Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

For over two years now I've not used commercial shampoo, conditioner or any other hair "care" or styling products. I go by a no 'poo method. You know about no 'poo, right?!

Commercial shampoos--and styling products, too--are full of stuff our hair really doesn't need.  They contain silicones and waxes--forms of PLASTIC! (Don't get me started on that! ;) And they contain LOTS of chemicals that destroy the natural chemistry of hair and strip away the good oils. Our scalp's natural oils--sebum--is meant for the natural conditioning of our hair. Natural hair care methods will, usually, over time, result in hair that's healthier, stronger, soft and beautiful. There are lots of online articles and resources for going no 'poo, recipes for homemade natural hair care, and much more. It's a method of personal hygiene that can take some time getting used to. And not everyone's hair and spirit thrives with this method of hair care. But years ago, the less chemicals and less plastic won me over!

My daily hair care involves scritching and preening. Scritch means massaging the scalp with fingertips. This loosens dead skin cells and gets the natural oils moving. Preening means first using the fingers to gently draw the oils down through the hair, and then brushing the hair with a natural bristle brush, which continues to pull the oils from the scalp, down hair strands, to the ends. (The brushing also helps to remove dust, which, unfortunately, naturally clings to hair, and especially more so when doing no 'poo.) Every 3-4 weeks I water wash my hair and use an apple cider vinegar rinse (sometimes with essential oils added, and now using herbal vinegar). I gauge washing mostly as needed, though. You really get to know your hair when going/doing no 'poo. It's easy to learn and make adjustments.

When I first began with no 'poo, I did a period of clarifying my hair with dry shampooing using baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse. After a few months I switched things up and began using fine rye flour instead of the baking soda. (Rye flour matches almost perfectly the ideal pH balance level for hair/scalp.) I found the baking soda after a long time became too drying for my hair and scalp. I used rye flour dry shampoo for many months, then went over to water washing only along with a vinegar rinse.

The blend of herbs I made for my Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse includes--basil, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, mint, parsley, rosemary and thyme.

I add the herbs to two cups of apple cider vinegar in a big jar. Let it "steep" for four weeks, giving the mixture a good shake every day. After a few weeks it's ready to use! I blend a tablespoon of the herbal vinegar mixed into one cup of water, and massage it into my wet hair. I finish with rinsing with cold water.  If you'd like to learn more about herbs for the hair, there's a great article on herbal hair care from Mountain Rose Herbs blog.

This is NOT a very good photo... We've had m-a-n-y days of grey and rain lately... So not the best one to see how shiny and healthy my hair actually is! A couple of months ago, during a mini heat wave we had, I cut a good 2 1/2 to 3 inches (6-7 cm) off my hair. It's in a growing out phase right now.  The no 'poo method actually seems to help my hair grow faster. And the herbal vinegar has made a great extra addition to my hair care routine. Using the apple cider vinegar plain, or with essential oils, works well, too. But I'm really liking the "little extra" that using the dried herbs steeped in the vinegar is doing!  A kind of tea party for my hair... :)))


  1. Hi Tracy your hair looks lovely indeed! I wonder do you dye your hair? And what do you use? I buy shampoos without all the rubbish in (logona, lavera etc.) but I haven't go 'no-poo' just yet :-) I also do oil treatment. And massaging of course I love that!!! Many times often even while in traffic when I need to wait ... sigh ... :-) helps me to make it through ... haha. Happy days big big hugs �� Jitka

    1. Hi, Montik! Yes, I have occasionally still been coloring my hair, which is VERY bad for the hair... :( I'm slowly trying to quit the coloring. I feel like I'm to young to be as grey as my hair really is under the color... LOL! But I turn 45 the end of thr year, and I'm giving myself a little challenge to see how long I can go without coloring/touching up my hair. ;) Unfortunately, I've been using things like L'Oreal hair sye kits, as they are easy to get. I tried for a long time using hair teas to go more natural, but they never worked well for covering the grey of my very coarse-textured hair. So I went back to commercial kits... *sigh*...

  2. it looks just fine! it's a beautiful picture.
    i'm not sure I could go completely with the no poo. and I KNOW I couldn't stand the dry shampoo of any kind. ewww. just from the esthetic part really... no excuse here!
    but I might try the no poo and the plain water. maybe a try for this winter for sure.

    I do however at least use dr. bonner's.
    it's supposed to be pure and harmless enough that you can also brush your teeth with it. that makes me feel a little bit better at least!
    and I only wash my hair now about every other time I shower. so... getting there I guess.
    but not sure I could really go the whole no-shampoo way. I will have to try it maybe. thanks for the link and the nudge! I remember mother always rinsed my hair with vinegar when I was growing up and was still little.

    and I hate to bring this up... but in light of the 'healthiness' of these ideas of cleanliness..
    the single worst thing you can do is color your hair.
    the chemicals and heaven knows what all are in those dyes are not healthy in any way for your hair or your system... which absorbs whatever you put on it into your blood stream. as bad or worse than any shampoo really.
    just sayin'!
    have you ever checked out the 'pro age revolution?' so much fun and so positive!
    it was started by cindy joseph. and more and more women are going 'natural' and just loving it.
    she urges people to embrace their age and the singular beauty that comes with that time in our life. she refuses to call it grey hair. she calls it silver. because silver has value.
    pretty fascinating stuff.
    there are fabulous pictures of women with long (or short) silver hair that let it be natural.
    most say that it is the single most freeing thing they've ever done! I googled images of women with natural silver hair and it's amazing how many beautiful ones are doing it.
    in health terms ... probably worth mentioning! though this post is about shampoo!
    what I thought was so cool... no more taboos on the LENGTH of women with silver hair.
    some are simply spectacular! you can wear it any length and be happy with it.
    uh oh. I think I may have just written a POST on your post! good grief!
    so sorry darling girl of the north. just DELETE this when you've read it. love tam xo
    a secret... at one point this summer when it was SO hot... I wanted to just get a buzz cut and not worry about any of it! wouldn't that be grand? just shower and towel your head dry and put some lotion all over your body and just GO? it sounded fresh and cool and wonderful!!!

    1. Oh, I LOVE your long reply, Tammy! It keeps the conversation going. :) And your buzz-and-go idea for summer sounds refreshing and light... I like that!! Dr. Bonners makes such great products! Not easy to get 'em here, sadly... Not yet anyway. Maybe when there's more All Natural Revolution! ;) The dry shampoo is really a dry base (like baking soda, or rye flour) mixed with water to form a paste, and that's massaged into the hair and scalp like you would regular shampoo. Admittedly, it does take getting used too! It's a good place to start when dropping commercial shampoos, as the baking soda really helps clean the hair and scalp of residues from all the junk in shampoos, styling products, etc. I love the water wash & vinegar rinse now, though! Although, as I mentioned above, I've still been coloring my hair sometimes... which I know, is VERY, very bad... :( I have heard about the Pro-Age Revolution, and really admire the ethos behind that! I aspire to the courage to just let my silver strands show! Working on it! ;)

  3. I have to say, your hair looks wonderful. I'm very interested in this and intend to read further on the subject. Thanks for introducing this to me! Ros x

    1. Thanks so much, Ros! I hope you'll be inspired to read more, and maybe give it a try! :)))

  4. I've never heard of scritching and preening -- well, at least not preening in terms of hair. I think I have to look into that!

    I love the photo. I think your hair looks great!

    1. Preening--you're thinking chickens, maybe?! ;) I suppose in a way, it's similar... I'm picking and fluffing through my feathers--my hair... LOL! Until a few years ago I didn't know about this way to care for the hair, either. It took me a few months to get up the courage to try it. Now, I could never go back to regular shampoo.

  5. I decided to go natural several years ago, about 8 I guess and have not dyed my hair since. I am just letting nature do what it means to do and I love my grey/silver hair. I have not been able to kick shampoos yet however, although I am now only washing my hair every third day. Its quite long now, down to my waist. Not as thick as it was when I was a young woman, but then again ... I, myself, am a lot thicker now and so maybe that makes my hair look thinner? I don't know! haha, but it sounds like a spot on theory! I love all that I am learning from you each time I visit. You are a beautiful fountain of knowledge my dear friend. I surely missed you when you were not blogging. So happy you are back and your same sweet self. Love you to bits! Love and hugs to you, TJ and Luna. xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Marie for your lovely thoughts. It is good to be back here, and I've felt like it's been an interesting year here with different things I've been sharing. Not sure the latest crochet project, either. ;) I admire you bravery in letting your silver-streaked locks grow! I aspire to that! OXOX

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this one. I found it so interesting and I can tell that it is a good idea for sure. I will do some re-search myself. I think your photo is lovely and your hair style is very cute. I do know the value of brushing hair and getting the dust out is very important. We have a lot of dust here and I haven't been doing that; but you have inspired me. I will read the links you gave and perhaps try it. I have tried vinigar before but not stuck with it. I like the thought of a tea party for your hair.
    Sending blessings, loving thoughts and hugs your way dear friend!

  7. Thank you, LeAnn... I'm glad you found some inspiration here! I do find the dust in the hair mildly annoying. Thankfully brushing does help. I do the scritch & preen process described above, but I do also do a shorter brushing session at night a few times a week. If you keep a squeezie bottle (you can use a plastic sports bottle, or one of those inexpensive bottles for condiments works well too) of vinegar & water in the shower along with whatever you use for shampoo, then it's right there. Give it a good shake before you use it, and there's your vinegar rinse! :)

  8. Your hair looks lovely and healthy Tracy. I wish I was as brave as you. I've been trying to shampoo less often which seems to have had the effect that my hair has needed less shampooing. Have you tried henna dyeing? Years ago people would try to tint grey hair dark again with strong tea.

    1. Thank you! That is GREAT that your less shampooing is leading to less need for shampooing... that is ideal! And you then might make a great candidate for the no 'poo method! ;) I've not tried henna before. I have to order it online, can't get it anywhere locally here, and it gets to be expensive. Hence still sometimes on the bottle dye--though I'm cutting that out. I was actually using tea for sometimes, trying to stop using the chemical dyes--a strong brew of black tea and rosemary. But I didn't find the hair tea very effective for my greys... But my hair felt and looked nice, though! ;)


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