Lighten Your Hair With Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Babies

Chamomile has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy for various conditions, including anxiety, insomnia and digestive troubles, but this flowering herb is also one of the hidden gems of the hair care world. If you’re looking for a natural way to lighten your hair that won’t dry it out or cause damage, chamomile may be a solution.

What is Chamomile?

Chamomile is an herb that produces white flowers with yellow centers, and the flowers are dried and used in chamomile supplements and teas. Chamomile tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with everything from dandruff to calming eczema. There are two types of chamomile, Roman and German, and both of these work in the same way. Chamomile tea is sold in most grocery stores, and the same tea bags you use to brew a pot of tea to drink can also be used on your hair.

Does Chamomile Tea Lighten Hair?

Chamomile tea can lighten your hair, but it’s important to go into the process with reasonable expectations. Chamomile can be used as a homemade organic hair dye, but it’s not going to work the same way as chemical dyes. If you’re looking for a way to lighten your hair several shades quickly or dramatically change your color, you may need a stronger dye.

What are the Steps for Using Chamomile to Color Hair Naturally?

  • Brew the tea. The tea should be a bit stronger than what you would traditionally brew for drinking, and a good rule of thumb is to use a 1/2 cup of loose tea — or six to seven tea bags — for every two cups of water. You can also add a 1/2 cup of lemon juice for an even lighter color.
  • Apply to hair. It may be easiest to pour the cooled mixture into a spray bottle — available at any beauty supply store — for quick application. Wet hair thoroughly and evenly.
  • Get some sun. The chamomile (and lemon juice if you used it) will get a boost from being exposed to the sun. Slather on some sunscreen to protect your skin and head outdoors for an hour or two. The brighter the sun and the longer you stay out, the more dramatic the lightening effect will be.
  • Rinse. It’s important to do a thorough hair rinse after each treatment to get any residual tea and lemon juice out of your hair and stop the lightening effect. Rinse with cool water to seal the hair cuticles.
  • Repeat. For best results, repeat these steps a few times a week until your hair gets to the color you’re looking for. After that, you may want to do monthly treatments to keep up with new growth.

If you’re short on time or looking for a subtle change in hair color, try rinsing your hair with the chamomile tea (and the water) every time you shampoo. This will produce a gradual hair lightening effect over time.

What are Other Chamomile Tea Uses?

Stop before you throw away those used tea bags or discard any brewed but unused tea. You can use the cooled bags as compresses on inflamed skin, whether it’s from acne or allergies, and a hot cup of the leftover chamomile tea with lemon and honey is the perfect way to end your at-home spa treatment.