I was curious about this henna because I have recently been put on to Lush by a few of my friends. I balked at the prices, but my friends said it was worth it to be chemical free. I can still never wrap my head around that logic. Chemicals are cheaper than nature. Anyway, I had used boxed henna before (in powder form) from the beauty supply store, so I was of course intrigued by this. Lush's henna is in brick form with cocoa butter and other natural ingredients. I was torn between rouge and marron because I wasn't sure how it was going to work on my dark hair, but I ended up going with Caca Rouge Mama. I figured since you usually always go lighter than what you want because it doesn't come out that color (in my experience with dark hair) and its always easier to darken something that's too light. I read a lot of reviews before moving forward with this because I needed to know a) if it was even worth it because my hair is dark b) I thought it was expensive for a hair treatment c) I needed to have the process down to make it work to its best ability. I admit I briefly looked over the instructions because I read what - 40 blogs or so on this? And read almost all the reviews on the Lush website and watched a ton of YT vids. I figured I was an expert and knew what to expect.
A lot of reviews and blogs said this was indescribably messy and to enlist the aid of a friend/roommate/loved one for application or to have them do it in the store. I originally planned in having it applied in the store but didn't find time, so I decided to do it myself. A lot of people also complained about the smell being strong and yucky. I thought it wasn't a terrible smell, maybe depends on the color? Very herbal and I can see where some people with sensitive sniffers would find it strong, but I didn't mind it at all. Breaking up the bar wasn't as hard as a lot of people made it seem. I cut off 3 cubes with my small kitchen knife and then rough chopped it with my cleaver into chunks. I had read a multitude of different things people added to make the henna stronger or aid the color whatever. I had planned on this as well, but that got screwed up when I used too much liquid (I boiled water and steeped 2 bags of plain old Lipton for a few minutes.) I was actually scared I used too much liquid and was going to waste my henna. But it ended up working out and I had just enough for my hair. It was about yogurt/cake batter thickness and still had a few small chunks, but I decided it was good enough. (I did see all the grains/grainy texture people were complaining about) I really wanted to get this bad boy started and you're supposed to apply while warm.
|Henna bar, chunks, grains, and all mixed out|
Off to the shower I went and stripped down to my birthday suit to get on with my henna. I knew it was going to be messy so I figured doing it in the shower was a good move and I'm so glad I did. I know you're supposed to apply on dry hair, but I didn't want it to tangle so I dampened my hair a bit before applying. I snapped on some latex gloves and went to town dumping it in my hair. I separated it into 2 sections - front and back - and happily globbed it in (much the same way I do regular box dye.) After I was sure I had every strand coated, I wrapped my hair up in a plastic cap and rinsed off. The plastic cap ended up being not enough to contain the henna, I had it dripping everywhere and it kept messing up the shower as I was trying to clean it. So I hopped out and ran to the kitchen for the plastic wrap and sealed it up. I must have wrapped my head about 5 times in plastic wrap to contain it all. Then I tied my scarf on top to catch any stragglers.
|waiting for this to do it's thang!|
It felt so heavy on my head and (I can guarantee you will get a headache from the weight of it all and the tightness of the wrapping.) I was dreading the 4 hour wait to wash this out. Big mistake I made by doing it at 9pm. While I'm all for burning the midnight oil, I was not for a midnight shower. Especially not when everyone complained that it took forever to rinse out the henna and all the grains. I knew there was no way I was sleeping with this crap on my head. I was already itching to take it out. So staying up was my only option. I waited about 3 hours before heading back to the shower. When they say this takes forever to wash out they did not lie. The tiny grains would not come out. About 2 shampoos and 3 conditions later, I was mostly grain free. My hair still smelled herbal from the henna, but not in an unpleasant way. I didn't lose any hair more than normal considering the vigorous washing - I heard that as a complaint about the henna as well. I couldn't even bother with blow drying to see the results. I was glad to see I didn't have any staining on my skin because I didn't use any Vaseline around my edges. I just hopped in bed (wrapped my pillow up in an old towel) and hoped for the best. I didn't have high expectations because I knew henna deposited color not lightened. I previously used box dye to lighten my hair a month ago (I went from dark brown to dark brown with reddish highlights) and figured it would just enhance that color. If anything I would have nice soft hair from the henna and cocoa butter. I could think of it as a nice deep conditioning treatment.
|I hate smiling in pics, but my color before the henna|
|not the best pic, but this is the morning after|
In the morning, my hair was dry and coarse, not soft as I had hoped it would be. I could tell from the inside light that the red took well to the lighter parts of my hair. Some of the darker parts had red showing through, probably from where it was more concentrated. In natural, outside light it was a brighter red than I thought, and I was pleased with the results. A few reviews said the henna keeps processing for at least another week, so I'll check back then.
|my roots are darker, but the red is more intense.|
|it really stuck to the lighter parts of my hair|
It's been a little over a week and my hair has been washed a few times. The texture is back to normal and I'm happy for that. Still didn't get that super soft hair from it, but it still feels thicker. So I guess that's a plus. I think I'll try it again in a few weeks with the 3 remaining cubes. Maybe I'll add paprika and lemon juice and all kind of other things to boost the color. Some raw honey maybe? I'll check back in and let you know.
**EDIT** I used the remaining henna this weekend. I mixed it with green tea, cinnamon, and ACV. I left it on for about 4 hours instead of 3. The other change I made was applying it to dry hair instead of damp hair. I think that made it easier to wash out. I shampooed twice and used conditioner twice. The color was more vibrant when I washed it out, but it did nothing to my roots :( Now when I'm indoors you can tell it has a reddish-brown tint. Out in the sunlight it's pure auburn glory.
Overall I'm pleased with the results, but I don't think it's worth shelling out the almost $30 on this. It's too messy and hard to wash out. There are plenty of other ways to achieve natural color for less money.
Any of you try this Lush henna or any other hennas?