What is an herbal hair rinse?


This simple, effective and exquisitely magical practice is easy to add to your hair care routine. Basically, it’s a concentrated tea made from herbs that are beneficial to your hair and scalp. Your scalp absorbs nutrients from the tea which in turn nourishes your hair follicles, and as a result, your hair! Your hair can also take on color, shine, and become softer as a result of using herbal hair rinses.

How do you make an herbal hair rinse?


Simply make a strong tea with herbs of your choice. I go over a few options below, but there are SO many herbs you can use as a hair rinse!

-Simmer /steep a handful of herbs in 1-2 cups water, reducing to 1 cup if simmering. (Note:) Roots and barks are best simmered while soft aromatic plants (like most of the herbs below) are best steeped by pouring just boiled water over top, sealing, and letting sit.

-Let sit for 30 minutes and up to several hours so the water has time to extract the medicinal properties of the herbs.

-Strain and bring into the shower in a non-breakable vessel.

-After you’ve washed your hair and are at the end of your shower squeeze excess water from your hair and pour the tea over your head.

-Avoid contact with eyes and don’t rinse out!

While rinsing you can also use a bowl to capture the tea and re-rinse several times. You can also put your tea in a spray bottle and spray on hair. Make sure to refrigerate and use within 3 days if using this method.

If you tend towards dry hair:


Calendula- This flower is like sunshine and is an incredible antifungal herb. Soothing to infection and can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Over time, calendula can bring out blonde highlights in your hair. Chamomile also has the potential to lighten hair.

Hibiscus- Hibiscus is high in vitamin C and amino acids. Soothing to the scalp and considered a “natural conditioner!” Over time, hibiscus can add red highlights to your hair. While I’ve never had challenges with this hibiscus has the potential to stain fabric, so be careful if you use white towels!

Marshmallow root- One of the most popular demulcent herbs (which means it has a slippery, soothing quality to it) Marshmallow can protect against dryness and irritation and feels oh-so-good on your skin and hair. Marshmallow root is such a spectacular plant that I use it in all of my herbal hair washes and hair masks.

Lavender: Aromatics galore and calming to the spirit, lavender also has potent antibacterial properties. Lavender can reduce inflammation and is said to balance your skins moisture barrier and can be used if you tend towards oily hair as well. It is also high in a natural compound called linalool that can give head lice a hard time.

If you tend towards oily hair:


Rosemary- Rosemary is considered the queen of “hair growth” due to her purifying and warming qualities. Herbs that increase circulation on the scalp can stimulate hair follicle growth. Over time, rosemary can darken hair. Sage, burdock, and amla can also darken hair.

Lemongrass- An excellent warming and cleansing herb with a scent that’s sure to warm your heart and bring a smile to your face! It’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties can clear infection and inflammation that may lead to hair loss.

Yarrow- Yarrow is incredibly antiseptic and can ease symptoms of dandruff. Both cooling and heating, this herb can modulate blood flow depending on what our body needs. It contains qualities that can relax hair follicles allowing for hair growth. Over time, yarrow can lighten your hair.

Nettles: Ridiculously high in chlorophyll and nutrients this plant is like a yummy multivitamin (if you like green things) and bioavailable! Nettles is particularly high in iron which can encourage circulation in the body, including to the scalp. A great hair rinse but also an incredible nourishing herbal infusion to feed your hair from the inside out.

To wrap things up...


This is not a definitive list and there are many, many other incredible herbs out there that you can make into hair rinses. You can also use more than one herb in your hair rinses! However, I’d recommend using one herb at a time until you become familiar with them and how they affect your hair, scalp, and skin.

For extra cleansing, detangling, and build up removal you can add a teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar to your herbal hair rinses or use my already made herbal infused ACV hair rinses.

Amanda Carson
Amanda Carson

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