Isn’t it just amazing when you find a vintage recipe that is perfect as-is?

I just love that.  When something that our great-great grandmothers used is still amazing, and works for us today! (Makes my job a lot easier too, not having to adapt the recipes!)

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about using a vacuum cleaner as a hairdryer, like the lady in the picture.  That top tip is best left in the past!

But you can make a really great hair rinse and conditioner in a few minutes.  It’s customized to your hair type, leaves your hair soft and shiny, and has been used by women for generations.  What is this wonder hair conditioner?  Cider vinegar.

Now, stay with me here.

Cider vinegar is used in tons of home remedies.  You might remember we made a refreshing sports drink with cider vinegar.  We also made lovely skin toner.  Elsewhere in internet land, googling “cider vinegar cures” gets you hundreds of miracle cures just using this simple ingredient.  Cider vinegar is where it’s at for home remedies.

I can’t attest to all of those cures … but cider vinegar is a wicked hair rinse – definitely one to try the next time you get a DIY beauty urge!

The Big Question – is my hair going to smell like vinegar?

You might not believe me – but no, your hair will not smell like vinegar.  It might smell slightly while damp, but when your hair is dry it will smell clean and slightly herby (depending on the herbs you use in your rinse).  You just have to try this yourself.  It really works!

How do I make a vinegar hair rinse?

All we need to do is infuse herbs in cider vinegar, or alternatively, add a few essential oils to the cider vinegar (or both!).

  • To make your hair rinse, put a few handfuls of fresh herbs (see below for which herbs) in a jar, and top with cider vinegar.  Let it sit for 3 weeks, shaking occasionally.  Strain out the herbs.
  • If you want, add a few drops of essential oils to the strained vinegar.
  • Put in a bottle, and you’re ready to rinse!

How do I customize a vinegar hair rinse for my hair type?

The secret to the vinegar hair rinse is all about the herbs.

You can choose herbs and essential oils to match your hair type.  Make a combination of herbs that appeals to you!

Although it’s better if you find them locally, you can buy bulk dried herbs online here.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Rosemary – encourages hair growth, good for all hair types
  • Sage – supposed to darken the hair, great for brunettes
  • Chamomile – encourages golden highlights, good for blondes
  • Peppermint – promotes hair growth, invigorating
  • Rose – soothes an irritated scalp
  • Lavender – good for all hair types, treats itchiness and dandruff

How do I use a vinegar hair rinse?

To use your vinegar hair rinse, you need to dilute it with water.  Normally I use about 1-2 TB of vinegar to 1 cup of water.

The easiest way to do this is to mark a container with a line for vinegar, and one for water.  Leave the container in the shower.  Then just pour in the right amount of vinegar, and top with water from the shower.  Easy!

After shampooing like normal, pour the diluted vinegar rinse through your hair.  Massage it through.  Now rinse it out quickly with warm water and finish with a burst of cold water (if you can!).  Just like Grandma always said, finishing your hair with a cold water rinse makes it extra shiny!

Personally, I don’t rinse my hair very well, I like to leave some of the vinegar in it.  Experiment and see what works best for you.


Have you tried a vinegar hair rinse? What are your favorite herb combinations? How did it work for you?

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