Saturday, January 5, 2008

Homemade Hair Conditioner: Vinegar Rinse Is Awesome!

I feel lied to, deceived, and misguided. All my life, I thought that you have to spend a lot of money on shampoo and conditioner to have nice hair, but that's simply not true.

Using a vinegar rinse works just as well as Pantene conditioner!


I know it sounds crazy and unbelievable, but excluding that fact that your hair might experience a tiny more static in winter, it's true. After using a vinegar rinse, my hair was shiny, soft, and knot-free. And after it dried there was absolutely no smell. Even my boyfriend didn't notice it when I tested him. How awesome!

My Recipe
Here are the ingredients I used:
  • Just under 1 liter of hot water (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 sprig of rosemary, for fragrance
  • 1 bag of chamomile apple tea, for fragrance
To make vinegar rinse: place water in container of your choice, put the rest of the ingredients inside, and let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes. That's it!

In the Shower

Before using my vinegar rinse, I shampooed my hair as usual, and then worked approximately 3/4 of a cup of the vinegar rinse into my hair. Afterwards, I rinsed well and let my hair air dry.

Boyfriend Smell Test
As I mentioned earlier, my boyfriend didn't notice any vinegar smell.

The test: I made sure to wash my hair while he wasn't home so that I could test it on him without him knowing what was going on. When he returned home and my hair was perfectly dry, I walked up to him and nonchalantly tossed my hair in his face (it was sort of funny at the time), and he didn't mention anything. Later, I told him why I did it, and asked him outright if he could smell the vinegar. His response: "No." Awesome! No vinegar smell!

I'm Not Scared Anymore
I'm not out of conditioner yet, but now I know that I no longer need to fear the day when I run out. I will have an effective conditioner to use that is plastic free, environmentally friendly, and healthy.

Additional Resources
UPDATE: Most people recommend only using a vinegar rinse two or three times each week. More often than they may dry your hair out.

63 comments:

Emily DeWan Photography said...

What shiny lovely hair! I just may have to try this out.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Why, thank you, Ms. Emily! I highly recommend it. Weren't there some nice recipes for vinegar rinses in Neal's It All Vegan book?

Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson said...

I just discovered your site and love this concept. My friends and I have been talking about how ridiculous it is to spend so much money on products, especially once you try to get away from harmful ingredients and start buying organic. I recently discovered a great resource for homemade beauty care: The book called Aromatherapy Handbook for Beauty, Hair, and Skin Care by Erich Keller.

Good luck remaining plastic free in '08!

LifeLessPlastic said...

Awesome! I'll have to check that book out. I'm starting to run low on most of my beauty products so now is definitely the time when I need to research how to make stuff myself.

Shannon Hodgins said...

O.k., I'm going to try it. I'll give anything a try! I keep shopping around to find enviro friendly shampoo in a glass bottle or the like and it just doesn't seem to happen.

I asked my Mom what she used when she was growing up poor and without products like we have. Folks mostly used things like homemade recipes and it worked just fine. Shannon

LifeLessPlastic said...

Awesome! I'm so excited that you're going to try it. Report back and let us know how it went :)

Laura said...

Yay for plastic-free DIY conditioner! :)
I have done the vinegar rinse bit and it works well, I agree. I hadn't heard of the rosemary and tea for fragrance... sweet! I must try.
Also, I was mixing up a small portion of vinegar/water for each shower. Mixing ahead of time sounds like it would make the whole process much faster, which means I will actually do it. ;)

Melinda said...

We use vinegar as a house cleaner and it works very well. The vinegar smell dissipates pretty quickly.

I've heard that it works as conditioner, but I've been bashful about trying it.

I'll definitely try your recipe - I am just about out of hair conditioner and I don't want to have to buy it anymore. I'll let you know how it goes!

dianaslittlehelper said...

I've tried vinegar as a conditioner and it really does work! smoother and shinier after drying it up. I was a bit skeptical at first but since I' m really up to organic stuff and saving mother earth (as a new year's resolution), i gave it a shot. You can also try citrus fruits.. cut it into thin slices and rub the juice and the pulp to your hair and scalp. It also has the same effect. :)

The Minimalist said...

I am so going to try this! Thanks!

Mamacita said...

Love the idea! Do you have any other ideas for body care products that you can make at home? I have been staring at all the plastic bottles in my bathroom and trying to think of a way to do away with them for good...

theradicalancient said...

Hey, thanks :). Been using apple cider vinegar for the past two washes, and the state of my hair has improved DRAMATICALLY.
Found your site while trying to convince boyfriend that white vinegar(which is way cheaper) will work equally well.

Blogrolling you, don't mind!

the lost_poet said...

lovely post, great blog. Blogrolling you. You just confirmed that I CAN use vinegar. Thank you :)

anna said...

hi! I tried it after reading your incredible info about vinegar rinse. It totally works! My hair is so shiny and soft! I have a question: should i use vinegar rinse everyday? thanks!

-anna

LifeLessPlastic said...

I'm glad you like the vinegar rinse!

As for how often to use it, I think general consensus would dictate that it's not necessary to use a vinegar rinse everyday, and using it everyday might actually dry your hair out. I would suggest a few times a week tops. I myself do a rinse once a week.

anna said...

awesome! thank you very much for the excellent tip! I'll keep visiting your blog, I'd love to hear from you about natural beauty tips! Cheers! :)

-anna

Kimberly said...

I've been doing this since January with plain white vinegar each time I wash my hair, usually every other day. It works great. I just keep the vinegar in a bottle in the shower. My hair has never been so nice! Do make sure to not get it in your eyes!

Margot said...

Hey - great blog and I'm all for the vinegar solution - I use vinegar at home for cleaning and have weaned myself off the storebought cleaners but I'm curious... have you got caught in the rain yet? (Lots of damp days over here in the UK so interested to know if there is any residue smell when your hair gets wet?)

BTW - UK company Neals Yard do organic shampoos and conditioners in dark glass bottles (as they aren't ramped up with preservatives etc). They are super popular here but not sure if they have gone stateside yet...

Cheers

Margo

Anonymous said...

... and have you tried vinegar in the rinse cycle of your washing machine? Works great to reduce soap residue - and static electricity. As with hair, there's no vinegar smell.

BonzoGal said...

I tried the vinegar rinse this weekend, totally doubtful it would work for me... was I wrong! It worked really well. No tangles in my super-fine, super-tangly hair! And no vinegar smell at all. Dang, I'm sold. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Does the vinigar rinse work on dry damaged hair ?. As I am siting with avacado and mayo on my hair at this moment.

Carine said...

I also use cider vinegar and rosemary for my hair. But first, I boil the vinegar into the kettle to get rid of the limescale. Then I pour it boiling on the rosemary. I add a drop of teatree EO. You can keep that in a glass bottle for a month without problem.

Anonymous said...

wow...i'd love to try it..but before trying..can it be any tea?...i mean..

mark e said...

What do you mean by "1/4 sprig of rosemary?" Do you have a plant that you cut a leaf off of? Do you have a small jar of the dried rosemary herb? Did you mean 1/4 cup?

Thanks!

LifeLessPlastic said...

mark e, the rosemary, which I got from a plant out of my garden, is just for fragrance so you don't need to use it. If you'd still like something to scent the rinse, there are lots of essential oils that would probably work. I haven't used any myself, though, so I can't make any recommendations.

Mattie said...

Does it matter what kind of vinegar? Usually I hear apple cider vinegar (therefore called an ACV rince) but I'm curious what you used?

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I have been reading about ACV on the net. It seems really good but i want to know whther vingar made from acetic acid has same effct as ACV?
Thanks

Jennifer Jackson said...

LITTLE KNOWN FACT:
Hair-dressers are taught this little tid bit in school as a product remover, but never let clientel in on it because it simply doesn't bring any revenue!!
YOU ROCK ON!!

Anonymous said...

I tried this, and I tell ya, I had the best hair day I have had in a LONG time! My hair was soft and felt conditioned right after doing it, and then after blowdrying it was shiny and full of body, which I love! I can't thank you enough for sharing this idea! I will be using it a lot, including on my daughter's hair that gets full of tangles so easily!

cheese10 said...

Hi, I came upon your blog because NPR did an article about shampoo and how harmful it is, and you're mentioned in it. Way to go on your publicity! I want to start the vinegar rinse right away, I was just wondering though, if I use a shampoo bar, like 3 times a week and use the vinegar rinse, should I be doing anything to my hair on the "off" days? I like to wash my hair more often because it gets so greasy in between...Does the vinegar help to keep hair non-greasy on the days you don't wash your hair? Thanks so much for the ideas!

myshabliss said...

this sound cool. i'll have to try it. i didn't realize there was plastic in conditioner! crazy.

Tammy said...

I wash my hair with baking soda, and I use a drop of shampoo, because I like the scent, and I still have what I inherited. Regarding the last post, the plastic is the bottles. I'm hoping this hint will help get soap residue out of my hair.

Bithika said...

I just came across your blog while searching for home made recipe for a hair conditioner and was excited to read your philosophy which is much after my own thinking! Thanks for the vinegar recipe and I am definitely working towards making my life less plastic!

Navah Moore said...

Of course, I have a question: How do you apply it? I mean, it seems like it's just water... Or after shampooing, you pour some of the vinegar mix over your hair, and that's it?

Thanks for all your wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd throw in that I've been researching things for oily scalp/dandruff and using vinegar can also solve that problem.

I tried it for the dandruff (itchy oily scalp) tonight. We'll see how that goes. I've read a bunch of things that say it work.

But since I scratch at my head from it being so damn itchy it did burn somewhat. =x

jen said...

thank you! my granny always used straight vinegar and always smelled like it afterward, i wanted to use it as well (along with castile soap) but didn't want to have her signature smell. can't wait to try it!

Isis said...

I'm all for reducing plastic use, but doesn't the vinegar still come in plastic bottles? This doesn't eliminate plastic entirely (though I don't know that in today's society there actually is a way to do that).

Anonymous said...

I like this blog, as far as I see it. I have recently taken combined interests in environmentalism, vegetarianism, and frugality, and want to start my own blog on such things. This vinegar hair recipe satisfies all three interests, along with health and beauty. Keep writing; I would love to hear more tips!

HS said...

Hi there-I have been using apple cider vinegar on my face for ages now and love it. I wash my hair with an olive oil soap and would like to restore the ph balance by using a vinegar/acid rinse instead of my conditioner, but I tend to be a bit clumsy and would like to naturally thicken the vinegar rinse somehow so it is more controllable and won't run down into my eyes while in the shower. All the thicker conditioner recipes on the 'net deal with perishable contents such as egg and fruit etc and are left on for 15-20 mins (which is all well and good for a slow day at home) and I would ideally like to make a bulk supply to keep next to my bath in a pump container which I can use in a hurry every day. Any ideas? HS

WoundedEgo said...

I am 55 years old. My wife has been complaining for years that I smell like her grandfather. This was not a positive comment, and it was actually contributing to some other issues such that our marriage was looking dim. I thought that perhaps it was just a feature of getting older. But the other day it occurred to me that vinegar has a way of making things so clean and fresh that perhaps it could get me back on track. I found your recipe and used it on my body as well as my hair. Sure enough, I don't smell "old" anymore, and it looks like you may have saved my marriage! Thank you!

LifeLessPlastic said...

W.Ego, I'm so happy to hear that this vinegar rinse is working for you! Wonderful news!

Army Hippie Chick said...

I have been reading your blog for a few months now, and today I found you mentioned in an NPR article and just thought I'd let you know in case you didn't already... http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102062969

Keep up the good work! I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

I've done this and it really does work great. But be careful, if you do it too often it actually dries out you hair.

Aarti said...

which vinegar should i use as there are many types of viniger

Crystal - Prenatal Coach said...

Awesome! I just blogged about my No 'Poo adventure :) I switched to a baking soda 'wash' and apple cider vinegar 'rinse' and love it! I was so surprised that the vinegar works so well as a conditioner!

*.Katiya.* said...

can i use vanilla on my hair ? i reallllly love vanilla smell and my bf insane about it , i would wanna smell like a natural vanilla smell anything you recommend ?

Anonymous said...

This vinegar rinse didn't work well at all. I used it for a science fair project, and it resulted with 114 strokes with the hair brush. The worst shampoo/ conditioner!!

Beverly said...

I am one of five sisters and one of eight children..and we were very very poor...all we used for years was vine!gar and we all had hair to our waist...it kept our hair beautiful..I do not know what effect it would have on colored treated hair..we had no special formula..we just mixed some with water and rinsed

jen said...

Thank you for this post! Vinegar rinse is awesome. I just started to eliminate plastics from my life and was stumped on hair conditioner. Who would have known that you didn't actually need creamy goop to detangle and shine?

Katrina said...

i love using vinegar but it does make my hair prone to static... anyone have any ideas to get rid of the static? i tried using mayo and it made my hair SO oily...

Anonymous said...

Wow, so glad I found your site. I'm all out of conditioner and do not feel like going out.

My hair (and skin - due to thyroid problem) is extremely dry. I remember my aunt telling me to use Mayo, but thought it would be too greasy. But your idea about vinegar is a perfect match! I am going to comb some mayo through my hair after shampoo, then use Vinegar to rinse!
Thanks Emily!

Darcy

Anonymous said...

Vinegar is a protein which hardens the hair shaft which is actually good for the hair but don't use it no more than once a week.

Lisa said...

I've been doing this for about 3 months, and I completely love it! Have you tried baking soda shampoo? I don't do it to reduce plastic though, I do it so that I'm using fewer bad, strange chemicals on my body.

Anonymous said...

great idea..here is a link below related to the topic,some more tips for hair
http://www.eteddybear.co.uk/beauty/vinegar-is-best-for-your-hair/

ashley said...

I was also wondering what kind of vinegar

Soliloquy said...

Apple cider vinegar comes in glass bottles, I have some sitting in my pantry right now. Heinz distilled vinegar comes in glass if you buy a small bottle.

Arif Rabbi said...

Hmm this is a cost effective way to hair conditioner. Like that... :)

Anonymous said...

I was totally skeptical but soooo desperate so I tried it. BEFORE: my hair felt like a greasy Brillo pad. I have super curly hair and have been piling on the goop because it's so dry. I used white vinegar because that's all I had and a plum/berry tea bag (again all I had) and AFTER: Super soft, no tangles it was a f-ing miracle! I still have frizzies but need very little product to tame that. I can actually run my fingers through my hair! Incredible!

Anonymous said...

I have dyed my hair somewhere between 15-25 times. I am young, so I'm already getting sick of having dry hair, that i loose quickly anyways. I started using your formula as directed and it as works amazingly well. My hair is fresh and healthy, and back to its normal shade. I have been using this every Saturday for 2 months and I absolutly love you! No more high risk of getting cancer, no more bad chemical residue, no more split ends! The list goes on, and one but in the end, you may honestly be a life saver.

Jan Hunnicutt said...

I've been using a homemade apple cider vinegar rinse for several months now and love it, your recipe looks great and I want to try it.

Did you know you can use white vinegar as a fabric softener instead of using regular fabric softener? Fill a Downy Ball half way with white vinegar and put it in the wash, works great and no more buying expensive fabric softeners from the store!

Remy Yow said...

Thank you for the recipe! I made my own laundry detergent last week, and I love all these green- activities we can do at home!
I am making this hair conditioner now, and I was wondering if I can thicken this liquid to make it more like store brands. Thank you again~

Anonymous said...

Thanks much for the recipe. Will be being vinegar at the market today. Just a note- chamomile tea is actually used sometimes to lighten hair! http://www.ehow.com/how_2139521_use-chamomile-lightening-hair.html

AMS said...

I have a question! A lot of these "make it yourself" ideas seem great and I'm excited to try them, but I'm confused as to how they cut down on plastic use if you're buying the vinegar in plastic...Even if you buy it in glass, the top cap is plastic. I ran into this problem yesterday when I decided to try making my own plastic-free soap and found that the beeswax is wrapped in plastic..go figure :( Help/advice??