Here's a before picture. Really, my hair is a bit more mousy than that at the roots.
First of all, collect your ingredients. You'll need the caca (I used caca brun), a bowl, a wooden spoon, a barrier cream like ultrabland or vaseline, hairclips, newspaper and lots of pairs of gloves. Optional - clingfilm, another bowl/saucepan.
Boil the kettle.
Put on your gloves and break up the caca. I do this by snapping it over the handle of the spoon.
Put the squares in your bowl. I have very thick long hair so use a whole caca. If you have short hair you could probably manage with half of one.
Add boiling water and let it soak for a bit. If you want a redder colour, keep the bowl in another bowl of hot water to keep it as hot as possible.
Apply the barrier cream to the hairline, all over your ears and anywhere else you don't want to colour. I also put it on the arms of my glasses.
Mush up the caca adding extra hot water as needed. The instructions say aim for double cream consistency. The picture below shows it too thick still. You need to be able to rub it in to the hair but not have it drip off. try to get all the lumps out. Take some extra hot water with you to the bathroom in case you find it's still too thick.
The preparation took me about 30 minutes. If I wasn't blogging it would take about 20 minutes.
Put newspaper in the bottom of your bath. Put the bowl in the bath. Lean over the bath and apply the henna mix. Make sure it's rubbed into all of your hair otherwise you'll end up with stripes. Don't rub it in to your scalp or you'll end up with an actual red head. The newspaper will catch the drips. Try to wipe off any drips from your skin straight away.
I spent about half an hour applying the henna. I then clipped up my hair and wrapped it in clingfilm. This is supposed to give a redder colour but I like it to stop any henna flaking off onto the floor. I added another layer of clingfilm across the front after I took this photo.
Here's how messy the bowl was afterwards.
And, how clean it became.
Take off your gloves and bin the newspaper. Rinse any drips away from the bath. Wash the bowl etc. I used about 6 pairs of gloves in preparing and applying the henna but really three would have been enough. I left the henna on for two hours and then put a new pair of gloves on and spent half an hour washing it off. I just rinsed with water until the water ran clear. Then I shampooed until there were no more (alarmingly green) bubbles. It only took two shampoos as I'd rinsed for so long before.
Here's the result. In normal light it looks darker and shinier. It brightened overnight slightly and my hair feels thicker and smoother. At a recent hair cut, I was told my hair was in good condition and I think that's partly due to using this henna as it acts as a varnish.