Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rosemary hair rinse


Today I have something exciting and easy for you to make at home.

First of all, do you shampoo? And then condition?

Maybe not?


I'll let you in on a little secret...........


I haven't shampood my hair for over a year.

Now I know that suddenly you are getting visions of a greasy haired lout but this is not the case. Notice I said "shampoo". Not cleaned. No sir, no overpackaged, petro-chemical filled solutions for this humble head.

I wash my hair with homemade soap bars that lather up really well so it's just like washing my hair with the aforementioned product, except without all the harmful effects and health worries.

So what happens when it's time to condition, you ask?

It's true, washing (wash-oo-ing?) with just cleansing bars can leave your hair in quite a tangle, especially if it's shoulder length like mine.

The solution? A homemade rinse, with deliciously smelling rosemary that de-tangles, nourishes the skin and adds shine all in one go.

Homemade rosemary infusion

I have been using my little homemade rinse here for several months now and am 100% pleased with it. Wouldn't go back to bottle products, no sir!

Homemade Rosemary Hair Rinse
for use after hair has been cleaned

6-8 good size fresh rosemary sprigs
boiling water

Place the rosemary into a large glass, jar or small jug (again, hubby's beer drinking glass was called into action). Pour enough boiling water over the sprigs to immerse them and then leave to cool and infuse overnight.

The next morning, remove the rosemary (no need to strain, just pluck them out), and into a squeezy bottle (the sauce kind from the discount shop), place:
- a small amount of apple cider vinegar - approximately one tenth the volume of the bottle.

Top up with the rosemary water and give it a good shake.

To use the rinse, it's just a simple matter of squirting it through your hair after washing. Let it sit for a few minutes (I use this rinse in the shower), then rinse off for smooth, easy to comb hair.

The rosemary is wonderfully beneficial for itchy, dry scalp sufferers, improving the condition of the skin immediately and with each use.

The faint vinegary smell will disappear once the hair is dry. This quantity (a small squeezy bottle), should do at least 3 applications. Store it in the fridge between uses if your bathroom is on the warm side.

If it's freezing cold and the middle of winter, go ahead and warm the rinse a little before use. No point in yelping in the shower waking up the whole house, your skin will very much appreciate this small action.

Your pocket will also thank you for not purchasing those over-marketed products and the land will thank you for not filling it with plastic packaging, week after week.

Clean, fresh and natural (and yes, in need of a trim ;))

Happy combing :)

*See also: Nourishing Egg Yolk Hair Conditioning Treatment


  1. Okay, I am going to try it all...homemade soap, and then the rosemary rinse. It sounds good,and I have a stack of rosemary in the garden ...even though i am frightened of a 'bad hair day' . I am feeling very brave , I am all about being green, but i like my hair to be 'just right'

  2. Get out of freaking townnnn!!!!!!!!!!!
    That is hilarious my girl. I started washing my hair with bicarb and apple cider vinegar a few weeks ago and I was just thinking I wonder what I could put in it to make it all smelling lovely....rosemary. Yeah, that's a good idea and then went about my morning. Then here you are young lady :-)

    It took me way too long to get on board with the no shampooing thing, and now I'm kicking myself for not doing it earlier. (I did think of putting vanilla in the rinse as well ;-)

  3. I'm the same as you Christine, haven't used shampoo for nearly two years now. Instead I too use my own homemade shampoo bar and rinse/condition with a rosemary infused vinegar and water solution, 1tbspn to a cup of water.

    For a special treat (for my hair that is) I add a teaspoon of honey to the vinegar, sitr till dissolved, add warm water and pour over your hair, massage well, rinse off as usual. It really leaves my thick curly hair lovely and soft :)

  4. Oh wow I cannot wait to try this :-) I have oodles of rosemary outside. Lisa, that honey idea sounds great too. I have never made my own soap...it has been on the 'to do' list for quite sometime. Do you use a certain recipe?

  5. Yay You! I have had to turn away from chemicals and that includes shampoos etc. I have recently found an un-scented everything-free shampoo from a lady in WA. It doesn't get all sudsy like commercial ones but I do marvel as I rinse and can smell stale head coming out of my hair because there are no smells to mask it. I am going to try your Rosemary rinse idea as I still get itchy head. Also I noticed that heads get used to their cleaning regime and settle and self adjust and that is why people who don't "shampoo" don't get greasy hair. The mind boggles at the money and chemicals going into (and consequently down drains) hair products alone! Once again thanks for a frugal, sensible and useful hint.

  6. I have been washing my hair with my homemade soap for about six months now, I find it doesnt tangle and I dont need a conditioner, I'll try the rosemary rinse though as we have loads of the stuff,

  7. I will be giving this a go- it's soooo expensive to buy organic, Chen- free conditioner. Thanks!

  8. It's ok, Kim, you can have it both ways, clean hair that looks great too..which reminds me, I must book in for a trim. ;)

    ooh, the honey sounds lovely, Lisa, I remember trying this aaages ago, but had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the memory jog!

    The rinse is a good one for pruning the rosemary, ladyleaves. The more it is pruned, the more it grows! I use a couple of homemade soap recipes, the links are up top in the 'How to's" page.

    The vanishing of the itchy head is what I'm loving most, Tanya. It really is a worry the amount of 'product' out there for consumption..

    That's great you don't need to condition, Anne. Different oils seem to behave differently in soap, you must have a found a winning combination!

    You're welcome, Lisa. Good luck! :)

  9. Brydie, that IS hilarious!! Too funny!! I never got onto the bi-carb train, but I do hear people rave about it.

  10. Ok you have got my interest up.
    Can you please share - or point me to your blog post of what you wash your hair with.

    I have met ladies who use baking soda - and well in my opinion their hair has a smell & looks not clean - so have never wanted to try it.

    Thanks Love leanne

    1. I wash my hair with the baking soda/water mix and it works well. It is what you put on after that matters. My hair smells fine, I rinse with ACV...and after today will be using the rosemary ACV. I am really particular about the smell of my hair so I ask my kids (who never lie) and they say it smells great. Because I have very curly hair I use a spray bottle of water with lavender or rosemary essential oil after I towel dry it. I love the smell.

  11. Hi Leanne, I use this recipe: http://slowlivingessentials.blogspot.com/2010/04/lemongrass-and-olive-oil-soap-with-sage.html a lot, changing/omitting herbs. It sets into a nice solid bar which lathers up nicely and cleans thoroughly. Homemade soap also retains glycerine, a natural by-product of the soapmaking process (which is often removed from mass marketed soaps to sell seperately), so it leaves the skin baby soft!

  12. ooh I have been tempted to try this a few times but never last the distance (required before the hair adjusts to the new routine). I always give up well before. But perhaps with homemade soap it could work. I will have to try and make some...gulp!

  13. I'm going to give this a try. I already use vinegar as a rinse for my hair (because I use baking soda rather than soap as a cleanser) so it will be fun to try a rosemary rinse with a bit of vinegar. I keep meaning to make a nettle vinegar to try too. Such fun to make potions, isn't it.

  14. There is definitely an adjustment period, spice. I remember my hair feeling like straw for a while and wondered what on earth I was doing!?? Sticking with it is the key, as hard as it may be...

    Is SO much fun to make potions, Heather, especially when the ingredients come from our gardens! :)

  15. Thankyou for this, I have a huge rosemary bush waiting to be exploited ;)

  16. Ahh, exploitation of the best kind, Allana. Have fun. :)

  17. I have been bicarb and apple cider vinegar for months now. It is great. I hadn't thought of a rosemary enhancement. Will definitely give it a shot. Do you think rosemary would suffice? Visiting from Cityhippyfarmgirl x

  18. The rosemary is a wonderful addition to the apple cider vinegar, Multiple Mum. It soothes dry, itchy skin and reduces dandruff. I've also been adding a small amount (half to one teaspoon) of honey to each bottle of rinse, which I find really nice.

  19. This is wonderful! When I first tried it, my hair got very oily. I think maybe it was freaking out about the new routine or maybe I didn't rinse it out well enough. But it's fabulous now! My hair's so soft and snarl free. I did try the first batch with a couple rose blossoms to see if that did anything and it did dye the mixture a pretty pink. But it still smelled like vinegar! Good thing that goes away after your hair dries!
    I did tweak the second batch. I added a handful of sage leaves.


  20. Hi Christine, I love all your recipes!!! thanks for sharing. I will try them all. I am looking for a very gentle non oily soothing eye cream or lotion. the skin around my eyes is extremely dry and itches a lot,then making them all red. Any ideas? Thank you - Sophia

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. ive been using acv 'conditioner' for a few months and the recipe didnt require rinsing after the acv wash.
    i am wondering if its ok if i dont rinse after using this?

    1. People have been using vinegar rinses for centuries, there is no need to rinse it out - providing it is already adequately diluted when u use it. When I do mine, I use a 2 litre bottle of cool/tepid water with 1/3 cup maximum vinegar mixed in. I have v thick, curly, long hair & I use the full 2 litres each time. If I were using a more concentrated product then yes, I agree it should be rinsed. (I'm currently studying Beauty Therapy at TAFE College).

  23. by this i mean ur rosemary-acv rinse :)

  24. I really have to try that as I have curly hair as well. I have been washing with baking soda and water once a week, but conditioning with apple cider vinegar three to four times a week. It has been about 6 months now and my hair is doing much better. It did take awhile for it to get used to not being shampooed and I had bad hair days (ponytails) for a month. But now I would never go back. I really am looking forward to trying this rosemary mix asap. As well as the honey/ACV I saw as a post.


  25. I love it! I've been doing this for a couple weeks now (i.e. baking soda/vinger/rosemary). I picked rosemary, just because it's the only herb I have growing right now. I was thinking I should check and see if it is something that actually has good properties for my hair. Cool!

  26. Well im very interested after reading all this! My problem/ question is that i have mixed hair more so on the african..kinky and thick! Without using product my hair doesn't resemble when using product. My hair has to be thoroughly wet (washed) daily to style, just wetting it under the faucet produces a "thickness" not individual curls and because it gets flattened and matted during sleep. Im fully convinced going no "poo" will do wonders for my beautifully unique hair and need some help to start getting proactive instead of thinking about it. I would appreciate any advice!

  27. Do you have a recipe for the homemade soap you use for shampooing? I've tried EVERY recipe out there and the shampoo is gnarly. It leaves my hair heavy, with a thick film and greasy as heck. I dunno what else to use but am tired of spending so much money on "natural" shampoos.

  28. The best success I've had with homemdade shampoo bars is using a regular soap recipe and adding a small quantity (5% or so of the total oils) of castor oil. It seems to enrich the bar and isn't so stripping on the hair. All the best! :)

  29. Just tried this for the first time today and I love it. My hair feels extra soft today. I expected a slight rosemary scent to cling to my hair but my husband said he couldn't smell a thing. I will be using this rinse a lot!

  30. Do you use the same soap for your hair as you do for your body then? I had started using ACV to rinse my hair about a year ago and until two months ago my itchy flaky scalp had been itch and flake free! I don't really know why the problem has come back because I'm pretty much doing the same as I was doing... :( ~Lex


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