A long time ago, we’re talking 6 years or so, I wrote this blog post talking about washing my hair with shampoo and conditioner that contained Henna. And since then, that has been my only dabble with using Henna on my hair. Having made a more conscious effort to look after my hair this year and avoid harsh, chemical dyes, I turned to the natural folk at Lush and found their Henna bricks.
Featuring the finest Persian Henna, cocoa butter and essential oils each brick costs just over £10 for 325g and includes four shades (in order of darkest to reddest) Noir for inky black, Brun for chocolate tones, Marron for chestnut tones and Rouge for a fiery red. I opted for ‘Caca Marron’ which translates as ‘Brown-red poo’ HA, though since writing this post I have also dabbled with ‘Caca Rouge’ which is the only brick that contains no indigo to darken the pigment.
How lovely ey? Red henna adds body and shine and fair trade, organic cocoa butter softens the hair, the natural dye coats each strand like a varnish to add an extra layer of protection, as well as a glossy coating and is safe for the hair allowing you to add henna as often as you’d like. The final outcome wholly depends on the colour of your hair, to begin with.
Using the Henna bricks is messy work, let me tell you! I began by breaking a few blocks off the bar and placed them (along with a little boiling water) into a heatproof glass bowl that was perched on a pan that was also filled with boiling water on the hob… Bain-Marie style! You melt the Henna bricks similar to how you melt chocolate, looking for a similar, thick but smooth consistency. Lush advise the hotter the Henna, the better which I must admit (Asperger’s problems) took literally when applying the lava-like consistency to my scalp! DOH!
I then wore rubber gloves to apply the consistency to my hair and I felt like I should have been doing it outside amongst nature…the Henna dries quickly when applied to the hair and resembles dreadlocks, hair all matted together in a bizarre dry mud consistency! It’s certainly not the sexiest nor the cleanest look let me tell you and I definitely recommend you using newspaper to pad the floor because this stuff looks like two monkeys have had a mud fight in the bathroom.
After applying, you must wrap your head in clingfilm, not only does this prevent even more mess, but it helps to keep the hair warm, which intensifies the redder tones. If you leave it unwrapped, your colour result is likely to be darker. I even blasted my cling-filmed head a few times with the hairdryer to keep the heat locked- in. Lush recommend leaving the dye on for 2 hours, but I did 4 and the colour continues to develop for up to 24 hours even after shampooing/ rinsing and 48 hours for the darker shades, Brun and Noir.
Autumnal shades? 100% achieved, I mean how gorgeous is that colour? My hair looks healthier, the colour richer and the tones are a gorgeous auburn shade and I couldn’t be more pleased!
My only qualm with the organic Henna bricks is the way my hair is left super, super parched upon rinsing and requires a pretty heavy duty conditioner and masque to pat the moisture back in, This is something I really wasn’t expecting with the added nourishing cocoa butter and coating properties that don’t penetrate the hair’s cortex in the way that artificial dyes do. But it hasn’t deterred me, I can’t wait to do it again and see what tones I can bring out next!