By Hadassah Agbaps - June 16, 2013

Hi people! How has your weekend been?
Did you make out time to pamper yourself this weekend? I hope you did because it's gonna be another busy weekday and one has to keep the positive energy up!

Well, I've got a new treat to share with you guys!

You've all heard of the benefits of herbal rinses for your natural hair, right?


Okay I'll introduce you to it right now!

You might think, 'dem don come again o, so I can't drink my tea again?! It's now for hair?! Na wa o! So, my mouth will chop and my hair will chop?! Should I give it semovita too?!"
I thought so too! It's like my hair has a mouth too.
I can imagine eating jollof rice and feeding my hair which opens its mouth to eat....okay I guess that's the way Medusa has to feed her hair.....and I think I've succeeded in creeping myself out!
*shivers....tries to delete image*

Okay, but seriously I had to try it out. I noticed that naturalistas with long, thick natural hair seem to incorporate one herbal rinse or the other into their hair regimen and from the positive results they say they had, I got interested.
I've tried the vinegar hair rinse and though my hair seemed to be shiny and felt smoother, the smell was killing me! I didn't have the confidence of standing close to people without thinking I smelt bad....though most people I asked claimed to perceive nothing....but's mind over matter,people!

The herbal rinses looked like a better alternative because I can't recall any herbs with a sour smell...nope!

So, I did my research to find useful herbal rinses that are beneficial for hair.....and don't smell kinda sour.

A cuppa tea
Black tea comes from Camellia sinensis plant, just as the other kinds of tea such as green tea and oolong tea come from. Black tea is the tea variety that has been oxidized the most and is a tea type retaining its flavor more than other tea types. It contains caffeine, however, the amount of caffeine present in tea is very little, even lesser than coffee. This low amount of caffeine enhances blood flow to the brain without over stimulation of the heart. Moreover, this low level of caffeine also helps sharpens one's concentration ability and mental focus.
A study published in February 2009 journal of hypertension suggests that black tea consumption can conduce to a healthier heart. The research conducted on 19 healthy men revealed that drinking black tea over long periods helps increase blood vessel reactivity, while reducing arterial stiffness and blood pressure. This in turn enhances a healthy heart condition.
Black tea is rich in polyphenols, an important antioxidant which destroys the harmful free radicals formed as a result of metabolism. These free radicals are cell damagers, which can lead to blood clots, cancer and atherosclerosis. Thus, antioxidants from tea help protect our cells from damage. It is also known to relieve diarrhea and maintain the health of the digestive tract because of the tannins it contains. The tannins in black tea decrease intestinal activity and release an antidiarrheal effect on the digestive tract, which helps alleviate the pain associated with diarrhea. Steeping black tea for a complete 15 minutes and then drinking it unsweetened is a popular diarrhea remedy.

Hair Care
Rinsing your hair with black tea helps darken the hair and add shine to it. To add shine to the hair, people generally brew two cups of black tea and rinse shampooed  hair. The tea rinse also helps increase bulk of hair, slows down hair fall and enhances hair growth.

Skin Care
Black tea is a wonderful astringent. To tap this benefit all one has to do is prepare some black tea and splash the warm tea onto your face. It's effect is fantastic! Moreover, tea is also beneficial if you are struggling with face or body acne. Black tea can be used on skin portions where you know a pimple is about to erupt. Just steep a black tea teabag in hot water and when it has cooled down, place it over the blemish for 10 minutes. Then, remove the teabag and do not rinse the tea off the blemish. The tea will work and heal the blemish. Source

Sounds good right? I wonder if regular Lipton qualifies as black tea...hmmm...Here is what Nikisha has to say about black tea rinse and her own recipe.

Dr. Marty Sawaya reviews the legitimacy of Green Tea as a hair loss supplement and the reasons why some people feel it may help. She also covers the potential side effects and its correlations with Minoxidil...
One of the most popular herbal agents being used these days is green tea. The plant name for green tea is Camellia sinensis (same as black tea) which originates in China, but very popular in Japan and other Asian countries. Green tea comes from the dried  leaves of the tea plant; while black tea is fermented tea leaves from the same plant. Green tea has been used in the last few years to combat skin aging, intestinal ailments, as well as androgenetic alopecia.
Purine alkaloids are in green tea, which is a big name for caffeine, not to mention theobromine and theophylline, the other ingredients you find in most other teas. The catechins are the important compounds found in the unfermented tea leaves, and the primary ingredients thought to be so helpful for Green Tea.
Catechins are known to have several medicinal properties, such as causing vasorelaxation of blood vessels,so that it may help cardiovascular activity. Catechins are also known to inhibit and kill certain bacteria, so it has antibacterial effects. Most importantly, it is the anti-oxidant effects that people seem so enthralled with to help skin wrinkles, aging, energy and stamina, and yes, also hair growth.
Green tea is also thought to help and be protective against cancers, such as stomach and colon cancers.
However,no published studies have been done to demonstrate efficacy for hair growth by using green tea, whether taken orally or topically. Most people infer that if it has all these wonderful anti-oxidant effects, it must also be good for aging and hair loss. Source

It's still not a bad idea to try it out, just take precautions if you're hypersensitive or pregnant. Here's long maned Jen's tip on tea rinse and here's another by AfricanNaturalistas, a Nigerian blog. There are also useful suggestions on making the tea rinse work.

Well, you may now ask? Which rinse is Hadassah using for her hair???

I've tried the roselle (Hibiscus) flower rinse. It's popularly known as 'Zobo' leaf. I thought about it when I drank zobo one day and felt I needed to leave some for a contains other fruit juice too and I remember reading somewhere how fruit acids were good to smooth down hair cuticles.

Roselle Calyx
The species Hibiscus Sabdariffa, is also known as Red Tea, China Rose, Red Sorrell, Roselle, Jamaica Tea, and Sudanese Tea. Unlike tea, however, it is not made from leaves, or the flowers.  The tall, slender hibiscus plant, related to both okra and the cotton plant, produces tiny pink flowers, which wither quickly and fall off, leaving seedpods behind.  Big, fleshy red calyxes, not petals or leaves, grow around the pods, and it is these juicy calyxes that are harvested and dried in the sun to become the blackish-red bits used in teas.  Most still refer to the calyxes as flowers. Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C so it is a great immune booster to aid in fighting off viruses.
It was used by the Chinese to treat dandruff and stimulate hair growth. Making a tea and using it as a rinse for the hair works well.
Here's a simple recipe that's fun to drink as well as good for a rinse!
4-6  cups water

2 cups organic Hibiscus flowers

1 Grated lemon or lime peeling

Half slice of pineapple

Add ¼ cup of Honey to taste or pour!

Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Place ingredients in water, Cover and steep for 10 minutes (longer is not better!). Strain.

Currently, I'm using a mixture of Ginger root and Moringa tea rinse. Here's why!
 Ginger root is not only a known culinary spice, but also is a great natural hair loss treatment. Using fresh ginger root extracts and products can make your hair look stronger and more gorgeous. It is supposed that this natural remedy can be used not only to treat hair loss, but also for brittle hair (check). Ginger is packed with useful elements and nutrients, such as vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and others. (check)
Stimulating blood flow is the main property of ginger root and ginger products, that is why many specialists recommend using ginger for hair loss. It is possible to apply ginger essential oil directly to your scalp: this way blood flow to your scalp will increase, metabolism processes will speed up, your hair follicles will receive more of nutrients and vitamins, get stronger and produce stronger hair strands.(Check)

The simplest way to use ginger for hair loss is extracting fresh ginger juice and rubbing it into your scalp. Do not let ginger juice get dried out on your scalp, hold the juice for 5-10 minutes only and then wash it away with your regular shampoo. Repeat the procedure once a week, and you’ll be able to notice positive changes of your hair quality just in one month or so: your hair will start looking shiny, strong and healthy.

Actually I don't follow the above method. I grate the ginger root, extract the juice and mix it with moringa tea or oil depending on if I'm doing a rinse or a hot oil treatment.
As a rinse, I use it after shampooing and before conditioning on damp hair. I apply on damp hair to avoid diluting my rinse any further. Then I apply conditioner on top of the rinse after some minutes and then baggy with a shower cap.

By now you probably appreciate all the nutritional and amazing health benefits that Moringa Oleifera provides. Or maybe you just keep hearing about Moringa and discovering all it can do for your health. Moringa is the latest "it wonder herb". I roll my eyes when I see people scrambling to purchase the leaves from smart sellers. They seem to have forgotten that we were using the leaves to cook soup before it was rediscovered! It's like the new craze for Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Oil, scent leaf  a.k.a. African Basil and the rediscovery of River Niger!
We've been using it for ages. We know their traditional healing properties but we seem to forget about it all once we read that science has finally discovered these natural herbs and oils!

For those still out of the loop, here's the benefits of the 'wonder herb'....Moringa!!! *cue in drumroll*

Moringa leaves provide you with 17 times the calcium in milk, 15 times the potassium in the average size banana, 4 times the vitamin A in carrot, 25 times the iron in spinach and about half the vitamin C of an orange!The nutrients found in Moringa are natural and more easily absorbed by the body compared to synthetic drugs or supplements.
Optimal healthy hair, and hair growth, depends on oxygen and nutrients flowing within the circulatory system. These nutrients flow to the hair follicle and enhance and assist in maintaining shiny thick strong hair. Of all the vitamins needed by your hair, vitamins A and the B complex groups are most essential. These vitamins assist in reducing hair loss and improving growth.
Moringa also provides zinc and silica to prevent drying and clogging of the sebaceous glands, which are vital to producing sebum. Vitamin A deficiencies commonly cause thickening of the scalp, dry hair, and dandruff. The high content of vitamins, oil, proteins, amino acids and minerals found in Moringa helps to maintain your hairs appearance and growth. The mineral, zinc stimulates hair growth by enhancing immune function. Zinc deficiency often results in atrophy of hair follicles.
Vitamin E is also found in Moringa and is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates blood circulation around the scalp. Good blood flow in the scalp assures the absorption of more nutrients available to the hair follicles.
Moringa also provides you with vitamin D and vitamin K.
Moringa is abundant in the following minerals that are also essential for healthy hair. Calcium, Copper, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and , Manganese. In today's fast paced, fast food, low nutrient food rush, you may be the victim of an extremely poor diet that often affects your general health, energy and well being. Poor nutrition, stress and a lack of understanding the importance of consuming fresh, healthy nutrient dense foods hurts the body and damages the  hair, fingernails and so much more!
Moringa contains 90+ nutrients and 46 antioxidants. It contains almost all the necessary vitamins, micro and macro minerals for cell function.
All of these important nutrients found in Moringa oleifera are essential in improving and protecting your hair. Moringa leaf powder, leaves and supplements may assist your hair to be the best it can be when combined with a healthy organically fresh diet! Source


Recently, I've been interested in ginger and moringa....because I bought an excessive amount of ginger and moringa leaves in the market ....the seller was nice, so I decided to keep buying...sue me!
Why did I have to buy them in the first place? Well, someone I love is on a low carbohydrate diet and I decided that ginger after vanilla is a good way to mask the taste of milk.
I don't like the taste of milk especially in the morning....

So seeing that I was interested in tea rinses, I decided to substitute green tea with moringa leaves....they are all green right?!....and I'll have better uses for excess moringa tea.
Then I decided to add ginger after doing my research....since I have lots of it anyway....and so the ginger and moringa tea rinse was born!

So far (I've used it twice), I'm loving the results.....I believe it's working because I've had fewer splits, shed hair and my hair has been behaving well..............
........but honestly, I still think it's too early to tell but for now, I've found my signature hair rinse! Yay!!!

So, have you tried these hair rinses or any other herbal rinse? Which ones are da truth????

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  1. Nice, I realized about a year ago while doing research that hibiscus leaves is actually our local ZOBO drink. Also helps with weight loss.

  2. How do you make the moringa tea rinse? And can I just get the moringa leaves in a Lagos market?

    1. I mix about 1 standard cup (250ml) with 2 cups of boiling water and allow to steep for about 15 mins (I don't really time it but once the water turns green, I'm good to go). Then sift out the leaves.
      Then I peel off the bark of a medium sized ginger root, grate and squeeze out the juice using a clean cotton hanky into the tea. It's usually a bit concentrated so I dilute with a little water. I use taste to test. If it's too peppery, I dilute some more. Don't fancy getting my eyes stung!
      If I'm using just the moringa tea, I don't bother diluting.
      NOTE: You can adjust the measurements to suit you.

      I'm not so familiar with Lagos market since I don't reside there but I don't think you'll have a problem getting it since the leaves are popular now.


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