Create Your Own Vinegar Hair Rinse

Make an after-shampoo vinegar hair rinse tailored specifically to your needs.


After-shampoo vinegar rinses are an important part of using homemade shampoos and shampoo bars. They help restore pH, remove shampoo residue, soften hair and can be beneficial for flaky or irritated scalp conditions. While several types of vinegars are available and have similar effect on the hair, apple cider vinegar is preferred because it’s less processed and contains more nutrients than standard white vinegar.

Use the following formula to custom-tailor a vinegar hair rinse specifically suited to your hair type. If you don’t have fresh plants on hand, you can use half as much dried instead.

Yield: About 8 Applications (10 Cups [2.4 L])


  • 2 cups (500ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (15 to 20g) coarsely chopped fresh herbs or flowers
  • 8 cups (1.9L) water

Cover courtesy of Page Street Publishing


  1. Infuse the vinegar and herbs for two weeks, then strain.
  2. To make the hair rinse, combine 1 ⁄4 cup (60 ml) of vinegar with 1 cup (250 ml) of water. Depending on your hair type, you may want to adjust the ratios of vinegar and water to make the rinse stronger or milder.
  3. Pour the diluted rinse over your hair and scalp after shampooing. There’s no need to rinse, though you can if you’d like.
  4. For a more convenient alternative, you can fill a small spray bottle with the undiluted infused vinegar and store it in your shower. Spritz it all over your scalp and hair after shampooing, then follow with a rinse of plain water.

Herbs and flowers to consider using in your hair rinse include:

Basil – antimicrobial 
Calendula – soothes scalp 
Catnip – for flaky scalp 
Chamomile – reputed to lighten blond hair 
Mint – increases scalp circulation 
Nettle – stimulates hair growth 
Roses – uplifting and soothing 
Rosemary – improves scalp circulation 
Sage – cleansing 
Sunflower – makes hair shiny 
Thyme – antiseptic 
Violets – soothes and won’t strip moisture

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