DIY Herbal Hair Rinse

 reading time: 4 min

As you all are probably aware by now, I'm a huge fan of herbs and all natural homemade body care products. Herbal hair rinses are a wonderful and easy way to keep your hair healthy and shiny. It is the perfect companion to the homemade clay shampoo I shared a while ago which needs an acidic rinse to neutralise any lime in the mineral clay. It easily fits into a no-poo lifestyle but can also be used with regular shampoo.

This rinse is vinegar-based and infused with beneficial herbs that help hair in a variety of ways. Apple cider vinegar gently cleanses the scalp, balances the pH of the scalp, clarifies your hair, adds shine and softness, and helps soothe scalp conditions due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Depending on the herbs you use, this rinse can soften your hair, add luster to it by closing the hair's cuticle, stimulate hair growth, prevent oily build-up, relieve scalp issues like dandruff, enrich your natural hair colour, and more. It also helps to detangle your hair and make it more manageable.

This is also a wonderful hair treatment for hair loss after pregnancy :) Not that I have any experience with that ... Just give it a try!



2 cups (500 ml) raw organic apple cider vinegar
a generous handful of fresh herbs of your choice (or 6 tbsp of dried herbs) e. g. rosemary, lavender, nettle leaf, horsetail, chamomile, calendula, sage, thyme, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, yarrow, comfrey, burdock root etc.

a clean jar or bottle *

* I re-use an old glass bottle with a stopper


Gently rinse your herbs to remove any dirt or bugs. I let the herbs dry again to prevent any chance of mold.

Place your herbs in a jar. Fill up with apple cider vinegar, making sure the herbs are fully covered.

Close the lid tightly and place the jar in a dark, cool place. Let the herbal vinegar sit and infuse for at least 2 weeks, up to 5 weeks. Shake the jar daily.

After 2 to 5 weeks, strain herbal vinegar with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, discarding the herbs in your compost. Keep liquid in glass jar or plastic bottle for use.


Add a few tablespoons of your herbal vinegar hair rinse into a glass, bowl or bottle
. I suggest 2–3 tbsp (1/4 cup) to 4 cups / 1 litre of water for short hair, 3–4 tbsp (1/3 cup) to 4 cups / 1 litre of water for medium-length hair, and 4–5 tbsp (1/2 cup) to 4 cups / 1 litre of water for long hair.

If you have a very sensitive scalp, stick to a 1:10 ratio of vinegar and water (e. g. 100 ml of vinegar + 1 litre of water).

Fill up the container with filtered water to dilute the herbal vinegar.

After shampooing, conditioning and rinsing your hair, tip your head back and slowly pour
the diluted herbal vinegar through your hair, massaging your scalp (be careful not to get any in your eyes because it will sting!). If you have long hair, you may also dip your ends into the rinse and let it soak for about 30–60 seconds.

Leave the herbal vinegar in for a minute or two, then briefly wash it out with cold water (to stimulate your scalp and lock in a glossy sheen in your hair) or simply leave it in and gently squeeze out the excess vinegar rinse. The vinegar smell will dissipate after a while.

Do this once a week or up to every other day according to preference.

Store the herbal hair rinse in the fridge to keep it fresh.

- As long as you use edible herbs, you can also use your herbal-infused vinegar for salad dressings!

- Do not mix the prepared herbal vinegar with water until ready to use, as it will decrease shelf life. 
- Instead of apple cider vinegar, you can also use mature kombucha. I sometimes use my homemade kombucha for this, or a mixture of 1 cup ACV and 1 cup booch.
- Add 1 tbsp of raw organic honey for some extra shine and natural highlights.
- You can also add 2–3 drops of essential oil for a nice smell and additional hair benefits, e. g.
lavender, cedar, pine or lemon for greasy hair; rosemary, ylang-ylang, rose geranium or lemon balm for dry hair; and sage or thyme for "normal" hair. Chamomile, lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, ylang-ylang, cedar and lemon are also great for hair loss.
- Another great plant you can use is fenugreek, which contains vitamin A and D, phosphorus, and histidine, and is traditionally used for hair loss. Just add 1-3 tsp of fenugreek seeds to your herbal rinse.
- As for which herbs to use, here's a quick guide on their properties:

Burdock Root: rich in minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, as well as flavonoids and tannin, helps to enhance healthy hair growth, soothe scalp irritation, and repair scalp conditions
soothes scalp conditions, anti-inflammatory, great for dry hair, wonderful for blond and red hair
Chamomile: boosts up blond hair, great for scalp issues or sensitive skin due to antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, brings out blond highlights
Comfrey: rich in plant proteins, vitamins, minerals, allantoin and tannin which promote the growth of new cells, can help reverse hair loss, conditions and detangles hair
Horsetail: keeps hair strong, reduces breakage during hair growth, rich in silica, adds shine and luster to hair
Lavender: helps balance oil production and dandruff, soothes the scalp, wonderful to use for a late night shower because of its relaxing aromatherapy benefits
Lemon Balm: refreshing and cleansing, relieves an inflamed and irritated scalp, helps with oily hair
Nettle: improves scalp health, helps with dandruff, oily hair and hair loss, rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, silica, and vitamins A, C, D and K
Peppermint: refreshes and balances oily scalp, cooling properties help calm an inflamed scalp and increases blood flow to scalp
Raspberry Leaf: known to balance female hormones, rich in minerals and vitamins (mainly vitamin C), flavonoids and tannins, anti-inflammatory, cleansing and soothing
Red Clover: anti-inflammatory, increases circulation, helps nourish hair and scalp, stimulates growth of the hair, softens hair, adding volume

antiseptic, stimulates circulation to scalp to help promote healthy hair growth, makes it feel soft and look shiny, vitalizing
Sage: helps relieve dry, itchy scalp and dandruff, can also gradually darken hair
Thyme: anti-inflammatory, wonderful for oily hair
Yarrow: helps relieve dry, itchy scalp, combat hair loss, stimulates hair growth and increases the density of hair
- For light coloured hair, use chamomile, calendula and yarrow. 
- For dark coloured hair, use sage, rosemary, and raspberry leaf, and perhaps add steeped black tea to your rinse. 
- For red/auburn hair, use hibiscus tea or flowers, calendula, and red clover.
- For dandruff or itchy scalp, add calendula, chamomile, comfrey leaves, lavender, rosemary, sage, nettle and/or burdock root.
- For dry or oily hair issues, add calendula, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, nettle, burdock root, and/or comfrey root.
- For hair loss issues, add nettle, rosemary, and/or sage.

For this particular herbal rinse I used a mix of fresh rosemary,
nettle leaves, raspberry leaves, chamomile, lavender, sage, and peppermint, as these are the herbs available to me at the moment. Everything is foraged or from our own garden, except for the chamomile ☺️ I also added some foraged comfrey leaves later on. I was looking for horsetail everywhere, but unfortunately couldn't find any in my area even though I remember there being some last year!