I’m a sucker for rich and beautiful brunette hair color, but there are times when your brunette hair color may need a pick-me-up. Maybe you got highlights a while ago that have grown out, or perhaps the sun has lightened your hair more than you want. At any rate, if your brown hair has gone brassy, too light, or has turned dull, it may be time for a refresh. Lucky for all the brunettes out there, you can actually refresh your color at home with coffee, and the results are supernatural.

Yes, seriously. With coffee.

Coffee Rinse on Your Brunette Hair
Nico De Pasquale Photography/Getty

What You Need for a Coffee Rinse

  • Freshly brewed coffee. The stronger the coffee, the darker color the rinse will be.
  • Freshly washed hair

How to Refresh Your Color with a Coffee Rinse

First things first, make sure your coffee has cooled down before you get started. Maybe that’s an obvious statement, but in case it’s not.

Wash your hair and towel dry well, then simply apply the coffee rinse to your hair. There are a couple of ways you can apply the rinse.

First, you can pour the coffee directly over your hair and work it in with your fingers. You’ll want to be over the bathtub or in the shower if you go this route, and you’ll probably want to make sure you don’t get the coffee in your eyes. I’m not sure how much damage coffee can do to your eyes, but it’s probably better to not find out.

If that first option doesn’t appeal to you, try using a spray bottle to apply the coffee rinse to your hair. Generously spray your towel dried hair with coffee until it’s fully saturated. Use caution to not get coffee all over any surface that will stain with over-spray from the coffee.

Let the coffee rinse sit on your hair for 10 to 30 minutes. You can leave it on overnight if you want to, but I’d recommend drying your hair (with the rinse still applied) before you go to bed, as the coffee will destroy your sheets.

After the rinse has penetrated your hair, rinse very well. Apply a conditioner to your hair after rinsing, then dry and style as usual.

Repeat this rinse as often as you’d like until you get the results you desire. You can apply a coffee rinse every day, if you wish, or once a week to keep your color fresh. You might smell like a coffee shop, but hey, it’s not the worst thing to smell like, right?

A Few Words of Caution

  • Use caution with this coffee staining technique on blonde or heavily lightened hair. The results can be dramatic.
  • Very dark hair may not see noticeable results with this type of rinse.
  • Medium brown hair yields the best results from this type of rinse.
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