Why I rubbed coffee grinds in my hair

a dream lived greener coffee grinds

Wait for it. Wait for it.

OK you can wait for it.

First, let me explain. I never would have imagined I’d be writing about rubbing coffee grinds (used ones) in my hair. I mean, c’mon, have your coffee first. I know coffee grinds are good for so much and used for many things, but my hair? Who knew?

Who knew that people stick coffee grinds up their bums too?


If you’ve read any of my blogs (P.S. Mad love to you that have “devoured” my blog posts and have taken the time to write me. You really make my life happier), you’ll know that I was a hairstylist in a previous lifetime.

As a hairstylist I used all sorts of products and with my hair being so thick, overtime I’d have this build up which can only be described as pollutants and junk being trapped in the hair follicle and weighing my hair down. I knew my hair was prone to this and it was only a matter of time before I’d experience this in my zero waste life.

Lo and behold, it happened and coincidentally I had come across an article while figuring out alternative uses for coffee grinds and it suggested that I rub them in my hair to remove build up. Yup. So like any normal person would do, I had to test it out.

I had coffee grinds given to me from a friend that I wanted for a zero waste live art painting thing I did, so I just dried the remaining grinds out in a bowl on top of my fridge.

Then when they were dry, I got in the shower, wet my hair, poured some grinds in my hand and dumped it on my hair, specifically trying to target where the build up felt most build-uppy.

My shower was a mess.

I got that crap all over my shower curtain. Which by the way – is only a fabric curtain that my Mom had years ago which I now use too. It’s probably the same age as me. And is the same as me. As in, it looks like a teenager. As in, it looks like it’s in great condition for being 30 years old.

zero waste shower curtain
My shower curtain. It reminds me of the Philippines.

It’s a lie that you need a plastic shower curtain. This has been my shower curtain sans plastic for the last year. No, my floor doesn’t get soaking wet. It would be if I pointed the shower head directly through it. When it needs cleaning, you take it off the hooks and wash it. Yup. You wash it.

So back to the coffee mess. I figured I might as well use the grinds as a body scrub too. So I pretty much rolled in it.

Then what?

Well I discovered that part of the reason why it breaks down build up really well is because you’re stuck trying to get all that crap out of your hair. My really long, thick hair just loved it. It was like trying to get large chunks of sand out of my head and like a game – oh, I found another grind. Oh! There’s another one. Woohoo, I think they’re all o- nope, one more. Ok, now one last final rinse. Ah.

I ended up doing one more round of coffee grinds, rinsed that out, then lathered my hair with my shampoo soap and then rinsed my hair with cold water. I always rinse my hair with cold water especially because I don’t use conditioner. Thanks to hair school I remembered that heat opens up the hair follicles and cold closes it.

How does my hair feel now?

Well it worked! My hair feels lighter and softer now and I definitely notice the difference. I’m just thankful that I don’t have to do this very often.

Does it matter what coffee I used?

Go for whatever makes you happy but I personally used fair trade coffee that was purchased at a local coffee shop because that’s what my friend drinks and that I drink whenever I go over. The other kinds make me jittery. And in the same way I think about everything else, what I put on me and in me matters.

Have any of you ever tried coffee grinds for build up? Let me know!

P.S. Here’s that video with me painting live art.


Published by Mailyne

Owner of DLG Media. Founder of A.R.T. in Action. Philanthropist. Environmentalist. Activist. Photographer. Video Producer. Writer. Artist. Mama.

7 thoughts on “Why I rubbed coffee grinds in my hair

    1. Yeah! I don’t drink coffee at home, just at my friends place and they have an overabundance. I could try baking soda next time 🙂

  1. Need to try that! I’ve tried a lot of funky things on my hair since baking soda itself leaves build-up if I use too much or too often, and I have some dried coffee grounds which I kept for ages waiting to use it on house plants. Coffee hair, here I come! PS: My hair is also ridiculously thick, do you think it would work??

    1. Annika – try it! My hair is ridiculously thick too. I did two rounds of grinds in the shower and then lathered with soap after like I usually would.

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