It wasn't long ago that I got wind of some of the ladies using bamboo tea, not just for drinking, but for tea rinses as well. Someone else sent me an email sharing this very thing. "What is a tea rinse rinse", you ask? Simply put, it's the process of applying tea to our hair and scalp following a wash and deep conditioning session. My one experience with tea rinses was not a great one. The black tea I used made my hair feel stiff, kinda like a protein conditioner. After that one experience, I swore off tea rinses for good. That is until my homie NIX08 leaves a comment on the blog about her successes with tea rinse. At first I just read the comment and moved on, but as days passed, I couldn't get her comment out of my head. So I reached out to her and asked if she would be interested in sharing a guest post with her experience using tea rinses to elevate her regimen. She graciously agreed. Because of her generosity we will all learn something that we can benefit from. So let's get comfortable in our seats and allow the learning begin.
"I would love to share what info I've gathered/experienced on tea rinsing:). Now, I'm not sure how credible I would be though as I've been doing them less than a month. Yet again you have a role in why I started them. Your email to me over 2 years ago mentioned stimulation as one of 3 points to achieving my goal. I realized that I had not been giving that aspect of the process much attention. I often start and just as often stop with the scalp massages so I figured I would use tea rinses as my way to stimulate my scalp, increase follicle strength and help with growth. Ultimately I expected the effects to be seen/felt months down the road...was I ever wrong, and that's what got me hooked and excited about tea rinsing. My first brew was a mix of hibiscus and marshmallow root tea. Because I deep condition (DC) on dry hair...I spritzed my dry hair with that brew and I swear my hair felt softer as I applied it..but I thought I was being silly. However, once I cowashed and rinsed it out I was sold...the soft moisturized feel was obvious.
Because I'm obsessive, what was to be a weekly treat turned to daily and my stash of teas grew! The moisture from the teas were/are so much that I have had to up my protein usage to every other day (I cowash daily). So aside from the beautiful feel...shedding which I thought was at an acceptable level has reduced by half! One day I spritzed my scalp with hibiscus, marshmallow, rosemary, fenugreek and burdock and went out. I cowashed when I got home and there was 0 shed hair as I applied my leave in, 0 shed hair as I finger combed during my air dry and 0 shed hair as I styled my hair the next day (I was actually a little concerned) but I still continued to apply the tea blend to my scalp and hair daily before my cowash and I began to shed again but at half the hair fall. Lastly maybe its the increased protein but may very well be the teas, what I found to be acceptable breakage has also decreased significantly!
I have a blend of teas that I use to spritz before washing. A blend to rinse out during my wash (I also oil rinse) and a blend to leave in (along with aloe vera juice). All of which I leave in the fridge.
As for black tea ...I tried that near the beginning of my hair journey and that was not for me..my hair felt hard, regardless of whether it was working at shedding or my follicles, I didn't like the feel of my hair. I would have to use a moisturizing deep conditioner over it or after it and that seemed like too much work and risk. I used coffee too and liked it but I normally do my hair at night and the caffeine would stimulate me too much. I put some bamboo in my recent blends but bamboo is more pricey than the rest so I'm stingy with it..lol..I plan to stick to drinking it.
Here are some rough noted that I have on the teas in my stash that I have:
Deep Conditioner - Hibiscus/sorrel. (Colour, moisture, scalp) DC - Marshmallow root and powder (moisture) DC - rosemary (stimulate) DC - Fenugreek(shine, smooth cuticles, strength) DC - Burdock (growth, stimulate) DC - thyme (shine, thinning) DC - Fennel (shedding,enviro protection)
Rinse (see #3 below)- Nettle (grow, thicken) R - Saw palmento (growth)R - Lavendar(stimulate) R - Horsetail,(strengthen, smooth, stimulate) R - Rosehip (colour) R - Catnip (split ends, moisturizer)
Final rinse (leave in) - Roobois (growth, shine) F - Fenugreek (shine, smooth cuticles, strength) F - Catnip (split ends, moisturizer) F - Marshmallow root
The one tea that seems amazing but I can't find in my local stores is Moringa....I've been buying a lot of hair product while on the hunt for that tea. Apparently there are several companies that sell hair products with teas already incorporated.
I have so many teas that I want to use (I suspect as time passes I will surely simplify). So for now I've created 3 blends that I think work well for the area that they are used in my regimen. I pretty much use teas in 3 of the 4 ways that I'm aware of.
1 - spritz with tea for a moisture boost (throughout the day).
2 - incorporate teas in your Deep Conditioner (spritz)
3 - rinse out teas after allowing them to sit on your hair for a while (about 4 ounces)
4 - rinse and leave the teas in your hair after washing (about 4 ounces)
I do options 2 - 4 just because I'm so excited by tea:). It is just as easy to brew a bunch in one batch as it is to brew one and I'm a glutton. If you google the properties on each one they simply seem irresistible to leave any on the shelf. Since I dry deep condition(DC), I dampen my hair with my so called DC blend and I'm deliberate about adding it to my scalp. I then apply conditioner or don't sometimes. I simply use the tea once I rinse my hair. So after my first lather (cowash) I squeeze out the excess water, pour tea over my head, squeeze out the excess, apply a couple pumps of oil, then apply conditioner. I then go about my shower duties. Once done I rinse, then squeeze out the excess water and pour a blend of teas mixed with aloe vera juice as my final rinse.
Benefits of tea rinses
In the same manner that essential oils stimulate the scalp, increase blood flow, allowing oxygen to the follicles which in turn allow for optimal growth so do teas....they have antioxidants, cleansing properties, antibacterial properties, amino acids, some help bring shine to the hair, and others yet help with strength. The black tea was a turn off for me too...it was one of the ladies mentioning that she puts these funnily named teas in her aloe rinse that made me go and start reading up on them:) If you are to start with any tea I was start with marshmallow root. Some of the common ones that I also think are must haves: nettle, burdock, catnip, fenugreek, horsetail and hibiscus. I mainly have loose leaf (but going forward I may buy the bags for convenience and consistent amounts). I use about half a teaspoon of all teas but a full teaspoon of hibiscus and marshmallow root and I brew it in this fabulous contraption I have. I usually brew for about 2-4 hours although tonight I'm going to try it overnight.
Nix08 tried to slip in a disclaimer by saying that she hasn't been doing this tea rinsing tea for long so she swears that she's not an expert. I don't know about you but I learned a lot from her experience and I'm excited to bring this tea rinsing thing back into my routine. I'll stay way from the black tea for now and I think I'll do the tea spritz with bamboo tea. What I like about the bamboo tea is that I can get several brews from it. So I can drink some and brew more for rinses all from the same batch. Plus I'm sure that the silica component in the tea will be super beneficial to my hair strands. I'll report back with my experience. I'd like to acknowledge Nix08 for sharing with us. I hope to learn much more from her in the future! For those of you who are already doing the tea rinse thing, what's been your experience?