Nourishing Hair Rinse — and Why You Should Be Using One

An Nourishing Hair Rinse for hair health. Find out how to make it, how easy and inexpensive it is, and why you should be using one!

Do you want healthier, shinier hair?

Look no further…you need a hair rinse.

I started using a homemade rinse quite awhile ago to remove build up from hair products.

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But I’ve learned that there are more reasons to use them.

Read on to find out how a good hair rinse nourishes your hair and how you can make your own hair rinse easily.

Did you know that your hair has shingles?

Well, sort of.

Your hair is made of a hair shaft that is covered by cuticle.

The cuticle is overlapping layers that cover your hair, kind of like shingles on a roof.

When the cuticle is in good shape, the layers lie flat and your hair looks shiny and healthy.

The layers open when you shampoo your hair, so a good rinse will:

remove build up of hair products and other toxins so your cuticles are healthier
close cuticles so your hair slides more easily and you get fewer tangles
improve circulation to your scalp
retain a good pH balance
– help with hair conditions like hair loss, dry scalp, dandruff, and more  

Disclaimer:  There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through I may receive a commission and I appreciate that very much.  My full disclaimer is here.


1.  You could just use more apple cider vinegar and water instead of the aloe vera juice, but aloe vera has many healing properties that I prefer using it.

2.  You can either leave this rinse in your hair or rinse it out.  Leaving it in for awhile, especially for the first use, will likely help remove more buildup, residue and toxins.

3.  Use at least once per week to several times per week.

4.  I keep a plastic cup in my shower.  When I am ready to rinse my hair, I pour about 1 capful of the rinse into my cup.  Then I add shower water to make up about 1 cup of water plus rinse.  I dump all of that on my head after shampooing.

5.  Use whatever essential oils you would like.  Following is a list of optional oils and their potential benefits.

Oily Hair – rosemary, lemon, lemongrass, basil, patchouli, ylang ylang, tea tree
Dry Hair – peppermint
Hair Growth – rosemary, basil, lavender, ylang ylang, cedarwood
Dandruff – clary sage, lemon, cedarwood, eucalyptus, lavender, myrrh, patchouli, tea tree


1.  I purchase my aloe vera juice at Vitacost.  You get $10 off your order of $30 or more through this link.  Or you can find it on Amazon.

2.  I get all of my essential oils from Native American Nutritionals.  Read my Best Essential Oils series to find out why.  I also have some oils left at cost on my Natural Store Page.

3.  Plastic Bottle – I reused an old plastic bottle (the most environmental way to go :)), but you can purchase plastic bottles with flip tops at Mountain Rose Herbs.  Just look under “Plastic bottles”  (I’m pretty smart, huh?).

4.  Guar Gum- I use NOW Brand.  I love that company for supplements, etc.

For More Great DIY Personal Care Products, check out:

The Battle of the Eye Makeup Removers
Simple Nourishing Hand and Body Cream
Nourishing Lip Scrub
Hand and Body Sugar Scrub
Jojoba Oil Face Wash
Rose Water Spray

Do you use a hair rinse?

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. I’ve been rinsing my hair with just apple cider vinegar and water for months now and I love it. I never thought to add essential oils, but it makes perfect sense. I have some of those on the list, I’ll try it next time I wash my hair. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I recently switched from organic shampoo to a homemade shampoo bar (which I love!) and just this morning I tried a water/vinegar rinse after shampooing and WOW does it make a difference! I couldn’t believe how soft and smooth my hair was just from the vinegar! I don’t think I’ll ever go back to conditioner now. Thanks for the tips about which EO’s to add!

  3. My husband hates the smell of vinegar. What essential oil do you think will make it smell the least?

  4. We have hard water where we live, so I use conditioner now to get the tangles out of my hair after shampooing. Does the ACV rinse help with tangles, too?

  5. I have reached the age where I fight nature and dye my hair every 9-10 weeks. Yes……I know all chemical stuff but I still look young and just don’t like the grey look. Can this be use with dyed hair?

    • I haven’t heard any reason why not – enjoy!

    • I used to dye my hair as well, but then discovered a way that really helps your hair retain it’s color, AND can even un-do grey hair!

      It is the rinse I use daily: make a STRONG tea with nettle, rosemary and horsetail herbs.
      When cool, add the same amount of Braggs apple cider vinegar, or any organic cider vinegar with the mother. Put it in a container, and when you shampoo and are ready to rinse, take the mix, add the same or more warm water, coat your head and give yourself a 15-20 second head massage. Let the concoction sit on your head while you complete your shower. (careful, this will sting if it gets into your eyes!) and rinse out thoroughly just before you are done showering.

      I usually make a large batch, keep enough for two days in the shower and the rest in the refrigerator until I’m ready to use it. I also add a few drops (FEW) of any essential oils that I fancy at that moment.

      Just FYI: I have found that the vinegar smell WILL go away once your hair dries, but on me, I tend to be quite warm blooded and if I start sweating, a mild vinegar smell WILL waft around my head.

  6. I was wondering what brand/type of aloe vera juice you prefer to purchase from VitaCost? Thanks.

  7. What I’d really like to know is which exact bottle/brand is the most cost effective and still works well! We’re needing something like this for my daughter. If you could link to the one you normally buy or suggest one that is the best deal but still a good product, that would be helpful. I had a tab open already to place an order with VitaCost. Thank you!

    • I used the Lily of the Desert and I bought the 1 gallon size b/c we were using it for digestive issues as well. It is supposed to be helpful for leaky gut I think.

  8. Susan Alexander says:

    Do you still use some form of shampoo with this?

    Also, I’m looking for a homemade replacement to conditioner for use as a shaving lotion – I’ve always bought cheap conditioner and it works amazingly for shaving, but now that I’m trying to slowly replace my products with natural ones, I don’t know what to do about the conditioner!

    • Yes, I still use shampoo. I haven’t gone the “no poo” route. So you are looking for a good shaving lotion? Or a hair conditioner? Or both?

      • Susan Alexander says:

        Well, it would be used as shaving lotion, but something that mimics traditional conditioner as closely as possible… I use conditioner mostly as a shaving lotion and I can’t imagine this conditioner replacement would work as a shaving lotion. :p

    • I buy bar shampoos from Camamu, they have several bar shampoos to choose from, depending on your hair and what it needs. I LOVE their Rosemary Nettle.
      I use plain organic coconut oil for shaving. It works GREAT, and leaves your skin moisturized and silky soft and smooth. You can add essential oils for scent, but I just use it plain.

      • Interesting Carol. Someone just recommended shampoo bars to me – did you have an adjustment period? The reviews on them are pretty mixed. Sorry for the delay – I’m trying to catch up here :).

  9. I have a few questions! If you don’t mind?
    Should I use regular shampoo or a home made one? And is it ok to use if I color my hair? I’m really anxious to try this rinse. I have very thin limp hair!! But want to get the most bang. Oh and where do I get the guar??

    Thank you so much for all your info!! I like to read everything you post!


  10. Yes, to distract from the vinegar smell

    • Hmm…I am thinking peppermint would be one of the best, or the tea tree. Still, I would go for the oils you like and/or the benefits you wish to have. That should help significantly w/ the smell :).

      • I haven’t tried this yet, but do use vinegar for a lot of things, from household cleaning products to cleaning my veges & fruit. I’ve found that as soon as it dries, the smell is gone with all of these uses, so would guess it would work the same with hair.

    • I have been using baking soda/ vinegar on my hair religiously for 7 years. My hair does smell like vinegar when it is still wet from the shower, but the vinegar smell is gone as soon as my hair dries. Hope that helps!

  11. Thank you!

  12. Do you think I could use aloe vera gel instead? I have Lily of the Dessert Aloe Vera Gel. Thanks!

    • They are made from different parts of the plant, so I am not sure. I am thinking you could just thin it out a bit but the gel is what’s inside the plant and the juice is made from the outer parts of the leaf.

  13. I just wanted to thank you. I had started using baking soda with a vinegar rinse, until I recently dyed my hair & saw baking soda shouldn’t be used. I see someone posted here about the rinse, I’m curious if it worked ok? Thank you for this!

    • I just heard back from someone w/ a lot of knowledge about hair products and she said that the hair rinse should be fine for colored hair – enjoy!

  14. Forgot to write my question. Good gravy! Could you use aloe Vera gel instead of liquid?

    • I think I answered this a few comments ago. They are different things from diff parts of the plant. I guess you could try thinning it out but they are different :).

  15. Great! Thank you!

  16. Hi,

    Thanks for the post. Dosen’t aloe vera juice require refridgeration? Have you noticed an issue with keeping it in the shower for for a length of time?

    Thanks. Your blog is great

    • I’ve never read that it needs refrigeration. I have tried natural hair rinses that have similar ingredients and I think the shelf life from opening to usage is 6 months, but it never lasts that long :). It gets used up pretty quickly. You are so welcome!

  17. This is interesting! I love the idea, and wish I had these ingredients on hand.

    I’d love to share this with my readers at the Hearthfelt Hopes linky party. Please give it a thought; you’d be the perfect fit! :)

  18. What a coincidence! Just yesterday I started actually using an apple cider rinse I made and my hair feels amazing. I have really curly, coarse, dry hair and it did wonders. My hair is so soft and not frizzy at all!

  19. I just switched to apple cider vinegar and trying the nopoo. I need a hair cut before I decide if I like it. I LOVE the plain acv rinse! I didn’t think I would, but I sure do.
    The vinegar smell dissipates VERY quickly– your hair will not smell if you rinse the conditioner out.
    I have not tried leaving acv in and not rinsing– I imagine it would stop smelling, but take a while– so that may be where I’d use an EO.

    I’m thinking about giving this a try with a half batch and using a fresh aloe plant– ours is growing quite big and I don’t think it would miss it if I took a few pieces off to add some to the conditioner. I wonder if this will be similar- or if aloe is cooked or processed in some way?

    • I don’t know about that, but the aloe gel is what easily comes from inside the plant and the juice is produced from a different part of the plant so there are 2 different things there. I don’t know if they are interchangeable in this way. Sorry :).

  20. I think I pretty much Evernote clip every article you post :)

    My husband uses ONLY vinegar to wash his hair these days. After a few weeks of his hair readjusting it’s oil levels (and, boy were those fun), his hair looks great. This might be a nice way to keep him from having to use conditioner too. Right now he adds some Wen to his hair to soften it.

  21. Aloe Vera juice? Can I just use 1/3 cup of the gel from my aloe plant’s leaves?

    • You will get a slightly different product b/c the gel is thicker and it has different properties, but since it’s an external use I don’t know that it will be a big problem.

  22. Hi, I tried using just apple cider vinegar thru my hair after shampooing it – did not help to smooth it- was no good. I do have colour in my hair – can you recommend something else I can use?

    kind regards

  23. Just tried this for the first time except I mixed soda and vinegar together with water, before pouring it onto my scalp. My scalp feels less oily, itchy and cleaner now. My hair is soft and shiny. However, it is flaking even more and my hair loss has increased. =(

    I also need to confess to having been allergic to Chinese vinegar internally. Any idea what went wrong?

    • If you are allergic to vinegar then that could be your problem. I personally would stop using it. Do you have a problem with other vinegars internally? Are you rinsing it out completely? Perhaps something else is going on? Of course, I am not a doctor and can’t medically advise.

  24. I have blonde fine hair and get foils put in it. I find apple cider vinegar makes the colour go funny. Has anyone else have this problem?

  25. I dye my gray hair. Won’t the ACV wash out the color? Please advise alternative. Thank you.

    • It shouldn’t affect your hair from the research that I have done – it’s diluted as well. I can’t promise but that is what I have found. Thanks!

  26. Couple of questions – do you have any recommendation on which brand apple cider vinegar to be used if not making it ourselves? in one of the ocmments you made you made apple cider vinegar yourself but not able to find ur link for it. also for aloe vera juice the one which is there on vita cost site from ALO i bought the same from costco but they have either honey or the mango one. is it ok to use the flavored one for this rinse or maybe not?

    • Hi there. I just put a link in the post so I hope that helps. I would think the flavored would work but it depends on the ingredients. If there’s a lot of other stuff you might not want that. :)/

  27. Pooja Pal says:

    Thanks Adrienne for your prompt response. .will definitely look out for ingredients. .can’t wait to try it out

  28. Any recommendations on a rinse for those who live in deserts and can’t use humectants like aloe? Just moved here, and it’s seeping all the moisture out of my hair instead of retaining it.

  29. I’d like to try making this for my daughter, but she’s allergic to Aloe Vera. Is there something I could use in its place?

  30. I see a lot of natural products add vinegar…what is the alternative? No matter how many or what flavor of EO I add the vinegar smell does not disappear for me in household or beauty products, not even when dry; my hair either…I just can’t do it and my husband can’t stand it, either. I read that vodka or lemon juice is a good alternative-what have you found?

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