How to Naturally Darken Your Hair!
That’s right. The safest alternative for beautiful dark hair color might just be on your shelf in your pantry, and if you guessed coffee or tea, you are absolutely right! After all, who hasn’t heard of those stubborn coffee and tea stains that are extremely difficult to remove from teeth? Well, it turns out that these two items provide a great alternative to hair color that is often extremely damaging to hair and also full of dangerous chemicals.
But what is it exactly that gives coffee and tea their staining power? Well, for one thing, coffee contains chromogens, strongly pigmented compounds that easily adhere to porous surfaces.
Tea, on the other hand, contains tannins – plant compounds that make it easy for deposited color to cling to the surface of the hair.
So how can you take advantage of the coloring power of coffee and tea?
To color hair with coffee,
Simply add instant coffee to leave in conditioner and stir together until all the coffee crystals have dissolved. Then apply the mixture to the hair, and allow it to sit on your hair for one hour. Then simply rinse thoroughly, but do not wash (shampoo), your hair. Then just proceed with your usual staying routine.
Make a strong brew of tea (3-5 bags per 2 cups of water), and once the mixture has completely cooled, apply it as a rinse to the hair. Again, allow it to remain on the hair for at least one hour, then rinse the hair with cool water to seal the cuticle and retain the deposit of color. Additionally, if you are trying to color gray hair, be sure to add some sage to your tea blend for extra darkening power.
On the flip side…
For light colored hair, try using chamomile tea. Over time, it can produce golden highlights and is a great way to naturally enhance lighter locks.
Keep your options open and be willing to try something new. An amazing new hair color may just be at your fingertips!
I’ve never used coffee in my hair, but I use Black Tea regularly, either alone or in my henna mix. I’ll get to the benefits of Black tea for darkening and strengthening hair in a moment, but first let’s celebrate the glory of Henna. Henna is yet another way to naturally darken hair if you’re okay with a little (a lot of) red. I presently use either Henna Sooq’s Red Rajor Henna Guys Natural Henna Powder(from Amazon, for the convenience, shipping, and strong color– I get 3 uses out of one bag (it comes with 2 bags), so I’m only using about 1/4 or 1/2 cup of powder each session). I prefer Henna Sooq’s for the rich auburn color and smooth results. My mix consists of cooled Black tea for acidity to release the dye (I let it steep for 5 minutes and cool for 15 minutes, before mixing with the henna- I pour it in very slowly until the consistency is like cake batter and smooth (with no powdery clumps), definitely not runny. And if things get runny, I add more henna powder until I again achieve the desired consistency. Finally, I add in a glob of my favorite, cheap, silicone free conditioner (like Aussie Moist) before applying to my hair. This helps with ease of application and makes rinsing a cinch! It also leaves my post-henna hair feeling soft and nourished rather than dry and brittle. I use plastic gloves to apply to my hair (in sections) as the henna will stain my hands and nails. I then use a plastic processing cap (or two) to keep the henna on my hair moist—if you let it dry out, you’ll regret it. I once had a little patch near my temple that snuck out of the cap, and when I went to rinse the next day, I had to be very careful- the edges of our hair are delicate and removing dried clay is definitely a form of unnecessary over-manipulation. I leave my henna in for at least 2 hours, but when I’m on my game, overnight. The longer the better—it’s better for richer color and for smoother, thicker looking results!
I’ve been henna’ing my hair for more than 10 years now. I started graying in high school (my mom was gray by 30 and her dad was gray by 18!), so while I used to use it for its thickening and strengthening properties, I now also use it to cover my gray situation which is at about 50% now! In the sun, I look like a red head and I love it, though sometimes I feel like I’m getting closer to embracing the silver! I’ve actually almost let the henna go twice, but each time I remember that in addition to the color, I’d miss the thickening, and my strands are FINE FINE! I’d have to accept both the color and my naturally fine, wispy strands all at once, and at least for right now, I’m not up to that challenge. Okay, so TEA!
A hair tea/hair tea rinse is simply brewing a type of tea, allowing it to steep and cool prior to pouring it over your hair and scalp. Massaging your scalp with the hair tea is next and this all happens after hair has been washed. There are MANY uses for the tea rinses and there are many types to choose from. Rosemary and sage both work to turn gray hairs darker, as does Black tea.
Black tea may increase blood flow due to its caffeine content, it may also reduce excessive hair fall. Of all teas, Black tea seems to have the most caffeine, so if you’re looking for not only darkening but healthier hair growth, you may want to try it! Some feel the extra caffeine is great while others steer clear of it for their hair. Really, everyone must determine what they want to use and asking your doctor may be necessary if one is really concerned. Black tea also has antioxidants, antibacterial properties and amino acids worth looking in to!
You can simply pour the cooled tea over your hair while in the shower, or use it in a spray bottle. I like to use it as a final rinse after washing the hair. Some rinse the tea out after massaging and letting it sit from 5 to 30 minutes while others leave it in and continue with a deep conditioner. Either way a good deep conditioner is necessary as many find the hair to feel rough after the tea rinse has been applied. Have you tried henna or black tea? Or black tea in your henna mix? Let me know in the comments!