A few posts ago, I was contemplating on cutting my hair up to my shoulders. I dunno what the heck I was thinking. Crazy talk, I say. After much hesitation, I realized I was not ready to give up years of patience and tender loving care to my long locks. Plus, I know myself very well: the bold excitement of doing such a big change would have worn off after a few days and missing the comfort and warmth of my long hair would turn into regret. Ah, girl problems. I decided not to cut off my mermaid length hair…but I still wanted a change. So although I said no to scissors, I decided to say yes to colour.
My hair colour has been natural for most of my life. I dyed my hair black in high school when I was going through my Boricua phase, and throughout university I used semi-permanent hair dye to darken my natural chestnut brown hair. I stopped keeping up with it mainly due to laziness. The bonus outcome of my laziness brought my natural chestnut brown hair back to life, and I’ve kept it au naturelle since then. Now it was time for a colour change, but I wanted to do it as naturally and as low-maintenance as I could. That’s when Lush’s henna came into play.
I chuckeld at the name. Lush’s Caca Rouge – or “Red Poo” in French – is a natural way to add colour to your hair. Well, henna is in general. Henna is plant that produces a natural red dye. It’s been used as hair dye for thousands of years in Arabian, Indian, Persian and North African cultures. Not only does it give hair a nice touch of colour, it also has nourishing properties and makes your hair shiny and soft. It’s a two-in-one shebang, really. After consulting with a few Lush girls on how to use this product and discussing on what kind of colour I would get out of it (because it will turn out differently for everyone, depending on your hair texture, if you’re blonde/redhead/dark hair or if you’re hair is chemically dyed), I picked up a block of this spicy fragrant caca and headed home.
I referred to Lush’s YouTube channel for a “How-To” tutorial and I followed these steps. It’s a pretty standard and easy preparation and application process but the one thing I would warn about is the mess it will make. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with the mess at home (although this is totally DIY-able) so I did it at a good friend’s salon and I’m glad I did – this caca was really messy. Just imagine putting mud in your hair. So make sure you put newspaper on the floor, and make sure you apply Vaseline around your hairline and ears! Henna will stain on skin.
After the application was done, I twisted my hair up, put on a plastic shower cap, wrapped my head in an old t-shirt and headed home. I kept the henna in for six hours. On the Lush label it says you can keep it in for 3-4 hours, but because my hair is long and dark (i.e. not blonde and not a redhead), the Lush girls advised me to keep it for six hours for a more vibrant effect. And so Netflix was my companion that Saturday afternoon.
After the six hours were up, it was time to reveal. I was getting so excited. I felt my head getting hard (that’s what she said?) because the mud consistency of the henna had hardened my hair throughout those hours. I washed my hair very, very thoroughly with warm water and saw the water turn into a sea of red. I washed my hair twice (Godiva shampoo + Retread conditioner and left the conditioner in for a good five minutes). I rinsed thoroughly until the water turned clear and I took a peak in the mirror when I stepped out of the shower. Deep reds were glistening through my wet hair. I was getting so excited!! I dried off my hair and styled it straight. I was ecstatic with my new Ariel hair!
I absolutely love the way the red turned out! It gave that noticeable change I wanted, and it still looks natural. I love the way it it shines into a rich red glow in the sunlight and it makes my hair feel like silk to the touch. When I leave it curly, I feel like Rose Dawson. I am very happy with the result and I am thinking of doing henna again as early as next month to give it an even more vibrant red. Sigh of relief – imagine what I would have missed out on if I had cut it all off… 🙂 I’m glad I followed my gut.