Monday, 4 March 2013

Tricks of the Trade (3) - Using Tea as a Natural Hair Dye!

Tricks of the Trade is a regular feature here at Holistic Chick where I showcase a simple, natural item that can commonly be found in the home and how it can be used to make your life more simple...and more green. It spotlights helpful tips involving cleaning, beauty & body care.

This week I'm featuring a natural alternative to dying your hair, without the use of harsh chemicals & odors using: tea! Yes, you can dye your hair using tea!  There is a perfect tea for your hair colour too regardless of if you're blonde, red-headed OR brunette!  Not only is dying your hair with tea a natural alternative to chemical dyes, but this actually makes your hair look & feel better.   If you're like me and deal with chemical sensitivities, allergies, migraines...or you just want to use more natural products well listen up cause this post is for you.
I'll get into the specifics for each hair color in a second but first some general guidelines:

Various Teas
  • Usually the amount of tea you need is between 3-5 teabags or roughly the equivalent in loose leaf tea.
  • You will be brewing the tea much stronger than you would for drinking.  You may end up with about a cup's worth of liquid but it will be concentrated. Tea has natural staining properties and it's richly colored anti-oxidants are perfect for adding some colour & shine to your hair!
  • You won't be able to turn your dark hair blonde or make your blonde locks brunette - tea works with your natural colouring.
  • Grey coverage tip -equal parts of tea AND fresh -OR- dried sage brewed together will help cover any grey hair because sage helps to open up the hair follicles and allows for better colour retention.
  • ALLOW MIXTURE TO COOL before pouring it on your head guys.  Just sayin' >.<
  • A good tip is to use a new hair-dye applicator handy or a clean empty plastic squeeze bottle for application, though in a pinch you can pour it liberally while standing in the shower or with your head tipped over the sink.
  • The longer you can leave the 'dye' on your hair the better.  So plan at least an hour but for really resistant grey, you may have to leave it on longer.  Since tea is natural, some people leave it on the head to dry (even overnight) and rinse out later in the day or the next morning.  Everyone is different so if after trying the mixture for one hour, the tone is too subtle -  or you still see some greys poking out, try leaving the mixture on longer next time!
  • Rinse with cool water and style as usual.
So, here are the specific tea-flavor you need for your specific colouring:

Black tea is ideal for brunettes (black hair is in this category too) and being a brunette this is the one I've tried.  It's easy & effective.  All you need is about 3 tea bags or the equivalent in loose leaf tea.  You'll need about 2 cups of water and bring the whole mixture to a boil.  Allow to boil for 3-5 minutes then let it cool. Apply to hair and let sit for about 1 hour (or more) before rinsing it out

Though my technique varies a bit, here's a great step by step link for dyeing hair with black tea: http://www.sophisticatededge.com/black-tea-to-dye-hair.html

Chamomile is the tea you want to use if you're blonde  - all you'll need is 1 cup of chamomile tea or loose flowers & 2 cups of water!  This one needs to boil 30 minutes though to get all the active ingredients working. After the initial preparation just allow mixture to cool & apply to your hair in the shower after shampoo.  Leave on for at least 1 hour & rinse out.

 Blondes: visit this great post for a great step-by-step guide for how-to:
She also has tips for making a chamomile highlighting shampoo & conditioner!

And for redheads?!  You guessed it: red or rooibos tea is the tea you want to use!  This technique only requires about 2-3 teabags worth of rooibos tea depending on hair length.  Boil 5- 10 minutes & let cool before applying.  Leave on hair for at least 30 minutes or up to one hour then rinse & style as usual.


 Redheads: this link features an step by step how-to guide for dyeing your hair with rooibos tea

**Regardless of what tea/colour you're after - keep in mind that the more tea you use, the more intense the results will be BUT remember that this is natural and will give out natural looking results. You can NOT completely change your hair colour with tea - if a blonde used black tea, all it would do is make her hair darker blonde  The results are subtle so don't be afraid to try it out and from there you can see by the results if you need a stronger mixture or to leave it on longer next time!  If it's not noticeable enough, you can easily try again the next day - because it's just tea and won't fry or damage your hair!**


...And people wonder why I love tea as much as I do ♥ 
It really does a body good, both inside & out!!

*For a ton of additional beauty tricks AND health tips using tea, visit my follow up post: here *

Have you ever dyed your hair naturally, using tea or otherwise?!
Let me know in the comments below & don't forget to let me know if you're a new follower!

247 comments:

  1. This is so cool! I use herbs and essential oils for my hair too..Now I got some new ideas to try.

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    1. Great, be sure to let me know how how it turns out :)

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    2. Wonderful!! I'm going to try it! I can't wait!

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    3. How do I use the sage?

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    4. Equal parts sage and tea, per the directions

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    5. Yes, equal parts sage & tea. The sage is only needed if you're trying to cover up any grey/white hair.

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    6. Is there any other ingredient that would work like the sage in case someone is allergic to sage? Thanks!

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  2. How long does the color last? Just a day or two or longer?

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    1. Oh, I've found it lasts quite a bit longer! More like weeks, at least 3 o4 for weeks. I should probably add that bit to the post hehe, thanks Peggy :)

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  3. I can't wait to try this!! I'm getting increasingly more sensitive to hair dyes and I'm finding "natural" ones harder to find. BUT, I can't give up coloring my grays(!!!), so this would be awesome and so much cheaper!!

    THANK YOU!!!

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    1. I can definitely relate to your comment about increasing sensitivities to hair dyes!! Let me know how it works out for you Sandy :)

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  4. I found you through Natural Living Mama and I LOVE this idea! I have been graying above the temples for some time now but have always refused to use dyes. Thanks so much for sharing.

    One question: after the dye wears off does it show at the roots of your hair like when using regular dyes, or does it wear off everywhere more equally? In other words, if I decide to quit will it show an obvious color difference near my scalp until it all grows out?

    Thanks!!

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    1. My pleasure Rose! Yeah, dyes are horrible, definitely not something I want to put anywhere near my body anymore.

      The color will fade gradually, which is the best part! The more often you wash your hair, the quicker it will return to your natural color. No visible regrowth!

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  5. I absolutely ADORE this post. As a tea enthusiast, I love the idea of using it for hair. Brilliant.

    I will be featuring this post tonight on AFW! Thank you so much for sharing with us. :-)

    Be Well,
    --Amber

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    1. Awesome, thanks so much for the nice comment & for featuring my post Amber!!

      :)

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  6. Micheline D I wonder if you know smething about dying hair with walnut husks/leaves? I've heard that some people use it for dying their hair very dark brown but I still haven't had the channce to try it on myself....:)

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    1. I've actually only heard about dying hair with walnut husks/leaves recently so I haven't tried it on myself....yet. It's definitely something I'll be looking into soon though :) Thanks for mentioning it!!

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    2. I don't know how Green black walnut hulls would do on your hair, but they'll sure enough stain everything else that they touch. And I'd be careful, because it can also sting and burn on sensitive skin.

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    3. I'd be concerned about the green walnut hulls, as they may contain natural toxins. Personally I would not try that one.

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    4. When I was told about walnut leaves/husks, they spoke of black walnut leaves & husks, but like I mentioned I haven't tried or researched this myself so I can't recommend it (or not)!

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  7. This is soooo cool!! I must try this :)

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    1. Let me know how it goes Gabby :)

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  8. Just found this blog... I seriously need to try this now!! Sooo cool.

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    1. Awesome!! Let me know how you make out Aylee :D

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  9. Do you use a specific type of black tea? If so what do you use? Is there something I can use to give my hair a blue tint? I have dark brown hair, but the tone is red. I would like to balance that with blue. Can you think of any suggestions? Thanks, in advance.

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    1. Any kind/brand of black tea will do, as long as it's pure black tea (not mixed with other kinds of tea). The only natural way to get a blue tint that I know of would be Henna or dried Indigo leaves. My hair has a slight reddish tint too but I don't find that the tea on it's own brings out the red tone more.

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    2. Try Indigo for Blue tint

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  10. Im excited to try this!!!!... I've used koolaid before, it works well if you dip your hair in when its warm-hot and blow dry after. Then rinse

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    1. I've heard about using koolaid but I've never tried it myself! I'd say the results with koolaid would be a lot bolder than tea,which gives a more subtle colour & shine

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  11. I'm in pool water at least 3 daysa week for water aerobics. How does this affect the color?

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    1. It might make it fade a bit faster but the color is already so subtle it shouldn't affect the tone or tint at all.

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  12. Any ideas for someone who wants to even out their greying/silver hair? Thanks.

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    1. I have my fair share of grey hair & I use this method to even it out. In fact, it's the reason I attempted this in the first place!:)

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  13. Thank you for this post. I am so tired of the expensive and irritating - not to mention hair dyes. I have very resistant grey so i need to use the sage. What form do you use? sage oil? leaves?
    Gina

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    1. My whites are also very resistant so next time I'm planing to leave the mixture on to dry...even overnight, and rinse out the next morning. I've used dried sage, only cause I didn't have any fresh leaves at my disposal. I've never tried with sage oil to be honest. The sage acts by opening up the cuticles and making the hair receptive to coloring so with ANY grey or white coverage needed, you should use equal parts sage as instructed above :)

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    2. If I wanted to get a bit of an auburn hue could I add two of these teas together? I'll also need to use the sage to cover my grey. I have fresh sage in my garden, should I use the fresh iso dried???

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  14. How long does it last?

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    1. Comparable to a temporary 'rinse' color, it fades with every hair wash but you can re-do as often as necessary too without worry!

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  15. I am going to try this, this week! I have really long, thick hair and to dye it takes at least 4 boxes of hairdye. That gets really expensive, PLUS it fries my hair! Thank you for an alternative!

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    1. Good luck, and don't be afraid to leave the tea mixture on longer or brew stronger for more noticeable results!

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  16. My hair is almost totally grey. I used to be a brunette. Do I use just the sage or do I use black tea along with the sage? I have been waiting for so long to find something safe and gentle on my hair. I hate chemicals & the hair dyes always ruins my hair. I even tried natural dyes & it was worse than the other dyes. I've been letting my hair grey for 8 years now, because of the harshness of the dyes & not wanting to use chemicals. Thank you so much for this information. I will be passing it along to my friends.

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    1. Sage does not dye the hair, it only opens up the hair shaft making it more receptive to color. You would use equal parts black tea and sage as instructed above. If if find your greys are resistant to coloring (like mine!), don't be afraid to try again...adding more tea bags and sage to the same amount of water OR leaving the mixture on longer...even letting it dry and leaving it overnight. The longer it stays it, the better the coverage will be. Good luck :)

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  17. I have auburn hair and use a combo of rooibos, cinnamon hibiscus, ginger, and rosemary to brew into a tea. For gingers, if you rinse w green tea, the contrast helps bring out the red.

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    1. Oooh thanks for the tip!! I'll be researching adding other herbs and spices to the mix and seeing what results I can get for brunettes soon I think ;)

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  18. I will definitely be trying this. I am extremely MCS and my hair is a mess. Going to a high school reunion next month and just might be brunette again. Thanks.

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    1. Good luck and remember you can always leave the mixture to dry, even overnight for extremely resistant greys or whites! Making the mixture stronger or leaving it longer is needed for some hair types.

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  19. I can't wait to try this. I have been getting henna powder and mixing it with lemon juice to create a paste that I use to dye my hair. I like the sounds of this thought so will be getting son rooibos and giving it a shot! Thanks for the post!

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    1. My pleasure! I used henna too but I could never get used to the grainy texture & feel in my hair. For red hair, I got a suggestion of adding cinnamon, ginger and rosemary. Rinsing read hair out with GREEN tea it helps bring out the red even more! Have fun with it, the shade will be subtle enough that you can play around with it :)

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  20. When you say to use equal amounts of sage, do you mean the herb? I don't want to sound stupid but I just don't understand exactly what you mean. I am desperate to cover the greys without using chemicals. It's been five months since I've dyed my greys and I can't take it anymore. I'm not even 40 years old. I pray this works for me but I need to understand exactly how to do it. Thank you, thank you!!!

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    1. Yes I mean the herb, I'm not familiar with any other kind of sage? Equal parts black tea & sage leaves (either fresh or dried). As I mentioned in my post, sage opens of the hair cuticles and make the hair more receptive to coloring. Good luck :)

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  21. I plan to try this myself, it looks awesome. For people wanting more lasting color,or another alternative option, you should check into Rainbow Henna. We found it at vitacost.com. Inexpensive and my girls have used it and it is wonderful stuff! A little messy but NO chemicals. I will caution you that it does smell like a fresh cow pie when applying it, and it has to stay in the hair for 45 to 60 min with heat but the colors are beautiful and the results have been great. It washes out very naturally like the tea, no roots or drastic changes. Oh, and the fresh cow pie smell doesn't stay in the hair. :) My girls said their hair never felt so soft. Just wanted you to know that there are other chemical free ideas out there in case the tea idea doesn't work for your particular situation. :)

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    1. I'll have to look into Rainbow Henna! I've tried some of the Henna that's available locally but I could never get used to the gritty sand-like quality of it. It certainly does make your hair soft though, you're right!! I find the results I get with tea are quite comparable with the results I got with henna :)

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  22. What would I use? I have black hair?

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    1. Oh I should have specified, black hair is included in brunettes so you would used black tea!

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  23. melissa Alder4 April 2013 08:37

    My question is does the caffeine from the tea or coffee soak into the body when you pour it on your head? I cant have caffeine due to a mitral valve prolapse. Just curious. I want to try this but am afraid to use coffee or tea since I have dark brown hair. Thanks.

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    1. You would definitely be absorbing some of the caffeine through the scalp yes. It's one of the reasons I wanted to get away for the chemicals in commercial hair dyes because so much is absorbed through the scalp. A caffeine free way to dye brown hair naturally would be with walnut husks & leaves. I haven't researched it much yet myself, but I've heard good things! I'll be sure to post what I find when I do look it up though :)

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    2. Maybe try decaf black tea if you are worried about the caffeine. I don't like the way caffeine makes me feel so I avoid it but would like to stop using boxed hair dye. I think I will try the decaf black tea.

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    3. Good idea, that would definitely be worth a try!! Thanks :)

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  24. I don't color my hair, but I have friends intrugued by this, but they want to see real life examples. Do you have pics of before and after?

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    1. By the time I thought of posting pics last time, the mixture was already on my head >.< but I have seen pictures doing a quick Google search! And I'm planning on taking pictures the next time I'm due to dye mine so stay tuned :)

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  25. Great article.

    Am African so if i want to dye my hair i don't use tea i just use henna. Henna has been used across Africa and Asia for thousands of years to die hair and to make skin look beautiful. Although there are chemical based hennas available today natural 100% henna(the one my mother, grandmother and the one before her used) is readily available.

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    1. Henna is a really good natural alternative too, you're right! I've died my hair with henna before and I find the results comparable to those I get with tea. I just could never get used to the gritty texture of the mixture and liquid varieties aren't readily available around here :(

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  26. I have light brown hair (not blonde) and very resistant gray. If I try the black tea, will that be too dark? I can't wait to do this!

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    1. The shade is usually just like a tint (not super intense) so I really don't think black tea would come out too dark, but I can only speak for myself! Personally since you said light brown, I'd still go with black tea :) Please do let me know how you make out!

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  27. My hair is a dark brown, if i use the red tea will it at least give a hint of red like when im in the sunlight? I know i wont get like firey red hot color which i don't want but i would like eithet some hi lights or lighten the color of my hair up

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    1. Depending how dark your hair is, you should see some reddish tints in sunlight I'd think but it won't lighten your hair at all. It's like a traditional 'rinse' in the sense that it just tints the hair.

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  28. May i ask a Q. Do you make a pastse or leave it as a tea and pour over your head. Then just leave it wet and let it soak up as best as it can.

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    1. Absolutely :) I think I mention in my post that I do it by standing in the shower or over a sink and pouring the liquid (as a tea) over my head and leave it to soak up - 1 hour or longer.

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  29. I know you said if your brunette the tea for blonde hair won't lighten you're hair but do you have any suggestions for naturally lightening your hair.

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    1. Lemon juice is a good way of lightning hair naturally, especially if you can spray some on and lay out in the sunlight a bit (in the Summer, mind you hehe). The only concern with lemon juice, is that darker brunettes who have something of a reddish tint to their hair may find that it brings out the red/orange tones. Hope this helps!

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  30. This sounds interesting. I am about ready to dye my hair again. I will have to give this a try.
    Cheri

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    1. Please let me know how you make out Cheri :)

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    2. I have it on my head right now. The biggest problem I see so far is that is rather messy because it is so runny and watery. I was wondering if you thought it would be possible to add some unflavored gelatin to the tea as it cools and maybe it would thicken it up some. I know that some people make hair gel using gelatin so I don't think it would hurt your hair. Just not sure how much to add so that it didn't become too thick. I may give it a try next time if I have good results this time. I have very resistant white hair and even hair dye doesn't do a very good job. But I need to get some more sage. After reading this yesterday, I decided to make homemade bread stuffing for supper.
      Cheri

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    3. Your right, it can be a bit messy - especially if you're hair isn't as...'absorbant' as mine seems to be. Honestly, I can't see how adding gelatin would be a problem at all. I could see it even being beneficial to the hair. My hair is VERY resistant to colouring too, even with regular commercial dyes, I got improved grey coverage by adding the sage versus no sage, but next time I am planing on leaving the mixture on to dry/overnight to compare.

      I hope your bread stuffing was a good as it sounds Cheri, enjoy! :)

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    4. I had some success with this. Unfortunately the resistant gray didn't take very well. I think that since it was so watery it didn't stick and my hair probably isn't porous enough. I think next time I will try to thicken it up somehow to stick to my hair better.
      The bread stuffing turned out great. Way better than stove top stuffing.

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    5. I had the same thing happen with some of my more resistant white hair, next time I am planning on leaving it on overnight. I'll share my findings!! And I'll bet - homemade it always better :)

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  31. im sorry ladies,,but i was born a redhead who has the soul of a BLONDE,,and i will continue to bleach until i either turn white or silver,,,but im thinking that after bleaching i could use green tea to calm the hair shaft,,,thx for the read
    seewitch,,,

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    1. By all means Seewitch! If the chemicals in hair dyes didn't make me sick, I'd still be dying my hair Blue/Black to this day!!

      Thanks for visiting

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  32. What would happen if I (blonde) use the red?

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    1. Depending on the shade of blonde, you'd probably get some variation of Strawberry blonde or copper colour.

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  33. Just curious, would it be better to use a shower cap after applying the mixture so that it stays on the hair or will it do something negative to the color and/or hair?

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    1. You could certainly use a shower cap & it would help avoid dripping. I just didn't have one handy when I did mine so I never thought to mention it! Thanks :)

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  34. I am a new follower! I am going to try this! I make an all natural shampoo for my self that uses herbs. If I have brunette hair should I not use chamomile in my shampoo? Also, my hair has slightly red highlights, do you think I can use rooibos tea to make it more red? I guess I can just experiment! Thanks so much :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the follow Lea! No not at all, you can definitely still use Chamomile in your shampoo, it has benefits for all hair types but if you're looking to dye your hair, chamomile is recommended for blondes. and you can definitely experiment with rooibos, it should enhance any red tones. Don't worry the colour you get with using tea is VERY natural so don't worry and have fun with it! :)

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  35. I found this link at the perfect time. I've got salon-bred highlights that I'm entirely done with and have been looking for a means to just start over. I've read through the comments and have found a few questions from people who have auburn or reddish-brown hair of some variety. Would there be any significant results in combining one or two portions/bags of rooibos with two or one portions/bags of black tea? I'm looking forward to experimenting either way. Also, I have short, almost cropped hair. Should I still use the portions as cited above or can I use less water?

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    1. You can definitely try mixing both rooibos and black tea and see how it works out. I plan on experimenting with those two teas myself in the Summer when my hair lightens and some reddish tones come out naturally! You can use less water for sure, it'll only make the colour more vibrant :)

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  36. My late aunt used walnuts to dye her hair long before commercial dyes were available. I'm pretty sure she used black walnut shells. Her hair was dyed black, not brown.

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    1. Yes, we were discussing that in the comments above! I haven't tried it myself (yet) but I plan to :)

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  37. I currently use store bought hair dye....cinnamon brown, I have some grey around the edges. What tea would I use to keep this color? I was slso wondering

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    1. Specific colours might be hard to replicate exactly - especially given that tea offers natural-looking results but I would probably experiment with a mixture of black tea & rooibos tea...starting with a mixture of 2 parts black tea to 1 part rooibos and see what shade that gives you! From there you can play around with the ratios are add herbs like cinnamon, hibiscus,ginger and rosemary to bring out more reddish tones if you need to! Hope this helps... :)

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  38. I didn't see this question in the comments, but how do you think this would work on hair that has already been dyed? My hair is very over-processed- it's been bleached and then dyed red. The bleach has about 3" of growout since I went red. I just want to stop using chemicals! Do you know how it works over dyed hair? Should I do the dark brown (My natural color) or work with the red for now?

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    1. You could always use a mixture of both black tea & rooibos and see how that goes! Tea gives a very subtle and natural colour so I can't see it turning your bleached hair any weird colour...you just might need to play with different blends of tea until you get a shade you like :)

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  39. Amazing... My family has been using henna mixed with boiled tea water and it gives amazing color... didn't know about other teas... Thanks...

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    1. My pleasure Jasmine (love the name by the way ♥) - it's always fun to experiment with henna and teas together or separately and see what happens :)

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  40. Francesca Molica Colella10 May 2013 13:49

    Very cool. Just a question. Do you use fresh or dry sage for covering up the greys?

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    1. Thanks Francesca! Both fresh or dried varieties of sage can be used but fresh herbs are always more potent and sometimes a bit more effective :)

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  41. I can't wait to try this. I use to color my hair about every six months, but haven't for several years now after learning about how bad dyes were. Looking forward to changing things up a bit without the worry of chemicals on my head! Thank you!

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    1. I used to colour my hair every 2-3 months with the harsh retail boxed stuff until learning about how many toxins are in them...just sitting on your head...absorbing through the skin. Going natural has been challenging, it's hard finding something all natural AND something that offers some sort of coverage but it's worth playing around with to see what works best for you, and avoid the headaches :) Let me know how it works for you, there's always ways to modify the technique!!

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  42. Will using chammomile tea make natural blondes go lighter or darker?

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    1. It depends on what shade of blonde each person has to begin with :)

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  43. I am going to do this but am a little confused. You have instruction for 3 hair colors but 5 tea types in the picture...what are the other 2 for ;-)

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    1. That image shows up in any and all posts I do featuring tea to show how versatile tea can be ;) And since this post is the first in a series a posts on using tea for hair/beauty/body care, it'll make more appearances for sure!!

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  44. I Just tried this but all I had was regular tea and it worked really well! I left it on for over an hour. I have dark brown hair so I wasn't expecting really good results but it worked. I noticed a reddish tint and you might think I'm nuts I'm light skinned but I used it as a natural tanner and I look like I have a tan not kidding! I'm definitely going to tell me friends about this. I will try this again with some sage and see what happens! Thanks for the info!

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    1. Oh awesome news! Thanks for sharing your results! OMG I use it as a natural spray tanner too :D In fact one of my upcoming TotT posts will be devoted to that!! Glad to hear you'll be passing this on to your friends & thanks again for the nice comment & feedback!

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  45. Yess! Finally a "real" natural answer... going to try this! Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome - let us know how you make out!!

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  46. I like this idea for so many reasons. I am 61, and have been dyeing my hair a very dark brown. I want to go for a bit lighter brown (closer to medium to dark rather than almost black). At my age the very dark is a bit harsh looking. I'm going to get the fresh sage, as my grey is resistant to dyes, and leave the mixture on overnight with a shower cap. My question is, does the tea usually give a very dark color or is it possible to get a slightly lighter look? I plan on just doing my roots and don't mind if it doesn't match the rest of my hair. Just want to get rid of my skunk look. Have you noticed any difference in types of teas, such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey etc. I will let you know the outcome after I try this. Thanks for answering and re-answering our questions.

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    1. Glad to hear it, I think leaving the mixture is a good bet too - I plan to leave it on overnight next time too!! As for your question - the results don't tend to be very dark, in fact it usually enhances highlights so if you're going for a lighter look it shouldn't be a problem :) I haven't experimented with varieties like Earl Grey, but as a rule of thumb: the darker the brew, the darker it will make the hair. I use an English Breakfast variety that has a reddish tint to it so it tends to bring out the red/copper tints in my hair. Not really darker, just more pop to the colour I already have! I hope this helps!!

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  47. I am anxious to try this! I already use a well known temporary hair color because I don't like the look of the permanent ones. I am over 50 and don't mind some of the gray but don't want to be all gray! I like the some color/some gray look of the bottle coloring and this would probably give the same look. My "younger" coloring was blondish-brown with some red. What would happen if I use tea 2:1 blonde and red tea coloring? Do you think it would be blonde with red or would the red overpower the blonde? Just reread your post. By brunette do you mean brown or blackish hair? What color do you think black tea and chamomile tea would make? Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for the interesting post. Will be following you and checking your archives, too!

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    1. I'd say using 2:1 rooibos tea & chamomile would give a blondish hue with red tints in it...kind of like strawberry blond. If your hair is completely grey, I'd suggest doing 2 parts black tea and 1 part rooibos if the above ratios didn't give enough of a noticeable colour. Only because one completely white/grey hair, the black tea won't really darken, just give a lighter brown hue. Personally I'd try the ratios you mentioned first, and if the results aren't exactly what you're hoping, you can easily again with black tea + rooibos the very next day! I hope this helps :)

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  48. I tried this a few days ago and I have washed my hair about 4 times and it has not faded it. I would recommend that you get a really good conditioner to apply right after and leave on for an hour also. It really made my hair feel dry but after the intense conditioning it feels great now.

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    1. Oh fantastic, thanks for the feedback :D I'm glad you liked the results for the colour so much and even better that it's lasting well! I hadn't noticed it drying out my hair personally, but I'm happy you mentioned it- I might just edit and make a note of it for people who have dry hair to condition well after!!

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  49. Well, I have my first ever tea dye in my hair! I used chai, and I'm hoping for a brownish red on my light brown hair. I'll let you know how it goes!!

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    1. Great news Michelle :) I wanted to try it with chai tea too, please do let us know what results you got!!

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  50. I am going to try this with black tea, powdered sage(hope that works) and I put some tea tree lavender oil in it while it steeps. I plan to let it dry overnight. I like my grey hair, but this seems a fun thing to try without damaging my hair. Lol.

    I do have a question, if you've a moment. Since vinegar added to food coloring makes it work better on eggs, would vinegar added to the tea help it stick and last longer?

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    1. Powdered sage should work too Carolyn, I tried with dried sage last time which should be comparable but I want to try fresh next time to compare - planning on leaving it overnight next time too since my whites are so freaking stubborn >.<

      As for your question, I honestly can't say!! I've used vinegar in my hair by itself, to remove residue but I've never experimented with vinegar and tea! I'll have to give it a try next time and see what happens & let you know!

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  51. I didn't see this in your post but can you tell me if I should have my hair wet or dry? Do I need to clear it of products like hairspray beforehand? Thank you for this post I'm so excited to find something natural for my red hair!

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    1. You could to it wet or dry since the mixture itself will wet your hair completely! It would work best though if the hair is cleared of products and hairspray yes :) Let us know how it goes Joy & if you have any questions!!

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  52. I am trying it right now. I used Earl Grey and dried sage. Very runny. My hair is thin so not much for the liquid to soak into. I am using a shower cap. It seems to have covered most of the grey around my temples. I will wash it in the morning and hope for the best. It will be great if I can just use it on the grey as needed. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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    1. It is definitely very runny yet, one of the downfalls of dying with something so very liquid-y. A shower-cap is a good idea especially if leaving on for a while (before it dries up) I do hope you'll get good results Susan!!

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  53. Hi, I just found your page. Can you still use the tea if your hair is already dyed? I mean so that it will keep a color while the dye grows out so that you don't have to dye it again with a chemical hair dye?? Thanks so much....

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    1. Hi Pamela, I've never personally tried in on already-dyed hair but I've been told the results are the same. Since tea is completely natural, it is safe to experiment with! I hope this helps!!

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  54. Replies
    1. It is not permanent Carina, it's more like a rinse!

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  55. Didn't work at all. :( I have naturally dark strawberry hair and tried using Raspberry Zinger tea. Four teabags, ~16 oz water, some cinnamon, sage, and paprika. I let it sit on my hair for about an hour before rinsing and blowing dry. Looks like nothing ever happened! A waste of time, tea, and spices, though my hair does smell pretty good. :(

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    1. Before jumping to any conclusions, what exactly is the tea inside your 'Raspberry Zinger Tea' bags?? Only black tea, rooibos tea or chamomile can be used to alter hair colour in any way. For your hair colour, I recommend using plain old black tea and/or rooibos tea together without any flavors or other types of tea leaves mixed in as this would dilute the actual tea component (the part that does the dying) and likely give less than optimal results. If you follow the directions to a tea - hehe :) you will definitely see SOME results!

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  56. I cannot wait to try this! I have natural curly hair and I wondered about hair texture and the dyeing process. My hair color is auburn, but more brown than red. If I dye my hair chemically it turns a funky shade because of the red tones(experiments when I was a teenager). Unfortunately, I have some grey to cover. I use all natural products and have been for years, so basically this website caught my attention. Plus, I love tea. I have been wanting to plan a tea party for some time. However, my home is always under some sort of construction. I will let you know how the dyeing process turns out. Thanks!

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    1. Awesome! Let us know how you make out Jennifer! If you want to bring out the red, I'd opt for rooibos tea BUT if you want to bring out more of a brown shade, then plain old black tea is your best bet! For especially resistant or stubborn grey, you can easily leave the tea on your hair to dry (think: overnight) and you should get better coverage! Keep us posted :)

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  57. Hey! I'm going to try this, but I was wondering... would using the red tea bags bring out lots of red in darkish blonde hair? I love Emma Stone's light red colour... I hope it works!

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    1. In would give it a red tint or tone and enhance any natural red highlights but you wont get bright, salon-looking results. Tea is much more subtle! Hope this helps :)

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  58. wow, there are a lot of comments here!
    I have bleached my hair with lemon juice before (yes, I;m blond)
    It worked realy well. Works for bleaching white laundry too, so I've heard. Rekkon it would too. :)

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    1. LOL yeah, this post for of exploded for some reason :) I've used lemon juice both to lighten hair AND to whiten laundry and it works brilliantly :D Except if the hair is dark brown it can bring out red-orange tones...which some people don't like but I had fun with it! Thanks for the feedback!

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  59. could you mix with conditioner and apply? will it dye my scalp?

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    1. Mixing with conditioner would lessen the colour effect but it could still work, just not as noticeable! And no, it won't dye your scalp - it didn't for me :) Hope this helps!

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  60. Wonderful information! Just signed up for your blogs. Curious to know if anyone has tried green tea. Just curious because that's what I drink. On my way to the store to pick up some tea! Can't decide what kind to get since my hair is kind of a medium color with gray showing. But this approach sounds like it makes it easy to experiment.

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    1. Thanks so much Lori! Great tea works to enhance shine in hair but as far as I know it wouldn't change the colour itself! Tea results are quite subtle, and safe for your hair so you can easily experiment as much as you want until you get a combination that works for you!! :)

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  61. This is the best natural hair dying way i have ever seen. Lately i was thinking to dye my hair naturally for the first time. This will be the way i will follow. Let's see how red my hair will be:)

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    1. Thanks for the nice comment! Don't be afraid to experiment with more tea/less water for more intensity. You can even add 'reddish' spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for an additional kick! Hope this helps :)

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  62. hi i am wondering what about coffee??wouldnt that have same affect as tea only darker?
    sherry

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    1. Hi Sherry, I'm sorry but I've never heard of using coffee to dye hair but a quick Google search showed me multiple results saying that it can indeed be done! I'll be looking into it further and might just feature it on the blog soon ;)

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  63. What about hair that is all white from the scalp out about a 1/2 inch or more.... and the rest colored a light brown. willi end up two toned?

    I read thru most of of the posts here, have a good idea of what to do. I will try this anyways! Thanks for this most excellent tip!!

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    1. In the case Cher, yes the hair would probably end up two-toned since it would be impossible to match salon-dye colour to the results you'd get from tea...but if you applied the mixture only to the top part of hair and repeat a few times you may be able to get fairly close. You could safely use tea every day without damaging the hair shaft so feel free to experiment :)

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  64. My family has used henna with boiled coffee water, tea water, some herbs and oils. Its is the best. Thanks for good explanation.

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    1. I'm glad you and your family have such great results with henna Jasmine, unfortunately it never did the trick for grey coverage for me...and I'm not a fan of the gritty texture of the powdered variety (the only one readily available in my area)

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  65. I'm going to try this. I used to have jet black hair. But started greying from the time I turned 19. Now at 46 I am 100% grey. Actually bright white silver. LOL! VERY resistant. So I have been dying my hair jet black. I hope the black tea and sage will help. I'll make it really concentrated and leave it overnight.

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    1. Oh my this sounds like me - mine started turning grey around 23 and I'm 33 now and it's multiplying at an alarming rate LOL My natural colour is dark brown (almost black) and my 'greys' are definitely bright white too!! My next attempt with be VERY concentrated too and left on overnight....I have been getting coverage but not 100% so I'm redoubling my efforts ;)

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  66. There were a LOT of comments so I apologize in advance if this was already asked but I have really dark brown hair with natural reddish tint and highlights. My question is this, could I use the red or rooibos tea instead of black to enhance the natural red in my hair? I actually have some rooibos tea in my cupboard so I would like to try it this weekend.

    Thanks,
    Terra

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    1. You definitely could Terra and I encourage you to give it a try! I have found personally that the black tea doesn't cover up the natural reddish tint in my dark brown hair so if you want you can play around by trying both kinds...separately and together! :) Have fun experimenting!

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  67. Currently I have red henna in my (long) hair although the grey has grown out about 6-8 inches. I recently learned that I cannot use store bought
    dyes until my henna has grown out due to a possible chemical reaction.
    Do you think I would be able to use the tea dyes? Both being natural
    I would think it would be ok. What do you think?
    Thanks so much,
    Barb

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    1. Well Barb, I would have to see the kind of henna dye you use for your hair before I could venture a guess...and all it would be just that: a guess. I've never mixed henna dye with tea so I can't say for sure. The henna dye I've worked with only had 2 ingredients: henna and indigo. I would have had no problem using tea in that case but if there are other ingredients in the kind you use, I can't say for sure if. You would PROBABLY be safe, seeing as they are both natural, but I don't want to tell you to go ahead and do it and then something unexpected happens...I'm sorry I can't answer your question with certainty but I hope that helps!!

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  68. Thanks! I'll do the roots, and if there is a major difference, I will do more. I'm with you, can't handle the Henna. it makes my hair too green to deal with too! I picked up sage today, I'l going to try this soon!
    Cheers

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    1. Yes, exactly! You can play around with it a lot as far as how strong you brew it, how long you boil the water+tea and how long you leave it on your head so there's tons of options! I hope you get the right ratios for matching results soon! Yeah henna's an acquired taste I think, I've never been able to get used to it but a lot of people swear by it. To each his/her own :)

      Good luck!!

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  69. Thanks so much for your reply. The henna I used
    is powdered. I bought it years ago from Frontier
    Herbs in San Francisco. There isn't any other
    ingredient. Happy to still have you venture a guess. Barb

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    1. Understood, that's the answer I was hoping for haha :) I honestly can't see an issue here, if it were my hair I'd take a chance! If you do end up deciding to give it a try, let me know how it goes!!

      Cheers,

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  70. Tanya, Malta, Europe.29 June 2013 13:44

    Thanks for sharing, would really like to try this. Is it best to apply the tea mixture on clean freshly shampooed and conditioned hair?
    Thank you.
    Tanya, Malta, Europe.

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    1. My pleasure Tanya and yes it would be best if the hair was freshly washed and free from any styling products! Remember to rinse thoroughly so hair is also shampoo & conditioner free as well :)

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  71. I have silver hair and would like to enhance the silver - make it whiter and brighter. Are there any teas that would do this?

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    1. A strong mixture of tea made of either Nettle or Sage has been know to brighten white/silver hair. Even Chamomile & Green tea could work as well,since they are know to enhance shine.

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  72. I bought the stuff tonight. I have very long hair, dark blonde/light brown but in reality it is all grey. It grows fast so I have been dying it every three weeks at the roots so I do not look like a skunk. Got Chamomile and sage. I really hope it works out for me so I can kiss those chemicals goodbye!

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    1. Glad to hear it! If you get lighter results than you expected, and since you described your hair colour as dark blonde/light brown you can always try again with chamomile+black tea -OR- chamomile+ rooibos tea to get darker results! You can safely re-apply daily so don't worry about that either! Good luck :)

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  73. Hi, thanks for your great site. So, my hair dresser dyed my naturally dark brown hair to a VERY dark brown. almost close to back. I don't like it and I just want to lighten it up at least a little without going back to salon or using peroxide. Which tea do I use and will it even work?

    Thanks!! -Alex

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    1. Thanks Alex, unfortunately lightning hair with tea seems to be a lot less effective...tea gives very subtle results, almost like a tint so trying to make the hair lighter usually gives little to no results. Plus salon-dyed hair would be even less likely to change any with tea. Lightning hair naturally is a lot trickier - some people get good results with a solution of lemon juice spritzed into hair and then laying out in the sun...but I wouldn't recommend it with salon treated hair. Even with natural brown hair, if your hair has any red-ish or copper tints to it you can end up with orange hair!

      Sorry I couldn't be of more help!

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  74. Hi i love your site. My question is i have med brown hair with pesky auburn tones that i hate and they are not very flattering on my olive skin, would the black tea help cut those, or is there another tea that may work?

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    1. Thank you! Hmmm, that's a good question. The black tea I use has almost a red-ish quality to it AND my hair has natural auburn tones in it as well. I haven't noticed it enhancing the red or auburn in any way but I worry that another brand of tea with red undertones might actually possibly enhance the auburn in your hair. It would be very subtle nonetheless so you could always experiment but I'd recommend going with a black tea that boasts a 'dark' roast. Once brewed, if it looks kind of red in the cup, maybe start out by leaving it on only a half-hour. I hope that helps :)

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  75. Very cool! I actually highlight my hair with tea I use honey lemon ginsang tea on my brunett hair and it gives my hair a touch of goldy blondness!

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    1. Ooooh nice!! Thanks for the feedback Mina Marie, I wasn't sure if lightning hair with tea was effective. I can see some more experimenting in my near future ;)

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  76. Hi, brilliant post and i cant wait to try this!

    I am planning on using rosemary as iv heard it strengthens and can encourage your hair to grow. Im blonde naturally and really want to try chamomile to lighten my hair but wondered if using the rosemary might counteract it given it can be used to darken hair....What are your thoughts? I was thinking it might be ok if im only using the rosemary as a rinse however have also heard that rosemary helps retain colour so thought id see what you think! :)

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    1. Thanks Laura Jayne, I've never worked with rosemary personally but given what you've told me, I'd probably first do a chamomile rinse or even a leave-in (overnight) on one day. Rinse out and style as usual but wait 24/48 hours before trying your rosemary rinse. Mixing both might give you less noticeable results. I doubt that they would react problematically to one another though. By using the rosemary after you've done the chamomile, you'd still be getting the colour retaining benefits as well! I hope this helps :)

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  77. Hello,fantastic post and I am so gonna try it.

    Just wondering if I want my hair to become a lighter shade of brown (my current hair colour and natural hair colour is brunette)Can I use tea to make it turn light brown?Or should I use something else?Please tell me what I should do.Thanks :)

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    1. Great! Thanks :)

      I'd try a chamomile rinse/leave in (overnight) and see what kind of results that gives you. It might be too subtle but you could always keep re-doing the leave-in process. Lightning can be a bit more difficult to achieve so let me know how it goes. I've used lemon juice in my hair to lighten it naturally but it tends to enhance any natural 'reddish' tints - especially if you go out in the sun and some people don't like that. If your hair is a darker shade of brown, lemon juice will most likely bring out some copper or reddish highlights. If your hair is more medium/light brown,lemon juice will naturally lighten it.

      If your hair is dark brown though, using chamomile tea can bring out lighter highlights, but if it's very dark, you may not get noticeable results. I hope this helps - I wanted you to know of the options I know of to naturally lighten hair :)

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  78. iwashed and condioned my hair and then applied tea mix and then blow dried my hair with out rinsing out it turned out fine

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    1. Sweet, glad to hear it! Thanks for letting us know :)

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  79. Could you put the tea on your hair after you have showed already while my hair is already wet or is it better do apply it before taking a shower while my hair is dry?

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    1. I've always done it with dry hair, just so the hair is only saturated with only tea. Doing the process with already wet hair might lessen the effects of the tea...hope this helps Martina!

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  80. Hi,
    I love this idea!:) now can you use sage from your backyard?









    ?

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    1. Absolutely Cindy! Fresh sage would give the best results :)

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  81. I'm a natural blonde and want to darken it, so i'm guessing that I shouldn't use the chamomile?? Great tips btw!!

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    1. You're right, chamomile would lighten or enhance your blonde tones. To darken, black tea is your best bet!

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  82. I'm so glad I found you! I dye my hair but I've been wanting to quit and I think I'm finally ready. My hair is about 25% grey and the rest is dark blonde to light brown. I dyed my hair about 2 months ago so my roots are ready for a touch-up, but my hair is dyed dark blonde with caramel blonde highlights. Would you recommend starting with tea now, or waiting until my hair grows out to start using the tea mixture? Also, would I mix chamomile with black tea for my hair? I have lemon essential oil (therapeutic grade) at home as well as tea tree oil--would you add those to the mix and then go lay in the sun for a bit? I also have clary sage essential oil...would that work instead of dried sage? Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hmmm, personally I'd probably I play around with black tea and chamomile - first combining both teas and then adjusting depending on the results you get. If your hair is a darker shade of grey, you may need to try again with just the black tea since the chamomile might not give you noticeable enough results.

      If you wanted to try the lemon + sitting out in the sun, I suggest real lemon juice (from actual lemons) instead of the oil. I'm thinking oil might affect your hair's absorption of the tea mixture! Same goes for the sage, I'd stick to the fresh or dried herb instead of the essential oils. I hope this helps and thanks for stopping by :)

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  83. I have naturally medium to dark brown hair I used to dye it blonde and still about 3 years later it still goes ginger when my dyed to brunette hair has been washed a couple of times. I want it to go back to natural colour for a bit but keep having to dye it coz of colour. I also decoded to get a few red highlights and 2 weeks after hairdresser dyes it it's ginger and more so where it's red. Help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thing with dying hair naturally is that you can't really alter or change any natural tones in the hair. It sounds like your hair has natural reddish or ginger tones to it, it would be hard to eliminate that. Any lightning tricks I would have to suggest you might just bring out more of the red/ginger tones in your hair (like lemon juice). If you are thinking of sticking to your natural colour of medium to dark brown, black tea could work just make sure you have a very dark roast. I hope this helps!

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  84. Hi,
    I tried using henna, pure by the way, body art quality and loved the results but by the third go I reacted badly to it, brought my scalp out all itchy, red, sore, etc. My doctor said it was similar to using boxed dye in that if you are going to react it is usually the 3rd or 4th time it shows as it is a build up. Just because something is natural doesn't mean you won't be allergic to it, after all people are allergic to pollen in the form of hayfever yet it is natural! I never reacted to boxed dye though, funny. I loved the results of henna though, and am starting to have more and more grey hair coming through and I am only 36. I don't ever want to go back to boxed dye now I know the dangers, and it appears I cannot use henna anymore. So, I am desperate to do something, but am nervous about using tea on my head in case I react. I drink tea all the time, so what do you think my chances are of reacting badly on my head?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, it's impossible to say what could likely cause an allergic reaction for you. Everyone is different and will react differently...just because something is natural does not mean it won't cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. That being said, if you can drink tea, you aren't likely to be allergic to it as long as you drink the same kind that you plan on using to dye your hair! If you do decide to try it, be sure to use loose tea (as in no tea bags -if the tea you use is in bags, empty the contents so you're not boiling the bags at all) tea bags can contain bleaches and glues which could end up causing a reaction. I hope this helps a bit :)

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  85. I have brown roots, my hair is dyed red, and I'm naturally blonde. What effects would the black tea have on my hair?

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    1. It might enhance the red tones depending on what kind of black tea you'd use...some black teas have a distinctive read tone to them. And if your hair is medium to light blond it may just darken the blond a little. Your blond hair won't become black or dark brown for certain but I'd recommend waiting till the red fades out a bit more. Hope this helps Katt, it's always hard to guess how chemical dyes will react, even if tea is natural! Some brands aren't all natural.

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  86. I didn't want to read through ALL the comments, but are there any particular brands of the tea that you would recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANY all-natural or organic tea will do. All-natural ingredients and all natural tea bags ensure no adverse or allergic reactions! If you're looking to darker hair, the darker or stronger blends of black tea work best since they are darker in colour, and therefore pigment. :)

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  87. Does this also work on African American hair that has been permed and colored? Thanks

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    1. I would work on African American hair but it's always a gamble when the hair has been permed, colored or chemically processed in any way. My advice is to take special care that the tea you use is ALL-NATURAL or even organic. That way you know no added chemicals or additives risk mixing in with the existing chemicals from the perm or commercial dyes. Tea can be VERY subtle as a colouring agent though, so you should be safe if you go all-natural :) Hope this helps!

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  88. Would strawberry concentrated tea work for redheads?
    Read somewhere that you could use it to naturally dye your hair.

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    Replies
    1. It's possible Livious but I've never heard of it before, nor have I tried it out personally.

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  89. Sheila in Florida3 October 2013 14:50

    Hi, I am so thankful to find this site. God Bless you for all your information. I am 63 and have White Snow hair. I have tried and tried to find something that would cover the white for years...it always turns out pink or does nothing. The rest of my hair is blonde, sort of a mixture of different shades. It's funny how the hair colors work on the rest of my hair but never on the roots. I am going to try the dark tea and sage first. I want to have some color to the blonde. Hopefully it will work. I have a question on what shampoo would you use that would help the color stay longer? and Conditioner? I have bought so many that say color treated, but none of them work past the first shampoo....Thanks again! I am going to share this with my sister as she is looking for a natural way to dye, color her hair too!!

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    1. Thank you Sheila! I use an all-natural hemp shampoo (Dr Bromners) but any all-natural shampoo/conditioner would work fine, especially one made for colour-treated hair. I hope this helps :)

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  90. Teresa in E. TN15 October 2013 13:58

    Im 52 and starting to have a good heavy sprinkling of gray hairs, I recently experimented with tea dyeing, please give feedback and comments on my process. I did get some pretty good coverage on the grays. they were more of a dark gold, which look like cool highlights. I just wonder if there is a better thickening agent that I could have used. PLEASE COMMENT-- process--I washed my hair as usual then used plain instant decaf black tea mixed it with cheap suave conditioner, (hard to mix but just stir stir stir ...) put it in a squeeze bottle and applied it to may hair, then pinned it all up and let it set for about an hour. the color change was subtle but definite, it lasted for about a week and a half. considering applying it after each and every shampooing, also wondering if heating mixture before applying it would help, or maybe using a shower cap and heating entire head with a blow dryer to open the follicles up?? ...Thanks for your feedback.... Teresa

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