Photo Credit: @mussettee@mussettee

by Mary Wolff

Beautiful, healthy curls don’t just happen on their own. It takes lots of TLC to get your strands looking and feeling their best. One of my favorite ways to add a little something extra to my routine is with hair tea rinses. Tea is known to offer health benefits when you drink it and it even offers benefits when applied to hair. Tea has amino acids to strengthen hair and polyphenols to stimulate growth and other benefits.  Here are a few of my favorite hair tea rinses.

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Anti-dandruff Rinse 
If you are dealing with a light case of dandruff, green tea is a great way to get a handle on this pesky problem before it requires professional help. Green tea helps stimulate the scalp and improve blood flow which in turn fights bacteria and fungus that cause dandruff. It also has a boost of caffeine which is great for stimulating follicles and encouraging growth so you get a two-for-one special with this rinse!

Directions: 
Brew an extra strong cup of green tea by using two tea bags and two cups of boiling water. Allow it to cool to lukewarm temperature. Never apply it to your hair or scalp while it is still steaming! Always test it with your finger before applying it hair and scalp to avoid burns. Once the tea has cooled, put it in a spray bottle. Apply to freshly washed yet still damp hair.  Apply to your scalp and then massage the scalp in circular motions. Cover hair with a shower cap for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and apply follow up with your favorite conditioner.

Stop the Shedding Rinse 
Black tea is known to help with shedding. The power is in the high concentration of caffeine found in black tea and the way it counteracts a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone. This hormone is responsible for hair loss and hair shrinkage. Hair goes through what are called anagen (growth) stages and telogen (rest) stages. When there is an overabundance of DHT hormone, hair will experience shorter rates of growth and longer rates of rest which leads to smaller hair follicles and overall thinness. This contributes to hair loss, balding, and shedding. The caffeine found in tea is the perfect remedy because it stops the effects of the hormone by blocking it. While some hair loss is natural, there are instances where it is the result of an underlying medical condition. If you are concerned about your hair loss, you should consult your doctor. While tea rinses are a good remedy for non-medical hair loss, they will not be the answer for those with a more serious case of hair loss.

Directions: 
For this brew, you want it to be potent. Brew 4-5 bags of black tea in two cups of boiling water. Leave the bags in while it cools to soak up all the caffeine. It should be lukewarm and safe to use before the next step. Transfer it to a spray bottle. Apply to your scalp until fully saturated. Cover with a shower cap and wait up to one hour for the best results. Rinse out and condition as usual.

There are other tea rinses out there, but these two are my go-to recipes when dealing with dandruff or shedding. A few things to note about tea rinses are to make sure you throw out the mixture when you are done. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week, but left at room temperature or in the fridge for more than a week, it will start to ferment. Also, make sure you aren’t overusing tea rinses. They have great benefits, but it can be too drying for some and should be limited to once a week or twice a month.

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