Is Black Tea Good For Hair? Benefits & Side Effects

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Black Tea For Hair

Tea is a beverage that is widely consumed around the world, yet many are not aware of its benefits on hair.

I came to learn about the benefits of black tea when one of my friends mentioned that her secret to flourishing hair was in tea rinses.

In this detailed article on tea rinses for hair, you will see that black tea is not the only tea that you can use on hair, other beneficial teas include green tea, chamomile tea, sage tea among others.

Is black tea good for the hair?

Black tea offers an impressive number of benefits to the hair but it also has side effects. It contains caffeine and is rich in tannins. These compounds are important in maintaining healthy hair. The caffeine in black tea counteracts the effects of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the main hormone responsible for hair loss.

Black tea also provides some small amounts of nourishing minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous which promote healthy hair growth.

Read on to learn about: (i) the benefits of black tea on hair, (ii) how to use black tea on hair, (iii) nutritional composition of black tea, and (iii) side effects of black tea on hair

What makes black tea beneficial to hair?

Black Tea is made from the leaves of a shrub known as Camellia Sinensis. There are various types of teas that are produced from these leaves. The difference depends on how long they have been fermented.

Black tea is produced through fermentation of the leaves for fairly a long time than other varieties such as green tea or oolong tea. What this means is that black tea is more oxidized than the other teas, a process in which tea leaves are exposed to air causing them to oxidize.

Nutritional value of Black Tea

Drinking a cup of tea is soothing and relaxing. Tea is also known for its many benefits on hair, and can be the start of the transformation journey that you’ve been looking forward to.

Black tea contains caffeine and significant amounts of nutrients mainly antioxidants known as polyphenols which include (1) :

  • Flavonols – myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol
  • Theaflavins – These are formed when tea is oxidized
  • Catechins – found in green tea; epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) is the main form

Black tea also has some amounts of sodium, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Benefits of Black Tea on hair

Black tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that are beneficial for your hair health. (2)

Besides promoting hair growth, black tea is also effective in improving hair color and luster. Groups of polyphenols, including catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins, are the main sources of antioxidants in black tea that also help in boosting overall health.

Here are the benefits of using black tea on hair:

1. Stimulates hair growth

A black tea rinse can be used to stimulate hair growth. The caffeine in black tea is known to penetrate deep into the hair follicles thus promoting hair growth.

Research indicates that a topical application of Chinese black tea, fermented with Aspergillus sp. can stimulate hair growth. (3)

Black tea oxidative properties are also useful in boosting hair growth. The antioxidants in black tea help in combating free radicals in the hair and thus protect the hair from damage. (4)

2. May prevents hair loss

If you looking to grow a long healthy mane, hair loss can be detrimental to your efforts and hence is the last thing you would want to experience.

The caffeine in black tea works by blocking dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that is responsible for losing hair. (5)

Black tea contains antioxidants that help in scavenging free radicals that cause hair damage and enhancing hair growth.  Additionally, an intake of black tea helps in reducing stress levels, which is also a major cause of premature hair loss.

3. Acts as a dyeing agent

Does black tea really cover gray hair?

Black tea is one of the oldest remedies that is used across the world to slow the appearance of gray hair.

If you’re tired of using chemical-based agents to darken your graying hair, try black tea. The tannic acid in black tea is known to darken hair. The red or black tinge of black tea makes it an excellent natural hair dyeing agent. (6)  

Using black tea mixed with henna will also transform your hair into a healthier more lustrous mane.

4. Improves hair shine and softens hair

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to add that shine to your dull hair, then look no further.  Directly applying black tea into your hair can help bring back your shiny hair. The tannins and caffeine in black tea soften and add that lustrous look to your hair.

Black tea extracts have been used in cosmetic products due to their numerous benefits and minimal toxicity as compared to other ingredients. As the hair cosmetic industry shifts to natural ways of making hair look more smooth and lustrous, the use of black tea is an excellent choice.

To see the results, incorporate the use of black tea as a hair rinse after shampooing. The result will be healthier and silkier tresses.

How to use black tea on hair

1. Use black tea as a hair rinse

  • Brew a strong cup of caffeinated black tea.
  • Cleanse the hair with a shampoo or conditioner
  • Spray tea onto your scalp and massage thoroughly
  • Cover the hair and leave for 45 minutes before rinsing with cold water

2. Use black tea as a hair mask

  • Brew a cup of black tea
  • Add to half a cup of henna powder
  • Mix into a paste and apply on damp hair
  • Wrap hair in plastic to maintain a moist environment and leave for  1-2 hours
  • Rinse with water        

Side effects of Black Tea on hair

Whilst we have highlighted several benefits that black tea has on hair, it’s important to be aware of the side effects that come with using black tea on hair.

Below are the side effects of black tea on hair:

  • May cause allergies – Black tea contains caffeine and if you are allergic to caffeine then stay away from black tea as it may irritate the scalp. A possible remedy for this is dilute black tea with teas without caffeine
  • Staining lighter hair shades – Black tea is effective in restoring pigmentation however if this is not what you desire especially if you have a lighter hair shade, then you may want to limit the use of black tea on your hair.
  • Hinders absorption of iron – Tea is known to hinder the absorption of iron and therefore is not a good option if you are suffering from iron deficiency.
  • May lead to dryness if used too frequently – Black tea contains tannins that may inhibit the hair loss causing hormone DTH but if used too frequently, it may result in hair dryness. Dry hair is brittle and prone to damage hence it’s best to keep the use of black tea at moderate levels.

Origin of Black Tea

While you are still here, here is some history and origin of black tea that may interest you 🙂

Tea is generally considered to have originated from China in 1590 around the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing dynasty. 

In earlier days of trade between China and other neighboring countries, tea was dried fermented and pressed into bricks to be used as a currency. The term “black tea” was coined by the British and Dutch traders. In 1610, the Dutch brought black tea to Europe, and in 1658 it entered England.

As black tea gained popularity the British also decided to grow black tea mainly in Darjeeling and Assam. Today, there are a variety of black teas that are grown in China and in India, Kenya, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and others. Black tea is also known as red tea because of the reddish color.


Just like many natural remedies, effectiveness varies from person to person. Experimenting is the only sure way to know if a particular remedy will work for your hair or not.

Black tea has a number of benefits such as promoting hair growth, improving shine and preventing hair loss but we have also seen that has side effects which should be taken into consideration if you want to include black tea rinse in your hair care regimen. 

Before you leave, you may find this recommended products page useful. Here you will find the natural hair products that my friends & I have found to be very good for natural hair.

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Black Tea For Hair

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