If your brown or black hair has lost its luster, don't rush to the salon for a fix. Give all-natural tea dye a try instead. Black tea adds rich, chocolaty tones to dark-colored hair. Tea is acidic, so it will also tighten and smooth your hair's cuticle layer. Combine black tea with herbs, such as rosemary and cloves, for a dye that darkens and boosts your hair's shine. Unlike store-bought coloring products, this tea dye has no powerful chemical odor. In fact, it may even make your home smell nice.

Step 1

Pour 2 cups of lukewarm water into a large saucepan. Set the pan on a stove burner.

Step 2

Add seven bags of black tea, 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary and 2 tablespoons oregano leaves to the water. If desired, add 1 tablespoon of cloves or walnut hulls. Both of these make the dye darker.

Step 3

Turn the stove burner on to medium-high heat. Steep the tea bags and other ingredients for 45 to 50 minutes.

Step 4

Remove the tea bags from the water and discard. Hold a strainer over a large bowl. Pour the liquid through the strainer and into the bowl. Discard the herbs left in the strainer.

Step 5

Add 1 tablespoon instant coffee and 1 tablespoon lemon extract to the mixture. Stir well, then let the tea mixture cool.

Step 6

Stand in the shower and pour the tea mixture over your hair slowly. Massage the tea mixture into all parts of your hair, including the roots and tips. Use a stiff hairbrush to run the tea through your hair for more thorough coverage.

Step 7

Cover your hair with a shower cap or a sheet of plastic wrap for 30 to 60 minutes.

Step 8

Remove the cap or plastic wrap. Shampoo as usual, then rinse well.


  • This natural dye works best on brown hair or darker shades.

  • To help the color stay better, avoid rinsing or conditioning your hair for one week after dyeing.

  • The tea dye will keep for up to five days if covered and stored in the refrigerator.

  • For blonde hair, use green tea instead of black. Switch the rosemary and other herbs for calendula, turmeric, chamomile and rhubarb root. These ingredients brighten and enhance blonde hair.