This DIY Tea Rinse Is Like An At-Home Salon Appointment
A new year often inspires the urge for a new hairstyle, be it a fresh dye, layered chop, or wispy fringe. Our advice? If you're hoping for a full-on mane transformation, it's always best to see a professional. But if you're just craving a slight tweak (very on-brand for 2023; we've been seeing so many lived-in, low-maintenance styles lately), you can totally take matters into your own hands.
For instance, you can amp up your color with an at-home gloss. Or, if you'd like to go the DIY route, try a tea toner—these antioxidant-loaded rinses can naturally brighten and strengthen your strands.
How to enhance your hair color with tea.
"We use toners to enhance dull tones or cancel unwanted tones," hairstylist Natasha Speth previously shared with mbg. For example, someone with blond or silver strands might use a purple-pigmented shampoo to neutralize brassy tones. But you can also use various teas for a slight toning treatment, and these can enhance the health of your tresses, too.
You may already know that teas are brimming with antioxidants, which neutralize and stop free radical damage; therefore, they can brighten strands and protect hair from various concerns, like brittleness, breakage, shedding, and even premature graying. Some teas also contain caffeine, which can aid in hair growth: In fact, one 2018 study shows that a caffeine-based liquid topical can be just as effective as Minoxidil1 (the active in brands like Rogaine).
And, yes, depending on which tea you choose, you can absolutely see a difference in hue. Here's how we recommend choosing a blend:
- If you want to bring out warmer tones, use green tea.
- If you want to brighten blond hair, use chamomile tea.
- For a great natural hair toner for redheads, use hibiscus tea.
- Use sage tea to darken gray hair.
- To deepen dark-colored hair, use black tea.
Finally, the process itself is pretty low-lift—you can even premix the solution in preparation for your wash day. See below for an easy weekly recipe:
- Brew 1 to 2 cups of water with 2 to 3 tea bags of your choice.
- Let the solution cool to room temperature, then pour into a spray bottle.
- Spray onto clean hair from root to tip.
- Leave on for at least 30 minutes, then rinse with cold water. Shampoo, condition, and style as usual.
We love tea-infused hair care around here; teas are loaded with antioxidants, and many varieties can even help with hair growth. But those antioxidants do more than protect against damage—they can also make your color appear way more vibrant. So in addition to looking for tea extracts in your favorite products, perhaps try your hand at a DIY tea rinse for enhanced color and shine. Trust, your tresses will be better for it.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.