Lush Henna Dye Review

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The thing with henna is: it seems too good to be true. An natural product that stains your hair without damaging the follicle; leaving you looking like a hair commercial with the ethical high ground of an environmental warrior. Not too shabby. Then there’s Lush Henna.

When I was a child, Lush was my mother’s gift to herself. We’re a very sensory family and so going to the Lush store was a treat. As I grew up I’d find myself drawn to the exotic fragrances and superior quality of their products. Lush use something called Naked Packaging. When you go into a Lush store you’ll see piles of products. Other than giving it that feel of an authentic boutique marketplace, it means zero waste.

How do you make sure your packaging has zero eco footprint? You eliminate it! You’d think this would hurt their branding, but have you seen their henna hair dyes? They look like ancient tiles that were discovered from another time, straight from an archaeological dig right to your beauty routine. So, that’s Lush in a nutshell. Let’s get into henna!

What Is Henna Hair Dye And Is It Safe?

Blonde haired girl in front of graffiti wall.

Henna is a subtle, natural hair dye.

I write a lot about parabens because, unfortunately, they are everywhere. They are the preservatives of the cosmetics world. A 2018 study of the toxicity assessment of parabens found that the substance has been implicated in numerous cases of contact sensitivity.  You know what doesn’t contain parabens? Henna hair dye. Because it’s a natural dye henna only contains natural goodies.

You know how in school you were told not to draw on yourself because of the toxins? It wasn’t just me, right? Anyway, henna has been used as a skin ink in many cultures since the beginning of time. The henna plant works as a dye that is most effective when cultivated in warmer weather.

It interacts darkest with the soles of the feet and palms because of the keratin in the thicker skin, but wherever you use it, it keeps dying for 1-3 days after application. So you won’t see the true color until then. The dye only lasts 3 weeks on skin, but in hair it lasts about 6 weeks (the same life span of a store-bought dye).

Where other dyes contain icky things such as formaldehyde that can encourage hair loss, henna hair dye has actually been used for centuries as a remedy for hair loss. It’s other medicinal superpowers are headache relief, burn relief and fever reducer. So, it’s not only not bad for your hair, it’s good for it.

Have you ever heard the term porous hair? If you think about the pores on your skin, they open and close depending on temperature and other factors. The pores on our hair allow the follicles to absorb and retain moisture. Chemical dyes swell the hair follicle allowing the dye to get right into the pore.  A  study of the side effects of chemical hair dyes revealed that it increased hair porosity and brittleness. This is the reason that color-treated hair can get so dry and brittle. Henna keeps your hair follicles intact, staining over the strand instead of in it, and nourishing while it does.

Lush henna is a bird of a more fabulous kind. Not only does it hold all the natural properties of organic henna, but it’s also infused with essential oils and cocoa butter for a real deep nourishment.

Lush Rouge Henna Hair Dye Review

Woman with red curly hair.

Woman with glossy, rouge curls.

So, first thing’s first: as with any dye the intensity will vary on your base hair color. It will also interact differently if you have non-virgin (already dyed) hair. This can look amazing if you have highlights, giving you different tones of dye.

We’re starting at the most extreme end of the spectrum here, being that the Lush Rouge henna hair dye is definitely not for the faint of heart. In most hair types it will articulate in a more orange undertone. It’s the kind of bright red that makes people say, “Wow, I can’t believe that’s your natural hair color!” To which you reply, it isn’t. If your hair is very light though, watch out, this one gets very, very bright!

I’ve been this color myself, before I knew about henna, and the process was rigorous and left me with very stressed hair. When I posted a picture of my new look a friend commented “good luck, when I was that color it got me way too much attention, but I think you can handle it”. Backhanded compliment aside, it definitely takes a certain confidence to pull this off.

Lush Marron Henna Hair Dye Review

Woman with long hair.

Woman with brunette hair that has a red tinge.

Marron is the color you’d go if you weren’t quite ready for the commitment of Rouge. It’s in the same color family but a little deeper, so you’re still able to keep some anonymity about yourself. Lush has combined both red and black hennas with some ground coffee to give this red it’s richer tonality. Yes, coffee. What can’t it do?

The Lush Marron henna hair dye will give you that maroon-tinged brunette that you’ve been trying to nail. You know, that dark brown that only looks slightly red in the sun? Although the powder itself is green, don’t fear – the dye itself comes out a rich browny-red that simultaneously conditions the hair.

Lush Brun Henna Hair Dye Review

Blonde to brown, or brown to mahogany brown , this Lush Brun henna gives life to one of the most common hair colors on the planet. Different hair types will pick it up differently, some resulting in reddier undertones but others in that coveted mahogany. I really love this idea of the mahogany brown. It’s like brown’s classier cousin.

There’s a beautiful sheen to this particular mahogany that comes from Lush’s classic infusion of cocoa butter and essential oils; there’s also the added bonus of a little nettle powder to feed your scalp and keep it nice and healthy. If you’re looking to lift that brunette shade, then this Lush Brun henna hair dye is the place to start. 

Lush Noir Henna Hair Dye Review

Block of henna hair dye.

The Lush henna hair dye.

This is the dark horse of the Lush henna family. If used on dark hair it will result in a glossy tinge of black-blue. The more product that you use, the more that the color intensifies and the indigo-infused Persian henna really starts to come through. 

The Lush Noir henna hair dye is just what you’re looking for if you want to intensify your current hair shade. Your hair will turn a few shades darker after one use, but when used consistently every 4-6 weeks your hair will become a a dark, glossy shadow of what it once was.

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The benefits of henna outrun chemical dyes by miles. Firstly, not only are they non-chemical, there are actual properties in the plant itself and in the mixture that encourages healthy hair. The tricky thing is processing time. It’s difficult to know how henna will interact with your specific hair, but as more people use it we’ll get to know the product better. It’s a healthy way to try something new!

Lush and I share a very similar worldview. Summed up it’s: do no harm, take long baths. To Lush doing no harm means making effective products from fresh, organic ingredients. Let’s talk about ethical buying for a second. A lot of companies use organic ingredients, and don’t test on animals. But for Lush, it’s a way of life.

They are only friends with companies that do not test on animals. They only work with ethical companies, not just ethical ingredients. Every step of the way is from the heart, nourishing the soul. They are committed to the philosophy of taking long baths i.e self care, through designing their own products and fragrances.