When I went to Costa Rica for a week in 2014 I thought I could get away with skipping my apple cider vinegar rinses for a week. Oooooh boy, was I wrong. An acidic rinse works to smooth the shaft of the hair back down after basic shampoo opens everything up. My hair quickly became coarse and tangled as I failed to smooth the shaft down and all my little keratin scales caught on everything and anything. It was wretched. And that’s where this powdered acidic hair rinse comes in.



This little vial of powder is my answer to acidic rinses on the go. A bit of citric acid blended with some silk and other goodies makes for a portable powder that can be dissolved in a small cup of warm water and used to rinse your hair after shampooing, no matter where you are.


The acid comes from citric acid, a cheap, easily available powdered acid. To that I’ve added some silk peptides to add shine to your hair.


Last but not least, some herbs that are great for hair. I chose shavegrass root and marshmallow root. Shavegrass (or horsetail) is rich in silica and adds shine, and marshmallow root is a fantastic detangler, giving your hair some extra slip so it doesn’t tie itself in knots.


So, if you’ve got a trip in the future, whip up a bottle! You’ll be happy to have an easy, convenient rinse alternative in your hotel room on the other side of the world.

Powdered Acidic Hair Rinse

4 ½ tsp citric acid (USA / Canada)
¼ tsp silk powder, peptide, or amino acid (need a substitute?)
½ tsp dried horsetail/shavegrass
½ tsp marshmallow root

Measure everything out into your DIY coffee grinder and blitz everything together into a fine powder. I highly recommend wearing a dust mask to prevent inhaling the fine powder, as that’s bad for you. Leave the lid on your grinder for at least five minutes after blending to let the powder settle so you don’t inhale it when you open the grinder.

Use a funnel to decant the powder into a wee bottle. I’ve found re-purposed hotel shampoo bottles to be perfect for this rinse! Hotel shampoo bottles usually hold about 30mL/1oz of shampoo, and this recipe will fill one of those bottles perfectly.

To use, mix about a quarter teaspoon of the powder with about 100mL (a scant half cup) of warm water in a plastic cup, and take that into the shower with you to rinse your hair with after shampooing. Enjoy!

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