all right. henna time!
i went ahead and renewed the color last night. instead of using straight henna (1.99), i mixed in half a pound of paprika (1 dollar), 2 hotel sized packets of coffee grounds (free from when my housemate had a business trip), an unknown amount of cloves (probably a dollar), and an unknown amount of cinnamon (maybe 2).
i added the paprika to make the red more intense. my problem with the first time i dyed it was that it was a very subtle, natural change. i wanted something that was at once natural looking and more noticeable. the coffee was there to make my hair darker overall, and to add shine. the cloves were there to moderate the brightness of the paprika. they're good for dark, dark auburny colors, and also for cutting through the smell. the cinnamon was there for the smell, and also because i just eyeballed it with the oils (coconut and almond) and wanted the paste to be thicker.
i let this mixture sit over night. it smelled fabulous as i was putting it on, tho the coffee grounds were a little TOO exfoliating for my poor scalp. i got tired of using gloves and so instead i did a quicky wipe on with my fingers. the good thing about this mixture is that it only stained my skin if i let it sit for a half hour or so. after thoroughly coating my hair, i tied a plastic bag to my head and let it sit for about 5 hrs.
when i went to wash it off, there was very litle paste left, but a lot of color. i think that's because my hair and scalp absorbed the oils. i used two aveda samples to wash and condition my hair, and found that the hardest part to wash out was the coffee; the grounds were tangled into my hair. also, at times, the paprika made me smell like a really well marinated chicken while i was in the shower. :P
after washing everything, and doing anoter comb-out for the coffee grounds, i checked my hair. it looked REALLY DARK, because the red didn't show up til everything began to oxidize... and so now i've got a lovely espresso brown with massively intense red highlights. it's also really glossy. i'm much more pleased with it then i was the first time i tried henna.