Okay, a lot of people are misguided when it comes to henna.
While I don't doubt that the LUSH bars work well, this is not the optimal method of henna. Why? Whilst the quality of LUSH henna is excellent, the added ingredients have the effect of "watering down" the henna, meaning you will get a less vibrant result.
I urge everyone to read this large, informative henna thread:
After learning about your other options, if you are still hellbent on trying LUSH henna, here is my advice.
I did try it despite knowing it wasn't the best kind of henna out there because:
a) My hair is dyed blue-black save for 4 inches of virgin roots...so I desired the conditioning effects more than a vibrant red colour
b) LUSH henna is far easier to locate than BAQ (Body Art Quality, which is the best kind) henna...which one generally has to order online. A simple trip to my local LUSH shop and I had my Caca Rouge.
I recommend grating the henna. Once you have mixed the water/henna mixture, it's important to keep it away from metals (pot, bowl, spoon, etc.) as it can lessen the effects.
Leave it on for at least 6 hours. Leave it on for at least 6 hours. Leave it on for at least 6 hours.
Make sure all your hair is coated evenly. It should look like a greenish paste on your head. You can kind of sculpt and conform it to your head when you're done, then wrap it up in cling wrap.
My roots took on reddish tones, almost a carroty colour in the places where my hair was lighter brown. It will get darker with increased applications.
Also...henna is a STAIN. It cannot lighten, it can only add colour to your existing hair tone.
I was pretty disppointed, I love LUSH but this didn't work for me at all, maybe like a very mild tinge. The woman in the shop said for me to leave it on for 1.5 hours which reading this board, I suspect was wrong. Anyway for the record 1.5hours does absolutely nothing. It does condition your hair, but I found it kinda greasy, not really what I like in my hair...It cost me more to do less than a box dye. I know it would've worked if I'd left it in for longer, but I don't think it's worth it seeing as a box dye will do the same in 30 minutes...
*UPDATE* left it in for 4.5 hours. still disappointing, I know it was only meant to be a red varnish/tint but the tint can only be seen in certain lights which is pathetic for 6 hours of work. i'd definitely go salon or box over this.
I've used the Rouge and Marron colors a couple of times now. I think I like Rouge a little better, but they're both ok. I've got very dark, very thick brown hair with chemical highlights and it makes my hair look shiny, and it's red in the sun (it still looks very dark in dark light, and photos, this doesn't lighten your hair at all). If you have very dark hair and want a brighter red, you have to lighten your hair with chemical dye first (better to use the low or no peroxide, no ammonia kind) and then wait a month or two to do the henna. I think this is still better than using the red chemical dye alone, at least this fixes some of the dye damage, and it's a lasting red that does not fade, the red-in-a-box always faded in 2 weeks for me, no matter what brand of dye I used.
Unlike most people, I find this very easy to mix and use, but I'm used to mixing several bottles of commercial dye from Sally and double-process, etc. However, this is so much better for the hair, my split ends have just about disappeared. I find that right after dying with henna, it can feel a little coated for a week or two, and the results adapt over that time, but later it on it looks and feels very healthy, I only have to dye every 3-4 months.
I always leave the henna in for at least 10 HOURS, the longer the better, you get better results that way. You are not going to be able to do this in an hour! I'm still experimenting with mix-ins, I've tried coffee and paprika, but I'm planning on trying merlot wine next to see if I can get a different shade of red.
I haven't tried Henna dyes before, so I can't speak to how it works compared with that type of dye in particular, but compared to chemical dyes? Hot Hair Henna *rocks*.
First off - do not expect to get cherry-red hair if your hair is dark brown. I made the mistake of chemically dying mine a super dark (almost black) brown and I hated the result. Even though the girl at Lush advised against it (becaue she didn't think I would see any result), I bought Rouge Mama. First off - 18.50 Canadian for what ended up being three uses is pretty good when compared with most boxed dyes, so I'd say it's on par with the average L'Oreal concoction on price when you consider how many times you can use it.
The first time I did this, I left it in for probably about 4-5 hours. Now my hair is naturally a medium brown, and auburn in summer, so I think the only reason that it colored over the very dark brown was because of my natural shade. The color wasn't a huge difference, but in direct sunlight it had a nice red sheen.
The second use - a month later - I left in again for about 4-5 hours. Now this isn't something that they necessarily say is a must, but I think that if you're attempting to dye darker hair, you really should consider the long haul.
This second attempt came out with a lighter, brighter red.
The final time I have pretty much auburn hair again, and you can tell it's red in dark or light areas.
I only recently realized I never fully followed the directions, but rather just stirred in the boiling water rather than then covering it and letting it sit and/or double-boiling it afterwards.
Here is why Hot Hair is great, though - yes, the conditioning properties are obviously a plus for those of us who've wrecked our hair with chemicals, but also the color really does look natural. If you're trying to color hair that's just too dark and the dye won't take, chances are it just won't look that good on your skin tone, either.
I saw a woman recently who had dyed over strawberry-blonde hair with it, and had gotten a really gorgeous, vibrant carroty-rouge color that looked completely natural.
So that's my big prop for Hot Hair Henna - it's the foolproof red that is subtle or vibrant, depending on what your skin can handle.
I have been playing with the Lush Henna products for a while now and am now officially addicted to the Caca Rouge Henna and Reincarnate.
Firstly, this is a messy product and requires patience and a bit of skill but I think the benefits and results far outweigh those negatives. Having said that, I will move on to how I use this product.
I started to experiment with hennas about a year ago. I was unhappy with drugstore hair dyes (due to results and, well, the chemicals) and due to my busy schedule, which make it difficult to get my hair coloured and spending habits (I would rather have the money from a year of professional hair colourings to use towards a new Chanel bag than to have a year's worth of professionally coloured hair), I decided to give the Lush hennas a go.
I started with the Brun (or was it Maroon?). After much messing, fussing and dealing with a truly filthy shower after rinsing the henna out, I managed to perfect the application and removal process. This is how I use it.
ALWAYS TEST STRAND!!!
1) I only use 1/3 of the henna block, which I place in a plastic bowl. I pour boiling water over it (enough to make a thick paste but one that is easy to work with) and with a chopstick (DO NOT USE METAL WITH HENNA) break it all up. When it has cooled down enough to apply, I put on gloves and start applying. I focus on the area where I have greys, then roots and finally working the product down to the ends. I apply in the kitchen where I have black granite counters which don't stain and clean easily. After the product is applied, I pile my hair up on my head and take cling film wrapping it all up.
2) I keep the henna in for at least 6 hours. So if I am going to bed with it, I put several old towels on my pillow. It gets hot under that cling film and the henna will run! Be warned. Or if it is a hang around the house and do crap housework day, I just get on with it.
3) When it is time to remove, I prepare the shower area making sure there are no nice towels, clothes, basically anything that can stain in the vicinity. I stick my head under the shower and always look down at the shower tray thinking how dirty my shower will be as I watch the henna rinse out. I use the Reincarnate shampoo from Lush to help remove the henna. It usually takes about 3-4 shampoo and rinses before the water runs clean. For a final conditioning I like to use the Aveda deep conditioner stuff not only because it works so well but because it helps counteract the dirty hay smell of the henna.
4) I dry with one of my special henna towels and then blow dry as usual. Just as a precaution I tend to not wear any light coloured clothes immediately afterwards. (I approach henna the way some people approach fake tan.)
Your hair will be super glossy and shiny. People will comment on it. The woman who cuts my hair asked me where I was going for the treatments because it looked so fabulous. Most importantly my hair does not look badly home dyed or artificially reddish. It just looks like I have had a rinse of some kind.
I enjoy the Caca Rouge Henna and despite what must sound rather labour intensive putting henna in my hair is like second nature to me. I do it at least once every two weeks.
Just want to add: henna will make your grey hair very vibrant and possibly orange. My natural hair colour is dark brown and my greys look like bright maroonish highlights. The greys might get a bit orange if I allow more than two weeks to lapse between henna treatments. As a bonus, the henna seems to have cured my dandruff.
Sorry about the novel but I just want to try and be as helpful as possible.
ETA: In my profile I have added a picture of my hair, specifically its roots, to show, or at least attempt to show what the vibrant maroonish highlights look like. As you can see my hair is dark and shiny but if you look carefully you can see the highlights, which are really the affect this product has on my grey hairs. This photo was taken a day after using this product. Hope this helps!
I've spent years ruining my hair with chemical dyes - til I used Lush Henna.
After a bit of trial and error I now use two squares of Marron and one of Noir. It gives a perfect dark chestnutty auburn colour.
However the downside is all the hassle.
Firstly I find it best to grate the block first. You don't have to - it contains cocoa butter and will melt down with the boiling water, but not always successfully. Then, after slapping on the resulting hot green goo onto my hair (and my skin..the bathroom floor...my towels....my feet....!) I then have several hours (at least four) of sitting about with cling film around my head, praying no-one will knock at the door!).
Then there's the rinsing. It takes ages and produces more mess.
But in the end it's SO worth it. My hair is the best condition it's been in for years. I'm trying to grow it at the moment and I'm sure this has helped as there's little breakage. It positively sparkles reddish in the sunlight and I'm often asked what colour I've used.
Messy -yes. Time consuming - yes. A hassle - yes. But I'll never use a box of chemical filled dye again. I love it.
I've been using this henna for 2 and a half years now. The application can be a bit messy but the color turnout is worth it. I get a shiny, coppery head of soft waves. People even think I'm a natural redhead when I use this. The color lasts for 4-5 months, so you only need to apply it 2 or 3 times a year. I think it's worth it. Especially that it has no harmful chemicals or bleach like other hair dyes do.
Let me start off by saying that initially I did it wrong! It says on the packet that you rinse it out with water which I did until the water ran clear. Unfortunately when I tried to dry my hair it turned into a sticky mass. That's when I came onto MUA (thank you girls) and found out that you all shampooed it out at least twice. That I did and I must say that NOW I am the possesor of a head of shiny, shiny, shiny, conker coloured hair. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh that's nice.
For your information I used two squares of Rouge and two squares of Brun which is great because it means I will get two more goes out of the two blocks I bought (great value in my book). I don't need to use the whole six squares because my hair is pretty fine.
Despite the crappy instructions I think it is worth the hassle for naturally beautiful hair. So there!
If you haven't used henna before, it takes patience and practice , and also be aware that usually what henna does to your hair is more subtle than hair dyes ( generally speaking) But if you have used henna or if you are willing to take a chance on a really challenging and fun way to beautiful hair, then use the Caca line! I have been hennaing for years and years ( interspersed with some years of hair dye... will never do the dye thing again!). Lush's caca is truly one of the best ( there is also hennaworks.com, they have great powder henna ) . I make sure I have a lot of time to mix it all up and loll about while the henna is magically transforming my dark brown color to gleaming richer brown (CacaBrun)... or giving me a dark red glaze over the dark brown( CacaRouge) or burgundy sheen ( CacaMarron... havent tried the Caca Noir) ... I am crazy for henna and will use various colors, either mixing a chunk of this with a chunk of that, or one time will use brun the next time rouge...
I use a big knife and cut about 3 squares into chunks, cover with boiling water ( use a plastic bowl, never metal!)
I let it sit till the cocoa butter in the henna has melted and softened and then I mix and mix ( using a heavy wooded spoon, again, never metal!)
I add a big squirt of conditioner and that helps it mix and bind
Then, in the bathroom, wearing gloves, I section pieces of hair, starting in the front, and smoosh fingersful of henna paste along the length of the strands, mushing it in well, and then swirling the strand into a little pile on my head. I go around my head that way till all is covered.
It takes practice and patience and the neat thing is you can do it again even the next day if you want better coverage
Ok, so then I cover with a plastic cap and wrap cotton coil around my head tucking it into the elastic of the cap
***Use the cotton coil! Lush henna has cocoa butter and and the body heat makes it melt even more and it tends to drip down after a 1/2 hour. The cotton is a lifesaver!
I leave it in at least 2 hours, and wash it out with moisturizing shampoo and good conditioner and also use a leave in conditioner as henna can be drying.
Henna makes my hair fuller , richer, shinier , glazed with neat colors and I love the scent. Greeny earthy scent. And the ritual quality of mixing, applying, waiting.... it is very meditative and healing.
It is SO worth the time and details, so be patient and relaxed when you decide to do it. You may end up like me, NEVER going back to dye!
Didnt like the colour of this, its a bit too orangey red for me, but the Cacas are really good for your hair, give lots of shine and dont dry out your hair. They can be messy and difficult to use, but its gets easier with practise.