This week’s challenge will be a tiny bit different than what I have usually been doing- but just bare with me.
I started dying my hair about five years ago. I have always been unhappy with my hair color which is a dark… ashy blonde color. I’ve been told that my hair color is call “dirty dish water blonde.” Mmmm… no, bleck. So when a couple months after I left home for college (really had nothing to do with my parents not allowing me to do it- it was just when I got fed up with hating my hair color) I died my hair to be a much much darker brunette color (and yes I even played with odd colors… like purple).
Since then I haven’t gone back to letting my hair be its natural color- and frankly I never really want to go back. I’m feeling a little unsure though about all the harsh chemicals that I’ve been using to hide the fact I’m a ‘dirty dish water blonde’ (I mean really is that the best name they could come up with??) so I began searching the internet for alternatives that don’t require henna (I’m just not feeling into the idea of having to boil the stuff and then leave it in my hair for a couple hours… I just don’t have time for that). Thus, I stumbled across an idea of dying my hair with coffee. I joke not… coffee.
Full Blown Coffee Dye Recipe:
1. Mix the conditioner and instant coffee granules together until they have completely mixed together. **Sidenote: I tried using theStarbucks VIA and also just grinding up my old coffee as fine as possible which is much cheaper than VIA. I prefer the Via or other instant coffee just for the fact that it mixes completely with the conditioner while coffee you grind yourself usually has small pieces that are not small enough to be absorbed by the conditioner**
2. Now pour the 1/4 cup of instant hot coffee or 1/4 cup of brewed coffee into the conditioner/coffee mix and stir around until everything is evenly mixed. Let sit for five minutes.
3. Drape your old towel around your shoulders to catch any coffee drips (I use a safety pin to secure the towel like a cape). Scoop up a little bit of the coffee mix and carefully begin applying it to your dry hair like you would if you were doing an out-of-the-box coloring job at home. You may use your fingers without gloves as coffee won’t dye your skin like chemically dye will, but you are welcome to use gloves and even salon brushes if you would like.
4. Keep applying all the mixture until your entire head of hair is covered. Massage into your hair and scalp for two minutes (Yes… work it in. While you would never ever do this with chemically dye- its important you do it here).
5. Put on your shower cap or wrap the plastic wrap (or plastic bag) around your head and tie up and secure it (you can tie a knot or clip it with a binder clip or a clothes pin). The heat from the shower cap/wrap/bag and the trapped heat coming from your head makes the coffee ‘develop’ faster. Leave it on your hair for 15-30 minutes, then hop in the shower and rinse off. After you have the majority of the coffee out add a little more conditioner to help loosen up the excess coffee, rinse again and rub dry with the old towel.
6. Blow dry as usual and, voila, coffee colored hair. Repeat every seven days or as desired.
Quick and Easy Coffee Dye Recipe:
2 tablespoons of instant coffee granules
**Coffee – as I’m sure you guessed – doesn’t last anywhere near as long as chemically dye… and I don’t want to have to do the above process every week. bleck. So in an act of laziness I tried a quick and easy version that I just do while I’m in the shower that seems to be doing well.**
1. Mix in the two tablespoons with your desired amount of conditioner (I like the mixture to be darker and a little bit thicker so I use only about two quarter size plops of conditioner) and comb the mixture through your hair like you would normally with your conditioner. **Sidenote: Since this is quick and easy you don’t have to be completely exact about it covering your hair completely- but just try to make sure you covered it as much as possible.**
2. Now work in the coffee mess for a few minutes.
3. Now shave your legs and clean your face and whatever else you usually do in the shower- just leave in your coffee and conditioner concoction in your hair for a couple minutes. You may also at this point cover it in a shower cap (or plastic wrap) to build up more heat to help the color along.
4. I know this seems a little obscure- but once you have reached the point that you have nothing else to do in the shower and need to wrap everything up- rince out your hair. If you still feel coffee granules or want to rinse again for good measure just add a tiny bit of conditioner to help rinse out the rest of the granules. Then towel dry.
5. Blow dry as usual and there you have a quicker coffee dyed hair color. It won’t be as dark as the longer version- but it is much much faster and easier. You can do this as often as you would like to build up the color.
I’ve actually have already tried it (thus making this a little bit of a weird challenge) and I’m not yet completely sold. Yes- it has actually been adding back that ‘just colored’ shine that you lose after several washings and it is definitely helping blend and hide my roots quite a bit. It isn’t as dark as my ‘just colored’ looked, but its a nice brunette color.
But it has a few drawbacks-
1. As I mentioned before it is not permanent and has to be much more consistently applied to your lovely locks.
2. Your hair will smell like coffee… and while my husband says that he can’t smell it unless he sticks his nose in my hair, I smell it all the time which is a little weird.
3. It only builds on your color- it does not change your color. So it does not completely hide roots and I’m guessing that it will not cover grays.
So I’m going to keep going on my search- I’ll be brave and try different things (that’s the general challenge) so I can report back on my findings. Have you tried any chemical free hair dyes?