If you’re using homemade shampoo bars to wash your hair, an acidic rinse isn’t really optional—it’s a must. Because the high pH of true soap raises the scales that make up your hair, you’ll need to smooth them back down with something acidic or you’ll find your hair is quite coarse and tangly. That’s where this lovely rinse comes in. Infused with all kinds of good-for-the-hair ingredients, it comes together in a flash and leaves your hair silky smooth and shiny.

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The base of this rinse is really quite simple—apple cider vinegar diluted in some water. If you’re feeling a touch fancy, feel free to infuse the water with some herbs or some tea. I love horsetail/shavegrass and marshmallow root for taming tangles and adding shine, and I’ve heard great things about using different teas to add shine and enhance colour, so feel free to have some fun there 🙂

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I’ve added a hint of luxury with a touch of silk and some phytokeratin. Silk proteins are very close to the proteins that make up our skin and hair. Silk is also a wonderful moisture manager, and helps add a lovely, silky sheen to the hair.

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Phytokeratin is keratin (the protein that makes up our hair), but derived from plants. Keratin is the main ingredient in many popular (and pricey) hair treatments for its ability to strengthen the hair and add bounce and sparkle. With phytokeratin and some DIYing we’ll get the bounce and sparkle without the spa-style price tag.

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Last but not least, a few essential oils. I chose calming lavender, healing eucalyptus, and stimulating frankincense because they smell lovely together, but you can feel free to swap them out for whatever essential oils you like, or go essential oil free.

Silk Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

100mL | 3.3 fl oz apple cider vinegar
400mL | 13.5 fl oz water, cooled tea, or water-based herb infusion
½ tsp silk peptides, amino acids, or powder
½ tsp phytokeratin

¼ tsp guar gum
½ tsp turkey red oil

10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus radiata essential oil
4 drops frankincense essential oil

Measure the apple cider vinegar into the bottom of your bottle. I used glass here ’cause it’s pretty, but seriously, do not use glass and then take glass into the shower with you! Use a plastic bottle, pour some into an old yoghurt container, whatever. No glass in the shower, please.

In a small dish, sprinkle the guar gum over about a quarter cup (60mL) of water. Whisk in the guar gum, and then whisk in the turkey red oil. Yes, it absolutely has to be turkey red oil as it is an emulsifier, and no other oil I know of is. This guar gum/turkey red oil combination works as well as Polysorbate 20, but gets a better safety rating on Skin Deep (0/10, aka as safe as it gets). If you don’t have GG & TRO you can use Polysorbate 20 (about 1 tsp) or use neither and resign yourself to vigorously shaking the bottle before using.

Whisk the essential oils into the guar gum/turkey red oil mixture, and they’ll emulsify. Woo! If you notice them floating on top of the water, whisk in a bit more turkey red oil and they will fully emulsify.Pour the essential oils mixture into the bottle with the apple cider vinegar, and top off with the rest of the water. Shake to combine.

To use, pour some of the mixture over the lower part of your hair (avoid your roots or you’ll look greasy faster), and then rinse out again. You should notice your hair immediately feels smoother if you’re washing your hair with homemade shampoo.

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