So why green tea? Apparently this antioxidant-rich beverage is acidic like our scalp and hair, which have a pH of anywhere between 4.5 and 5.5. That is why it's best to use pH-balanced products and/or products that are slightly more on the acidic side. Products that match the acidity of the hair close the cuticle. More on this in a moment....
When I first added green tea to my regimen, I'd use it as a final rinse after washing. But once I saw the results - soft, clumped curls with incredible slip - I became curious and began experimenting with it. My most brilliant idea yet (well at least I think it's brilliant, lol) has been my green tea spray bottle. In the natural hair world I'd always heard that it's important to keep a spray bottle with water (distilled or purified if you have hard water) so you can keep your locs moisturized. This is true. But let me tell you, the day I switched out plain distilled water in my spray bottle for green tea was one of THE best days in my natural hair life!!
And my daughter's hair? Oh my gosh, it works wonders for her hair! It absolutely loves green tea. Her hair is now softer, more moisturized and less frizzy, and easier to detangle. I mean, her curls POP!!
Ok back to the chemistry part (who would've thought I'd be so interested in chemistry in my adult life?? lol!!). Before I discovered the many benefits of using green tea in my hair, I used to think the only way for my hair to get properly moisturized was by opening the cuticles and adding moisture and then sealing them. But this is what I've figured out that has literally changed the way I look at my hair care routine:
The majority of the steps in my regimen need to keep my cuticles closed. Why? Because closed cuticles equals fewer tangles, and fewer tangles means less damage when I detangle.
Now, I know all about steamers and how they work. I've been under one before and my hair felt buttery soft afterwards. So I know and understand that using steam and indirect heat to open the cuticles and help deep conditioners penetrate the hair shaft are beneficial and effective. (I've also donned a plastic cap and sat under a bonnet dryer to get the same results but for some reason that hasn't really worked for my hair.) So, since I can't get a steamer anytime soon, I have to work with what I've got and with what I can do, and keeping my cuticles closed seems to be working for me.
Here are some other ways I've incorporated green tea into my regimen:
- Conditioner - I add green tea to my water-based conditioner, along with olive oil and grapeseed oil. Stir until smooth.
- Shampoo - When I need to use a sulfate shampoo, I add the shampoo to a separate spray bottle and dilute with green tea instead of plain water. My hair feels much less dry and still has some slip.
- Style - Instead of using regular distilled water to style my daughter's hair, I dampen her hair with green tea then add a little Shea Moisture Reconstructing Conditioner as a leave-in. The green tea and conditioner work together to seal moisture into her hair. Her hair is silky soft afterwards.
Note: after brewing the tea you have to refrigerate it.
|My first braid-out that I set using green tea. Oh! And my braids dry|
FASTER when I set them with green tea! BONUS!!!