Everyone loves a trip to Lush, right? If you’ve never been, it’s time to visit your local store and enjoy the earthy fragrances, the natural ingredients, the bath bombs, etc.
I usually try to keep my trips to Lush down to once every other month because even when I go in just to browse or sniff the new holiday soaps, I always manage to shell out more cash than my wallet is prepared to part with. Lush is just that irresistible.
Last weekend, I had a purpose. After a messy hair appointment that involved booking my usual stylist, getting a newbie instead and leaving the salon with a botched dye job, I wasn’t feeling up to another visit to get it fixed. I had wanted dark red hair for the winter season, but instead my locks were bright red at the ends and a brassy orange at the roots. As if that wasn’t enough of a disaster, my hair also went from soft and manageable to feeling damaged and mangled. So, off to Lush I went!
Henna is an all-natural alternative to hair dye. You can pick from three different shades at Lush- a brown, a red and a black. I went with Lush’s Caca Noir Henna Hair Dye ($27.95), the black, which is the closest match to my natural color.
Here were my three goals: to cover up the monstrosity that was my hair color, to blend my hair with my emerging dark roots so it can grow in without a huge disconnect and lastly, but debatably the most important goal, to strengthen the hair that had been so damaged by chemicals at the salon (and a lot of heat styling at home).
Henna comes in six little squares. I optimistically started off with only three. Halfway through my application, I had to run into my kitchen to heat up the rest. If you have long hair, save yourself the headache and use all six to begin with.
I poured boiling water onto the henna and gave myself an arm workout by mixing for what seemed like an eternity until it looked like the green slime Nickelodeon used to pour over the heads of celebrities. Do they still do that?
Next is the messy part. You could be the most careful person in the world and henna would still somehow find a way to drip onto the floor. My tip to anyone wanting to try henna for the first time is to lay down newspaper all over the bathroom otherwise cleanup is a long, unhappy headache.
To apply the henna, I worked in layers. It’s too thick to comb through, so be generous and thorough. If you want a blue black, leave your hair uncovered and for a reddish black, cover with saran wrap and consequently look like an alien like I did.
I left the henna on for five hours, four of which were spent laying on a towel and trying but failing to sleep. When it was finally time to do so, rinsing took forever. I suggest devoting a lazy Saturday to this daylong process if you really want to do it right.
The results were okay. In some lighting, my hair looks a lot darker, but the red is still prevalent. My roots are slightly less brassy, but not as much as I would have liked, and the smell is persistently still noticeable every time I wet my hair. In short, it took my hair from ‘ugh’ to ‘eh.’ I’m guessing that if I keep up with the directions to reapply every four weeks, I’ll eventually get the dark hair I’m aiming for.
Where the henna really stood out was how good my hair felt afterwards (and how pungent the smell is). It really did feel stronger. That, at least, was worth it.
Does the need for healthy hair balance out the steep price tag and the effort that goes into this process? Probably not. There are cheaper, easier products out there that will give you the same strengthening results- opt for those instead.