Michael and I are reading Willa Cather's Obscure Destinies. Yesterday this passage from "Neighbor Rosicky" caught my eye and piqued my curiosity:
Since I have some grey hair to experiment upon, I tried Mary Rosicky's trick. I rubbed a tea bag on a particularly colorless area of my hair, and after it dried I was pleased to see that my formerly almost white tufts of hair had turned a friendly and natural-looking ash blonde. I found out this morning that shampoo washes most of it out, but it is easy to reapply a dab of tea. Mary did it every day.
Michael tried it on his beard, and it worked for him too. He also noticed that his beard felt softer after being treated with the tea. (We used Red Rose Irish Breakfast tea.)
Mary's trick has been scientifically proven to work! It has to do with the conversion of catechins to quinones, and applying it repeatedly makes the tea dye more permanent.
My next Cather-inspired domestic endeavor? Kolache. Mary Rosicky makes them with apricots, but I think I'll try making mine with some of the blueberries that are in the refrigerator.