Review of "Henna"

published 21/11/2007 | indexicality
Member since : 27/10/2007
Reviews : 2
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Pro soft, shiny hair, rich colour that doesn't go dull
Cons difficult to put on and smells strongly herbal
very helpful
Value for Money
Side effects

"Lovely stuff for your hair"

Lush Henna- natural hair dye

=== Price £6.25 === (a lot cheaper than getting it dyed in the hair dresser).

Hairdressers, unsurprisingly, abhor henna (the H word) as it takes away their customers. After Henna you cannot go and dye over it, as I understand it, henna penetrates the hair shaft and dye cotes it, and you cannot do one after the other. I have dyed my hair in the past and so I was very cautious about using Henna in case it went green. I can tell you that it didn't, it was lovely. However it had been 5 months since I had last dyed my hair, do not henna your hair immediately after you have dyed it, wait a few months and do a strand test.

The advantages of Henna are that it is very good for your hair, it will feel very soft and silky afterwards, which if you have long hair or want to change the colour a lot without turning it to straw is an big bonus. It is also a lot cheaper than getting your whole head dyed and you can sit around at home on the sofa watching films or potting around the house rather than reading a boring magazine while your bum goes numb in the hairdressers.

The downside is that it is laborious and messy to put on, difficult to get off, and smells rather mossy, grassy and herbaly-ish, which is not so bad to begin with but you'll be bloody sick of after 6 hours.

My dyed blond highlights were a slightly lighter shade than the rest of my hair but they were evenly covered, although they didn't retain the colour as long as the rest of my hair, it was not a problem. I have only used Lush Henna although The Body Shop also sell it, also the website; has lots of information about Henna.

It comes in four colours;
Caca Brun

"The subtle coffee-coloured one. Caca Brun is made with black and red hennas plus ground coffee for a deep brown shade. It makes your hair smell like a fresh espresso for a few days. Clove bud oil adds to its spicy scent and we use powdered nettle and seaweed for extra shiny and softness. Caca Brun gives your hair a magnificent shine. We recommend it for people with a mousy, undecided hair colour. It`s time to make your mind up and come out really shiny brown!"

This is the first henna I used. It's very good for beginners as its not to radical and likely to suit most complexions. Although I wouldn't say my hair smelt "like a fresh espresso" more like a herbal grassy smell, not unpleasant but it is quite strong to begin with.
Caca Marron

"Dark red-brown like fresh conkers and as shiny as a new penny. Caca Marron gives a dark red, rich chestnut brown which causes people to comment on its beauty. Really! The coffee gives a strong, deep brown and red henna gives it a glossy, dark red colour which grabs the attention. The wild herby, coffee and clove scent is wonderful as long as you aren`t expecting a synthetic out-of-a-tube perfume, which you wouldn`t if you know Lush. Visit a shop and ask the staff which ones of them use Marron and you`ll buy a block."

I like this colour, I used half this and half Brun and it gives a very natural reddy-brown.
Caca Rouge

"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 so you get even more colour, lemon juice for extra shine, rosemary for additional extra shine and clove bud oil because it smells good and warms and stimulates your scalp. You are only allowed to use this is you want really red hair. If you don`t, choose a different one"

Caca Noir

"Pure Persian henna mixed with Indian indigo for blue-black tints. It is an ancient Indian tradition to mix red henna with powder from the dried, fermented indigo root, to give dark hair deep blue glints. Indigo is not cheap so there are some synthetic `black hennas` around but don`t touch them with a barge-pole, promise? Lush Caca Noir is red henna with indigo powder, with the clove oil scent and Irish moss seaweed for softness. Cover it with Clingfilm and keep it damp for a redder colour or let it air dry for a black/blue tint. (Pick up any bits which fall on the floor or it`ll dye the rugs too.)"

Rouge and Noir I have not used, so I have just supplied the information from the website.

Strand Test.

Always test your hair especially if you have dyed it in the past to make sure it doesn't turn your hair green. Do this on a small lock on the underneath of your hair, or from the hair in your hair brush. Henna reacts to dyed hair but after a few months enough of the dye has washed out of your hair so that it doesn't go green, although it will not take the henna quite as well as the rest of your hair.
How to use
(I suggest you get a friend to help you with this)

Henna block from Lush

Rubber gloves, (dental type ones are easier then washing up ones)

Cheese grater


A glass bowl which will sit inside a saucepan.

Wooden spoon

Tumbler type drinking glass (to pour the henna on your head; makes it a lot easier)

Old towel

Old clothes to wear

Clingfilm (optional for a reddish tinge)

Baby wipes (very useful)

Henna brush (£1 from The Body Shop; not essential)

Hair clip

Cheap conditioner (good for washing it off)

A friend/relative who loves you very much! (Essential)


Step 1; grating the henna

The block of henna is sectioned into six squares, for long thick hair about 4-5 blocks is about the right amount, shorter, thinner hair will need less- its better to start off with more that you need because not all of it will make it to your head. Grate the Henna, this is like grating brick and takes quite a while. You can hold the henna with your bare hands, even if some of it comes off as your hands heat up from all that grating it won't stain them; just wash your hands afterwards.
Step 2; preparing the bathroom

Removing the rug or covering the carpet in the bathroom may seem like an unnecessary precaution but you will be thankful that you did because the henna will go everywhere. Put in the bathroom the old towel, rubber gloves, drinking glass, clingfilm, baby wipes, hair clip, henna brush, and amenable friend. Both you and your friend should wear old clothes.
Step 3; heating the Henna

It is important to get the bathroom and all your equipment ready before you heat the henna because you want to get it onto your head before its cools down and solidifies, which it does quite quickly. Also do not use metal utensils when heating up the henna as it affects the colour. Right so- boil the kettle and put your grated henna into a glass bowl. It helps if you can fit this bowl inside a saucepan for the method I use. Pour boiling water into the saucepan and put the bowl of henna inside it as if you are melting chocolate. Add boiling water to the henna and stir it with the wooden spoon. The consistency you are trying to reach is un-whipped double cream, or yoghurt. It also becomes darker. Officially you are not meant to do this on the hob, but I find that it doesn't get the henna hot enough just sitting it in boiling water so I heat the bottom of my pan. As the henna heats up it will get thicker (think custard) so make sure it has finished thickening and is hot to touch. You want it as hot as you can bear on your head but do not boil it or burn your scalp. When you have reached the right consistency and temperature, take the saucepan with the two bowls and the henna put it in the bath.

Step 4; getting bloody stuff on your head!

This works best if you stand with your back to the bath and your friend stands in it with the henna next to her. Clip up the top of your hair, and put the towel around your shoulders.

Instruction for the henna applier- Put rubber gloves on. Begin at the root and at the back of the head, so from roots to tips and back to front. Use the glass to scoop up the henna and pour it onto the head, this makes it a lot easier. Try and distribute it evenly throughout the hair. Pile the hair up in the style of a bun, then wrap clingfilm round your friend's head, this will bring out the red in the henna (not a lot, I used brown henna and it gave it a slight reddy tinge). I recommend the clingfilm because it keeps the hair in place and stops the henna flaking everywhere when it dries. However you could just use a towel if you want a browner look.

Now you have to clear up the devastation in the bathroom. Baby wipes are good for getting the henna off the floor and off the back of your neck, ears and hairline.
Step 5: sitting about with a clingfilmed head for hours.

I leave my henna on for 6 hours, but depending how dark you want it and how it affects your hair you may wish to leave it on for more or less time. It's quite a good idea to watch films (Gone with the Wind or Pride and Prejudice (1995) are nice and long) or if you're feeling really good write your essay or similar work related activity. Do not answer the door. Watch out for henna seeping down your neck, wipe off with kitchen roll and wrap more clingfilm round head.

Step 6; getting it off: a lesson in patience.

The worst bit by far is getting it off your head! You really need a shower for this and lots of cheap conditioner, (so you don't mind using half a bottle). This works far better than shampoo and it doesn't tangle up your hair, although I do think you should shampoo your head at some point. Wash your hair until all the henna is out or as many times as you can bear to. Also wash it off your body as it tends to coat it as it makes its way off your head.

The colour of your hair will develop over the next 24 hours, so when you first dry it the colour will be lighter than it will be eventually. Henna makes your hair very silky and shiny, is a lot better for it than chemical dyes.

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Comments on this review

  • Frailfrost published 22/11/2007
    Fantastic review, definitely E worthy. I used body shop henna a few months ago and was a little disturbed by the whole experience. I looked like a cow had gone to the toilet on my head and smelled like a teabag but the effect was quite good, might have to try this stuff again! Lucy x
  • HotBabes published 22/11/2007
    LOL at the headline for step 4! x
  • salem_witch published 21/11/2007
    This didn't work very well for me so I've not bought it since.
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Product Information : Henna

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