Dying for a Cuppa

You know how one thing can lead to another, when you’re browsing online…

Well, I’d been Googling dyed yarn for a craft project I was thinking of doing, when I came across a section on natural dyes; you know the kinda thing – beetroot red, green nettles and brown tea and then ha, there in the margin was a link to natural hair dyes. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and lo-and-behold, the wonders of tea hair dye was revealed to me.

TeaallScrolling down I learnt which tea would give me blonde, brunette, black, or even ginger results.  My eyes lit up with the possibilities this information could bring me.

I’d not dyed my hair, with permanent dyes, for sometime, as being of a ‘certain age’ the condition of my hair had not been great lately; in fact it had got quite horribly thin – another joy of the aging process. About a month or two ago I’d seen images of a trendy grey haired female model in one of the popular women’s magazines and I’d decided to stop dying my hair altogether. However, I’ve never exactly been model potential, therefore, I didn’t exactly see the desired fashionably grey image, in the mirror, that I expected – instead the woman looking back at me was becoming increasingly more dull and washed out, every time I looked in the mirror. So, you can see why my eyes lit up at the sight of a natural solution.

I’d been blonde for years, however it seemed I’d need chamomile tea and lemons to reproduce this particular effect and I’d only got Tetleys tea bags in the cupboard! While I’d been, scrolling through this marvelous  information, on my mobile phone, I’d wandered absentmindedly into the kitchen and flicked on the kettle.  Opening the cupboard door, I’d reached up and had taken down the tea caddy, twisted off the lid and pulled out a tea bag before realising what I’d done.  Peering at the round, perforated object I wondered would Tetley be more than a ‘hug in a cup’ to me.

I mulled over the idea for a day or two before clicking onto my Hair bookmark and double clicking the link to the wondrous Tea Hair Dyes page. I reread the comments – all of them good – before returning to the recipe.  In the kitchen I gathered the ingredients and utensils I would need and taking one more look at the instructions I began to fill my cauldron.  Hunching over it I mutter the following incantation written by JK Rowling from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

‘I solemnly swear I am up to no good’

I left the golden elixir bubbling away while I mulled over which applicator would be the most effective.  It came down to either a scoosh spray applicator or an empty hair conditioner squeezy bottle.  The brew may spray well, but I reasoned, it would also run all over the place, so I decided to use the squeezy bottle and soak my hair over the sink.

Going back to the kitchen, I peered into pungent mixture and decided it was ready.  Placing a piece of muslin over a mug I poured the potion into it, squeezing the sachet dry and set the mug on a shelf, to allow the contents to cool.

“Fancy a cuppa?” I called through to mum…

Standing before the mirror I took a final look at the dull grey image, before bending over the sink and squeezed the now cold golden liquid out of the bottle and over my head, carefully massaging it into my hair.  Minutes later, as tea dye dripped down my face and neck, I could be seen rushing from room to room, mirror to mirror, constantly seeking an update on the heady situation. Eventually, the brew began to dry on my head and  I settled down to watch TV with mum and sipped at my now lukewarm cuppa.

Sometime later, when the magic was complete, it was time to reveal the transformation.  I thought it best to shower it off and after adjusting the heat, I stepped under the sparkling spray of water.


Looking down, a startlingly vibrant tan was cascading off of me and disappearing down the plughole.  I was suddenly more bother I’d become a perfect stand in for David Dickinson than whether I had indeed performed a magical result on my hair!  I grabbed a scrunchy and scrubbed vigorously at my skin.

Eventually I emerged from the steaming bathroom and made a dash upstairs to the privacy of my own bedroom mirror to assess the results. A quizzical slightly concerned face peered fleetingly back at me, before it disappeared as I wooped and leaped about the room  – Yeeeess! A slightly less concerned face returned briefly to double check – Woo Hooo… back again to triple check more carefully, lifting sections of hair up and twisting round this way and that… aaand again, this time with a hand mirror. Ha chuffed and delighted.  I took more time than I had recently taken blow drying my hair, then took one more smug look at the rejuvenated woman in the mirror, before skipping off to reveal the wondrous transformation to my family.

NB: Yep yep, I realise you may well have wanted some horrendously traumatic ending, but in truth the reality was rather more comforting – like a mug of hot tea on a cold winters day. The dye works with your hair colour by lifting it a tone or so and by adding sage to the mixture it helps to cover the grey.  I recommend it, if you are up for a brew.