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Why I Love: Tea Hair Rinses

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned tea rinses in my post 10 Ways to Combat Winter Hair Shedding Naturally, and how they were a good way to help prevent untimely loss of hair. Well, I’ve been actually doing the process for 3 weeks now and I LOVE it. I saw a difference in hair loss after the very first week! Of course as the weeks went on, and I got more rest and ate better, the hair loss went down even more. Apparently, the tannins in caffeinated tea help thicken the hair shaft and make hair appear fuller. Also Black tea is a natural astringent, which means that it penetrates the pores of the scalp and dissolve excess sebum (oil produced by the glands).

photo credit: Leon Dale


Tighter pores, means the skin is better protected from excess oil and dirt. Believe it or not, excess oil and dirt are what actually make your scalp flake off. It’s kind of your scalp’s emergency response to not being able to breathe. So tea rinses can keep you from “shedding” both your scalp and your hair, making them more resilient. The combo of tighter pores and thicker hair means your scalp is holding onto the hair better, and more resilient hair means it won’t snap as easily. This causes less hair to be pulled out, or break off when detangling. Tea rinses benefit all hair types.

Here’s what I did….

Hair Tea Rinse Recipe

Ingredients:
– 4 Lipton regular teabags
– 5 cups of water

Directions:
Pour water into a pot or saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn off stove, and place teabags in hot water. Let steep and cool for at least 1 hour.

I make the tea first, then go and wash and detangle my hair following my regular routine. That way it has at least an hour to cool and steep. Some people do this step the night before and let their tea cool in the fridge overnight. I keep forgetting to do that, so that’s why I tried this way.

After my hair has been detangled I lightly squeeze it dry with my microfiber towel. Then I take the cooled tea and just pour it over my hair while leaning over the tub slowly in sections, making sure to cover my whole head. I give myself a quick scalp massage and squeeze out the excess. Then I immediately put my hair up in a plastic bag and wrap it all up with a big towel.

This step has replaced my deep conditioning for the time being.

After about an hour (or however long it takes me write a blog post and clean up the bathroom), I rinse the tea out with tepid water and rinse as usual. The reason why I do this instead of deep conditioning is because I almost always put my hair in two-strand twists after I wash it, and this requires using product that is either a conditioner, or a hair butter, which is very similiar to whatever I would deep condition with. So I figured I’d skip a step and see how it worked. So far, so good.

I used green tea one week and Lipton regular black tea the next and couldn’t see a difference. Some people swear by green tea though so I think I’ll try it again when I run out of Lipton’s. I’m also going to do more research on herbal teas for the hair and see if there are more benefits. Rosemary, I’ve read is excellent for serious scalp irritation and dandruff as well.

For a list of different teas and their effects on your hair, check out this site

  • Do you you tea to rinse your hair? If so, what kind and what’s your process?

header image credit: pixelsaway / 123RF Stock Photo

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40 thoughts on “Why I Love: Tea Hair Rinses

  1. Shones

    You know, I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the benefits of tea (more specifically, caffeine) as a topical treatment for hair. It’s nice to hear that you saw results so quickly! I recently got a Curls tea treatment conditioner as a giveaway. Perhaps I will review it after my next wash weekend.

  2. Kat

    I have been doing a black tea rinse for the past 6 weeks now and I absolutely LOVE IT! It has been the best thing for hair to combat the shedding. The first week I started I didn’t really see a difference. After the second week of doing the tea rinse I immediately noticed that I didn’t have a big huge hair ball in my hand! The way that I do the rinse is that I make the tea either the day before or an hour before. I then wash with my diluted (with water) sulfate free shampoo, then do a quick
    detangle with conditioner. I then rinse that out and add the tea to my hair and message it into my scalp. I leave the tea for about 30 minutes and then add my deep conditioner on top for an additional 30 minutes. Rinse and my the results are AMAZING!

  3. mangomadness

    I haven’t done a tea rinse on it’s own but I use tea in my ACV rinse recipe (Peppermint Tea/ACV/Honey/Tea Tree EO/Eucalyptus EO). I use it after shampooing on my weekly wash days. I do the rinse for the benefit of my scalp but I’m sure my hair benefits as well.

    I think it’s good that you’re experimenting with not DCing. I stopped DCing a couple of months ago because I didn’t see the point in leaving conditioner in my hair for an extended period of time. A blog post on the Natural Haven confirmed my suspicions and I’ve been DC-free every since (Haha). My hair looks and feels great and I save time of my hair regimen.

  4. Janie

    Thank you for the tutorial! I just tried it right now, and so far my hair feels so soft. I hope I can continue on for at least a week. I might reach for the conditioner without realizing it.

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  6. Tishbear

    I just discovered your blog and think it is AMAZING!
    I’m dying to try this, but I’m a little confused about how often I should do this. I wash my hair every 2-3 days.

  7. LiteBrite

    I tried this last weekend with my last wash. Can’t say I saw immediate results but I will definitely be trying again. Did you ever find out about other herbal teas? I have an itchy scalp and dandruff. Would love to know if you have heard anything about Rosemary.

  8. luvlyctlady

    Good morning.. I just stumbled on your website and immediately bookmarked it. I look forward to being a part of your community. I’ve never heard of tea rinses but I’m really interested in trying this – do you think this is safe to do on relaxed hair? Thank you

  9. julia - Simpletruths

    OK – so I just washed my hair yesterday and I’m almost upset that I have to wait a whole week to try this out….hmmmm, I might just do the tea rinse tomorrow anyway. I’m dying for something to stop (or at least slow down) the shedding. I have a 3 month-old and post-partum shedding is no joke! I didn’t deal with in the first time around because I had locs.

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  11. Erickad25

    Thanks for the article. It reminded me that my hair and scalp don’t appreciate deep conditioners or heavy oils. It also reminded me of when my hair was its thickest and fullest. That was when I simply shampooed my hair, gave it an horsetail herbal tea rinse and then used this one brand of olive oil that I can no longer find. I am definitely going back to the herbal tea rinse.

  12. Melissa

    Thanks for sharing this. I did my first rinse last night. I”m going at it for different reasons, but the added benefits you have described make me even more happy to have decided to do this.

    I am going grey and I’ve developed an allergy to the harsh PPD chemical that is in all hair dyes you get in the salon or drugstore. Due to this allergy I’ve had to settle for harsh grey hair before I was 40. I recently did some online research and found that rinsing your hair with black tea will help bring a brown colour back to your hair and if you add sage to the tea it covers the grey better. I was a little skeptical, but I didn’t think I had much to lose. I prepared my tea bags and sage and waited. I did as instructed at another site and I poured the same mixture over my head 15 times – collecting it in a bowl in the sink. After the last pour I let it sit on my head for 15 minutes and then rinsed it off. I’m amazed – it has really evened out the grey. I had some low lights earlier and it blended with them very nicely, the harshness of the grey is gone. I’m going to do this a few more times and see if the results get better with each use.

    It’s so nice to have a safe alternative to hair colour and repair for a scalp that is very sensitive and has experienced hair loss to do hair coloring over the years.

  13. Erickad25

    Thanks Melissa. I will have to try the sage as well since I am over 40 and my grays are more noticeable with my two strand twists. My scalp is so sensitive I can’t even think of using color rinses or dyes. Years ago, I used sage when I was pressing my hair straight, but it made my hair hard to press, but being completely natural now, that is not an issue. Yeah!

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  17. Just A Curly

    I will be trying out the black tea rinse today, its been left overnight so hopefully it’ll work its magic. My hair is just crazy shedding! And Im hoping this works for me, or I just won’t know what to do!!!

  18. ThickandCurly

    I’ve just made the decision to go natural about 6 months ago, but I’ve been confused on exactly how to proceed. I’ve found your blog about a month ago, and ever since then I’ve found more ideas and way for me to play with my new style! I will definitely be trying this.

  19. proudtobenatural

    Hi Melissa,
    A good natural way to dye your hair without the harmful chemicals is using henna/indigo. It is a natural hair dye that is a plant found in Egypt. You can purchase it at any indian store or you can find it oline as well.

  20. Tricia Leigh

    My hair has been shedding like crazy for the past two weeks. I have tried EVERYTHING. I am going to try the tea rinse tomorrow. Fingers crossed!!!!

  21. Dennise Hackett

    I haven’t tried Lipton but i’ve been using one that is WONDERFUL!! I quit my DCing too while I was using the tea. I had a big problem with my hair being so dry and brittle while I was transitioning. It kept my relaxed hair from breaking off and it was a lot easier to style and manage. You can find it here. http://www.thehairtease.com

  22. SoSerene

    Thanks for sharing this information. I have not had a relaxer since April 2012 and did the BC September 2012 and have been trying to find a regular regimen for my natural hair. I will definitely try the tea rinse.

    Awesome!

  23. Kathy McAtee

    I’ve had my “tea-rinse” ready and in the fridge since yesterday…However, a friend just asked me “if this will turn my hair brown” – I color my hair light blond – from GRAY. Waiting on your reply. (I was so excited to try this rinse!) DRAT>…..

  24. Savvy

    @Kathy McAfee Ok so your friend is partially right. If you rinse your hair several times in a row with black tea it can darken it a bit. Your hair will absolutely not get darker with just one tea rinse. But I wouldn’t suggest doing it more than once a month, and I wouldn’t leave it in more than 15 minutes. This rinse is a once a week or once in a while thing that I do. That being said. I.am.not.blonde. So, if you want to be preserve your haircolor, but still get the benefits of tea, I would stick to herbal teas such as chamomile, calendula (marigold) and dandelion. These teas will not lighten your hair. But please don’t just take my word for it. Check out the sites below and judge for yourself. http://bit.ly/LrrfJX http://droz.me/Ky69dY http://bit.ly/121aMaC Hope that helps!

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  27. Rosemarie Kiraly

    Just saw the blog about the tea bags. I’m losing handfuls of hair after washing it. I comb it with a pick so not to lose so much but afterwards just running my hand though my hair I pull out globs of hair. I can’t wait to try this remedy.

  28. Claudia

    Last night I used a vanilla champagne hair color creme with a 30 vol. Developer and started on tips and ended on roots and left 30 min. I wanted to achieve a dark caramel color on my hair uniformly.
    The result: roots almost blonde and tips still dark brown!!! I am fricking out!!! Do you think the tea could be used tonight on my hair? Or it is better (safer) to use the tea rinse a bit latter?? I want to make my roots match the rest of the hair!!! I am desperate!! Please help!!!
    P.S. I am a 43 year old woman with many many dark brown colorings in my hair tips. Although I color once every 8 to 10 weeks.

  29. Savvy Brown Post author

    @Claudia The tea rinses I was referring to in this post are not to color your hair. They are a rinse to make your roots, scalp and natural hair more healthy. I definitely think you should try to see a professional to even things out and then try tea rinsing after. good luck!

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