Review of LUSH Henna - Caca Noir by isavella
LOVE the results. HATE the process. This is a (more) natural, permanent hair dye combining the powers of henna and indigo in one solid, waxy brick. It is separated into six blocks that you have to break off and mix with hot water to create a paste.
I have used Caca Noir three times. I have also dyed my hair twice with cheap, Indian grocery store powdered henna and twice with fancy henna at my salon. I really like the effect of the Caca Noir; compared to the cheap henna, it is vastly more moisturizing and conditioning (by "moisturizing," I mean it doesn't suck my hair dry and turn my hair clown red). The salon treatment was also very nice, but the color never came out as dark as I wanted - they apply the mixture (henna and indigo) and sit you under the heat lamp for a while. The effects were never as intense due to the fact that you can't exactly sit under a lamp at a salon for six hours to get maximum saturation. Also, it costs at least $70 for what is, essentially, a conditioning treatment.
Anyway, I have learned ways to make the process go more smoothly and enhance the end result:
1) Grate the blocks. The first couple of times, I wrapped the blocks in a plastic bag and crushed them with a hammer. It took forever, was loud and annoying, and there were big clumps in the resulting mixture. Those clumps made for a not-fun application, even more not-fun rinse, and they clogged my drain to boot. Sit your butt down and grate those suckers to a fine powder, even if you have to do it a week before while watching True Blood.
2) Use enough. I have bra-strap length hair, of medium thickness and I use half a brick (3 blocks) each time.
3) Use tea-hot water. I have never fiddled with coffee, teas, or whatever in the mixture, and I've always had great results. Heat until just about boiling and mix into your beautifully grated powder; stir to creamy, yogurt-y consistency. This will make it easy to spread throughout your hair without drips.
4) Use old things you don't care about. I have about half a heart attack every time because I really like mixing in things like nice Kitchen Aid and Corning vessels. The Caca has always washed off with no issues, but use old stuff to be on the safe side.
5) Wear gloves. Your nails will be wrecked! 100% grody. Gloves make it harder to spread the mixture, but I always regret it when I don't use them.
6) Spread newspapers on the floor, an old towel around your shoulders, etc. If you make a smooth mix like I detailed above, it won't splash around as much. But it will still make SOME kind of mess. Also, don't cry when you see your shower post-op. It sucks, and is the worst part, but you will scrub it and it will come off.
7) AKA THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP: After you apply the henna/indigo (which you should have done as methodically as possible), you will need to wrap your hair. I twist it into a roll, carefully and smoothly so as not to disrupt the hair pattern if that makes sense. I secure into a kind of bun/pony with an old hair tie. Basically, you want to avoid any sort of tangles or complicated wrapping, since the best bet for easy rinsing (an oxymoron) is having your hair unravel with ease. Wipe off your forehead, ears, neck etc. I let dry for an hour or two (air makes the indigo darker). I then wrap with some kind of plastic and sleep on that sucker. You don't have to leave it in that long, but at that point I'm so exhausted by the effort that I can't even think about the rinsing portion and I also hate just sitting around the house for 6 hours. Sleeping, while not the most comfy, kills two birds with one stone and gives me lots of color saturation.
I do all this crap because my hair looks awesome the next day, and even better the day after that - the color fully develops and deepens. The lovely (to me) scent also lingers a few days. I have natural tobacco-brown dark hair and this gives a warm black (slight red tinge) tinge. Gorg. PITA THOUGH. Major PITA. Especially the rinsing and bathroom cleanup. I think those that say it's not that bad probably have shorter hair and an outdoor hose to rinse with. I will for sure repurchase, but WHY does this stuff come not pre-grated????? At the very least?