When I was younger my mum always used to colour her hair with henna, she said that it was better for your hair than having it chemically coloured, and if done correctly usually turned out brighter. I remember her walking around the house for hours with brown goop on her head, sometimes running down the back of her neck, thinking she looked so silly!!!
Years on and I decided to try henna after my hairdresser said that she didn't think that she could get my hair the colour that I wanted it. I went to Lush and order one of their Caca Rouge Hennas.
The website says that this is the really red one for hair like sunsets. It's red and no mistake. This is the finest Persian red henna with cocoa butter to make it adhere better to the hair and bring out extra colour; lemon juice and rosemary give beautiful shine, and clove bud oil smells good and stimulates your scalp. You should use this if you want really red hair.
It came in a block of six chunks along with some instructions. I thought it would be best to use 4 chunks seeings though my hair is on the longer side. The instructions say that you need to grate it with a cheese grater but we only have one in our house and I didn't like the thought of using utensils that I use for my food to grate my henna up. So I popped the blocks into a freezer bag and smashed them into tiny little pieces with a hammer...same effect...less time...no mixing henna with my food!!! You then need to mix the pieces with boiling water in a heat proof bowl and stir until you have the consistency of double cream...which for us beauty lovers is about the consistency of a medium thickness liquid foundation. You then sit the bowl in a simmering saucepan of water on your stove to keep it hot (NOT too hot though or you will burn your scalp which is never a good thing!!!) Pop on your gloves and scoop the henna up and apply it to your head starting with your roots and working your way to the ends.
Here is a before and after shot of my hair and in all honestly I can't really see one bit of difference and it definitely doesn't look anything like what I thought it would.
I ended up leaving the henna on wrapped in glad wrap (saran wrap) for 6 hours so I was definitely expecting something a little bit redder. I was also really put off by the smell and even now 2 days on after washing my hair I can still smell it, it's a floral smell with something else that I can't quiet place mixed in as well it. In addition to this my hair feels like all of the moisture has been sucked out of it and is no longer smooth and tangle free. In short not only am I devastated that my hair feels terrible (leaving a hair mask on for an hour has done nothing to fix the smoothness issue) but my hair now has a terribly funky scent to it and it just stinks...queue the worlds smallest violin just for me :)
I'm not sure if I should have left it in longer or whether I should have used all 6 blocks but I am really underwhelmed with the results and overwhelmed by the terrible smell and will definitely be going back to chemical colouring in my quest to achieve the perfect red. I think that this product would work really well for people with blonde hair (and perhaps a not so sensitive nose) and they would definitely see better results but because I have died my hair dark in the past that might also have impeded the colour absorption process.