Green tea ice cream. Green tea Kit Kat. Even green tea cafe latte. And now green tea hair dye.
Beauty Studio Ryu, a hair salon in Kyoto, is one of dozens of beauty salons in Japan set to offer an “Ocha [tea] color treatment” hair dyeing service for those who want to use matcha green tea to improve the quality of their locks and dye out pesky gray strands.
Uji, the small city just south of Kyoto, is the most famous place in Japan for matcha. And now a Yokohama beauty products company has got a patent to use Uji matcha to dye gray hair. After undergoing the first dye in your regular color, the matcha dye is applied to help fix the pigments and prevent color loss.
“Along with contributing to the development of the tea industry I want to create a new beauty culture,” says the man who researched it, Masataka Shioda, who has thirty years experience in hair dyeing.
The product is being developed by ICTB Global and the color treatment apparently works by using the pigment-absorbing capacity of tea when the catechin oxidizes, reports the Kyoto Shimbun.
Since it does not use oxidation dye there is less damage to the skin, and the regular dye then lasts for some two months after treatment in the matcha bath.
Shioda first noticed the qualities of tea around ten years ago but only applied for the patent in 2011. It was awarded in May.
One lady who tried it out said that the smell of the matcha continues for two or three days, making you more relaxed. For the ocha coloring, between 60 and 80g of matcha are used each time.
It costs around 8,000 JYP (nearly $100) for one session and the service will be introduced in around 100 salons nationwide, centering on the Kanto (Tokyo-Yokohama) region. The matcha is now also being sold in specialist stores and wholesalers in Kyoto and elsewhere.