Ever since I read Lorraine Massey’s Curly Girl book several years ago (see review here) I’ve weaned my hair off conventional shampoo and conditioners. I came to realize that my hair doesn’t really need shampoo. Most of the time to get it clean all I really need to do is rinse with water and massage my scalp with my fingers gently. Then again, the hair products I use are non-toxic and eco-friendly so perhaps that’s why my hair doesn’t need much maintenance. Here’s a little background for you: I was born with wavy hair (see picture below). In my mid-twenties it changed from being wavy to curly.
That’s when I my weird hair odyssey started. For the longest time I couldn’t get it into my mind that I now had curly hair. I fought it. Hard. I used to blow dry my hair straight every single day. I used to use the most toxic dandruff shampoos and conditioners. (Of course I didn’t realize they were toxic until I read books like No More Dirty Looks and Ecoholic.) Finally, one day I got tired to fighting with my hair. I thought to myself: “There must be a way to make it easier to style my hair, be non-toxic and not spend a fortune..” I looked around at my local library and that’s how I came across Massey’s Curly Girl book. Wow. It really opened my eyes. I was determined to go no poo (no shampoo for short). So I bought myself some baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Problem was, I couldn’t stand the smell of apple cider vinegar! I swore I could still smell it in my hair after I washed it out. So I developed this modified recipe based on Massey’s apple cider vinegar rinse. Here is my recipe below.
DIY Conditioning Hair Rinse
1 part water (filtered if possible)
1 part organic apple cider vinegar
1 part vegetable glycerin
10 drops of each essential oil (optional): lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, sweet orange, rosemary
Pour all ingredients into a bottle. Shake gently to mix ingredients. You can make as much or as little of this rinse as you need. For example if you only want to make a small bottle you can use 1 cup of water, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of vegetable glycerin. You can also adjust the levels. If you need more moisture in your hair you can put more vegetable glycerin. If your hair is more oily, cut down on the glycerin and use more apple cider vinegar. Easy Peasy. You can also change the essential oils you use. I like to use lavender, tea tree, rosemary, and eucalyptus as they are all anti-bacterial and good for dry scalp which I have. I use sweet orange mostly for the yummy smell. Note: this rinse isn’t for use on coloured hair. That is, unless you had a hair colouring catastrophe and want your colour to wash out of course! I’m not sure how well it works on straight hair either.
I like to make 1 litre batches using old bottles. I’ll make a couple bottles worth so I don’t have to worry about running out. Not only is this so cheap to make, it lasts a long time. Ever since I started using this rinse I haven’t had a flake of dandruff. On the days when I accidentally use too much hair product all I have to do is use a bit of baking soda, mix with water and scrub the paste into my hair. If I don’t have any baking soda on hand, a couple of drops of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap also does the same thing. Now you might be wondering, why use filtered water and organic ingredients? You don’t have to if you don’t want to or can’t afford it. But if you’re like me and want to be as non-toxic as possible organic is the best way to go.