I have been dying my own hair various colors for almost twenty years, and thought henna was just for hippie-dippies who wanted to smell like patchouli all day.
I had recently bleached my hair yet again from jet black to red and had (yet again) sustained all sorts of damage from it. I had to cut off a bit due to the bleaching damage, but I liked having red hair again, so didn't mind.
I don't know what made me try Les Caca, but the lush flier intrigued me, and I researched hennas for a few weeks before deciding to take the plunge.
I'll be honest. I didn't do a strand test, but it turned out beautifully anyhow.
I have just past shoulder length hair, super damaged, and a LOT of hair so I just used the whole damn six-block brick and I'm glad I did. I followed the instructions, and found it melted easily enough that I could just sort of scrape it apart with a sturdy plastic knife under the boiling water.
The smell was actually really nice. I had mixed up some straight up powdered henna and lemon juice as an experiment the weekend prior and WOW. Anyone who complains about the smell of lush henna should take a whiff of THAT. Lush henna smelled comparatively gorgeous and spicy.
I wanted firey red on top of my chemically-processed-to-hell-and-back faded red, so I wrapped the HECK out of the mud when it was on my head and even tried heating it under the plastic with the hair dryer.
I melted the plastic a little, but my hair was so mudded that it was all good anyway.
Oh well, I did a little patch job, and I was on my way. I actually put a heating pad on the saran wrap and then wrapped a towel over that and sat that way for three and a half hours.
My neck was sore, my head was hot ... but I was sure it would be worth it, and boy was it ever.
I have never had such a gorgeous red, and the damage is GONE. This red (right now, two hours after rinsing) is sort of a glowing, smoldering strawberry blonde red and it looks incredibly natural.
Is this messy? Yes. Is this fun? Oh hell, yes. I felt like a kid squishing fragrant mud into my hair. Did my husband laugh at my giant saran wrap plus heating pad plus giant towel get up? Absolutely! I had a cord coming out from my forehead plugged into the wall! But I am hooked, I've been dying my hair for a very long time and the luminous glow I have right now with no damage to try and cover up with hair styling products later on is worth it.
Call me hippy-dippy all you want, I've got amazing hair now. Thank you Caca Rouge.
I regularly use henna to cover my grey hair and decided to try this product because I liked the added convenience this product offered, being available at the mall as opposed to having to wait for body art quality Moroccan henna by mail order. In all I found it to be not a bad product, sort of a mixed bag.
Pros: I love the texture and smell of this henna mixture. It disolves into a smoother paste and is already pre-mixed with cocoa butter and other oils to give it a pleasant earthy smell and condition your hair.
Cons: This was somewhat expensive $23 approx for a brick. I also found it tough to dissolve evenly in the water. It did color when left on the same time as I usually leave the baq henna, but it produces a light red as opposed to a rich burgundy like the Moroccan does.
Overall this product is something I would buy again but probably only for the same reason I bought it this time; it's a great stopgap if you happen to run out of baq.
Messy and greasy and smelly and just eww. And for a real difference to hair colour or condition you have to leave it for hours or overnight- not worth the hassle. I can still remember the greasy drips running down my face from under the clingfilm...*shudders*
OMG I LOVE THIS HENNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a product junkie and have always spent alot of $$$$$ on my hair care I came across the LUSH website one day and I have NEVER looked back. I love all of their products but especially the HENNA my hair has never looked so good, a beautifull coppery/red. My mix is : 2 squares Henna, 2TBSP Paprika, 2 TBSP Applecider Vinegar, and I use Red Zinger Tea instead of water.( I have shoulder lenghth hair)I wrap it tight with sarran wrap and put a swim cap over that to keep it snug and warm the only thing I could do without is the amount of time I have to leave it on.
I leave it on for 6hrs and every hour In blast it with some heat and then just rinse, rinse,rinse condition,shampoo,and condition again and im done, and YES its worth the hassel!!!!
I used this for the first time about 2 weeks ago. I was very nervous about trying it and read every single review beforehand. I naturally have strawberry blonde hair that absorbs color easily. My usual experience with red hair color, even tints, is my hair taking on a shade reminiscent of Ronald McDonald's. I was annoyed to learn that it would take so long for the color to develop, but I was pretty sick on this particular day, thought I could quickly get it in my hair, wrap it up and lie down for a while. I broke off three cubes, sliced them into little bits and poured boiled water over them until I achieved a slightly runny, muddy texture that felt like it contained bits of sand (yuck). I made my mixture a little thinner in consistency than most people have mentioned so it would be easier to apply. I let the mixture sit for a while, then applied to dry hair. It took FOREVER to coat my slightly-past-my-shoulder length hair, but that wasn't the annoying part. No matter how carefully I tried to apply, little bits of it went EVERYWHERE. When I finally had my entire head covered, I had the task of cleaning my entire bathroom. It was so disgusting, tiny little bits of dry henna everywhere that would practically explode when I wiped them up. It took longer cleaning my bathroom than it did applying the product. Also, I just have to mention something else. This is totally my fault, but since everyone mentioned that it took around 3-6 hours for the color develop, I didn't even think about wearing gloves. BIG mistake! My hands were orange for days!!!
Aside from the horror of the application process, the color turned out nicely. It's much darker and brighter than I'd anticipated. It was actually the exact shade of a penny, a rich, rusty-orangey red. Some people mentioned that the full color developed over a few days, but mine was the exact opposite. It was intense at first, but it seems to fade a little every time I wash it. I can't see it lasting several months as some have mentioned. All in all, I do actually like how henna looks in my hair. It's much more natural looking than conventional hair dye and I will absolutely use it again....just not by this brand.
Click on "Continued" below to see a Before & After photo!
Here's an older pic of me to show my natural hair color:
And here's the color after I used the henna (I also had my hair cut recently):
UPDATE 4/10/09 I can't believe how many compliments I've received on my hair!! Perfect strangers stop me in the mall and comment on it. I'm definitely a convert to henna!! =)
I really love my henna. The colour suits my complexion and when I mix it with a little black henna it makes a fabulous shiny tint to a mane of lush hair!
Seriously, if you are after something that brings out your natural highlights (I have light strawberry/sandy blonde/brown hair naturally, so not overly exciting) and gives fantastic shine and a lovely scent for days, go for this product. Also it isn't a chemical dye which is an added bonus I think. It also doesn't whitewash your hair into a uniform color which some other dyes do: it brings out the natural highlights and low lights.
I'm not sure about the packaging or lack of it: I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I like the way it's solid and easy to store. I break pieces off as I need for touch ups every so often, so a block of 6 can last me several months. On the other hand, I don't like the fact that you have to grate it or let it sit for about an hour to get it to dissolve out of its solid form:-| But I've tried other hennas and I love this one because of the scent it leaves and the color seems to last longer....maybe it is letting it sit for so long and then leaving it in my hair for an hour or more. This stuff is an integral part of who I am: I've been a redhead for over a decade now and won't be turning anytime soon (see my profile pic to believe it).
This product smells yummy and conditions beautifully, hence the high rating.
However, it's a pain to grind into a fine powder, considering that most hennas in Arab/Indian/Pakistani/etc. stores are already powdered. All you need to do with the typical henna product is add hot water and some lemon. With Lush Hair Caca, it took about an hour to grind 1 and a half cubes into powder.
I left the henna in my hair overnight, for 6 hours.
The conditioning effects last for ages--I used this product LAST YEAR, and recently noticed that the hair was getting dry--so I used it last week...and it's back to being soft, shiny & glorious!
If you have dark brown hair like me, you will not experience a noticeable difference in hair colour. There IS a red tint when I go out in the sun, but that's about it. This product has actually darkened my hair to a deeper, richer brown.
According to my mother (an expert in the world of henna), with frequent applications (i.e. hours spent grinding the cubes), my hair will gradually turn that nice reddish colour I absolutely covet.
I, however, am not that patient.
I have been dying my hair for years, switching from blonde highlights about a year ago to single process light auburn. While I love the look of my red hair, I am trying to get rid of the chemical treatments before I jump on the baby train in the next few months. I am also trying to eliminate animal-tested products from my routine. Enter caca rouge.
I was incredibly nervous to try this, even after doing two strand tests with hair pulled from my brush (as suggested by a previous reviewer). Here's what I did:
1. grated two squares from the block (I have shoulder length, fine hair)
2. boiled water with a couple of splashes of coffee thrown in
3. mixed to brownie mix texture
4. smeared on the goop and left it on for about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I did not cover with saran wrap. My mixture was pretty thick (in retrospect, probably too thick) so it did not run at all.
After washing hair twice, I was left with soft and lovely medium auburn hair, with some highlights where the sun had bleached my hair at the crown throughout the summer. It is not at all bright or Lucille Ball-ish as I had feared, and in fact I will probably use less coffee next time and cling wrap my head to brighten it just a bit.
Overall a very good product that I will continue to experiment with. UPDATE: Two weeks later, and my hair has never looked shinier. The color has, as other readers noted, intensified a bit. My husband says my hair has never looked healthier or more natural. I think this one's a winner!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Caca'd again last night, and paid a bit more attention to my exact mixture. I boiled about 2 cups water with three tablespoons of prepared coffee, but I only used just over 1/2 cup for 2 blocks of henna. I left on for 3.5 hours and cling wrapped, and it looks fabulous and 100 percent natural! I also tried another reviewer's trick of hitting with a hammer rather than grating, and it worked great.
PLEASE NOTE: Several reviewers have talked (complained) about having to grate this product up before they use it. I have NEVER done this. I roughly chop it up into quarter inch thick slices with a bread knife, then pour boiling water on it, leave for a few minutes and stir. That is all. Please don't waste your time grating the stuff - it is completely unnecessary!
I have been using this product on my hair for about 5 years now. I dropped 2 stars because of the price, then gave one back because it is so much more conditioning than powdered henna. I use it every couple of months, and find that while it does fade to some extent, the repeated layers have built up what I can only describe as a patina. I love how my hair looks. A friend described it to me as a cross between a chestnut horse, and a red setter. My hair is mid back, wavy and never looks as good as the first few days after a henna treatment. The stuff is magic.
There are some great reviews on this product, which means that I don't have to repeat what they say! But I do have a few extra comments:
1 The warmer you are able to keep your head (wrap it in clingfilm then a THICK towel), the brighter your colour will be.
2 Adding lemon juice to the mix will also intensify the colour - but be aware that excess lemon juice (there is some in the product already) is not good for hair. It weakens it over time, so bear this in mind! Vinegar can be used for the same effect, but has the same consequences. If you use either, then try to wash them out very thoroughly, but the weakening process continues long after the hair is dry.
3 Henna acts as a VARNISH on the surface of the hair. It fills the cracks and under the edges of the scales of the hair shaft. This makes it very different from normal dyes which penetrate and change the colour of the actual shaft.
The result of it being a varnish are various i) it coats the hair in a conditioning protective layer, ii) if you henna your hair after a haircut, it will actually help to seal the hair ends (unlike normal hair dyes where you cut the hair AFTER dyeing), iii) after repeated hennaing (like mine), hair can actually feel a little thicker due to the build up of layers, iv) the natural colour of your hair under the henna remails unchanged. v) if you put oil on your dry hair (jojoba or extra virgin olive oil) just BEFORE you henna, you actually seal that conditioned effect under the henna, and that has got to be good, hasn't it?
4 You CANNOT dye your hair after you have used henna on it. It will go HORRIBLY wrong due to chemical nastiness. There are mythic stories flying the internet that treating hennad hair with a certain oil will remove the henna and allow you to dye safely. I have no idea if this oil exists (and would love to hear if it does!), but personally that is not a risk I am going to take. In 20 years or so, when I want my long wavy hair to go gracefully white, I will cut it short and chop all the henna out. That is better than it dissolving off my head due to chemical reactions, isn't it?
5 I use the Caca Rouge, which is the pure red one. This gives me strawberry blonde streaks where I am grey, and chestnut hair everywhere else (my natural colour is lightish red-brown). I tried using the darker Lush henna and found it had an unpleasant blue-red tone which did NOT go with my skintone (golden toned). Of course this would probably look lovely on someone with a cooler skintone. I follow the pack instructions, mix it to the constistency of a thick custard, slap it on, leave it for 1 hour, which gives me a beautiful intense warm red, rinse, shampoo, repeat, and then spend an hour cleaning the bathroom and bleaching the grout between the tiles in the shower. Grin.
And I love it!
Caca is an adventure! The long journey of henna-ing one's hair and waiting...waiting...waiting to see what color you end up with is not for the timid or faint of heart. Especially when you're dealing with some serious RED. I find it to be well-worth the trip. Here's what I do: (for the record, my hair is naturally a boring, dirty blond with some gray) I throw a few red tea bags and some lemon juice along with 3 squares of henna into a disposible plastic mxing bowl (available at Sally's Beauty supply, for example), place the mixing bowl into a cast-iron pot (holds in the heat very well) and pour boiling water over the henna/teabags/juice and then into the pot surrounding the bowl. I slap the lid on, leave it for about 10 minutes, then return to mix it up with a plastic fork (good for smashing lumps). The Caca turns into a nice, thick yougurt-y paste which I then smash onto my head while wearing disposible gloves. I saran-wrap my head and cover the wrap with a disposible shower cap and go about my business for about 4 hours. I rinse my head in the kitchen sink with that little hose-sprayer thingie until it's clear, then go upstairs, shampoo and condition and voila! gorgeous red hair that will continue to evolve over the next few days, then gradually fade to strawberry blonde. Ok, it does smell a little like wet hay, and it does linger a day or two, but regular dye STINKS, especially if there's ammonia and any regular red dye i have used fades within a week. Not this stuff, baby! Caca - for the outrageous daring redhead that lives in your soul.
ADD: I have never grated or smashed up the block prior to adding the boiling water and it has always melted just fine - just give it 10 minutes or so to soften, then use a plastic fork to mash and mix.