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Lush's Caca Rouge (red henna) applied to naturally ginger hair
Dying naturally red/ginger hair - why did I chose henna?
I chose henna over other dying products on the recommendation of a friend's mother. She mentioned that Lush sold a good selection of colours and that they would also advise me on how best to use it, so I went into my local shop. My hair is naturally ginger and I just wanted to make it stand out more, so I decided that I wanted to go for 'Caca Rouge', which would dye my hair a brighter shade of red.
Note - Caca Rouge will PERMANENTLY dye your hair.
Dying my hair with Caca Rouge - initial impressions
When I first decided to dye my hair with Caca rouge from Lush, I found that there was very little information available about how it would affect my hair.
The henna was sold in a 325g chocolate-style bar, split into six pieces, which made it easier to break up into smaller bits. I had very short hair at the time of dying and only used three squares (the longer the hair, the more you will need). The product was sold with instructions, which I followed exactly. I noticed that the henna smelt very earthy, a bit like damp leaves, but I didn't find it unpleasant.
This particular brand contains:
- Red Henna
- Fair trade, organic cocoa butter
- Organic lemon juice
- Powdered rosemary
- Clove Bud Oil
I found that the oil and cocoa butter left my hair well conditioned and glossy after use.
Applying the red henna
The henna needed to be melted in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and then applied to the hair while still warm.
I would recommend applying the henna outside, as it is very messy and stains everything it touches. Also, remember to protect your clothes and cover your ears, hairline and neck in Vasaline (or something similar) to avoid dying your skin. I got my mother to help me to apply the henna to each section of hair. Having someone assisting me ensured that I didn't miss any bits or risk ending up with patchy hair.
The melted henna was gritty and thick in texture and it felt as though I was spreading wet mud onto my hair. It took about half an hour to completely cover my head, which I then wrapped in cellophane to keep it warm. I suggest putting a towel or shower cap over the cellophane, so as not to stain anything, as sometimes little bits of henna can escape the plastic wrapping.
I washed the henna out after two hours.
Living with hennaed hair - the first month
I found that rinsing my hair turned the shower-water orange for a little over a week after dying. It took me a while to get used to the colour, but I found myself feeling more self-confident due to the vibrancy or the colour and the good condition my hair was in post-dye. It began to fade to a more natural shade after about three weeks.
My roots didn't begin to show for about a month. When my natural colour started growing back out, the contrast was quite dramatic and I thought that I looked as though I was going rusty on the top of my head. As the colour faded with time, the regrowth began to blend nicely and I didn't feel as self conscious about it.
Encouraging hennaed hair to fade
After six months I found myself beginning to miss my natural hair colour and started exploring methods of natural bleaching. I found that the best way to fade the coloured sections of my hair was to apply fresh lemon juice and go and sit in the sun. After four or five lemon juice applications, my hair began to lighten, as the citric acid reacted with the UV rays and naturally bleached.
Unless you are willing to re-dye or chemically bleach your hair, it is difficult to remove the henna properly.
Would I use Caca Rouge again?
I would not henna my hair again; however this is because I found myself missing my natural hair colour more than I had expected, rather than there being any fault with the product.
The condition my hair was left in was far better than it would have been with a chemical dye and I liked the colour that the henna faded to.
I would recommend that you think very carefully about dying your hair with henna as it is PERMANENT and you will end up with 'roots'.