View Full Version : question about tea rinses and color changes

January 26th, 2012, 08:43 AM
I searched here a bit but haven't quite come up with the answer to my question

I am currently growing out dyed hair (last round was medium neutral brown over years of auburn/reddish browns, both semi and permanent) and I am looking to even out/tone down the brassiness of the previously colored hair without actually staining/coloring my silver and natural roots (at least not in any permanent way) and I thought maybe tea rinses would help.

My question is, do tea rinses color grey hair and if they do, does it eventually fade/wash out or is it permanent?

(ps: I have even done the Kool-Aid in conditioner toning with a little result, but I still need the color adjusted)

if anyone has any other suggestions, I'd be grateful for them

(double ps: just figured I'd toss this in here: Natural Instincts is out of the question...I had bad saturation issues using this {{my ends turned almost black even tho I was using a medium-light brown}} so I won't go back to it)

thanks in advance :)

January 26th, 2012, 11:43 AM
gee whiz...46 views and not one little bit of advice?


January 26th, 2012, 01:20 PM
Hmm, well my experience is with fabric rather than hair, but I have tea-dyed. In fabric, it fades slowly but it is very hard to get the last bit (which is a yellow color typically) to come out.

When you ask a specific question like this, you may get a lot of views without answers because people are curious about the subject but don't have the specific experience to be able to help you. Give it a day or so before you get wound up about not getting answers.


January 26th, 2012, 01:24 PM
I can't think of any tea that would tone down brassiness without staining the grey.

February 8th, 2012, 01:12 PM
~sorry for the length, I wanted to be thorough~

I thought I would post the results of my (very non-scientific) experiment with tea rinsing, in case anyone was interested. (and I do apologize for my snarkiness…it was just a little disappointing that in such a vast and knowledgeable group, no one replied to my plea)

I decided that if I could get the brassiness at bay, I could live with a bit of tinting to my grey/virgin roots (roughly 2” worth) I had a particularly troublesome spot on one side that resulted in attempting to remove color saturation from medium-brown Natural Instincts (my ends turned nearly black, compared to the medium/dark brown roots) But because the root area had “only” the Natural Instincts (and not any permanent color as the ends did) the color remover lifted it differently and I ended up with light auburn roots and root beer colored ends (not good) and in the trouble area, I am heavily grey, so it lifted Much lighter.

To combat this, I went red and while I love being red, from years of experience, I know being red is a vicious cycle of ever-escalating damage trying to keep it red.

I contemplated henna, but ultimately decided against it because I am just plain tired of the upkeep of colored hair and ~really~ wanted to see my silver/greys…I can always color it again at some point, if I choose to.

So…last October I did (what I hope to be) my *last* coloring, choosing a neutral medium brown that seemed to match my roots fairly well.

As I mentioned in my original post, as color will, it began to turn brassy. The green Kool Aid rinse did work to a degree, but I still had that odd spot that stayed lighter and of course, brassier, than the rest of my hair.

So, for The Experiment:

I brewed about ¼ cup of loose English Breakfast tea leaves in about 8 cups of boiling water. (tea chosen because I happened to have loose English Breakfast tea that is too stale for drinking, but too pretty to throw out and 8 cups of water because I have an 8-cup measuring cup and it seemed like a logical choice) I let this stand for maybe 30 minutes then fished out the tea leaves (I wrapped them in cheesecloth) and let it cool to room temp

I condish/washed/condish’d my hair as normal (Avalon Organics Lavender) and then ran a little 3MM in at the roots (without rinsing), to kind of protect the virgin/grey from the tea

I use my bathroom sink to wash, so I plugged the sink, dumped the brewed tea in and then with a smaller cup, ran it over my hair maybe 10 times. I gently squeezed out the drippiness and wrapped my hair in a towel, leaving the rinse on for maybe 15 minutes. Then I rinsed WELL and deep conditioned (Renpure Organics in the green tube that looks like a toothpaste tube)

Once dry, I noticed a def diff in the color. It was richer and not quite as brassy, but still leaning to the auburn side of the spectrum. My trouble spot was still lighter, but not as obviously so.

I did this again about 3 days later, this time adding a sprig of rosemary in with the tea leaves and then a sprinkle of green Kool Aid and purple Kool Aid to the cooled tea mixture. I ran it over my hair about 20 times, I left it to stand maybe 30 minutes. The second time, I did not put conditioner on my roots first.

The second time was the charm. The color evened out to where it is no longer troublesome to me. It did not really color the virgin hair or even the greys, for that matter. At least to no notable degree.

The other thing I have noticed is my hair feels thicker and I am shedding a LOT less, and for this fact alone I will be doing tea rinses on a semi-regular basis.

Someone else may not get my same results, but I wanted to say that it did work to tone down the brassiness and enrich my hair color.

February 8th, 2012, 02:09 PM
Tea stains are only temporary, and you have to do it a LOT to make a difference.

February 8th, 2012, 04:53 PM
so far, it did what I was looking for and the color seems to be staying the same

I don't imagine it would work too well as a "permanent" color changer