For all you thinking "Caca whaa?" let me explain.. Caca Rouge is henna, a 100% natural dye made from the flowers of the henna tree and used for many wondrous things one of which being a hair colourant which comes in various colours - red, auburn, brown, black. It has none of the nasty ingredients that mainstream hair dyes contain and isn''t damaging to the environment. ''Caca'' is also French for ''Poo''!
I first used Caca Rouge in 2008. The Swansea sun had bleached my lovely red locks into strawberry blonde - NOT happy. Being as Lush obsessed as I am, I popped into my local and explained my dilemma where I was given a sample. I have not looked back and when I feel my gingerness needs a boost, out comes the henna.
The aroma is very herby/woody. It smells a lot like leaves, forest and mud - in a good way. I like it, especially compared to the strong, pungent smells of chemical hair dye. A quick internet search provides lots of hints and tips of getting the most from your henna. Last year I foolishly wanted to make my hair even more vibrant so added a teaspoon of paprika to the mix. Biiiiig mistake. My hair wasn''t a luxurious red, but a bright Charlie the Clown orange! The good thing with henna is that is does fade... eventually. Meanwhile I just had to embrace the orange.
Lush''s Caca range (Rouge, Brun, Marron, Noir) are sold in blocks of 6 squares. My hair is quite short so 2 is enough. You NEED rubber gloves as henna stains (Lush usually have a supply if you ask). I had orange fingers for a week and my nails stayed orange until I painted over them. Not good. You also need to protect your skin around your hair - the back of your neck, ears and forehead. The nice Lush people gave me a sample of Ultrabalm to do the trick. Try explaining orange ears to work colleagues...
If you are used to chemical dyes, be prepared for mess. This is all best done in a kitchen or bathroom where carpets won''t get stained. You''ll also want to have a lot of time spare and wearing old clothes or covered with an old towel. The longer you leave it, the better the results. In the past I''ve left it unwrapped for half an hour and saw zero results so definitely wrap and leave for as long as you can. I''ve even slept with it and washed it out in the morning and had amazing results.
If you are looking for a natural hair colourant without all the weird sounding ingredients in your usual dye, I would really recommend you try this fantastic product. I receive so many compliments from strangers on the colour of my hair, and I''ve converted a couple of my friends to Caca Brun and Marron and like me, they are hooked.
I have been dying my hair for the past 5/6 years (since I was about 12) and have been pretty much every colour under the sun. I have always loved ginger and orange hair, and a year ago I dyed my hair orange with one of Schwarzkopf's new bright semi-permanent dyes. however, this was a kind of highlighter orange and faded very quickly. Since then my hair has eventually found it's way back to a bright, box dye red but really I wanted it a nice, deep auburn colour. I tried a variety of ginger permanent box dyes but everything just redyed it red and even these permanent colours faded to a kind of salmon colour on the main hair shafts.
I have friends that use henna and after reading reviews about it and that the Lush henna, being 100% natural, was safe to use over dyed hair. I only needed a 1/3 of the block as my hair just skims my shoulders, and this was only just the perfect amount. It's messy, smells incredibly earthy (but I quite liked that) and has to be left on for a good 4 hours but I can tell you now it is definitely worth it! My hair went from a darker red at the roots with pink shafts to a beautiful, natural and earthy auburn. I was amazed by it's ability to actually turn it orange, like I'd been hoping for for so long. I also really like how although it changes the hue of your hair the shade stays the same, so now my hair is a natural looking combination of orange shades and I love it.
My other favourite thing is that now when I wash my hair there isn't any dye pigmentation running from my hair and staining all of my towels and turning my shower water reddish orange. It's a miracle! It also hasn't faded like other dyes do and I am definitely going to continue using it for a long time. It's my favourite colour in ages!
I regularly dye my hair, but am well aware of the damage it can cause and the toll it has on your hair. It is the reason I am probably going grey already at 25! It wasnt until my friend told me about henna hair colourants that I realised there was a way of colouring your hair without potentially ruining it in the long run. I rushed straight into Lush to buy some for myself...and I am very glad I did!
What it is...
Henna hair colourants from lush are genious! For people who dont like using chemical dyes they are perfect! Henna itself is a type of plant or bush that grows in eastern countries, Lush apparently use the finest Henna in the world which is sourced from Iran (Persia). The Caca Rouge Henna from Lush includes ingredients such as cocoa butter, fresh organic lemon juice, powdered rosemary, clove bud oil and ofcourse red henna! All this combined help to soften and smooth hair and give it an awesome shine. Henna dyes have been used for centuries and are a great alternative to harsh chemical dyes.
How to apply...
Applying it can be quite a handful. First you have to grate your desired amount with a cheese grater. A standard block from Lush includes 6 smaller square blocks - I have quite long hair and I find that grating two of the small square blocks is plenty. Once you have grated your desired amount, place it into a heatproof bowl and boil your kettle, then pour into the bowl just enough boiling water to cover the Henna. Leave for a minute or two then stir, combining all the Henna with the water.
Next place your heatproof bowl full of henna and water over a pan of simmering water on the hob, and heat, stiring occasionally, until the Henna and water have fully combined then take off the hob. Now this can get quite messy, so its best to put an old towel underneath where you are going to apply this, just so you dont get any stains on your carpet. Be sure to wear plastic or latex gloves, as Henna can stain your skin (think - Henna tattoos) and start to apply the mixture (as hot as you can stand) to your hair - be careful not to burn your head.
Once your hair is coated in the mixture you have several options depending on what colour you want to achieve. To get a more bright red tone to your hair cover and wrap tightly with clingfilm, for a more reddy brown colour, just leave it unwrapped. Depending on how strong you want the colour aswell depends on how long you leave it on your hair. It must be left on for atleast an hour for the colour to properly take effect - I tend to leave mine on for about 3. My friend wraps her head in cling film and leaves it on overnight - but I know she wakes up with it everywhere in the morning so this can be quite messy.
Now to wash it out - this is near impossible! It has quite a sandy texture to it and I find my hair can get quite matted during application so it is very difficult to wash out. For this I tend to buy a bottle of cheap conditioner, and rub this into my hair to help rinse it out. It helps the sandy mixture to slide from my hair and also helps it detangle. I have to repeat this process several times to get it out of my hair completely. Once the water runs clear your done!
The Results - does it really work?!
YES! It definitely works for me anyhow. Although I do know some people for whom it hasnt worked - maybe they didnt apply it right? or maybe it doesnt take to hair so well? who knows - but this review is about my opinion and it definitely works for me. Although, I do find it works best if I dye my hair with a chemical permanent dye, then a month or so later use the henna on it. It brightens my colour and keeps it a lovely bright red coppery colour. I end up only having to dye it with a chemical dye maybe once a year now just to touch up my roots and the Henna keeps in lovely and soft and in great condition! It feels like im treating my hair to a pampering session everytime I use it!
I went through a phase of using this every week and I swear by this stuff. I think its brilliant and very good for your hair. It costs around £7 for a block and from this (with my long hair) I can get about 3 treatments (not bad considering a permanent hair dye costs around £5-£7 (paying to damage your hair - brilliant). If your looking for a more natural colour and a more natural way to change your hair - if your hairs feeling a bit dry or damaged - this is definitely the product for you. Give it a try - you wont regret it!
I have naturally ginger hair, and I've been trying for a while to find hair dyes which make my hair more red. I've tried "normal" hair dyes before but they either made no change at all or one even made my hair go pink!..oops.
One of my friends then told me about Lush's caca range, as she'd used the caca brun. When I went into the Lush shop to buy some the assistant said I should use about 3/4 of the bar and then throw the rest away (I have medium length hair) but I first grated about 1/4 to 1/3 and then kept the rest and have used it again; overall dying my hair 4 times with just one bar.
I thought it might be easier to use a brush to apply it with instead of with my hands (but I still wore gloves), so got a cheap paint brush from Ikea and it really did make it easier and I got better coverage than if I'd tried to put it on with my hands (and less mess, although I guess it took longer as I went through my hair in layers). I'd definitely say put down a sheet as little droplets went on the floor. I added the water so it went to a yoghurt like consistency and I had more than enough, and kept it heated over a big pan so it was always warm. Also, after the first time, I added a few teaspoons of cinnamon to the gratings before I add the water to make the smell a little nicer.
I left it on for about 1 1/2 hours - 2 hours and then washed it off in the shower- making sure it was all rinsed out and then conditioned it well. It was a bit messy to shower off and it was quite gritty, but it was definitely worth it. I am without a doubt going to use this again, it gives me a lovely shiny red colour, it works out a lot cheaper than normal dyes if I use about 1/4 each time and it's all natural!
Being a chemical dye addict I was a bit sceptical when a friend suggested henna dyes, how wrong I was!I've been using caca rouge for at least a year now and I've always got a few squares in the cupboard. Its a wonderfully safe, natural and fun way to gain lovely, shiny red hair. Strangers often give me complements about how shiny and healthy my hair looks!I'm sure by now you have read how to prepare the henna so I'm not going to waste your time giving another how to lesson, all I'm going to say is for extra red hair why not add some lemon juice or paprika? I find it gives the colour a little bit of necessary boost because unfortunately I wasn't happy with the normal browny red colour the henna produces.BE WARNED THIS STUFF STINKS AND TAKES AGES TO WASH OUT!!
A bit of background before I start:
I have naturally jet black hair which has been dyed every colour under the sun (as well as bleached) - this left it a medium to dark brown, which was my starting point for this henna. It is slightly wavy and fairly thick. I am fortunate not to have any grey hairs yet. I have never had an allergic reaction to a hair dye but have other allergies.
Ok, Lush hennas aren't the easiest dyes to use - this is not the dye for those short on time or easily bored.
First of all you have to dissolve the required number of blocks (as a guide for fairly thick hair, 2 blocks short hair, 4 blocks mid length to bra strap, 6 blocks long). I find the easiest way to do this is to put the blocks in a bag and bash them with a rolling pin then dissolve them in water over a saucepan full of boiling water.
Next, you have to apply it. Put on some gloves - MOST LUSH SHOPS WILL GIVE YOU A FREE PAIR OF GLOVES WHEN YOU BUY YOUR HENNA, JUST REMEMBER TO ASK!! Put some vaseline or thick moisturiser around your hairline to prevent the henna staining your skin. Then, take your bowl of hot henna mixture and sit naked in your bath with it. (I know that sounds wrong but trust me)
Now start from the roots at the back, scoop up your henna in gloved hands and spread it like cake frosting all over your scalp and hair. Pile your hair on top of your head and wrap it in clingfilm if you like. (Wrapping in clingfilm is supposed to bring out the red more but I don't actually find it makes any difference in colour - it's just a lot more secure and safer for your furnishings - so yes, I recommend wrapping up.) I also recommend putting cotton wool round your hairline and wrapping over that with another layer of clingfilm - this prevents drips down your face and neck and on to your dressing gown. Then, because you've applied naked in the bath you can simply use the shower to remove henna that's splashed on your skin or bathtub - ta dah! Your carpets and clothes are saved! After the desired time (I wait 4 hours) get back under that shower with a tonne of conditioner and rinse, rinse, rinse.
After I'm done, I'm always left with beautifully soft and shiny red tinted hair. Because of my hair being so dark, it doesn't go red on me it just gives red highlights. I can't comment on how well it covers grey but I will say that henna is supposed to make curls drop out, but Caca Rouge has no effect on my waves. It does last 6 weeks on my hair and I don't get noticable roots from it. The colour clings especially well to my bleached highlights, which are now a beautiful red. It is exceptionally shiny, even my husband comments and my hair feels thicker and less brittle. The other big advantage of course, is the lack of nasty chemicals which are still included in many other hairdyes despite being lethal - ie. PPD.
So, any drawbacks? Well, when I say 'red' I mean ginger - don't be confused. Don't use this dye hoping for a true 'red' and be disappointed when you get carrot colour. The smell is strong and can be off putting. It is undeniably messy - the bathtub technique as described above helps though. Be mindful that henna will stain ANYTHING it ends up on, carpets, clothes, towels, etc. It's also extremely time consuming, taking about 6 hours end-to-end if you leave the henna on for 4 hours. This is partly because it also takes so long to rinse off. Effectively, you are trapped in your home all day, which is off putting when 6 weeks is up and you need to henna again. All the effort involved is a serious drawback for an otherwise brilliant and safe product.
Up until a week ago, I presumed that Lush was basically a smelly, but nice, soap shop. I have now been proven wrong. At the request of a friend I was sent to pick up two blocks of Caca Rouge, part of Lush's Les Cacas Henna hair dye range. When the shop assistant presented me with two huge solid blocks I was a bit dubious that it could be hair dye, but went ahead and purchased it. The blocks themselves cost £7.10 each - I think here you are paying for the natural ingredients aspect of the dye. I found the assistant in Lush very helpful as I paid, she gave me advice on how to use the dye (apparently this one works best for people with mousey-brown hair, whilst people with blonde hair like me should stay away unless they want to look like a tangerine), and a couple of pairs of gloves for me & my friend to use. So far, I was very impressed. Armed with a Lush bag and the dye, I headed home.
Once out of the brown paper bags I got another look at the hair dye. Each block is made up of six smaller blocks, and looks like the colour of chocolate (unlike the product picture). The best way to describe how it looks is to tell you that Caca is French for the word 'poo' - it really does remind me of the horse variety - and I can hopefully leave the description at that. Luckily, the smell of it is much nicer, reminding me at times of Turkish Delight. The shop assistant told me the block wasn't red as Lush do not use any chemicals. The ingredients (taken from Lush's website) for the Caca Rouge hair dye are:
Red Henna (Lawsonia inermis), Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Fresh Organic Lemon Juice (Citrus limonum), Powdered Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Clove Bud Oil (Eugenia caryophyllus), *Citral, *Eugenol, *Geraniol, *Citronellol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume
The other bonus about this product is that it is all natural ingredients, suitable for Vegans and, like all other Lush products, is handmade and not tested on animals. Henna itself is usually powdered, but when the other ingredients have been added it has been pressed into blocks to prevent mess when storing the hair dye. This is unfortunately the only time mess is avoided when using the dye. But more about that later.
To use the dye we used the instructions in the Lush Times we had been provided with. I would recommend checking out the website (or even here) for user comments, as with different shades of hair and different experiences there are more accurate instructions about. For past shoulder length hair we used two blocks of the dye, as advised by the shop assistant. To actually be able to use it the blocks had to be grated into a large mixing bowl and then mixed with hot water to achieve an 'unwhipped double cream' consistency. The grating did take a while, even with two of us, but once that was done the dye preparation took no time at all. The bowl had to be then placed into a bain-marie (saucepan containing hot water) to keep the dye hot throughout use.
Remember to put your gloves on for this next bit! And cover any exposed skin to avoid dying yourself. The consistency of the dye was quite thick, meaning it was easy to scoop out of the bowl and literally splodge onto the head. However, big clumps of it did end up on the side, on the floor, on me and my friend as it didn't quite want to stay in my hand or on her head. I would definitely recommend making sure rubbing Vaseline or something similar around your hairline and ear tops to avoid dying your skin a fetching orange colour. It took a bit of time to apply, and as we moved around the head I found sections already drying making the hair heavy and clumped together. To solve this we kept on combing the hair which also made sure it was spread evenly. The dye in the bowl had to be stirred occasionally to make sure it stayed hot and didn't harden.
After a good hour of applying the dye the hair was covered - as was the kitchen. Newspapers or old sheets should definitely be applied to the floor as the henna gets everywhere, especially when combing. Even afterwards bits drop out of the hair, so I would recommend staying away from light carpets and make sure you pick up any stray bits straight away.
Now, the instructions in the Lush Times varied over how long to leave the hair dye. The main instructions said leave it at least an hour, whilst instructions that had been sent in recommended leaving it for six hours at least. Also there is a choice to leave it uncovered for a browner colour, or cling film it to keep it warm and achieve a redder colour. We went for uncovered and an hour (for dark hair). Washing out took some time, and left the bathroom covered in Henna also. Once blow-dried the hair is fluffy and soft. Unfortunately the dye only worked on her roots. Reading around afterwards, recommendations do say to cling film the hair, and leave it for as long as possible (one user had left hers for over 8 hours to achieve the red colour). I would also recommend wearing two pairs of gloves as the dye seeped through and as a result I now have orange fingers.
I do like the idea of using natural and non-animal tested hair dye, and it was quite a fun experience to actually create the dye (and laugh at the look of it). The instructions for use, however, are really varied even on one page of Lush's own guidelines and it is also recommended (by the very same guidelines) to apply it for three days in a row to ensure a long-lasting colour which means that some trial and error (as well as confusion) can be involved, as well as spending quite a bit of money to get the colour you want. Perhaps if we used it again we would achieve the look we were aiming for, especially now we know a lot more about how to use it. But to be honest I don't think either of us will be buying it again - it was a lot of time and mess and money with no results, except a big clean-up.
What a palaver! I am pretty sure that I would use this product again, but it is really hard work for a result that doesn't last that long. It's recommended that you re-apply every 6 weeks to avoid it fading. I'm not sure I could go through with this every 6 weeks, but in the future I think I will use it to boost fading chemical dye.
The great thing about this hair colour, is that it is a completely natural way to colour your hair. No ammonia, and no other nasties means tht using this will not damage your hair at all. Unfortunately, when you get natural, you have to exchange longevity. I found that to use it alone it really didn't last that long, but like I say, as a boost to already-dyed hair, it would be great.
I certainly liked the result, it was a lovely rich red colour. I would recommend though that you only use this if you want really red hair. If you want it a bit red, this might be too far out for you...
The worst part of this product is the actual application process. Once you have the dye on your hair, you don't need to wait that long, but it's the preparation that takes time!
The easiest way is to create a bain marie, and melt the product down, rather like melting chocolate. This doesn't take so long really. The other method is the longest, and that is to grate the block (like a very very hard cheese) Then mix with hot water.
The principle is the same in both cases, the hotter the product, the brighter your colour. When you apply it, it's just like applying any other dye, but I found as it was slightly thinner, I did get quite a few drips going on! You are then supposed to wrap your head in clingfilm to intensify the colour, this also keeps it tidier, so it's a plus!
My opinion overall is that it's a good product, I really like it's natural standpoint, you know exactly what you are putting on your hair, so you feel a lot better abou it. I have to say though, I'm not too hot on the longevity of this product, I get a lot more mileage out of something from a box...
But I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try something different, and especially to anyone sick of covering their hair in chemicals. You will pay around £7 for a large block, which will either do you more than one application, or do you and a friend.
If you have the time and inclination this is a really great product. Personally however, I am quite lazy and prefer to avoid a complicated beauty routine. I thought this was a lot of effort to go through for a result that doesn't last too long. It's recommended you should reapply every 6 weeks as the colour will fade.
Before you start you will need:
Lush Caca Rouge - the number of blocks you will need to use depends on the length of your hair. 2 for a very close cropped style, 4 for a shoulder-length cut, and long hair will require the full 6 blocks. If you are using less than the full bar, you can cut the blocks up with a kitchen knife or similar, and store the rest of it away for re-application.
Saucepan and non-metallic utensils for mixing.
Small amount of water for making the henna liquid.
Newspaper, bin bags, or similar for covering the floor and furniture near where you apply the colour, this is a very messy process! The henna will stain and it helps to be prepared.
Clingfilm if required, for covering the hair during development.
The product comes in a solid form that looks like a big bar of chocolate. It needs to be made into a liquid so that you can apply it to your hair. First off it helps if you grate the blocks up into small pieces so that they melt more easily. Put the grated henna into a saucepan with a little water. Place over a low heat until the product has started to warm up and melt, stir the mixture at the same time to get an even consistency and avoid lumps. At this point is should look moist but not too runny, and try to avoid leaving any clumps of solids. Beware it smells BAD at this point.
Once the mixture is smooth, leave to cool for a short period before you apply it all over your hair - you do not want to burn your scalp! The mixture is not very thick like creme chemical dyes are, and will most likely drip all over the place. The development time ranges from about 2-6 hours depending on how vibrant and bright you want the resulting colour to be. I decided to leave it on overnight as I couldn't be doing with dedicating an entire day to my hair. I wrapped the lot up in clingfilm and then put a towel over the top of it, had a good night's kip and washed it out the next morning.
The colour I achieved was a very orange toned auburn. The shades that occur from using this product vary due to many factors, including your natural hair colour, and heat from wrapping the hair in clingfilm or similar will produce a redder shade than leaving it exposed. My colour seemed quite vibrant to begin with but sadly it did fade quite quickly. There are lots of factors that can wear the colour down, such as using hair products with citrus extracts. Red is the worst colour for fading and you will need to use appropriate after-care products if you want to maintain your red colouring.
I have heard people remark on how soft their hair is after using henna, but I didn't feel any difference in mine. Please note though, I went to henna after chemically dyeing my hair ~6 times in an 18 month period, so my hair was not in the best condition to begin with. Other people may have better experiences. Henna works differently to chemical dyes in that where a chemical dye will strip the hair's colour away and replace with the dye pigment, henna coats your hair with colour. Over time and regular reapplications you can notice that this actually makes the strands of hair appear a little thicker.
To finish with here are some TOP TIPS:
-Make sure you are prepared. Have everything you need to hand before you get started, this is a long process.
-Make sure you have enough time to dedicate to doing this properly. I estimate it will take an average of 5 hours total, or more if you want a long development time (brighter colour).
-Protect your surroundings! This is an extremely messy product once it's turned liquid, and it will stain.
-Protect your skin! Avoid staining your hairline and skin by applying a protective layer before you start. Rub some vaseline, or moisturising lotion onto the skin directly next to your hair, and leave this is place while you are henna-ing. I love using Lush's Ultrabland for this, it works a treat.
-Maintain your hair afterwards. Make sure you are using the right products to care for your colour, and avoid anything with citrus extracts like the plague.
Well henna isn't the nicest or the easiest thing to use for colouring your hair but the end result is well worth it!! Amazing coverage, especially on grey hair, and the shine that it adds it's fantastic. It really can be a messy process so be prepared. Lush henna comes in blocks & for best results, grate the henna in to a bowl then cover it with a little boiling water. Be careful not to add too much as you don't want it to be too runny. Let it sit for a minute then give it a stir through. Get a pot full of boiling water on the cooker and place your bowl on top, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Heat through, until it's as hot to touch as you can manage without burning yourself then get applying!! It can be a very messy process so make sure that you use old towels to catch any drips. Apply all over your head then pop on a shower cap, then leave for as long as possible. Four hours is usually a good amount of time. It's qute gritty & a little difficult to wash out but keep going because it's worth it in then end!! Result....beautifully shiny, coloured hair!!
I've been dying my hair since I was 14, which is ooooh, a long time ago! I started with 'Sun In' and progressed onto goth stylee black or plum box dyes from Boots, complete with nasty chemical smell and resultant damage to my hair. (OK some of the damage was due to 80s crimping, jeez this is like a goth confessional!) After nigh on 20 years of chemical dyes I decided it was time to try something more natural, better for the environment and for my hair and body, and bought some Lush henna with some trepidation.
Even though I'm quite eco I had serious doubts. It is all very well to have good intentions but I draw the line at having really rubbish hair. I'll be honest, my first attempt wasn't much fun. I made the henna too runny and as a result it dribbled unattractively down my forehead and neck during the tedious 3 hours that I had it on my hair, wrapped in cling film like something out of a low budget alien film. And to top it all the result was a rather carroty orange that luckily most people were too polite to comment on.
BUT WAIT! Don't stop reading yet! Dear reader, I persevered! The next time I made the henna too lumpy (I'm starting to sound like Goldilocks....except with red hair!) but the third time it was just right. This takes a bit of practice and in these impatient days we're inclined to want everything to be easy straight away but I would really recommend sticking with it because it gets so much easier.
Also, each time you use henna the colour builds and gets richer, so the carroty look was soon replaced with a rich red that was much more effective than any chemical dye I've ever used. Henna coats your hair, almost like varnish, so it is left glossy and thicker. Previously my hair was in such poor condition from having been dyed that it was very porous and the permenant colour washed out or faded quite fast, henna doesn't fade much at all. I know that I need to redo it because of the mousey brown and grey roots appearing! With caca rouge any grey hairs go a brighter shade than your normal hair colour, giving you natural highlights.
A few years down the line I now henna my hair every 3 or 4 weeks and (if I do say so myself) it is a really fab colour - people compliment me all the time. I leave the henna on for between 2 and 3 hours, which is fine if you know you're going to spend an evening online or watching tv. (Don't answer the doorbell though, it is not the most flattering look...)
A slab of henna costs about £7.25, I use a third of this for each root retouch (I basically slap it mostly on the roots and work through the rest of my hair), making it very economical. I have lot s of hair so every few months I use a whole bar and freshen up all of my hair.
Go on - give it a go!
I have been dying my hair for so long that it is now hard to remember my natural hair colour! As a teenager I started to get the occasional grey hair, as I am sure you can imagine I hated it! I decided that instead of being teased for it that I would try and be considered cool by dying my mid brown hair to hide them and over the years it has been just about every colour you can imagine! Yes even blue and on one memorable occasion, pink!
I have always been a bit odd with my hair, my view is if I don't like it I can either get it cut or I can dye it again and if it is too short it will grow! I have even shaved it off from below my shoulders in length with clippers on a number six, bleached it and then coloured it pillar box red, yes, I am mad! Red is usually always my colour of choice though but not as bright as that these days!
I have become rather a Lushie and this product was my first purchase or should I say it was my poor boyfriends first purchase on my behalf! I had a look on the website and then he grabbed it on his lunch break for me.
I decided on Caca Rouge, a block of red henna. I thought, well, nothing ventured nothing gained and even if I get no colour except my greys going a red colour and looking like highlights that at least my hair should be shiny which is something that my hair hasn't been for years, probably because of all the ammonia based colourants which have been slathered on over the years, damaging it.
Being my first buy I had no idea of quite what to expect. My other half came home with rather a large Lush paper bag, on opening the bag and looking inside I was struck by the smell of Christmas which greeted me. Because Caca Rouge contains clove oil and to me it brings to mind Christmas although I am not completely sure why!
It was a block which was almost chocolate coloured and looking. Six squares with a pattern and the Lush logo stamped on to the top. It came with no instructions, they had asked my unsuspecting boyfriend if I knew how to use it and he had said I did, so we can't blame the lack of instructions on Lush as they would have put them in with it had I asked him to get them. It saves paper by not giving them out when they are not necessary. My block of henna was just wrapped in a small, clear plastic bag with a Lush logo on it. Less rubbish equals less impact on the environment!
Anyway this was on a Friday night, now about eight weeks ago and as I will tell you in a moment the process with this product is not a short one so I had to wait to use it, which is not like me at all! We had a friend coming to stay for the weekend so I had to wait till the Sunday lunch time when he had gone to use my new henna!
I looked up the instructions on the Lush website and found all I needed to know. I got out what I needed, a bowl which wasn't plastic and couldn't stain, a spoon, a cheese grater, gloves, comb, butterfly clip, boiled the kettle and put newspaper all over the floor by the window where I had a mirror ready and waiting.
I wore a boring old black vest style nighty, which wouldn't show up any stains that might appear. Henna will stain skin, clothes paint and flooring so if you are going to use it then be careful and clean up any spillages straight away!
I decided to grate the block as you could not break it into squares and it was very hard! I grated up a third of it and mixed in boiling water till it was a paste similar in consistency to that of any hair colour you usually buy. It was a funny green colour like cow pats in a field! It looked hideous but smelt rather nice, far better than chemical dyes!
Putting it on was rather messy I ended up with splatters all over the paper I had put down and over my neck shoulders and back. In fact I got into rather a mess! I found that for my very long thick hair I had not mixed up enough so called on my other half for help. After mixing up the equivalent of another squares worth (so a total of three squares) I slapped that on also and was done. I put my hair up with the help of a butterfly clip (I believe that's what they are called anyway) and then wrapped my hair in clingfilm. Not only does using clingfilm mean that you can walk about and get on with you day while looking incredibly stupid but apparently it means you get a stronger, brighter, more intense result from the henna. Well I don't care about looking an idiot as you can tell from the first paragraph of this review!
Cleaning the splatters off of my skin was easy a little tissue made wet was all it took.
Like I said this is not quick! The advise is to leave this on for a minimum of an hour but the longer you leave it the better the result. I left mine until half nine that night so it was rather a while. Then came washing it out!
Washing it out took forever! I removed the clingfilm and butterfly clip to reveal a manky green, brown mess which can only be described as looking like my hair was covered in a load of poo! I stuck my head over the bath and started to rinse. The bath filled (plug is rubbish and slow draining! Watch out for a drain unblocker review coming soon!) with an awful green dirty water full of grit from the henna rinsing away. My hair felt like it was full of sand after a day at the beach and after twenty minutes of rinsing I was getting nowhere fast so I decided that my back was killing me and the only way to go was by getting in the bath and having a proper shower. In the end I shampooed my hair three times and then conditioned it before my hair was clean and felt amazing. I got out the shower and wrapped it up in a towel.
After getting out the bath and tiles were in need of a rather thorough clean! There was a green scum all round the bath and the tiles had spatters of the grit. Luckily it was easy to clean off.
I towel dried my hair then brushed it which was easy as my hair felt lovely and soft and better than it usually does. It had that feeling it usually has when it has just been cut, no knots or pulling just in great condition the way you always wish it felt. I blow dried it which is unusual, I like to let it dry naturally as I know full well that heat can be very damaging and unless I am off out somewhere special I have no need to make it look flawless!
The smell of Christmas remained, the colour was not as intense as I would usually choose to go but was better than I had expected from the natural option! A brightish red with no grey! What more could a girl want? I found that unlike with most dyes my scalp had not really changed colour it was a slightly mustard colour in places but you wouldn't notice without looking closely.
The smell slowly faded away and after two weeks was basically gone but the colour lasted rather well. All red colourants fade! It is the worst colour for fading. My colour however was not bad at all. After eight weeks it still didn't look bad if it hadn't been for the roots showing I would not have found it very necessary to colour again so soon, well that isn't all that soon as with chemical colours I used to do it every six to eight weeks and the fading was more noticeable.
I used the second half of the block on Sunday and found that my experience was slightly better with it this time. By using slightly less water than before when mixing it up, I found I made less mess when applying it to my hair. I left it on for a whole twelve hours this time and the result is deeper but it is also due to the fact that it is building up in layers, so the more I use it the more intense the result will be.
Lush do the block in four colours, the original red which I used, caca noir which gives a black result, caca morron which gives a chestnut/mahogany result and caca brun which gives a brown result. Something for everyone really except blondes!
I have always been scared off of henna because you here people saying you can't use it for the reason that after you have done it once you have to let it grow out before you use anything else on your hair. This isn't strictly true it is not advisable to use anything over the top of it straight away and you should leave it for six months. The results you will get over the top will be different and so keep that in mind.
Henna is natural and so I feel happier using it rather than the dyes that I have used in the past and I can tell that my hair has benefited from it rather than been damaged by it and that is why I will be buying it again. I don't intend to go back to what I did to my hair before. From now on I will be treating my hair with a little more respect and hopefully that will show in the shine it has.
Although rinsing it out used so much water as it took so long this is a better option for the environment as you are not polluting the water with a load of chemicals.
Lush do not test their products on animals so you know that no creature has had to suffer so that you can have your hair the colour you want it to be. And to top it all off it is that natural that it only contains six ingredients only one of that six is synthetic! It contains, red henna, cocoa butter, lemon juice, powdered rosemary, clove bud oil and perfume.
I would certainly recommend this to anyone especially those who are looking for extra shine. If you don't want to change your colour then stick to the henna which most closely matched your hair colour and just add depth and shine to your hair.
At only £6.75 for a block which lasted two colouring sessions it is actually cheaper than almost all home chemical colourants and so very good value and my hair is thick and long so someone who has normal thickness hair above their shoulders would get about three uses out of one block, that is £2.25 a time!
Even though this takes so long it is well worth it. The only reason I have given four stars rather than five is the time it takes to rinse out.
*** OVER A YEAR ON***
I still love this product and have used it several times since, I have also tried the brown version which I also loved!
I have figured out that when rinsing it out using conditioner as soon as it is all soaking wet helps get it out more quickly.
Now my hair is quite short, almost a chin length bob and I can easily use a block for three uses but back when my hair was really short, a few months ago I was managing to get four uses!
Lush have stores all around the country and you can buy from their website or locate your local store at www.lush.co.uk
Henna red hair colour with cocoa butter /