Let's be honest, it hurts to constantly shed and lose the hair we have, or simply NOT GROW fast and long enough.
For these reasons, exotic herbal tea rinses are starting to getting so much attention in the natural hair world recently.
Even the not-so-exotic herbs, like Bigelow green tea and black tea are frequently discussed. And it turns it that there is scientific backing to the benefits of tea rinsing for keeping and growing hair. Even women suffering from losing their edges have seen success mixing up a special brew!
Lets look at the 3 scientific reasons tea rinses help your hair stop shedding and grow.
1. Amino acids – Strengthens Your Hair
Strong hair retains itself. That's what theanine does for you. Theanine is an amino acid that is unique to certain types of tea. Studies show that a purified extract of this amino acid could penetrate fully through to the hair cortex of bleach-damaged hair after a 10 minute soak at 30°C .
Even if your hair hasn't been damaged by bleaching, it is possible to accumulate damage to the cortex due to styling and combing as well as common weathering. A tea rinse can be considered as a very mild protein treatment.
2. Caffeine – Stimulate Hair Growth
Did you know your hair follicles can take up several drugs and caffeine is one of them? Studies done once more on human hair in a petri-dish showed that the hair follicles do rapidly take up caffeine and this stimulates hair regrowth for hair previously showing signs of hair loss. (International Journal of Dermatology, pg 27-35, 2007).
3. Polyphenols – Stimulate Hair Growth
Green tea has been studied as a possible treatment for hair loss. It is preferred over black tea as the roasting of tea to create black tea oxidizes the polyphenols. Tests so far have been performed on rats as well as human hair in a petri-dish with similar results. The polyphenols are seen to stimulate re-growth of hair. So if you have problem spots, for example, your edges, or are experiencing hair loss, then a tea rinse may be worth a trial.
How To Brew Your Tea Rinse
- Place the herb(s) in a pitcher (glass is ideal).
- Pour boiling water over the herb(s), cover, and steep for 10-20 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and allow the liquid to cool.
- Pour over your head after using a high quality shampoo, conditioner, and finishing your detangling session. Do not rinse out.
Here are 5 of Our Favorite Herbal Hair Rinses:
1. Sage Herb Hair Rinse — for Invigorating and Cleansing
Sage helps cleanse the hair of oil buildup and promotes healthier hair.
2 cups boiling water
2 tsp. dried sage (or 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves)
Pour the water over the dried high-quality sage and steep until cool. Remove (or strain) the sage and apply to freshly washed hair. Don’t forget to massage into your scalp!
2. Birch Leaf Herb Hair Rinse — to Prevent Hair Loss, Maintain Scalp Health and Soften Hair
When used on a regular basis, the birch leaf rinse will help prevent hair loss and maintain the overall health of your hair and scalp. Birch leaf will also soften the hair and add sheen.
2 cups boiling water
2 tsp dried birch leaves
Pour boiling water over birch leaves and steep until cool. Strain and pour over clean hair. Massage into scalp. Caution: Consult your physician before using this rinse if you are allergic to wild carrot, celery, mugwort and certain spices. Also know that birch leaf can darken your hair over time.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse — for Cleansing and Clarifying
This rinse is VERY POPULAR with ladies who do the water only hair washing method, the ACV rinse is one of the easiest and most popular hair rinses within the natural hair community.
4. Chamomile Hair Rinse — for Soothing and Healing the Scalp, Giving Hair Sheen
Chamomile has been used for centuries to add in relieving stress and restlessness at bedtime. It is also great for soothing an itchy or sore scalp. Softens hair, soothes the scalp, lighten and conditions (people use it with honey to bring out natural highlights). Chamomile is also known to stimulate growth. It has also been said to heal scalp ailments such as dandruff, dry patches and eczema.
2 cups boiling water
2 tsp. dried chamomile (or fresh chamomile if available)
Pour boiling water over chamomile and steep until cool. Strain and pour over clean hair. Massage into scalp. Beware: Chamomile has been known to lighten hair.
5. Linden-Flower Hair Rinse — to Promote Healthy Hair Growth & Strengthen Dry and Brittle Hair
Unfortunately, this amazing herb for dry hair comes with a major flaw. Oh, it works BEAUTIFULLY, but Linden-flower is super duper expensive, but that doesn't change the fact that it is great if you’re dealing with dry, brittle hair as a result of over-dying or dying your hair too often. For hair that is severely damaged, linden-flower can help bring it back to life. It also promotes circulation in the scalp and will help new hair grow in healthier.
2 cups boiling water
2 tsp. linden flowers
Pour boiling water over linden flowers and steep until cool. Strain and pour over clean hair. Massage into scalp.
Runner Up Herbs That You May Find To Be Your #1
Here are some other herbal rinses that you can add to your hair care regimen. Pick an herb for your particular natural hair issues!
- Horsetail: Helps brittle hair due to its high silica content.
- Lavender: Stimulates hair growth
- Nettle: conditions, improves texture, helps with dandruff, irritated scalp, and dry scalp
- Parsley: enriches hair color and gives a nice luster
- Plantain: great for dry, irritated scalp, dandruff, and seborrhea
- Rosemary: Acts as a tonic and conditioner, one of the best herbs to use, gives luster and body, stimulates growth, helps with dandruff, and brings out dark highlights in the hair.
- Saw Palmetto: good for thinning hair and hair loss
- Thyme: good for oily hair and dandruff
- Witch Hazel: cleanses hair
Caution: Finally, remember to talk to your doctor or dermatologist before beginning a tea rinsing (or sipping) regimen. Some of these herbs are not meant for breastfeeding and pregnant naturals!