the hair with the resultant mix before wrapping it in a plastic bag. I then also placed a small amount on my arm to test for an allergic reaction.
I can't say I was that impressed with either the look or the smell of the Henna mix. It looked a bit like the contents of a young baby's nappy, green and slightly gritty and it smelt really funky, kind of earthy but with musty undertones. After leaving the strand of hair coated with the green gunk overnight, I rinsed it clean, which took considerable effort and then allowed it to dry before deciding whether or not I liked the end results. I must say I was quite impressed with the results, it wasn't a huge difference in colour, but it was noticeably darker, with a very slight red tinge and the hair itself felt incredibly soft.
Having read that it takes a couple of days for the colour to fully develop, I left it a couple more days before deciding to shell out the £7.10 for a full bar. During those two days, the colour did further intensify and I was really pleased with the results. As I also passed the allergy test, I went ahead and ordered the Henna and am now ready to apply it to my hair.
==The Whole Block==
Some people have commented that Caca looks like a large block of chocolate, scored into six squares. While I can see where they're coming from, to me it looks more like a block of an illegal substance. Before anything is done to it, it's a brown colour with a green tinge and feels ever so slightly squidgy and greasy. Although I personally found it quite difficult to break into pieces, my partner had no trouble and broke two squares off for me to use. My particular block came with some very clear instructions, but I did get it through mail order and I'm not sure if these are supplied in store. I was also supplied with a pair of gloves when I was given my sample, and these are essential because Caca is very, very messy.
==Out With The Blonde==
After researching on the internet, I decided that I really only needed to use two cubes of the Caca, and as I'd really only used a tiny amount of the sample block, I didn't even use two. I grated the blocks into a glass bowl (as I'd read this was the easiest way to get it to melt) and then added hot water from the kettle. The instruction leaflet said that I was looking at getting the mixture to the consistency of double cream, but for the life of me I can't think exactly how thick of thin double cream is. So I just added water until it looked as if it was going to be easy to spread. I then placed the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and heated it until it was as hot as I could stand. At this point I had a bowl of what looked like runny green poo that smelt rather funky.
After laying newspaper on the floor, applying petroleum jelly to my hairline and donning a pair of gloves, I began to apply the mixture. Applying it felt really weird, if you've ever bleached your hair you'll know that conventional dye feels quite cold when you apply it. But the Caca was hot, as I applied it, it did cool down and thicken quite quickly though and I found it quite difficult to evenly cover my hair. Now considering my hair is quite short, I would imagine that if you have long hair you will need to re-heat the mixture at least once. The (just under) two cubes did, however, completely cover my hair, but with hindsight it would have probably been easier to apply if I had made the mixture a little looser.
Even though I did try to be careful, I made a bit of a mess, lumps of the Caca did fall off my hair onto the floor, and I managed to get green mess all over my face and neck. All this mess on my face (and neck) wiped off quite easily with a baby wipe, but I will say that it would have stained if I hadn't of cleaned up immediately. After cleaning up I wrapped my head up in cling film, which should hopefully intensify the colour and encourage the red to develop and wrapped a towel round my head.
As I want to try and get the very most out of the Caca, I've now got six hours to wait before washing it out. It doesn't feel uncomfortable, and there's none of the stinging or itching I sometimes get with conventional hair dye. But I'm really not enjoying the smell, I really can't find the words to describe it, but it's kind of earthy and musty, a bit like mouldy leaves. Luckily only the occasional waft is escaping the cling film and towel, I don't think I would be able to stand the smell if my hair was uncovered. Right see you in six hours, when I've washed the smelly green gunk off my head.
==And In With The ?==
I found the six hour wait to be a bit of a struggle, not only couldn't I answer the door (green gunk on your head is not a good look) but after a couple of hours the smell was starting to make me feel quite nauseous. From what I can gather some people go to bed with this concoction on their head, well let me say that I won't be following their lead. I also found that as the Caca dried my neck line became quite itchy. In the end I gave up after a paltry four hours, which was still four times as long as the recommended minimum of an hour.
Even though applying the Caca was a faff, nothing had prepared me for just how difficult it was going to be to take off. I swear it took me nearly half hour of rinsing, shampooing and then rinsing until the water ran clear, and even then my hair still felt gritty. And it was so messy too, far the messiest step in the process as pools and pools of gritty, green water poured from my head. I used a hand held over the bath shower and it still managed to splatter everywhere. I really, really wouldn't recommend trying to get this out while standing under the shower. After (eventually) getting the Caca out and towel drying it, I could immediately see that my hair was much darker, how much darker but what colour is something that I won't know until it's dry. Although I'd manage to splatter both the bath and tiles with green goo, it did come off very easily using the shower head.
==And The Final Results Are==
A beautiful multi-tonal effect that would have cost me a small fortune if I'd gone to a hairdressers. My hair is now several shades darker, but not too dark. I'm very fair skinned with blonde eyebrows so dark brown hair would have simply looked odd. The very fact that Henna reacts differently depending on hair colour and whether hair has been treated, means that I now have some lighter brown (almost blonde) highlights and some darker reddish lowlights). I once paid almost £50 to get a very similar effect using foils, and this looks so much more natural.
My hair is also in beautiful condition. I normally find when dyeing (well bleaching) my hair, that even when I use the supplied conditioner my hair ends up dull and dry until I've washed and conditioned a few times. But I'm sitting here with shiny, glossy, wonderfully conditioned hair and I've not even used conditioner. The only real downside is that the smell of Henna is still lingering, and it's really not a smell that I even vaguely like.
All in all, I'm extremely pleased with the results and yes I do think it's been worth all the mess and hassle. I'm not expecting the colour to last as long as if I'd bleached my hair, but I can't say I'm bothered if it fades after a couple of weeks, as I'll simply re-apply the Henna. Even if I'd used the cheapest of cheap hair dyes, it would still have cost me more to get the same effect, as I've only used two squares out of seven (including the sample) and my hair wouldn't be nearly as silky soft. I am, however, seriously considering applying it again tomorrow, this time only using one square and mixing it to a much thinner consistency.
==Should you or Shouldn't you?==
I'm finding it really hard to make a recommendation here, as the results from using Lush Caca Brun depends on so many variables. Firstly I would say that if you're looking for a dramatic, deep colour then this isn't the Caca for you. In my experience the colour is far more subtle, but is beautifully multi-layered, with my grey (yes I did have grey hair) picking up the redder tones, and then the different shades of blonde have all gone different shades. I would really say that Caca Brun is more suited to those with blonde or mousey brown hair, who want to add interest to their hair.
But even though I am recommending Caca Brun to these people, it's with this disclaimer:
The results from Henna vary according to hair colour, condition and whether it has been bleached or dyed. Although I've had great results it doesn't mean you will, and if you don't like the colour you will NOT be able to bleach it out. (Bleach will just drive the Henna deeper into the hair shaft). Also, just because Lush Caca only contains natural ingredients, doesn't mean that it definitely won't cause an allergic reaction. So my actual recommendation is to ask for a sample so that you can do strand and allergy tests and if you like the results (and don't have a reaction) then go for it.
Caca Brun forms part of Lush's hairdye range. I was in there one day and just happened to spy it and had a discussion with the shop assistant about it before deciding to purchase it.
On first glance it looks like a giant big block of chocolate and is made of black and red hennas. I was advised that this would give my midbrown hair a hint of red but with extra sheen. I was also advised to patch test first to ensure I liked the colour.
I prepared as follows. I broke up the cubes and cut them up into small pieces (I used 4 of the blocks in the bar for my fine just-past shoulder length hair. I then made a bain-marie by heating the pieces in a small quantity of water in a glass bowl over a saucepan on a hob which was boiling water. As the mixture got warmer I stirred it with a wooden spoon, also breaking the bits up as I went. Gradually the water became more and more saturated with the dye and got thicker. On taking it off the hob to cool it thickened further.
I then put a lot of newspaper around me on the floor and furniture (as henna is an incredibly strong dye), Vaseline around the backs of ears and my hairline to stop the dye getting onto my skin and staining. I also wore some plastic gloves which were provided to me by Lush. Using both my hands and a spoon, I then began to apply it to my hair and rub it through. It has a sort of strange smell, natural yes and almost kind of a muddy Turkish Delight type scent - that is the closest I can get to describing it accurately!
On applying it is quite liquidy but with a slight grittiness when there are some bits of block that have not quite broken down. When you get the first few slaps of it on, it becomes easier to use as the hair clumps together more and is easier to position and deal with. It is quite easy to get your fingers through it as long as you make sure that your hair is tangle free beforehand. The other benefit of it being more pliable is that you can easily pile it all on top of your head. It is then recommended that you wrap your head in clingfilm to get the full depth of colour. You will probably need a hand with this. Essentially I just got my husband to wind it around from the roll in several layers until it was really well sealed around the edges.
You can leave it on for a few hours or overnight. I had it on overnight. It was also recommended that if I do this I should also put extra towels down on the pillow. I am glad that I did this because some of the clingfilm moved around the edges during the night. Whilst not the most conventional night's sleep that I have ever had it was comfortable enough and I was only awoken by it slightly before I would have normally woken up because the clingfilm had gotten a bit uncomfortable across my forehead. Removing the clingfilm was quite easy but I would recommend you have towels on the floor around you when you do this just in case bits flake off.
I rinsed it out with warm water in the shower initially. It took quite a bit of time to get it out and you can tell when it is has come out because there is less grittiness in your hair. I then followed this by cleaning well with my normal Lush shampoo bar. I would also recommend that you clean your bath/shower with your normal bathroom cleaner as soon as you can to prevent any potential streaking or stainage from the heaven, I did this no problem. I then followed with conditioner and blowdried as normal.
First off, I was a little disappointed as I was expecting more of a colour change, however as the day went on and I saw it in different lights I began to see how the colour had developed. There is a definite redness now to my hair, however it does largely look quite natural. It is most noticeable in artificial light. There is also a nice glossiness and conditioning to it.
It has now been nearly two months since I used this product and I have to say that there is still a strong hint of colour, I am not sure if it has lost much of its hue much at all to be honest - I use Lush shampoo bars which are meant to be non-colour stripping so maybe that has helped. It blow dries really nice and the shine and smoothness is still there. What is also good is that, even though it is a permanent dye which I have not redyed at the six week point as recommended, there is no real regrowth.
As someone with an oily scalp, I have found that when I have used professional chemical dyes in the past, these have dried my roots out - this has not at all, it has behaved as though it does not have dye in it.
I am not going to lie, and as you can probably guess from my review, it is a bit of a faff to prepare. However, as someone who has not used a home dye before, except for Sun-In, I found it manageable with another pair of helping hands and just a little bit of patience and a lot of towels. The naturalness of it has enhanced my natural shade without looking false or brassy and the fact that it has improved the condition of it has been a nice side effect.
It is also worth remembering that this is a permanent dye and henna cannot be dyed over with anything else but henna.
Would I use this again? Yes I probably would, it certainly takes away the unevenness and mousiness of my natural haircolour, but I do not feel it is strictly necessary to top it up every 6 weeks when it is this subtle. Also, at the price of £7.10, it is not the cheapest but still not particularly expensive when you consider its longevity and the fact that you may not need to use the whole bar at one time (depending on the length of your hair.)
*There are a variety of caca bars available in varying shades of black and red henna, if you put the name of the product in the search engine you should be able to find images of people who have used them and before and after shots.