Drugstore shelves are full of products that promise to give us healthy, manageable, shiny, smooth, strong, and beautiful hair. The problem is, most of those bottles are filled with anything-but-healthy chemicals.
Thankfully, we need look no further than our own kitchens, gardens, or local herb shops to find natural, organic care for truly healthy locks!
Finding the Right Herbs
No matter your hair type, there are herbs just for you! Here are some of the most common.
- Basil for moisture, shine, and hair growth
- Black Walnut for oily hair and dark highlights
- Burdock for dandruff, oily hair, hair growth, shine, detangling
- Calendula soothes, conditions, adds shine, blonde or red highlights
- Chamomile for dry hair/dry scalp, conditions, softens, adds blonde highlights
- Dandelion for dandruff and dry hair, adds shine
- Elder Flowers for dry, damaged hair
- Ginger for hair growth and dandruff
- Henna conditions, softens, adds body, red highlights
- Horsetail for hair growth, strong hair
- Lavender encourages hair growth, balances oil production (for dry or oily hair)
- Lemon Balm for oily hair, helps with dandruff, adds shine
- Lemongrass protects and strengthens hair
- Marshmallow detangles, conditions, moisturizes
- Nettle for hair growth, body, makes hair soft and shiny, good for oily hair and dandruff
- Oregano detangles, helps with dandruff/scalp conditions
- Parsley moisturizes, adds shine, helps with hair growth and dandruff
- Peppermint for hair growth and oily hair
- Rosemary (a favorite!) for strong, healthy hair, conditions and adds shine
- Sage for dry scalp, adds shine, dark highlights
- Thyme for dandruff, oily hair
Now that you have found your perfect herb or herb blend, you need to get them in your hair! It’s as easy as brewing a cup of tea.
Herbal Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar makes a wonderful conditioner for hair, closing the hair shaft and sealing in moisture. Adding herbs to the rinse only makes it better!
- glass jar of any size
- herbs of choice enough to fill jar; choose from above
- raw apple cider vinegar enough to cover the herbs and fill the jar
Fill jar with chosen herb(s).
Add vinegar, covering the herbs and filling the jar.
Cover jar with a piece of waxed paper and a rubber band (vinegar destroys metal lids).
Place in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 weeks.
Strain and pour into a clean jar.
Herbal vinegar will keep up to 6 months in a cool spot in your kitchen.
To make your hair rinse, add 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar to 1 cup water.
For a vinegar hair rinse that is ready to be used immediately, make a herbal hair rinse (see recipe below) and add 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar per 1 cup of water in hair rinse. If hair is dry, decrease vinegar.
Making herbal vinegar may take more time up front, but it keeps for a long time, saving you the work of making a new rinse each time you want to wash your hair.
Simple Hair Rinse
We need look no further than our own kitchens, gardens, or local herb shops to find natural, organic care for truly healthy locks! Once you find your perfect herb or herb blend, you just need to get them in your hair! It’s as easy as brewing a cup of tea.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons herbs of choice choose from above
- 2 cups pure water boiling
Pour boiling water over herbs.
Allow herbs to steep covered for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
Strain out the herbs.
After shampooing, pour the rinse over your hair. If you have long hair, you may want to dip the ends in the mixture first, then pour the solution over your head.
Massage the rinse into your scalp.
Wash out with water, or leave in.
- Some rinses may stain light-colored towels, so be careful if you decide not to wash.
- If you make a large batch, the rinse will keep in the fridge for about a week. I take mine out of the fridge the night before so it will be room temperature by morning.
Do you make your own herbal hair rinses? What are your favorite herbs for healthy hair?
save time, spend less, and get healthy... simple & delicious traditionally-cooked meals using ingredients you already have... even leftovers... 30 min or less!
free worksheet + videos:
Healthy Dinner in 30 Minutes... While Spending $0 Extra!
We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).
I have dark hair that is showing a bit of gray. I wonder if the black walnut would help with that. :O
Andrea Sabean says
Jenny, Sage is supposed to be really good for covering gray. I admit I haven’t used sage in my own mix yet – but now I think I should try it! 🙂
Jackie E-S says
Andrea, Could you please clarify whether the 2 – 3 tablespoons in the Simple Hair Rinse above is for the volume of dried herbs or fresh? (or does it matter?) Thanks!
Andrea Sabean says
Hi Jackie, Good question! 2 – 3 tbsp of dried herbs. You would want to use more if using fresh. I admit I don’t measure, I just throw in a handful. Hope that helps!
These sound lovely; I will have to try them. I have heard excellent things about DIY hair rinses and all of that good stuff, but I am yet to test one out. These are great to try and I hope I love them as much as you do. Thanks for sharing!
I usually add a little glycerin and aloe to a herbal hair rinse to help calm frizzies. I use a dried herb mix from Chagrin Valley, a soap and body product company in Ohio.
Andrea Sabean says
This is a great tip! I will definitely be trying this!
Beautiful hair says
I like using a very simple hair mask with olive oil. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on my hair and comb your hair carefully. Wait for about 30 minutes, then use your hands to massage the hair gently for 1-2 minutes. Wash off with water. That’s all. I apply this 2 times per week.
Hibisbiscus, nettle and horsetail for hair. And the same herbs blended with kaolin for the most amazing facial mask. Leaves my skin baby soft and glowing. Great website!
Thanks, looks great! Do you have recipes for shampoos too?
Andrea Sabean says
Katharine, unfortunately I have not had great success with homemade shampoo. If I do find a recipe that works well, I will definitely post it!
This is great, I have some of in my cupboard already, and I will definitely buy some others as well. Perfect timing, as my scalp is getting worse the colder it gets.
can i use kombucha instead of acv?
Vicki Henry says
As long as the kombucha has crossed over to vinegar you could substitute.
Otherwise your kombucha may still have sugar in it and be sticky on your hair.
~ Vicki, TCS Customer Success Team
I love the way ACV works but even rinsing it out you can still smell the vinegar. I have heard lemon juice works well too, have you tried that?
Millie Copper says
You could try lemon juice, many people love it. One thing with lemon juice is it has the potential to lightly bleach your hair in the sunshine. You’ll want to keep this in mind if you do use lemon juice. 🙂
Hope this helps!
~ Millie, TCS Customer Success Team
Try aloe vera juice instead. The pH is about 4.5ish, and I haven’t noticed any odor. I use it straight but most sources seem to think you need to dilute it 50% with distilled water. I have baby fine hair, high porosity, have not found it necessary to do that, it doesn’t weigh my hair down. I put it on blotted-dry hair after getting out of the shower and leave it in, others rinse it out. I use Fruit of the Earth. Don’t use the type that has sweeteners and flavorings, but the preservatives in the type I use haven’t had any effect except preserving it. It’s like $6 for a gallon.
bonnie werner says
I have nearly all white hair. When I used the rosemary rinse, my hair turned an unattractive dull red in places. The basil rinse though added tremendous shine and moisture. Any help on what rinses will NOT dye my dry thin hair?
I think you may need to do some trial and error? Sorry 🙂
If you need help with brightening or clarifying silver you may want to look at the products Wardee recommends, she has a quiz you can go through then she will chat with you on the results:
~Peggy, TCS Customer Success Team
Try cassia aka “neutral henna”. It isn’t henna at all but it gets called that because it has similar conditioning characteristics without the dye component.