With the weather providing unnecessary dryness to my hair, I had to rethink the amount of shampooing in my life. Washing our hair with shampoo has been a completely unquestioned part of most of our beauty routines since we can remember. Recently, however, sources are saying that shampoo and washing our hair daily is not only unnecessary, but it can be harmful to our hair. Shampoo can be particularly damaging to natural hair as well as super fine strands. Vinegar hair rinses, amongst other types, have become increasingly popular replacements for store-bought shampoo. Since I'm ALL about ditching any pointless step in my weekly hair routine, I was all too willing to stop my weekly cleanses, but I knew I wanted something to break down excess oil and dirt in my hair between washing. Thus, starting my quest to find the perfect hair rinse.
When you think of hair rinse, you most likely are associating it with a temporary hair dye. Well, hair rinses aren't just for dying your hair or getting highlights — you can use all natural hair rinses to promote hair growth, cleanse the scalp and hair shaft, and restore pH balance. Hair rinses are actually becoming more popular as people decide to move away from traditional shampoo methods, but not all hair rinses are created equal. You need an all natural hair rinse that works and won't have your hair smelling worse than it did pre-rinse.
Although I don't use traditional style products in my hair, those weekly deep conditions, hot oil treatments, and homemade hair spritzes mean that my locks have a LOT going on. Any product you use in your hair, natural or OTC, will begin to build up in those tresses. This definitely doesn't mean you should stop using a hair sealant or conditioner; those are important factors in keeping our hair and scalp moisturized which promotes hair growth. Adding an all natural hair rinse keep your locks from getting dull AND make sure that your hair is ready for more product. If your hair is looking brittle and you keep applying oil on top of oil, your hair won't be able to drink it up because it's smothered by old products. The right hair rinse can trick anybody into thinking you just got your hair did.
Ditching shampoo all together isn't for everyone, of course, and you should play around with different rinses to find the perfect one for you. With natural locks I've decreased shampoos to about once a month and have noticed a huge difference in dry ends. When you're thirsty, you don't always want a drink of water. You want something that's going to quench your thirst, boost your energy, and extra nutrients — so does your hair. Check these popular all natural hair rinses that can be made in the comfort of your own home.
A tip before you get started: The best way to get all the benefits of a hair rinse is to get your hair soaked with water. Make sure your entire hair and scalp are covered in the rinse and leave the rinse in for 45 minutes before rinsing out.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
This is one of the most popular hair rinses for all hair types; unlike most shampoos, ACV will actually soften your locks while restoring your hair's pH level. It's also really good at removing excess oil and product build-up without stripping your hair of its natural oil. The only downside? Smelling like vinegar is not always sexy. Use about a quarter of a cup of ACV and a cup of filtered water for this hair rinse and be sure to rinse well to get all the excess out of your strands. For best results, use a leave-in conditioner after you triple rinse that vinegar out and style accordingly.
2. Chamomile Tea Rinse
This tea rinse is loaded with antioxidants and has natural cleansing properties — exactly what your hair wants after a long week of styling, heating, and pulling. Chamomile has dyeing properties as well, so if you have light-colored hair don't be surprised if you get some more natural highlights while healing your hair ailments. Use freshly brewed chamomile tea on your hair and rinse well. If you want to focus on boosting highlights, add a little bit of lemon juice (not too much because you don't want to throw off the pH level of your hair).
3. Baking Soda Hair Rinse
One of my favorite ingredients in baking soda, so I've tried this hair rinse a few times. Whenever I would try a tiny $30 hair sealant or hair butter that would give me product build-up instantly, baking soda was able to remove it immediately. Since baking soda can be extremely drying and natural locks are naturally dry, I've only used the baking soda rinse in dire situations of "I CAN'T GET THIS BANANA OUT OF MY HAIR." I totally recommend this rinse to type 2 and 3 curls, relaxed, and fine-textured hair. Dilute your baking soda with a full pint of water and rinse thoroughly. The baking soda is highly alkaline, so if you are craving some color? Throw in fresh cranberry juice for dark colored hair and fresh lime juice for light-colored hair. The downside to this rinse is baking soda's pH level and drying capability, so use caution.
4. Rose Water Hair Rinse
This hair rinse is my everything right now. If I could write rose water a love letter it would be sealed with my own tears of joy. Rose water can restore your hair's natural pH level while cleansing and adding loads of vitamin C. It's super easy to make your own rose water and provide some color to your hair. I've been using this rinse for about 2 months and my hair is definitely loving it, with a rosy little tint that can be seen in the sun. I use this hair rinse in between deep conditions and then apply a hair sealant right after to lock in my moisture and nutrients.
5. Honey Hair Rinse
Honey has some serious antiseptic qualities and it's loaded with all types of vitamins and nutrients. Basically, it literally blows tap water OUT of the water. To use the honey hair rinse method, mix about 6 parts honey and one part water to your solution — the more honey the better of course — and rinse thoroughly. This rinse will restore moisture, cleanse your scalp while alleviating itchiness, and it's an excellent way to maintain a healthy hair pH level.
Image: Eugenio Marongiu/Fotolia; Kristin Collins Jackson