Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lush Henna Hair Dyes - Caca Brun Mama

So I finally got around to trying Lush henna hair dye. I have a lot of grays, lucky genetic streak plus stress adds to it as well. I took picture of the product but not the actual process because it's a mess, however I'll describe it... get ready it's a long post.

First why I decided to go with henna... well I'm a sucker for a good sales pitch:
- fantastic conditioning properties of cocoa butter
- henna smooths cuticles and protects them from damage
- imparts a glossy finish
- makes your hair strong

Lush has 4 different henna dye shades to choose from:
1. Caca Rouge Mama - for those who love red
2. Caca Brun Mama - for those who like me favor browns
3. Caca Noir Mama - for those who can pull of luscious black locks
4. Caca Marron Mama - chestnut lovers this one is for you

Each 325g 6 piece block retails for $20.95 CAD and comes with an instruction sheet but I should have checked Lush website because online instructions are a lot more informative. I used the whole thing... it was way too much. If like me you have short hair (like a boy) or fine hair, you might want to use half or a third.
You should cut your block into chunks (I didn't and dropped the whole chunk into a stainless steel bowl). Pour hot water over it and let it melt. The consistency should be that of yogurt once it's ready (mine was more a hummus dip because I didn't pay attention:)) Melting a whole chunk just took a bit longer, didn't affect the product negatively at all. It was an ugly dark green color, and I mean ugly. Didn't smell that great either, but it wasn't offensive... kind of like a strong green tea... or lets just say herbal...

Lush recommends doing a strand test. For two reasons:
1. if you have gray hair, henna'd gray strands will show up red... so if you're 40% or more gray you might end up looking very bright... I have grays but not that much I thought I'd see highlights if anything...
2. bleached, sun-lightened, permed, chemically straightened or colored hair might not get the results expected and a strand test is ESSENTIAL
I decided to take my chances and skipped the strand test.

Cover the area where you'll be working with newspaper or towels you won't miss. Don't wear anything you'd hate to have dyed. Around your hairline, ears, and neck apply a thick layer of rich cream, Vaseline, or like me Ultrabalm. Wear plastic gloves, or you'll end up with colored hands.

Then apply. Instructions suggest working from back to front, roots to tips. Seriously I don't know how someone with shoulder length hair and longer will manage. But that maybe just my clumsiness. Jason stepped in and helped me with the back of my head. This ended up all over the place, including my mirror. I'm glad I followed the precautions and covered my surfaces.

Once you're done leave the product on for 1 to 6 hours. Wrap your head in saran wrap or a shower cap you won't miss if  you want reddish tones to pop (that's what the site says). I put on a shower cap, because I didn't want chunks of henna to dry and break off all over my floor.

When ready, shampoo, condition, enjoy.... sigh...

I left it on for 4 hours. Should have taken my cap off in the shower, instead I littered my washroom floor with henna pieces. Lush uses dried Persian henna leaves which are ground into a powder. Well this powder feels very grainy when rinsing out. I thought I'd never get all of it out... once again I don't know how people with long hair would manage. I was also worried it would clog my drain. Shampooed 3 times... then conditioned. My shower was a mess, such a mess... I rinsed it clean, but once done I had to do a through cleaning, because the tub had a heavy henna ring around it.

My hair... dark, practically black... and I see grays. I don't know if it's my shoddy application job, or the fact that the product was the wrong consistency. Even-though I shampooed 3 times and conditioned for good 10 minutes I could still smell the herbal henna scent. One plus, my hair was fluffy once it dried... lol... but that happens after every shampoo... No crazy red streaks... the gray that I did cover turned a dark reddish-brown.

So will I ever dye my hair with Lush henna?  First reaction ABSOLUTELY NOT! The hassle, mess, and time involved just did not seem worth it. I was going back to my 10 min Garnier fix. But then a week or so after I dyed my hair, I saw my sister  and she commented how healthy and shiny my hair looked. And the next day I saw my stylist and she commented how much thicker and fuller my hair felt and looked. So on second thought ABSOLUTELY YES! The rewards are worth the hassle, mess, and time involved :)

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