Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lush Caca Noir {Product Review}

This was my first purchase from Lush. And, I am little disappointed, not a good start at all. Actually, no, I am kind of confused with liking or not liking coz it gave fabulous results but missed on my most important expectation. I have been wanting to color my hair since quite a long time. Only I was too afraid of chemicals and didn't wanna get my hair all damaged. Already its too thin and very prone to splits and dryness. And, I have never used henna on my hair. Mainly coz once my mom had used it and it had dried her hair completely and she ingrained in me the idea that henna is bad for hair. And, later I learned, the henna available in the market is chemically processed and is extremely bad for hair. So, I always stayed away from it. Very recently, while going through Lush website, I came across their Cacas which looked amazing to me.

Lush has four colors - Caca Brun for brown hair, Caca Maroon for chestnut hair, Caca Noir for black/blue hair and Caca Rouge for really flaming red hair. Now, I picked Caca Noir coz I really wanted blue glints in my hair. For me a combination of blue black hair looks celestial not crazy so I was very excited when I picked this up.

Price: 910 INR for a single block of 6 bars (yes, it is very expensive!!!)

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 we want you to stay away from those! Lush Caca Noir is red henna with indigo powder, 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. - Lush Website
Lush believes in as less wastage as possible and tries to minimize packaging wherever and even wherever not. So, it has made the Cacas into solid bars using cocoa butter. In case of Noir, all the above-stated ingredients are mixed with cocoa butter and solidified. So, when you apply Lush Hennas, your hair wouldn't go dry, you can be sure of that.

How to use it??
Using hennas is always messy, very very messy. So, first need is a pair of rubber gloves. They are easily available at a medical store. I bought mine - which were sterilized and powdered latex gloves size 8 which is way too big for my hands - from Apollo Pharmacy for 35 bucks. I don't what they are powdered with but the instructions to remove the powder once the gloves were worn were written on the cover so I simply washed the gloves.They look something like this after 'hennaing' my hair once. 

Now, how to use Lush Caca Noir. I took two blocks out of that bar coz my hair is thin and mid-shoulder length. For longer hair, you might need more blocks and a single bar is enough for short hair.
  • Grate the block using a cheese grater. It is soft so it will grate easily. Grating it does take quite a lot of time and patience.
  • After grating, add lukewarm water. Do not add hot water because heat breaks down indigo. Hot water can be added to other Cacas but not to Noir.
  • Make a gooey paste as henna pastes are. 
It is ready to use. So, apply it to your hair as you apply henna. Cover with a shower cap for deeper glint or leave it to air dry for black/blue glints.

My Experience
It is definitely a messy process. Sitting with all that henna for four hours wasn't at all easy for me. After that, removing the henna takes all your energy and messes up your bathroom like never before. So, be prepared to labor on. Using a shower makes it easier but then take care of the temperature.So, when you are done with removing all the mess from the hair, it is time for a hair wash. But, with henna, it is always said that a day should be given for henna to develop the color deeper that is why we don't even wash the hands when we put the designs using henna. So, I prefer to just leave my hair like that. Following with oil is a great way to let henna settle deeper into the hair. But, mind you, cocoa butter is already pretty sticky so if you can't stand the stickiness, you should wash the hair immediately.
subtle color but more shine
So, what happens after washing the hair?? Ok, so there were no deep blue glints in my hair which I was so dying to get. So, a big disappointment there. But, then, I really checked my hair. And, voila, my hair was deep black (my hair is originally medium brown). A really beautiful black with all the shine and softness which I could never imagine. But, if you see the hair in sunlight, you can see beautiful brown highlights. I couldn't keep my hands off my hair. The results were that awesome. But, there is a very BIG but there!!! The results (softness) lasts only till the next wash. And, the color lasts only a week or two. Then, the color starts fading. While the color fades, it doesn't go really horrible or something, so you can rest on that account.

Lush says to apply henna three times consecutively day after day to make the color last longer. Well, who really has time for that. But, I did follow up on second application after two days coz I wanted to give it another shot to get the blue glints which I was originally aiming for. Alas, no results this time either. So, in case you are thinking that you can get blue color with Caca Noir, forget it. It does nothing of the sort. It dyes your hair jet black and that's all there to it. So, the second time I dyed my haur, my hair was all black. All the beautiful brown highlights were gone. Though, the deep black definitely gave a dramatic contrast to my face (I am a golden wheat color not fair, though and black is my color). Again, the same amount of softness in the hair and no need for a conditioner. But, one should apply conditioner always, no matter how deep you have conditioned your hair already. But, then again, the color was gone quickly in two weeks probably. 

second usage made my hair more shinier and deeper black
Now, one thing I wanted to share with you all. The first time I applied the Caca Noir, I added five tables spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar for a single block. And, I did not wash my hair immediately after the application. Trust me, it was damn sticky and the scalp was all full of the henna which I couldn't get out properly. So, my advise would be to wash it off. Second time I applied it, I didn't add anything to the henna paste and washed it off immediately. Now, about the third time, I added an egg, a spoonful of amla powder and probably Apple Cider Vinegar too. Now, this time, when I had washed out the henna, I decided not to shampoo my hair immediately. And, when my hair was dry, I noticed that my hair was absolutely clean of the gunk which I had had to put up with the first time. My hair wasn't at all sticky and oily but it was soft, clean, shiny and had a lift to it. So, I am assuming egg and amla powder acted as a cleanser too. In case you are wondering if my hair did get the color the third time, yes it did. I was also confused of it didn't get colored but I saw that it was darker. So, obviously, it did bind with henna and the color did get seeped into the hair. So, this was all about my experience.

Oh, btw, I completely forgot to talk about packaging. Horrible. They just hand over the block in a plastic cover. Reducing the packaging wastage is good but when you are charging so much, you should really give something to help the customer keep the product safely. And, as you begin to use it, the cocoa butter seems to melt on contact with the skin and the block gets softer at the point where you hold it. So, it gives a difficult time while trying to hold the block.  

My Recommendation
Ok, its actually difficult to say what I really think about this product coz I don't have anything to compare it with. I never used any other henna so I am completely clueless about how my hair reacts with henna. I wouldn't definitely mind trying the Caca Maroon coz I would like to see the chestnut colored hair. But, before I get that, I think I would go for Biotique Henna powder simply for the reason that its way too cheap and I had a good experience with the Biotique Musk Root hair pack.

Now, should you try it??? First thing is are you really sure of spending all that much on just 6 blocks of henna. I mean seriously 1000 bucks just on some henna mixed with cocoa butter really seems way too expensive. So, I would say its a luxury item. Go for it if you can afford but it is in no way a necessity. 

Btw, don't go for Caca Noir unless you are trying to cover up your grays coz you are not gonna enjoy bland black color. Go for maroon or brown. Again avoid rouge as it is for red heads and it wouldn't really look good with dark color skins. So, choose wisely. As a plus point, even Lush people promote Caca Maroon more than other colors. So, I am guessing, its really good. Well, as I said, yes I will try it someday. Ok, another 1000 bucks down the drain :(

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