I have to admit after some of the homemade recommendations I’ve tried, I’m much more skeptical now than I was a few years ago. When Simple Mom shared how she uses baking soda instead of shampoo, I’ll admit I tried it and was not pleased at all with the results. Instead, I stick to my Trader Joe’s brand shampoo which isn’t the greatest but fits both my budget and does the job without a lot of health hazards (the Cosmetic Safety Database gives is moderate hazard rating). I have considered going to simple castile soap, but I haven’t looked enough into it yet. So I still have a commercial shampoo and really don’t want to give that up quite yet.

A Discovery

Then, somewhere along my internet travels, I came across a blog with a post on making your own hair conditioner. Homemade hair conditioner, I thought. Is it going to be as bad as the baking soda? I read the post, which basically summed up what most posts on the subject say, that apple cider vinegar is slightly acidic like human hair and that it works wonders on hair’s shine and manageability. At the time of reading this, I had waist-length hair that seriously needed some manageability and shine, so I was intrigued.

Unexpected Results

It took me months to try the concoction the writer recommended. But when I finally did, I was pleasantly surprised. My hair was softer, silkier, shinier and did not have fly-aways. My homemade hair rinse worked!

I did have to play around with it a bit, though. The strong smell of the apple cider vinegar needed to be subdued for my tastes since it was so strong in a hot shower. After a few months of altering the recipe, I can now heartily recommend my version of the apple cider vinegar hair rinse to you.

The Recipe

1 cup apple cider vinegar (I prefer organic if you can get it)
15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil (I’ve been using lavender, but you can easily substitute rosemary, orange, eucalyptus, rose, whatever floats your boat)
1/2 – 1 tsp of vanilla extract (to ease the harshness of the vinegar smell)

I pour the apple cider vinegar into an old glass maple syrup jug I’m reusing, then add the vanilla and the essential oil. Close the jar or container and shake thoroughly.

In the shower, I gather my hair into a loose bun at the nape of my neck. I shake the jug of apple cider vinegar hair rinse well then slowly pour little by little onto the top of the bun until I feel it in my hand which is holding the bottom of the bun. I close the jug (it has a plastic flip lid, one of the reasons I chose it)  and let the apple cider vinegar rinse sit in my hair for 30 to 60 seconds. Then I rinse thoroughly.

Important note: your hair will smell like the apple cider vinegar somewhat until it fully dries. Once dry, it just smells clean and like the essential oil you added.

shiny hairThis recipe gives me about a month’s worth of rinse as each time I probably only use a few tablespoons of the concoction in my hair. I’m sure it helps that I only wash and condition my hair twice a week, but I have no problems managing my now mid-back length hair. In fact, it works better than any commercial hair conditioner I’ve ever used. As you can see in the picture, my hair is shiny and healthy-looking!

So, is a homemade hair rinse something you’d be willing to try?

Cover image courtesy of ralphunden.