If you’re a holistic self-care fanatic, or just love tea in general, then you’re likely familiar with chamomile tea.
Its strong, honey-like taste and ability to calm the nerves make it an easy favorite among tea aficionados.
But it’s more than just a yummy drink – it can do wonders for lightening your hair, too.
You heard that right.
Your favorite tea for unwinding after a long day can bump your hair up a shade or two when applied to your strands and left overnight.
It’s a terrific way to give yourself highlights or get that blonde shade you’ve always dreamt of without resorting to hazardous bleaches and peroxides that can damage your hair and leave it dry and weak.
So how does chamomile tea work to lighten your hair?
Will it even work for your hair color?
Read on to find out more about chamomile tea hair lightening overnight procedures.
What Is Chamomile Tea, And Why Can It Lighten Hair?
Chamomile tea is the herbal drink derived from steeping the daisy-like flowers of the chamomile plant in hot water.
It has a strong, brownish-yellow hue and tastes like apples and honey.
It’s a very popular drink among tea lovers.
This tea is also used to improve medical conditions such as heartburn, anxiety, high blood sugar, and sleeping disorders.
But what will surprise most people is that chamomile tea makes an excellent substitute for hair bleach because it can lighten up the color of your tresses.
Its gentle hair-lightening properties aren’t as strong as hydrogen peroxide or baking soda, but it’s effective at giving you a natural lift in your hair shade.
This is because chamomile tea contains quercetin, a flavonoid that lightens the hair.
Quercetin inhibits the production of tyrosinase, which is an enzyme known to control the production of melanin (aka the natural pigment that gives your hair its color).
And it’s not just that.
Chamomile tea has tons of other benefits for the hair as well.
It treats dandruff and infections for those with sensitive scalps, and even promotes healthy hair growth in the long run.
Do note that if you use chamomile tea in place of bleach to lighten up your hair, it won’t make you a blondie straight away.
It’s going to take more time.
Because it’s a natural, chemical-free method of lightening your hair, the change will be a bit more gradual.
Expect to do two or three sessions before you get a relatively decent blonde shade for your locks.
Why Use Chamomile Tea To Lighten Hair Instead Of Bleach?
Bleach is known to many as the fastest and most effective way to lighten hair.
In a single session, you could lift your hair by up to eight shades if your developer is strong enough!
That’s why salons primarily use bleach when clients are trying to go blonde.
It’s powerful and gets the job done quickly.
That said, bleach isn’t everyone’s go-to when it comes to lightening their hair.
It sounds super intimidating and has a bad reputation because of all the harsh chemicals that can destroy your hair.
The fear of damaging hair is enough to make bleach a deterrent for those who love their precious locks.
See, bleach works to penetrate deep into the cortex of your hair strands to dissolve the natural melanin that gives them color.
To do this, it has to break down the bonds, proteins, and fatty acids in your hair by lifting the cuticle, leaving gaps and holes in it.
This weakens your hair strands, making your hair look and feel dry, dull, and frizzy.
At worst, bleach can even make your hair feel rough to the touch, kind of like straw in texture.
It also makes your hair more vulnerable to tangles, split ends, and breakage.
Bleach also severely increases the porosity in your hair because of all the gaps it leaves in your cuticle.
The more porous your hair, the more difficult it is for your strands to retain moisture.
That means you’ll have unhealthy, dehydrated hair all day.
One wrong move and bleach can truly make your hair feel like it’s dead.
So if you’re not one to take any risks when it comes to maintaining your hair’s integrity, natural solutions like chamomile tea might be the best for you.
Chamomile Tea Hair Lightening: Overnight Procedure
The process of applying chamomile tea to your hair before bed is pretty straightforward.
However, it can get a bit messy if you don’t prepare the right tools and accessories.
Here’s the best way to do it:
Prepare your chamomile tea by steeping dried flowers or store-bought tea bags in hot water.
Use more than you usually would to make a cup of tea for yourself.
Remember, you need to make the tea super strong to get the best results.
Leave it steeping in water for about 10-15 minutes.
When your tea is all done, transfer it into a big bowl.
Leave the tea to cool to a lukewarm temperature.
Make sure it sits until it comes down to a temperature you’re comfortable applying to your skin.
Saturate Your Hair With Tea
Now, it’s time to saturate your hair.
If you want to color your entire head of hair blonde, simply dip your mane into your bowl to drench your hair with chamomile tea.
You can also use your hands or a smaller bowl to scoop up some tea and reach your roots.
For highlights, you can put the cooled-down chamomile tea in a spray bottle and spritz the tea only on the sections of hair you want to be lightened up.
Wear A Shower Cap
Wear a plastic shower cap over your head so you don’t ruin your pillows and blankets.
Leave it overnight so that the tea can process your hair longer.
Shampoo And Condition Your Hair
When you wake up the next day, jump into the shower to rinse the tea off.
Cleanse your hair with shampoo to get rid of the strong herbal scent.
Chamomile tea can be drying on your hair when you leave it in for a long period.
So after you shampoo your locks, make sure you replenish that lost moisture.
Follow up with a hydrating conditioner, or better yet, a deep conditioning mask.
Rinse your hair completely.
Dry your hair in your preferred way and style as desired.
You should notice a slight difference in your shade when you’re all done.
It might not be as light as you would have it if you used bleach, but your hair should be a little bit blonder still.
If you want an even lighter hue, do the overnight tea mask again every week.
Doing it regularly will give you a better chance at slowly transitioning to a light, vibrant blonde.
Just be patient and trust the process.
You’re doing your hair a favor by lightening it the healthy way.
Other Ingredients You Can Use To Enhance Your Overnight Hair Lightening
While chamomile tea is already effective as a hair lightener on its own, you can also combine it with other natural ingredients to boost the lightening properties even further.
You’ll still do the same steps above, but only after adding whatever ingredients you feel might be of help.
Here are some of them:
This is another organic ingredient people often use to DIY their highlights.
Lemon is known to have natural bleaching properties thanks to its high concentration of citric acid and vitamin C.
The juice helps open up your hair cuticles to release pigments in the hair.
But since lemon juice is highly potent and acidic, you need to dilute it before spreading it into your hair.
That’s why it’s such a good partner to chamomile tea.
Simply dilute lemon juice in your tea (three parts tea, one part lemon juice) to elevate your overnight hair lightening process.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This popular cleansing ingredient not only aids in lightening your hair, but it can also add more shine and gloss back to dull hair.
That is a huge need when you’re lightening your hair and could potentially face dehydrated locks for a while.
Supplement chamomile tea’s lightening properties with ACV’s shine-boosting abilities by combining equal parts of the two before drenching your hair in it.
It might smell a little overpowering, but it’s totally worth it once you see how luminous and refreshed your hair is after your morning rinse.
Add a teaspoon or two of honey to your chamomile tea concoction to hydrate your hair and have a little extra help in bleaching your hair.
Honey naturally contains a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, a super effective lightener.
It’s also super moisturizing, so it’s excellent for softening and conditioning your hair even as you lighten it.
Coconut, Avocado And Olive Oil
Concerned about drying out your hair when you soak it in chamomile tea overnight?
Add about 10 drops of your favorite nourishing oil to each cup of the tea you’ve prepared.
This allows you to nourish your hair while the tea works to lighten it.
Hydration is a must when you lighten your hair, since leaving tea in your locks overnight might lead to dehydration.
These oils will also add shine, softness, and smoothness the following day, instantly rejuvenating your stressed-out hair.
Do You Need To Step Out Into The Sun To Make Chamomile Tea Work?
Many crafty, DIY haircare lovers will tell you that only the sun can activate chamomile tea’s lightening abilities.
They might instruct you to sit out under the hot sun with your hair drenched in tea to make the process work faster.
While it’s true that the sun can help boost chamomile tea’s lightening benefits, it’s not the only way the tea can work its magic on your hair.
It does the same thing as if you leave it on your hair overnight – just slower and less damaging.
If you step outside and expose your hair unprotected hair and skin to the sun, you might be doing more harm than good.
The sun’s UV rays are notorious for making hair dry and fragile and aging skin faster.
It’s a risk you shouldn’t take even if it can lighten your hair faster.
As long as you have a strongly brewed bowl of chamomile tea, it should be very effective already in lightening your hair.
There’s no need to stress your hair out even more by sitting in the sun and risking heat damage.
Yes, doing the overnight method takes more time and can be uncomfortable as you toss and turn in bed.
But it’s safer and keeps your hair as healthy as possible.
It’s definitely the better route to take if you want to minimize damage and keep your hair as hydrated as possible as you lighten it.
Who Will This Chamomile Tea Lightening Technique Work On?
Chamomile tea can easily lighten your hair if it’s already of a relatively light to medium shade to begin with, like a deep blonde or light brunette.
It will be difficult to pull off this technique with super dark hair, like those with black tresses.
If your hair is very dark, it means you have more melanin in your hair structure – so much melanin that natural solutions like chamomile tea might not work efficiently.
So for raven-haired ladies, you’ll need a stronger process to lift your shade.
You can try something more potent than chamomile tea, like undiluted lemon juice.
However, this can be very damaging to the hair, and it doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll get the results you want.
You might be better off getting your black hair lightened professionally with bleach at a salon you trust.
You don’t have to sacrifice your hair’s health and shine by turning to bleach just to get those highlights or that blonde, sun-kissed hue you’ve always wanted.
Save yourself the trouble of nursing damaged hair back to health by turning to the gentle yet effective lightening properties of chamomile tea instead.
It works terrific alone, but when you pair it with other hair-lightening superfoods, you’ll get amazing results gradually.
To top it all off, your hair will transform into that light, gorgeous shade as you catch those much-needed Zs!
Next time you want to get some subtle, natural-looking highlights without roughing up your hair, grab that box of chamomile tea bags in the cupboard.
In just one night, you could potentially lift your tresses up a shade and rock a hair color that’s perfect for the summer.