Henna Hair | Caca-Whaat?
There I was, minding my own business, looking for a nice bath bomb at LUSH Cosmetics for a future relaxing evening and BAM! My life changed before my eyes. These giant brown bricks with the word "henna" labeled right above it. Hmmmmm. I only knew henna as the dye used to make beautiful Indian body art designs. I never knew anyone used it for hair! Enter Savannah research mode...
I looked at hashtags. Asked internet-strangers questions. Watched countless videos. Pinned and pinned and pinned. It took me a couple months to really convince myself to go back and try it out, but I finally absorbed enough information that I felt pretty confident to give it a go. LUSH's "Caca Rouge" color scared me a little bit because it seemed to be a very orange-y/red tint. Maybe a little too bright for me? On the other end, the next closest color, "Caca Marron" seemed much too dark.
Now, I've been absolutely all shades of red - from purple to gold and everything in-between. Fifty shades of red, if you will. Lately I've been wanting a vibrant version of a 'natural' auburn red. I'm not even sure if that makes any sense, but that's been my goal.
As scared as I was to do this whole process in the first place, I went out on my own limb and experimented by mixing two henna colors together. I may be hesistent to try something new, but I sure get brave any make some crazy decisions at the last second.
Each henna bar from LUSH comes with 6 blocks and I knew from my reading, I probably didn't need the entire thing, but I'd need more than a few. Imagining how I wanted the color to mix, I decided on five blocks total - 3 Caca Rouge (red) and 2 Caca Marron (auburn). I hadn't seen anyone online pull off that exact mixture, but I just had a good feeling and went with it!
If you're trying this for the first time, I would recommend watching a few Youtubers cooking and applying the henna. I think I would have been a little lost without having seen those videos previously. I'm definitely a visual-learner when it comes to something as important as this. Here's a few I watched, just to get a feel for what this process would be like:
- How to apply LUSH Henna Hair Dye • LUSH Cosmetics North America
- Women Try Henna Hair Dye • Ladylike
- Lush's Henna Hair Dye - Tutorial + Review • Rocky Applebee
I probably watched these (more than once), along with 15 others or so. I was in it to win it, y'all.
Here's a quick rundown on how I used henna for the first time:
1. Crunch those henna blocks up! I used a large knife and tried to get them chopped down as much as possible. Thanks to my research, I found out it cooks/melts a lot faster that way.
2. Using a double-boil situation, add water and boil until the solid shreds of henna turn into a smooth brownie batter. This smells up your kitchen. It's not a particularly bad smell. Kind of nature-y mixed with a little essential oil-y. I can't really nail it down, but it's a strong fragrance.*
3. Now that you have a steaming pile of henna, use some potholders and make your way to the bathroom.
4. Put a painter's drop cloth on the floor. Newspapers. Paper. Cardboard. Something! You will get dye EVERYWHERE. An fellow instagrammer recommended I apply while standing in the shower/bathtub. Not a bad idea, just make sure you're wiping the dye from your white tub and it doesn't permanently become red too.
5. Prevent your skin from getting dyed by applying a barrier to all the skin surrounding your hair. I used a thick wax: LUSH's Ultrabalm. Then, put on some gloves.
6. Use a hair color brush and apply the henna similar to how you would any other home dye. It's thicker. It's practically mud and it gets a little tougher to apply as the temperature becomes cooler. Chunks of henna will also fall off your head and you may have to do some double-checking to make sure all your hair is coated.
7. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap and put on a shower cap. Then wait.Wait. And wait some more. I left the concoction on for a little over four hours. I watched a lot of tv and didn't move around too much. Typical Saturday night!
8. Wash it out. This is quite a process too! If you've ever been muddin' (any East Texans in the house?), you know how hard it is to get dried mud out of your hair. I brushed through it several times, as i washed and conditioned, just to make sure everything was all gone.
* Remember that strong smell that I mentioned would fill your kitchen? It's now in your hair. For a while. Enjoy! I think it took me several washes and about two weeks to no longer get a whiff of it. Again, not a bad smell. Just a unique one.
When I finally dried my hair and got to see the new color, I was really excited that it worked so well! Very similar to what I'm used to, but I feel so much better about it. With just a simple bar of plants and coconut butter (without any excessive plastic packaging), I covered my roots and added a new vibrancy to the rest of my hair. Is it a little more hard work than the other box dyes I'm used to? Sure, but I'm definitely going to keep going with it! I can take a Saturday here and there to make sure I'm putting safer products on my fragile hair.