Whether you aim to regain a youthful appearance or express yourself, many women choose to dye their hair at some point. Vibrant hair is often associated with health and youth. Exploring the hair dye section in a beauty supply shop or supermarket reveals many options. Still, most commercial products contain potent and damaging chemicals, like ammonia, leading to breakage and harm to the hair cuticle. Today, we propose coffee as a natural, safe, and cost-effective alternative to conventional hair dyes. The best part is that you likely have it readily available at home!
The coffee we usually drink in the morning comes from a tree called “Coffea” (1). The coffee beans come from seeds of the fruit of this tree — coffee cherries. They are roasted after extracting the seeds, and the color becomes brown.
Caffeine, naturally found in coffee, stimulates the brain and nervous system (2). This is why we drink it in the morning to wake up and stay alert throughout the day. In addition, it works by inhibiting the effects of a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine relaxes our brain and makes us feel tired throughout the day.
How does coffee hair dye work?
Coffee, dark in color, acts like a stain on your hair. The stain then naturally darkens your hair and lightly hides any gray hairs (3).
Why dye your hair with coffee?
- Coffee will intensify and give vibrancy to your natural color. In addition, it will turn it one or two shades darker and make your grays blend better with the rest of your hair.
- Dyeing your hair with coffee is simple and budget-friendly. You probably already have some in your pantry.
- Coffee is a natural dye without any harmful chemicals present in common hair dyes — the result is healthy and shiny hair.
- It takes less time than dyeing your hair with box dye or at the salon.
- In addition to darkening your hair, coffee offers many other benefits for your scalp and hair, such as rebalancing the pH of your scalp (4) and exfoliating.
Also Read – 8 Ways Caffeine Can Give You a Beauty Boost
Just as applying coffee topically, drinking coffee also has benefits for your skin. The high antioxidant content in coffee helps you fight early signs of aging (5). Antioxidants protect your skin against environmental damage coming from pollution, the sun, and the air. These environmental aggressors are responsible for premature signs of aging such as dullness, fine lines, and loss of firmness. Coffee (in moderation) helps neutralize these stressors.
DIY Recipes For Dyeing Your Hair With Coffee
- 1 tbsp of organic instant coffee granules
- ¼ cup of organic instant or brewed hot coffee
- One large bottle of conditioner
- One towel
- One plastic bag
- Two bowls
- One applicator brush
- Pour ½ a cup of conditioner into the bowl and add the tablespoon of instant coffee granules. Mix until the coffee is completely incorporated into the conditioner.
- Brew ¼ of a cup of coffee, or use instant coffee. For instant coffee, take one tablespoon and put it in a separate bowl. Add ¼ of a cup of hot water and let the coffee dissolve.
- Pour ¼ of a cup of brewed coffee into the conditioner and coffee mix and stir until the whole mixture is well incorporated. Please leave it to settle for five minutes.
- Check the consistency and ensure it is not too watery, or it may drip on your face or floor.
- Take a towel you don’t mind staining and place it around your shoulders to protect your clothes.
- With an applicator brush, scoop out the coffee and conditioner mixture and apply it all over your hair, from roots to ends. Work it in a layer by layer.
- Massage it gently for a couple of minutes.
- Wrap the plastic bag around your head, tying the ends to secure the cover. The plastic wrap will help the coffee dye develop faster.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes to half an hour.
- Wash the mix off of your hair using shampoo.
- Enjoy healthy, darker, and shinier hair!
Here is a simpler version of the previously mentioned coffee dye recipe.
- 3-4 tbsp. of organic instant coffee
- ½ cup of conditioner
- One towel
- One bowl
- Mix the 3 to 4 tablespoons of organic instant coffee in a bowl with the conditioner until it dissolves completely.
- Use a towel over your shoulders to protect your clothing.
- Apply it on your hair from roots to ends. Work it layer by layer, making sure you completely cover every strand.
- Leave the mix on for a full hour before washing it off.
- Rinse it off with your favorite shampoo.
- Enjoy healthy, darker, and shiny hair!
This method is also called the coffee rinse.
- 2 cups of organic coffee
- One large container
- One spray bottle (optional)
- Brew the two cups of organic coffee in hot water. Let it cool down to room temperature.
- While your coffee is cooling down, shampoo your hair. You want to ensure your hair is free of oils and product build-up.
- Transfer the already-cooled coffee into a large container.
- Hop in the shower with your coffee container. Dip your hair into the coffee container, and then, with a cup, pour the rest on your hair, not forgetting about the back area.
- Don’t waste the coffee you are pouring! Instead, try to catch it in the same container because you want to repeat the process around 15 times or until your hair is fully saturated.
- You can also pour the mix into a spray bottle to spray on your hair. Just make sure you are fully saturating your hair with the mixture.
- Twist your hair and pin it up so it’s out of your way and doesn’t drip. Let the mix sit for 20 minutes to a few hours.
- Rinse your hair with warm water to remove the coffee.
- Enjoy healthy, shiny, and more vibrant hair!
Coffee can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Using coffee scrub a couple of times a week can significantly improve the appearance of cellulite on your body. The caffeine and antioxidant content in coffee help stimulate circulation, tighten the skin and eliminate excess water (6) — resulting in less dimpled skin.
Before Applying your Coffee Dye:
- Ensure the coffee is not too hot, or you will burn your scalp badly. Always test the temperature before applying.
- Use only on hair that hasn’t been bleached in the past; instead of getting a rich brown tone, the bleached portions will turn orangey. This dye works best on brunettes as well as redheads. It is not recommended for light-colored hair.
- The amount of coffee required to dye your hair entirely depends on the length of your hair. The longer your hair, the more coffee you will need. Adjust the recipes to your needs.
- To better conceal grey hair, apply the dye on two consecutive days. Then, the results will be more satisfying.
- To maintain the color, it is recommended that you dye your hair once a week.
- For longer-lasting colors, you can add some henna to the mix.
- Make sure you wash your hair first! Coffee dye works best on clean hair.
- The stronger the coffee, the darker your hair will be.
Other Benefits of Using Coffee in Your Hair
If you are not yet convinced that coffee is the way to go for your hair, here are other benefits of using coffee on your hair and scalp.
Rebalance the pH level of your scalp – The hair and scalp naturally maintain an acidic pH. Still, many hair products have an alkaline pH, leading to an imbalanced scalp and issues like frizz, dullness, and damage. Coffee, with its similar acidity, aids in restoring balance, promoting healthier and shinier hair.
Exfoliate your scalp – You can use coffee grounds to exfoliate your scalp. The caffeine content in coffee stimulates circulation, while the rough texture of the grounds helps sluff away any dry and dead skin.
Makes hair smoother and softer – The high antioxidant content in coffee helps your hair regenerate, resulting in less frizzy hair and feeling softer.
Promotes hair growth – Caffeine in coffee inhibits a type of testosterone, DHT, responsible for abnormal hair loss (7). Therefore, coffee may stimulate hair growth when applied directly to the scalp.
If you are looking for a more straightforward and cost-effective alternative to darken your hair, just look in your pantry. Ditch the nasty chemicals found in conventional store-bought dyes and choose a natural and healthy option. The coffee dye will temporarily darken your hair and blend in your grays for a more youthful appearance while maintaining the health of your hair.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does the dye last?
Depending on how often you wash your hair, you will notice fading after one week. You can use the coffee-rinse method afterward to maintain the results.
Will it cover my gray hair?
It will darken the gray hair and allow it to blend better with the rest of your hair, but it will not offer full coverage. Apply the mix two days a row for better results with gray hair.
How often should I re-apply the hair dye?
To maintain the depth and vibrancy in your hair, apply once a week or once every other week.
Are there any side effects of dyeing your hair with coffee?
No! This is the best part about using coffee as a hair dye: there are no harmful chemicals in it, and the results are temporary.
What type of coffee is best to use?
Organic and strong. Organic coffee doesn’t have any added chemicals that regular coffee has. And a strong coffee, like espresso, will give you an intense and more vibrant color.
- “What is Coffee?” – ncausa.org
- “What is caffeine?” – healthline.com
- “How to make a coffee rinse” -healthline.com
- “Hair coloring” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “Benefits of Using Coffee Grounds for Your Skin and Face” – verywellhealth.com
- “Do Coffee Scrubs Treat Cellulite?” – healthline.com
- “Role of caffeine in the management of androgenetic alopecia” – ijtrichology.com