Does Black Tea Promote Healthy Hair?

Black tea is a common beverage made from oxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It also, as it has been said, acts as a hair treatment.

It helps improve hair strength, color, and shine according to many people who advocate for its use.

In particular black tea rinses—where black tea is applied directly to the hair—are among the most popular beauty treatments that have been in use for centuries.

However, do scientific studies back these allegations?

his article examines whether black tea may be useful for keeping your hair healthy and how you can make a simple black tea rinse.

Ways in which Black Tea may Benefit One’s Hair

Could Boost Hair Color

Black tea contains high levels of tannins which are polyphenol antioxidants that neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals.

The main dark-colored compounds found in black tea are known as theaflavins and thearubigins.

As such, these black pigments give temporary enhancement to natural dark hair while camouflaging gray hairs.

But after some washes, this will fade away and work less on lighter colors.

May Promote Hair Growth

The caffeine-rich antioxidant content present in black tea makes it widely used for promoting the growth of hair through scalp health promotion by many users of black tea rinse hair.

It is claimed by proponents that DHT production responsible for hair loss specifically in male pattern baldness sufferers can be minimized by caffeine found in this type of black tea when it reaches follicles [9].

High levels of DHT have been shown to shrink hair follicles and shorten the hair growth cycle, leading to weakened, brittle hair that falls out more easily.

Some research shows that applying caffeine topically can foster keratin synthesis and increase lengthened anagen (hair production) periods.

However, there isn’t any direct research about the effects of rinsing with black tea, making it impossible to tell the amount of black tea and caffeine that needs to be used or how long the solution should be left on the scalp for any effects to be visible.

Might Improve Hair Shine

Well-hydrated and undamaged hair is what brings about hair shine. Damaged hair doesn’t reflect light as well which makes it appear dull.

Thus, one would assume that black tea rinses improve the luster by bringing more life into hair with better color and growth patterns.

Nevertheless, there is no research evidence for this claim despite anecdotal assertions.

Caffeine in black tea can make hair become dry if it is left for a longer period of time hence those individuals having low porousness strands.

For this reason, you are obliged to condition your hair after washing off the black tea rinse.

Are There Any Side Effects from Black Tea Rinses?

Putting black tea on one’s hair and scalp is generally considered safe.

Conversely, if you leave caffeine on your head too long when using black tea then its drying effect will be noticed and your hair will appear brittle just as if it were damaged.

Consequently, a spray bottle should be used in order to apply black tea directly onto the scalp while a conditioner must follow up after rinsing.

While no side effects of topical application are known, it is always good to confirm that you do not react to black tea by doing a skin patch test.

Take a tiny portion of cooled black tea on the inner part of your forearm or upper arm.

After 24 hours, look out for indications like redness, change of color in the skin, or irritation.

Whenever any of such symptoms appear then it would be better for you to avoid black tea rinses.

How To Do A Black Tea Rinse

If you are interested in using black tea as a hair rinse, here is how:

Put 3-4 bags of black tea in 2 cups (475 mL) of boiling water; let them steep for at least one hour or until the water cools down to room temperature.

Pour the black tea into a clean spray bottle through a funnel.

Wash your hair with shampoo thoroughly to cleanse your scalp well enough.

After dampening your hair section it off and apply liberal amounts all over your head while massaging gently.

Cover your entire head with a shower cap and wait for 30-60 minutes.

Rinse your hair with cold or lukewarm water prior to applying deep conditioner which will help seal moisture in.

For improving hair color with black tea use it from roots to tip, for those who want their hair to grow again.

Applied mostly onto the scalp. Finally, be prepared because it can stain hence wearing old clothes is advised too.

The Bottom Line

Black tea is not only tasty but also a popular remedy used for improving the health and appearance of one’s hair.

Nevertheless, there is limited evidence to support claims that putting this type of tea on one’s scalp may improve its color and increase its shine as well.

Cause new growths so more research should be done about this problem before we jump to conclusions.

Perhaps It works best on dark hairs though.

Try steeping three or four bags into boiling water; let it cool then spray it on your clean scalp and hair.

Let it stay for 30 minutes plus, or wash, it and add a deep conditioner to hydrate it more.

RELATED: How Long Does Toner last on hair and Everything Else You Need to Know

Although not proven to cure, black tea rinses are worth a try since they are simple to make at home, inexpensive, and generally harmless.

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