After carefully weighing up the pro's and con's, I decided that I'd give it a go, and Lush were amazing in helping me to get it happening by sending me some of their caca rouge to try!
I've been dyeing my hair a copper (what I call "proper ginger") colour using chemical dyes for quite some time, and I wanted to stick with that sort of colour, so caca rouge is definitely the colour for me. Lush henna comes in 4 different colours, starting with Rouge, which will give a vibrant coppery red; Marron, which will give more of a wine-coloured red; Brun, which is a rich, warm brown colour; and Noir, which gives the silkiest of blacks.
The henna comes from Lush in a block, pre-mixed with cocoa butter, rosemary powder and lemon juice to activate the henna, so that all you have to do is mix it into a muddy paste with hot water.
My application method is one that seemed the least messy when I watched youtube videos about it. Starting at the crown, I worked in small sections, winding my hair up into a muddy bun, with the hairline being the last sections added. You can see how I did it in my video below.
I left the caca rouge on my hair for 3 hours, and the rinsed it off, which was the most difficult part of the process. I needed 2 shampoos and 2 lots of conditioner to get all of the gritty mud out of my hair, but once that was done (and I'd given my shower a really good scrub), I was done. I had read that blowdrying your hair on a hot setting helps to intensify your colour, so I did that, and blew it straight so that it would look decent for the next day, as I was avoiding shampoo for the next 2 days.
I think the results speak for themselves...I'm so, SO happy with the colour, my hair feels and looks so much healthier and happier, and I feel really good about the fact that I've achieved an ideal colour with no chemicals!
Thank you so much, Lush, for providing me with the product to try. I have enough caca rouge left for at least 2 root touch-ups, or another full head application, and I'll definitely be heading back to my local store to buy more after that is gone. I'd definitely recommend henna, and the Lush Cacas in particular, to anyone wanting to cut chemical dye use on their hair, and even to people who want a beautiful warm colour, and are considering chemical dyes. This is a wonderful alternative.
A couple of things to think about(AKA my pro's and con's list):
Henna will not lighten your hair. If you are naturally brunette, for example, you won't get the same results as I have with this henna. Blondes can expect a vibrant colour, as can people with a lot of grey. Choose a henna to compliment your natural awesomness, and you'll find the results are beautiful. You can use henna over bleached hair, but that kind of defeats the purpose. The only reason I got such a vibrant colour this time is because I'd been bleaching with chemicals before. You can see in my video that my roots are a darker version of this awesome red, and I expect it to grow out to a gorgeous ombre look, whilst maintaining the same tonal colouring with henna touchups as I go.
Henna is awesome, but once it's in your hair, it's not going anywhere. Most chemical dyes suggest not using them over hair which has been treated with henna. Henna is a big commitment, and you should be absolutely sure about it before you do it.
Henna is messy. It stains everything it comes into contact with if you don't clean it immediately. That includes your skin, clothes, countertops and shower.
Henna is time consuming. It takes at least 4 hours from start to finish, so make sure you have the time to sit around with mud on your head before you start. The upside of it is that you don't have to reapply as often, because the colour stays vibrant and doesn't fade like chemical dyes, so the time spent probably works out the same, especially if you usually spend 2+hours in the salon.
Henna is very inexpensive. For Lush's cacas, you can expect to pay less than $25, and generally there will be enough for your initial application plus one or more root touchups (depending on the length and type of hair that you have).
Henna stinks. It smells like mud with hay in it. Your head is going to smell like that for up to a week after you use it.
Henna is compatible with most other natural dyes (Cassia, Indigo, etc), and can be mixed with any of them to make custom hair colours.
Henna is natural and won't take anything OUT of your hair. All it does is deposit colour (stain) onto the hair shaft.
Neutral henna has been used as a deep conditioning hair treatment for hundreds of years. What better reason to use it on your hair as a colourant? Conditioning while it stains? Awesome.
Lush hennas are available form Lush stores worldwide, and from www.lush.com