As I have long hair, I used all six blocks. I could probably have gotten away with four, and I was struggling to slop the last of it on my hair by the end.
I read quite a few reviews on the Caca before using it, and the consensus seemed to be that it applies better if you grate/bash the blocks up before adding hot water to melt. I double bagged it and then bashed it into a crumbly powder with a rolling pin, a block at a time, before adding boiling water to melt into a green swamp-paste. Getting the texture right is the hardest bit - too runny and it'll be running down your face constantly, too thick and it'll be impossible to apply. I settled for something like the texture of very thick royal icing. I also added about a quarter of a cup (100ml or so) of cider vinegar, as apparently this helps to cover greys and to release the henna dye. Don't use any metal implements - I used a plastic bowl and an old wooden spoon to mix.
I let it sit in a warm place for an hour or so for the dye to develop, then warmed the mixture again in the bowl over a pan of hot water. You want it as warm as you can comfortably bear. I then proceeded to slop it on my dry hair, starting with the roots in sections, and finishing by glopping it on my ends and working it in like a (swamp) shampoo. I used a bit of barrier cream around my hairline and on my ears before applying to prevent dyed skin/ears (I used Lush Ultrabalm, but any grease-based ointment/balm would do).
|Yes, it's green. It smells of hay/cloves too.|
The biggest complaint I'd heard about Caca Brun is that it doesn't have much of an effect on the hair, and the people who seemed to get the best result from it tended to have left it on for a really long time. I left it on for five hours, with Mr London on drip-spotting-and-wiping duty (he was rubbish at it - quite often I'd only discover I had green goo running down my face when I rested my chin on my hands). Wear old clothes and don't go anywhere near upholstery if you henna your hair.
Finally, I washed it out. I ran a sink of warm water and dunked my head in, working my hair with my hands to get the swamp slime out. The cocoa butter is more difficult to remove than the henna; I used a thin, silicone-free conditioner in copious amounts to dissolve the cocoa butter (like conditioner-washing). I used the 3 More Inches pre-wash treatment which I haven't yet used up, but something like Original Source conditioner would work (and would be a lot cheaper). I then rinsed and rinsed again, until all the swamp residue was out.
I didn't do an actual shampoo with shampoo and conditioner until the following day, as I read that henna continues to develop even after being removed from the hair. Before using the Caca Brun the ends of my hair had faded to a slightly brassy light brown (I hadn't had it dyed since the summer) and I'm much happier with the colour now, which is a rich, even, glossy chocolate brown which shines red in sunlight. These pictures were taken yesterday, a week after applying the Lush Caca Brun, and after three washes.
|No lipstick in this picture - hence disappearing lips!|
|Apologies - could've brushed it before taking a picture.|