Take a trip down memory lane with me to the DIY hair practices of our youth. Remember Sun-In, peroxide and other potions that left our hair brassy and unnaturally orange looking? You remember the photos don’t you. And we thought we looked great! Oh how time and a little bit of maturity can help us. Fortunately, hair color has come a long way over the years. Goodbye brassy locks. Unfortunately, highlights, lowlights and all over hair color can be costly to maintain. If only we could extend the life of our hair color a bit longer or add dimension without committing to coloring hair regularly. We have good news, we can! A tea rinse for hair – whether you’re blonde, brunette or a redhead – is an inexpensive alternative for DIY natural highlights.
Black Tea Rinse for Brunettes and Lowlights
Using about 5 black tea bags, heat water and steep tea for at least 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Avoid using light colored towels for this treatment as it can stain them. On freshly washed hair, pour the cool black tea over your head, use a bowl or bucket so you can make sure you saturate all of your hair strands. Use a shower cap for heat and deeper penetration of the hair strands. You can leave the tea rinse on for up to one hour and then rinse off; a second shampoo is optional.
Chamomile Tea Rinse for Blondes and Highlights
Brew a large pot of chamomile tea (loose leaf or tea bags). Next, strain and set aside to cool. While waiting for it to cool, wash your hair. When your hair is clean, pour the chamomile rinse through your wet hair. Wrap it in a towel and leave it up for about 10 minutes. Remove the towel and let your hair air dry. Spending time outside in the sun is ideal after the rinse, so try to do this at the start of your day so you have more opportunity to be in the sun. Another option is to pour the brewed tea into a spray bottle and spritz the hair to allow the sun to gently highlight the hair. This can be done several times in a week to lighten hair, or can be done once a week as maintenance.
Rooibos Tea Rinse for Redheads
Red hair can be so beautiful, and yet so hard to maintain at the same time if it isn’t your natural color. To brighten your red, brew 3-5 rooibos tea bags or a comparable amount of loose leaf tea. Cool completely and pour over your hair. Leave on for up to 30 minutes, rinse and style as usual. This can be done regularly to maintain auburn or red colored hair.
Do you use any hair products to extend the life or brighten your hair color? There’s a lot of shampoos and conditioners on the market to help keep colors from fading. Check your ingredient labels and avoid ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfates and other harsh chemicals.
Photos by Lindsey Rose Johnson16