It can be intimidating to make the switch from conventional shampoos to an all-natural hair care routine. Truthfully, it took me a long time to figure out what really worked for my hair. I tried out various DIY shampoo recipes, but nothing left my hair feeling as clean and soft as store-bought shampoo.
These days I have a super simple hair care regimen that I’m really happy with. First, I give my hair a light wash (not using much soap) with my friend, Ali’s, gorgeous goat milk soap or one of my own botanical infused soaps. Then I pour a bit of herbal hair vinegar over my scalp and rinse with cool water. This simple method leaves my hair feeling great.
I first learned about herbal vinegar hair rinses from a lovely book by herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, and have been using them since. I find that they cleanse and balance my hair really well. But, it should be noted that everyone’s bodies are different, so vinegar rinses may or may not work well for you. They are, of course, made with vinegar, which can be irritating to broken or sensitive skin.
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits for the hair and scalp. It balances pH, which can help reduce frizz and tangles and boost the overall health and appearance of hair. It’s also cleansing and can help remove excess oil and build up of hair products (White, 2020).
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has antimicrobial properties to help cleanse scalp and hair. It’s rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects. It’s soothing to the scalp and can be helpful for itchiness and dandruff (Bora et al., 2022).
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) helps to cleanse the scalp and remove build up. It can help to relieve itching and dandruff (Wilson, 2017).
- 50 ml of apple cider vinegar infused with oregano
- 200 ml of water
- 5 drops of tea tree essential oil
To make the oregano infused vinegar —
Fill a jar 3/4 full with fresh oregano or 1/2 full with dried oregano. Pour apple cider vinegar over the herbs and let steep for about 4 weeks. If you’re using a jar with a metal lid, use wax paper to prevent corrosion. When the vinegar has finished infusing, strain it through a cheesecloth and set aside.
To make the vinegar hair rinse —
Combine infused vinegar, water, and essential oils in a bottle with a pour top. Cap and shake well.
To use: Give the bottle a few good shakes. Tip your head back and shut your eyes to avoid getting the vinegar in them. Pour the vinegar along your scalp. Rub it into your scalp a bit, and then rinse with cool water.
Use as a rinse after washing with a natural soap or shampoo, or on its own. You may need to do a bit of experimenting to see what works best for your hair.
Bora, L., Avram, S., Pavel, I.Z., Muntean, I., Liga, S., Buda, V., Gurgus, D., and Danciu, C. (2022). An Up-To-Date Review Regarding Cutaneous Benefits of Origanum vulgare L. Essential Oil. Antibiotics, 11(5), 549. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics11050549
Wilson, D.R. (2017). What to Know About Using Tea Tree Oil on Your Hair. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/tea-tree-oil-for-hair
White, A. (2020). Can Apple Cider Vinegar Benefit Your Hair? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/apple-cider-vinegar-hair