*Suitable for vegans
Lately I’ve been growing increasingly bored with my hair. Since cutting it last April, I’ve maintained it short until lately, when I’ve been attempting to grow it back out. I miss my long, princessy hair. I also miss being able to dye it whatever colour I want, but sadly working in sales means no bubblegum pink or silver-grey for me.
I’m also somewhat limited by the fact that most hair colourants (Superdrug’s included) aren’t vegan friendly.
And so my mind wandered back to Lush’s henna hair colourant range. I’ve used almost all of them at some point in the past because there was a point where I was convinced my hair was about to snap off completely from years of abuse. I’m sort of over bright red hair, but I was longing for a bit of richness to what I currently have, and so my best bet was Caca Brun.
If you’ve never used these before I’ll start with the negatives to get them out of the way – it’s messy, takes a while and there’s definitely a knack to applying it without crumbling henna all over everything and everyone around you.
Using Caca Brun
There’s complete instructions here: How To Use Hair Colour
You start by breaking up the fairly huge block you pick up, and melting it down. This is a bit time-consuming, so I usually grate down about 2 cubes for my hair and pop it in a bowl over some hot water. Once it’s melted down into a super thick paste (that looks a bit like green soil), I usually water it down to make it into more of a creamiy consistency as I find it really difficult to get through my hair otherwise (the guy in the video does that too, so I’m following his lead).
Then separate your hair and apply the mix to your hair as normal. I tie mine up, and then leave it for 3-4 hours. I believe you can leave it overnight, but wrapping the hair brings out the red in the colour and I’d prefer not to be too red.
Getting the stuff back off your hair is the part I find hardest. Unlike normal hair dye, this stuff doesn’t just rinse out. If you apply the mix too thickly I can only compare it to trying to wash compost out of your hair – grainy, messy, and will cover your entire shower. I find 3-4 rounds of shampoo + sort of vigorous massage works best, followed by a ten minute stint of conditioner.
The idea with henna, and this particular way of colouring your hair is that the henna coats your hair leaving your existing colour underneath – meaning even using the same product you’ll never have the same result as someone else. There’s no blocky, one dimensional colour, and minimal damage to your hair for doing it meaning what you end up with is rich, glossy tone to your hair, with as many highlights and lowlights as your natural hair has.
(Sadly, it does not fix frizzy natural drying hair)
It’s definitely strange for your hair to be so well conditioned after a colouring treatment. My hair as gorgeously soft (though a little tangled from all the washing to try get the stuff out) – but also super smooth, and extra glossy. I applied this twice recently to wake up my hair – the first time I applied it a little thickly and left on for three hours, the second I added more water to make a creamier mix and left for two and a half.
The end result for me is a rich, deep, slightly darker than my natural brown shade which I can’t stop staring at/stroking.
Would I Recommend Caca Brun?
If you’re looking for a way to mix up your hair colour a little that is a) super gentle, with no drastic change to your colour or b) vegan, then yes, I absolutely would. It’s definitely more time consuming and a little more requiring of effort, but to me it’s worth it.
As ever with any hair colourants, strand tests are super, super important. Not only are some people allergic to henna, but if your hair is super damaged, or previously coloured you’re never 100% sure of the colour you’ll end up with. Always test!
You can buy Caca Brun online here or in most Lush stores.
Have you ever used henna to colour your hair? Or would you consider it?