Whether your goal is to look ten years younger or just to express yourself, dyeing your hair is something most women do at some point in their lives. After all, rich and vibrant hair is a sign of health and youth. If you’ve ever been to a beauty supply shop or the hair aisle in the supermarket, you know there are hundreds of options available in the market to dye your hair. However, most of them contain strong and damaging chemicals such as ammonia which causes breakage and damage to the hair cuticle. Today we are suggesting a natural, safe and cheaper alternative to store-bought hair dyes. The best part is, you probably already have it at home — coffee!
The coffee we normally drink in the morning comes from a tree known as “Coffea” (1). The coffee beans come from seeds of the fruit of this tree — coffee cherries. After extracting the seeds, they are then roasted to become the brown coffee beans we all recognize.
Caffeine, naturally found in coffee, works by stimulating the brain and nervous system (2). This is why we drink it in the morning to wake up and stay alert throughout the day. It works by inhibiting the effects of a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine relaxes our brain and is what 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 works to darken your hair color naturally and lightly hide any gray hairs (3).
Why dye your hair with coffee?
- Coffee will intensify and give vibrancy to your natural color. It will turn it one or two shades darker and will 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 of the harmful chemicals present in common hair dyes — the result, 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
- 1 large bottle of conditioner
- 1 towel
- 1 plastic bag
- 2 bowls
- 1 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 into it and let the coffee dissolve.
- Pour the ¼ of a cup of brewed coffee into the conditioner and coffee mix, stir until the whole mixture is well incorporated. Leave it to settle for five minutes.
- Check the consistency and make sure it is not too watery, or else 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.
- Take the plastic bag and wrap it around your head, tying the ends to secure the cover. The plastic wrap will help the coffee dye develop faster.
- Leave on for 15 minutes to half an hour.
- Wash the mix off of your hair using a 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
- 1 towel
- 1 bowl
- In a bowl, mix the 3 to 4 tablespoons of organic instant coffee 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 in a 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
- 1 large container
- 1 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 make sure that 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! 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 it 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:
- Make sure the coffee is not too hot, or else 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 completely 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 you can get from using coffee on your hair and scalp.
Rebalance the pH level of your scalp – Your hair and scalp have an acidic pH, and often the products we use have a more alkaline pH resulting in an unbalanced scalp. This can look like frizzy, dull, and damaged hair. Coffee, having a similar acidity to your scalp, helps rebalance for 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 hair that is less frizzy and feels softer.
Promotes hair growth – Caffeine, present in coffee, inhibits a type of testosterone, DHT, that is responsible for abnormal hair loss (7). When applied directly to the scalp, coffee may stimulate hair growth.
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 start noticing 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 in 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 of the 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