This pretty yellow hair rinse is great for those of you who detest vinegar in your hair rinses, and it just might help lighten your hair a bit as well. It’s made from three simple ingredients and comes together in a flash—what more could you want?
The base of the rinse is chamomile tea, a long time favourite for blondes. It helps brighten & lighten hair, and is also said to help with scalp irritation and dandruff.
Up next, lemon juice. Another favourite for lightening hair by introducing photo-sensitive lemon juice, people have been spritzing their hair with lemon juice before heading out in the summer for decades. And, since it’s acidic, the lemon replaces the vinegar in this rinse.
Lastly, a bit of raw honey. It’s a humectant, so it helps fight dry hair, and it’s also popular for lightening hair, though it won’t do much here as you aren’t soaking your hair in the rinse for extended periods of time. Don’t worry—there’s not enough here to make the rinse sticky.
The final rinse is a pretty yellow colour that smooths out freshly shampooed hair. It smells much nicer than vinegar, and if you happen to get some in your mouth, it tastes like a cup of tea. Why not give it a go?
Honey, Lemon, and Chamomile Hair Rinse
2 tbsp dried chamomile flowers
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp raw honey
3 tbsp lemon juice, from half a lemon
Broad spectrum preservative of choice (why?)
Pour the boiling water over the chamomile flowers and steep for 5 minutes. Strain out flowers and reserve liquid.
Scoop the honey into the bottom of a small jar, and slowly blend in a bit of the steeped, strained tea. Once the honey is thoroughly blended into the liquid, stir in the rest of the tea.
Add the lemon juice and preservative, and stir to combine. You’re done!
To use, pour over wet hair after shampooing.
I originally developed this recipe for the “Think Outside the Mug” DavidsTea contest, hosted by Snapguide, so you can check out step-by-step instructions there, too. I ended up winning the contest with a different recipe, too 🙂
I just have to tell you how much I appreciate your daily blog posts & recipes! I look forward to each new post daily. You are such an ingenius artisan of all things natural & organic & I truly admire & love your posts and ideas! Have you ever thought of doing a tallow shave soap and/or croap? I’m about to venture into that area today…once UPS gets here, lol. I’d love to see what you come up with/recommend! My goal is to try to replicate Penhaligon’s infamous shave soaps prior to 2009. That was the year they switched their time tested soap & replaced the tallow with palm & coconut…much to the dismay of pretty much every man on any of the shave forums. <3
Thanks, Tammi! I’m blushing over here 😉 I generally include tallow or lard in all my soaps, and I always include clay so they make for a lovely shave soap—is that what you mean? I really only use my shaving soap for my legs, which are obviously far less sensitive than the face. Also, BOO to companies that change their formulas for the worse :/ It seems almost all soaps have done this over the last 20 years or so, and it’s sad.
This looks like something all my girls would love over vinegar! Thank you
Fantastic 🙂 Let me know how it goes!
Hi! I love reading your blog posts…I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet, but I’ve got a few saved. 🙂
I was wondering if you had ever made a hair rinse that was good for getting rid of yellowed white/silver hair? For some reason mine seems to do this right in front, but nowhere else…so far no luck with commercial products.
Thanks for any help you may offer.
I’m going to butt in here, but after being a cosmetologist for 30 years, I wanted to point out that this rinse itself just might help. The acid of the lemon juice (or ACV) helps to get rid of mineral deposits on the hair! Just leave it on for a few minutes though instead of rinsing out right away. As you said you used commercial products I’m assuming you’ve tried the bluing agents. If not though, definitely give that a try. I’ve known people to actually use Grape Koolaid instead though—just not ALL the time! Unless you feel like a crazy hair
Thanks Patty! Yes, I have been using a “bluing” shampoo for about 6 weeks, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect on those stubborn yellow streaks. I don’t think I’ll risk the grape Koolaid (haha!), but I will give this recipe a try. I appreciate the helpful information. 🙂
I wonder if a wee 5–10 minute acidic soak would be more effective than just rinsing? Could be worth giving a go.
Thanks for butting in, Patty—it’s much appreciated, especially since I have no experience with white hair 🙂 I love the grape koolaid idea—ha!
Hi Jackie! Thanks for reading 🙂 I’m afraid I haven’t tried any rinses for yellowed hair, though I did see one once that was basically water or an ACV rinse with a few drops of blue food colouring (I believe it was for dyed hair that had gone brassy, though). I will keep you posted if I come across anything 🙂
I use a Blue Malva flower rinse for that problem. I buy dried Blue Malva flowers from online (pretty much where ever I can find them). Just steep the flowers like a tea for about 5 minutes, let it cool a little then pour over hair. After you pour mixture on hair let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse out. You could add a drop or two of any EO you like, if you want.
It works beautifully and the flower is also wonderful for reducing breakage of hair.
Good luck 🙂
Great tip—thanks, Shelley! I’ll have to keep an eye out for some Blue Malva 🙂
Thank you so much for the information…I will give that a try!
Thank you so much! I hate applecider vinegar and that was what kept me from transitioning to no poo for 3 years. When I found your recipe I decided it was time to start! First wash without shampoo and my hair looks beautiful, this rinse is amazing, I didn’t even need my leave in conditioner.
I love your posts, thanks for sharing all of your knowledge! Is this shelf stable, or is there a way to make it so? How long do you think it would keep in the fridge? I have really long wavy hair that gets tangly so brightening is great, but really I need a rinse that is going to smooth/detangle my hair for brushing – would this work? I currently use ACV/water and a homemade detangler, but would like to try a non-vinegar rinse. I also don’t want to have to make it before every shower.
Hi Karin! Thanks for reading & DIYing with me 🙂 When I made this up it took me 2–3 weeks to use it up. I just stored it in my shower, and it was fine until the very end. I imagine you’d be able to make it up about once a month and you’d be ok 🙂 Also, if you’re struggling with tangles, you absolutely must try my shine & detangle rinse—it’s been a lifesaver for me!
THIS sounds absolutely fabulous! I am going to give it a try!
I used the baking soda/ACV or lemon juice for three and a half years until a month ago, my hair started feeling like brittle straw. After more research, I realized I was damaging my hair. So I started using a teaspoon of honey to 8 ounces of warm water for my “shampoo.” It has worked but I still am going through the greasy strands stage. And the ACV is darkening my blonde hair, so your recipe will be wonderfabulous!
Thank you again!
Let me know how it goes! And yes, I’ve read the same research about using BS to wash the hair—yipes! That’s why I’ve decided to stick with my homemade shampoo bars, which have been working brilliantly over the last ~3 years. Good luck with your honey transition! I look forward to hearing how everything is working for you 🙂
This looks absolutely lovely. I use baking soda and vinegar to cleanse my hair, and was recently looking for alternatives for vinegar, since most people find the scent of my freshly-washed hair, before it dries, offensive. I had forgotten about lemon juice! I think I’ll try this, but use black tea instead of chamomile, since I’m not looking to lighten my hair.
Also, I want to say that I look forward to each post and love reading them.
Thanks, Candace 🙂 I look forward to hearing how it works for you! Also, you might want to read this article on washing the hair with baking soda—I can’t comment personally as I’ve never tried BS washing, but it’s something to consider. Thanks for reading & DIYing with me!
I really like the idea of replacing the AC vinegar with lemon juice. I also get complaints about the smell from my loved ones 😉 My question is conserning the lightening effect of the rinse. I have dark brown hair with some leftover red at the ends, which I like to keep red/dark brown. Do you have a alternative for the camille tea? Would you even recommend this rinse?
I tried your deodorant recipe with the sheabutter and cacao and it works like a charm! One step closer to smelling nice in a natural way 😉
Thank you very much!
Hi Selma! I, too, have darkish brown hair, and I didn’t notice any lightening from this rinse. If you’re worried about it, though, you can use black tea or red rooibos instead of chamomile 🙂
I’m so thrilled you’re loving the deodorant! Score 🙂
Me again. So sorry to keep butting in!! I have a recipe for a final rinse but I’m thinking you can add it to this recipe. For brunettes—dried sage. For red—dried hibiscus. Boil 2 cups water, pour over the dried herbs, let cool and strain. I’m a redhead with the grey taking over quickly and I think it has to due to intense pain meds. I am “all natural” with everything—body, cleaning, and food (that’s a hard one!) because I don’t want/need anymore poisons around me, so I have researched everything, and still do, That’s why I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog Marie!!!
For redheads you could also try adding some beetroot powder or rosehip powder—both are on the red/pink spectrum 🙂 I have loads of both (I thought they would work for lip colour… they do not…) so I’m still looking for new uses!
Do I need to follow with water? Or is this rinse all that’s needed, just step out of shower and go?
I rinsed mine out, but if you’d like to encourage some lightening action, you can feel free to leave it in 🙂
This is wonderful! Can you recommend a rinse or a substitute herb for Brunettes? Something also without the ACV?
Hi Mariel! You can use black tea if you like, but I am brunette and did not notice any lightening when I used this rinse 🙂
just recently discovered your site….thanks so much for all of the great recipes and the education. my first order from new directions should arrive in few days. could you please share with us the dimensions for your wooden soap moulds (your dad made them?). cannot recall where the dimensions where previously posted (what soap recipe?). again, thank-you for helping!
Hi Kelly! The inner measurements of my mold are 15″ long, 3.5″ across, and 3.5″ deep. I have a series of dividers that support the lid; they are 2.75″ high, giving the mold an effective depth of 2.75″ (the lid is 0.75″ thick). Each inch of the mold holds 100g/oils of soap; so the entire mold holds a 1500g of oils batch of soap. It’s also exactly as long as sheets of parchment are long, meaning it’s super easy to line as well. Basically, it’s the perfect size!
I too have been using ACV rinse in the shower. I dont use it every time, because after doing research I saw it was better to start spacing out the rinse after the transition phase.
Anyway, I would LOVE to use this…but just a few questions:
1) Since this is lemon juice, I would assume yes…but I need to ask – does/will this balance your ph levels on your scalp just as well as ACV?
2) Since lemon juice is acidic…can you use it every time without there being any long term damage? Or overly greasy hair when you dont use it?
– Essentially, I’d love to use it if I know that it’ll still keep my ph in check…but I want to make sure that if used all the time it wont ‘hurt’ my scalp or my hair…and then if I accidentally skip a rinse…i wont regret it 🙂
As always…THANK YOU!
Hi Anna! The pH of lemon juice is very close to the pH of ACV, so the pH shifting effect should be roughly the same, assuming a similar level of dilution.
I only use the rinse on the length of my hair as I do notice the greasies set in faster when I use it on my scalp. As for damage, there shouldn’t be any since you are just using the acid solution (which is quite mild once diluted) to re-set the pH of the hair to where it should be and smooth it down, and then rinsing it out. Remember that ACV is acidic as well, so the lemon juice doesn’t offer anything new in that department 🙂
But hey, try it and see what you think 🙂
I still LOVE this rinse! This has become my “shampoo” but I also noticed the greasies come in quicker when I use it on my scalp as well as the tresses. My solution was to use lemon juice and water or peppermint tea to use between the washes. I shower every other day or every two days, depending on what I’ve been doing. So I only use this rinse twice a week or so.
In another post you asked me to let you know if there’s any lightening. I’m naturally blonde so I can’t help out there. I have noticed brightening of the hair as my hair tends to darken to what my mother called “dirty dishwater blonde” in the winter. UGH! This rinse has softened my hair and repaired a lot of the damage from the baking soda-ACV routine. 😀
Again, thank you!
Fantastic! This is so exciting 🙂 I love that you’re seeing some beneficial brightening as well—booyah! You might want to try introducing some horsetail into the rinse to boost the repairing properties, and perhaps some marshmallow root if you have troubles with tangles.
Hello! I was just wondering if the effects would be different if I steep the chamomile for longer than 5 minutes? The chamomile tea I’ve steeped is now an orange-brown colour. I’d appreciate your reply, thank you!
They shouldn’t vary much, if at all, given the relatively low concentration and short application time 🙂
Hi there Marie, I’m considering using this in addition to your shampoo bars. I was wondering how alkaline they are and if I would need this rinse to balance my scalp ph levels.
Hi Kendra! All true soap will be quite alkaline, somewhere around 10 (individual bars/batches will vary), so you’ll need to follow up with an acidic rinse to re-balance 🙂
Hi, I was just wondering how long can I save this mixture for…. I like to leave some vinegar in a bottle in the shower so i have it whenever I need it. I just don’t want mould to grow inside it 🙂
To be honest I used this all up in about two washes, so I didn’t leave it longer than about 10 days. I haven’t shelf-tested this particular rinse, but my ACV rinses tend to last for at least a month in the shower without any trouble (I’ve never had one mould on me, I just use them within a month).
Hello! great recipe! now I have two questions: 1.can I use normal honey? unfortunately I have no access to raw honey! 2. is the PH of this mix same or close to the PH of the hair? bz I was using BS and ACV and I found out that it damages your hair! so I need to know if this is PH balanced?
Hi! Yes, you can use normal honey. And no, this rinse is not pH balanced, but that’s the point. It’s acidic to counter the alkalinity of homemade shampoo bars, so when the two are combined (shampoo first, then rinse), the result is a balanced pH 🙂
I am actually looking for something to make my hair lighter. My natural hair is dark brown, and I’ve dyed it blonde a little while ago. The thing about 3-4 weeks ago I transitioned into complete detox from shampoo and conditioner. So currently I am in the middle of finding the right shampoo replacement (transition period is over) – and I’ve recently tried honey and aloe vera as shampoo and do ACV rinse between the shampoos on weekends. I however want to naturally dye my roots lighter as the acv rinse has washed out my dye. If I leave this in overnight, do you think this could help me lighten my roots? I have store bought honey and probably would buy camomile tea as I’m not sure where to get the flowers (in Australia we don’t sell those in main grocery stores I don’t think).
What are your thoughts please. Thanks for any insight.
Hi Delphine! I don’t think anything natural you do is going to help make dark brown roots match a blonde dye job. I’ve had good feedback about my Chamomile, Lemon & Cinnamon Highlighting Hair Mist lightening hair, but it’s not a peroxide style lightening—it’s a slow and gentle lightening from sun exposure (as this rinse would be as well). Sorry!
Wanted to tell you how much I enjoy this rinse. I am one of the haters when it comes to ACV although I do make a drink with it daily since it is so good for you, but not in my hair 🙂 I grind my chamomile then add it to the oils and honey and use it also as a hair and scalp mask….it is very easy to rinse out. Just love this idea! I don’t sell it in my stores, but do sell chamomile to my girls to make their own rinse, way to easy to not just give away this lovely idea! I always send them to your blog!
Awesome! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this alternative to ACV 🙂
This is amazing!!!!!!!! I made a batch and threw in a tablespoon of marshmallow root with the chamomile. Its awesome, I never thought I could make something that makes my hair feel like the expensive stuff I’ve been buying. Totally fabulous thank you Marie!!!! OOooo and living in the bright sun of Florida my dark blonde hair is lightening up a tad, super cool. Thanks again for the amazing resource you give all of us online!
Wonderful! I’m so glad you love it 🙂 Enjoy!
Hello! I have so much fun trying out all your products! I make my own Lush inspired shampoo bars that use sodium coco sulfate (I know some are adverse to this product, but I enjoy using it). I wanted to make the switch to hair rinses instead of conditioner…. I have tried this rise and a few of your others, with this rinse my hair will get fairly greasy and with the acv ones my hair gets greasy and staticky….. And these are not issues I usually struggle with at all. Is this just like a transition period? Should I try using less? I’m not quite sure what to do!
With all acidic rinses you should be avoiding your scalp—you’ll definitely get amplified greasies if you use it there. However, if you’re not using an actual shampoo bar, but a surfactant-powered cleanser, you don’t need an acidic rinse. Acidic rinses counter the high pH of NaOH/KOH soaps, but if your hair isn’t being subjected to a high pH soap, you don’t need to counteract that with an acidic rinse 🙂
As someone who is quite protective of my dark hair (no-no, Mr. Sun!) would a coffee / black tea hair rinse be equally effective for acidity, or should I add something to it to help smooth my frizzy yet somehow still oily hair?
Hey Sarah! Since neither coffee or tea are meaningfully acidic, you’d still need to include an acid of some kind. In this rinse the lemon juice is a two-for-one for both pH correction and lightening. A pure coffee rinse might be acidic enough to work, but that might also leave you smelling more like coffee than you’d prefer 😛 This rinse is one of my faves for moisture management. Have you tried a proper conditioner as well?
Today I came home after a thoroughly unproductive day at work and a haircut and felt the need to shower, even though I had just done so this morning. Recently I’ve found that even using conditioner on my roots is leaving my hair too oily (perhaps due to stress?) and went to mix up and acid rinse instead. Upon discovering that I owned neither lemons or vinegar I was despondent — until I saw my lovely jar of unsweetened, raw cranberry juice sitting in the corner. Ah-ha! I thought, and mixed up a bottle of this rinse, but with cranberry instead of lemon. And much to my delight, after a refreshing and intense head scrub in the shower, my I poured this rinse over the ends of my hair to find the strands felt smooth and de-tangled and soft (like a proper rinse should do). Needless to say, my hair is now smooth, shiny, and surprisingly well-behaved. I do think I’ve found my newest favorite in hair products!
P.S. Ive also discovered the rose face mist (with the honey) to be a fairly decent hairspray — perhaps a tad more honey and I’d get some more hold out of it!
P.P.S. Thanks for all the great experiments, and thanks for sparking mg own creativity!
So cool! And delightfully seasonally appropriate 😉 Thanks for sharing! 😀
Can’t wait to try this! Question for you….Why the preservative? Isn’t this used up in one application? Also, do I need to follow up with a conditioner? I’m using a shampoo bar now and would follow the shampoo bar with the rinse. Love your posts!
Even with my long hair I found this was more of a three to four use sized batch, hence the preservative. Here’s an FAQ on the difference between acidic rinses and conditioners 🙂
May I skip the preservative on this if I will be using it within a few weeks? Thanks for taking the time to respond to everyone’s questions! I just love all your recipes!
No; if you were using it within about three days it would probably be ok, but a few weeks would be longer than I’d risk. Happy making and thanks for DIYing with me!
I am so glad I found your recipe! I didn’t read every single comment yet, so if my question is redundant, just ignore me. 🙂 I noticed you mentioned that the chamomile doesn’t lighten your dark hair. My hair is also brown, but not dark brown. But I’ve been coloring it lately, just to cover up a few greys! I’m wondering if anything in the recipe might take the color out of my hair. Do you think adding rose buds, or stinging nettle might keep the tone of my hair on the darker side, rather than lightening it? Also, is the rinse more effective if I leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing it out? Thank you again for sharing all of your hard work and brilliant recipes. I have been truly blessed! 🙂
Hey Lisa! I can’t imagine anything in this rinse would remove dye from hair 🙂 You can certainly feel free to mix things up, though! Happy making!
I’m going to try this recipe even though my hair is dark…but if i want something made specific for dark hair what would you suggest?
Possibly chestnut, or a touch of indigo root?