Can You Dye Hair with Tea?

by Colleen Welsch on March 5th, 2020
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Many people use hair dye to darken their natural hair color, particularly if they have grey hair. However, regular hair dye is made with chemicals that some people may prefer not to use. Plus, overuse of regular hair dye can be damaging to your locks. That’s why some people recommend using black tea as a natural alternative to hair dye. So, can you really dye your hair with tea? Keep reading to find out!

Using Black Tea to Dye Hair: How It Works

Black tea is rich in plant polyphenols, which are naturally occurring compounds that can act as antioxidants. Together, the polyphenols in black tea form a complex called tannin.

Tannin gives black tea its dark color, and in some cases, that tannin can stain other surfaces. For example, you may have noticed that black tea will stain the inside of your mugs after some time. Similarly, black tea can be used to dye your hair.

However, don’t expect drastic or permanent results for black tea hair dye. Traditional hair dye uses a developer to open up the protective outer layer of the hair. This allows the dye to penetrate and permanently change the strand’s color. Since black tea doesn’t contain a developer, it cannot penetrate the hair shaft and permanently alter its color. Thus, any darkening effects you get from using black tea to color your hair will only be temporary.

woman applying hair dye home closeup bathroom mirror at home hair dye tips tricks viviscal hair blogBlack tea also will not drastically change the color of your hair. If you’re a blonde, don’t expect to have black hair after using tea to dye hair. However, you can achieve a more dramatic effect by leaving the tea on your hair for a longer period of time, or by repeatedly dyeing hair with tea.

Benefits of Dyeing Hair with Tea

A Subtle, Temporary Change

Dyeing hair with tea is an excellent way to add subtle, temporary richness to your natural hair color. Want a small change for an upcoming event? Black tea could be your answer. You can also use black tea to gradually darken your hair color over time.

Fewer Chemicals

There’s no doubt about it: traditional hair dyes are loaded with chemicals. If you’re concerned about your chemical exposure, tea is a natural alternative to chemical hair dyes. While tea may not have the same dramatic results as traditional hair dye, it can still provide color without all the chemicals.

Less Damaging than Regular Hair Color

Since black tea doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, it’s less damaging for hair than traditional hair color. If you have damaged hair, switch to black tea hair color for gentler dyeing. Hint: Viviscal also can help you grow stronger and healthier-looking hair. Viviscal Supplements nourish hair follicles from within with a blend of marine collagen complex, vitamins and minerals, to reduce hair shedding and promote thicker, fuller hair in as little as three months.†*

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Keep your hair looking healthy by dyeing with black tea and taking nourishing Viviscal supplements

How to Dye Hair with Tea

Now that you’ve learned how black tea hair dye works and its benefits, learn how to dye hair with tea:

  1. Brew some strong tea using 3-5 teabags of black tea per one cup of water. For additional darkening, add some dried sage to the mixture.
  2. Allow the tea to cool, then apply the tea to dry hair using a hair dye applicator bottle.
  3. Let the tea sit in your hair for at least an hour. For more intense results, put on a shower cap and leave the tea in your hair overnight.
  4. Rinse out hair thoroughly, then apply a lightweight nourishing conditioner like Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Conditioner.

A few watchouts: Always do a skin test of any new hair dye or at-home beauty recipe before applying it fully to your hair and scalp. If you have sensitivities or allergies to the ingredients, don’t use them. Repeating the dyeing process will give you darker, more intense results.

Existing hair growth