Yes, you can dye your hair with coffee, but why would you want to? Well, traditional hair dyes usually harbor a long list of harsh chemicals like ammonia, coal-tar additives, and lead acetate. If you want to darken your locks with a natural alternative, a strong cup of brew can do the trick. It only lasts a few days and takes longer to build up in intensity, but it’s totally worth it if you can avoid all the nasty stuff, don’t you think?


On darker locks, a regular coffee rinse produces a soft, nutty brown shade and helps to bring out amber highlights. Blond tresses typically darken a few shades to a gentle, light brown.

Definitely choose organic coffee beans to avoid any unknown additives. The stronger the brew, the more effective this is. Opt for finely ground espresso for a bolder, darker color.

Things You'll Need

Brew 1 1/2 cups of ground coffee with 3 cups water in your coffeepot or French press as usual. This ratio is about three times stronger than a normal cup of coffee. Cool the brew completely to avoid burning yourself. Place the coffee in the sink with the drain closed, or in a large bowl.

Mix in a couple tablespoons of conditioner if you want a little moisture boost for your hair.

Wash your hair with your regular shampoo to remove any buildup or debris before beginning the dyeing process. Comb through you hair very gently to remove tangles for more even application.

Dip your damp hair into the coffee and use a small cup to pour it over the back of your head and any hard-to-reach places.

Take your time to ensure the color coats every strand—keep pouring the coffee over your hair for a few minutes, and comb through any thick areas with your fingers.

Remove your hair from the coffee and gently wring it out. Loosely pin your hair up on the top of your head to keep it out of the way, and let the coffee rinse sit in your hair for at least 20 minutes or up to one hour.

Rinse your hair out completely in the shower. Shampoo with apple cider vinegar for a natural cleanser that helps seal in the color. (Regular shampoo may strip the color.)

This process can be repeated for a few consecutive days to build up the color and allow the coffee to penetrate the strands more effectively. The color generally fades over a couple of weeks and can then be boosted at regular intervals in your hair care routine.