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May 25, 2011

Everything You Need to Know About Tea Rinses


by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

What is a tea rinse?

A tea rinse is done by pouring a cup of tea, commonly green or black, over the hair to reduce shedding or stimulate hair growth.

How is it supposed to work?

The caffeine in the tea penetrates the hair follicles.

Is there any proof that tea rinses make hair grow faster or reduce shedding?

One scientific study shows that caffeine can stimulate hair growth when used in tiny amounts (0.001% caffeine in water). The same study also found that applying too much caffeine to the hair follicles can actually stunt growth. A different study found that caffeine in shampoo can penetrate the hair follicles when left on for 2 minutes. Both studies were done on the hair follicles of men with androgenetic alopecia. So, no scientific studies have been done to test the effects of caffeine on a woman’s scalp who doesn’t have a hair loss disorder. Generally, the current evidence says that caffeine definitely penetrates hair follicles and may stimulate hair growth, but no one knows for sure. It’s impossible to say how much additional growth you might see, if any. Don’t expect more than an inch or two per year. There are no published scientific studies on caffeine and shedding.

How do I do a tea rinse?

1. Before you prepare for your shower, brew a weak cup of green or white tea. Black tea has higher caffeine content, so it’s not a good choice. You don’t want to make the tea too strong or you could do more harm than good. Try brewing 1 tea bag for only 1 or 2 minutes.

2. Cool the tea down to lukewarm.

3. Use a color applicator bottle or spray bottle to apply the tea to your scalp.

4. Leave it on for at least 5 minutes and up to 30 minutes. There’s no way to tell how long would
be best.

5. Shampoo and condition as usual.

6. Repeat the tea rinse 2 or 3 times a week. If you don’t see any results after 1-2 months it’s best to spend your efforts somewhere else.

7. You can also experiment with using tea to stimulate eyebrow growth. Follow the same steps as above and watch to see if the hair grows thicker or more quickly.

Since there’s a risk of using too much caffeine during a tea rinse, it may be best to try a caffeine-containing shampoo for a few months instead. Thicker Fuller Hair, Alpecin, and DS Laboratories are popular brands. As always, be careful not to experiment with DIY treatments so much that you end up over-manipulating your hair. In the quest for healthy hair, length retention is usually more of a problem than growth rate or shedding.

Hair Liberty is a comprehensive resource for African American hair care information. We sort through the latest hair care advice and compare hundreds of products to find the most accurate recommendations for our readers. Visit hairliberty.org to learn about your hair and how to achieve your hair goals. And be sure to Like the Hair Liberty Facebook page for extra tips and info.

2 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

"too much caffeine to the hair follicles can actually stunt growth."
What about tea rinses with caffine free teas such as burdock root, and marshmallow root? Are they safe to use as a daily spritz?

grow black hair long said...

I shall definitely try a green tea rinse and see if I have less shedding

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