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08 October 2010 @ 09:16 pm
Adventures in beauty.  
 Remember when I fell in love with LUSH?  I'd find the post and link it, but I'm too lazy tonight.  Let's just say, my LUSH love continues.  Back when I first tried it, I was not so in love with American Cream conditioner.  I loved what it did for my hair, but I kept associating the smell with baby powder.  I don't know WTH I was thinking, because now I totally love it and it smells of vanilla.  *shrug*  Anyway, current hair regime has been The Blonde or Daddy-O shampoo followed up by AC conditioner, every other day or so.  My hair used to get so greasy I HAD to wash it every single day, but now I actually get to skip a day, and it's okay!  Since it actually isn't good for your hair to wash every day, thank you LUSH!  

It goes without saying that their bath bombs are, well, the bomb!  (Actually, I'm currently out!  Woe!)

Anyway, this post is actually about a new LUSH experience.  A friend and I were recently complaining about how expensive it is to color our hair.  $100-$150 because we have long hair that is also thick - hers is bad enough it's like mine x2.  I commented that if henna could do blond, I'd switch to LUSH hennas, but she totally could because she regularly dyes her hair auburn, and LUSH henna can totally do that for pennies compared to the salon, plus it's way healthier for your hair.

I should add, we're both starting to see some gray.  Okay, she has quite a bit of gray, I have a few stray strands, but I expect that will only continue as I get older.  So not coloring at all really isn't an option for us.  I mean, it could be.  But it's not.  Long story short, we got some LUSH henna, namely, the Caca Brun (chestnut) and Caca Marron (auburn).  And then we Caca'd (note: LUSH calls their hennas caca because that's what it looks like on your head.  No, really.)

Her hair turned out GREAT.  It didn't quite get all the grays with one application - she had a good four inches of grow out and gray does not take as easily to color.  But a second application a few days later did the trick.  AWESOME.  I was so thrilled with her results, I decided I was tired of being blond.  I've been bleaching myself with highlights for more than seven years.  I brought it up with my husband, who shrugged and said he didn't mind.  I said "But you like me blond." and he replied "I like brunette or redhead, too.  I'm easy."  Unspoken: so long as you don't cut it all off, I don't care what color it is.  Me: got it.

I was a little nervous.  I guess chemical blondes can sometimes go green with henna.  It'd been three months since my last salon trip, but I still worried.  I needn't have!  It turned out great.  Here was our process:

1. The henna comes in these bars that look like cooking chocolate.  We broke them into pieces in a gallon sized freezer bag with a hammer.  We used three 'squares' of marron (auburn) and three of brun (chestnut) and added coffee and red wine for additional color instead of water.  Mixed in a double boiler on the stove (ceramic bowl on top of metal pan w/water) until henna melted and consistency was equivalent of brownie batter.  This is a better analogy than poo.

2. Apply to head like over the counter dye, using brushes and protective gloves acquired at Sally Beauty Supply.  Make sure to vaseline around hairline to make removal of excess henna easier at the end.  Wear a trash bag or similar, and lay one on the floor beneath your chair.  Coat entire head of hair evenly.

3. Wrap in plastic wrap.  Then apply towel for insulation.  Wait minimum three hours, and as long as you can stand to after.  We rinsed at just over three hours due to time constraints.

4. Rinse in shower.  Henna is gritty and hard to rinse.  Takes LONG time.  Rinse, rinse, rinse, shampoo x2, condition x2.  About forty minutes for me.  

All told, not much worse than dyeing with over the counter chemicals, though rinsing is more evil.  One coat is not quite enough.  We need to do me again, but ran out of henna.  Still, my hair doesn't look bad, and you totally can't tell my roots are growing out as bad as you could last week.  I would've liked some red highlights, but the brown is nice and warm.

Before:

 

 After:

 

And another after curling my hair:



 It is perhaps worth mentioning that in the past, my friend has had real issues with hair falling out.  Even though her hair is so incredibly thick is tangles like crazy, whenever she brushes it, she ends up with this HUGE ball of hair that has come out with the brushing.  Since using the henna, she gets what I would call a 'normal' amount - more like what I typically get brushing me hair, a handful of strands in the comb.  If that isn't an endorsement of how much better the henna is for her hair than the chemical dyes, I don't know what is.  
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"Connoisseurs of Difficulty"kistha on October 9th, 2010 06:19 am (UTC)
Looks more like a streaky blonde than brunette in the pics, but looks good. Glad that worked for both of you!
rhienellethrhienelleth on October 9th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah...it's still lighter than my real hair color. Another application should make me more brunette. I hope!
Fatemafatema on October 9th, 2010 08:32 am (UTC)
Looks really good! Henna is totally the preferred dye here in Bangladesh. :)
rhienellethrhienelleth on October 9th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
It should be the preferred dye everywhere, it's so much better for your hair than chemicals! Except I get it takes forever to set, so it isn't exactly cost effective for salons, who want to get clients in and out of the chair as quickly as possible. But I don't think I'm going back to chemicals, personally.
Fatemafatema on October 9th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
That's definitely saying something. I don't know how well it would work with darker hair, though. There are many people here with bright orange hair (both facial and hair on their head) because they colored their grays with henna. Still, definitely agree that it's great. :)
i teach sunday school, motherfucker.: me fail english! unpossible!randomeliza on October 9th, 2010 12:16 pm (UTC)
Totally awesome! Looks like a light brown with natural highlights now - maybe you could do the auburn henna on top of it next to get some of the red you want into it? Or maybe you don't want to experiment more than you already are, which I totally get as well. :)

In any case, I always wondered how you used the henna chocolate stuff (as I refer to it in my head whenever I'm in Lush) and now I know. Cool!
rhienellethrhienelleth on October 9th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what I'm going to do! If it's too red, I'll just brun over it in a few weeks, and that should brown it up again. :)

Yeah, I read all this stuff online about how messy the henna was to use, and it is, but when we were actually doing it, I just thought "have none of you people ever used OTC hair dyes before??" Cause you have about the same issues, other than the actual mixing of the henna, which was quick and pretty easy.
Patron Saint of Pessimismwoodrunner on October 9th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
Looks really pretty!
rhienellethrhienelleth on October 9th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)

Thanks! We keep missing eahc other online! I feel like we haven't talked in forever! How are you??
Patron Saint of Pessimismwoodrunner on October 11th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
I've been good! I haven't seen you online in ages, except for one time, and you went offline before I could send you a 'hello'... Bah, we seem to have different schedules lately!