Last time we taught you how to make homemade shampoo and decided we couldn’t leave you hanging so today we’ll show you how to make homemade conditioner for your hair.  Don’t worry, it’s as easy as the shampoo.

How to make Homemade Conditioner

Homemade Conditioner

Again, you will only need 2 ingredients and one of them is free. Any guesses what it is?


Once again I am compelled to say never mistake simplicity for ineffectiveness. This conditioner works very well and is safe for all hair types.  Make it with confidence, an open mind, and an adventurous heart.  Did I mention it will save you boat loads of money over the years?

You will need:

  • 1 Tbsp ACV (apple cider vinegar) - I suggest always using the raw kind “with the mother.”  We buy Bragg’s in bulk 1 gallon jugs.
  • 1 cup waterLike I said, one of the ingredients is free.  Use whatever kind of water you wish – we use tap which is English for “out of the sink.”

I suggest combining ingredients in a clean repurposed squirt bottle for your conditioner. Double up on ingredients until you fill your bottle – the recipe above makes 8 ounces.

How to use

Simply shake the bottle before each use and gently massage into the hair and scalp for a minute or two and rinse.  After drying, your hair will not smell like vinegar.  Trust me.

This conditioner is the best option for use after a homemade shampoo. Whether you are making a castile soap-based shampoo, or a baking soda-based shampoo, the vinegar rinse will smooth the hair and eliminate the greasy, sticky feeling some of these homemade shampoos may leave.

How much does it cost?

It costs more than the homemade shampoo but is still inexpensive compared to store bought conditioner, especially if you have been buying organic brands.

  • Cost = approximately $0.13/ounce depending on how much you pay for your vinegar.

If you use a 16 ounce bottle you will pay right around $0.32 per bottle, and the cost is but one benefit.  Now you know how to make your own and you know exactly what you’re putting on your scalp, something you can rarely say when using conditioner from the store.


Safe for all hair types

The ACV in this conditioner smoothes the hair cuticle and balances the pH of your scalp and hair. This conditioner is safe for all hair types and gently conditions without coating your hair and scalp with waxy chemicals, unlike most commercial conditioners.

Always question the safety of store-bought personal products, never assume they’re safe, and always understand the ingredients.

Homemade Conditioner 1

A few twists on homemade conditioner

You can benefit your specific hair type and add lovely fragrance to your homemade conditioner by using herbs or essential oils.

For greasy or oily hair/scalp, add 6-8 drops of an essential oil such as bergamot, lavender, lemon, rosemary, sandalwood, tea tree, or ylang ylang.

For dry scalp and dandruff, you can add 6-8 drops of essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, sage, or rosemary.

Rosemary is a wonderful herb for all hair types. Infuse your vinegar by steeping several fresh rosemary sprigs in a few cups of apple cider vinegar for 1-2 weeks. Strain out the rosemary, and use the vinegar to make your conditioner, storing leftovers for future batches. The rosemary will impart a lovely smell along with all the benefits of this herb. If you have rosemary essential oil and don’t want to wait 1-2 weeks for an infused vinegar, just add 6-8 drops of rosemary essential oil to your conditioner and it’s ready for immediate use!

(Find 100% pure essential oils here.)

Coconut or olive oil conditioner

Another option is to use straight olive or coconut oils as conditioners.  Simply rub in a tiny amount of your oil of choice, focusing on ends. Allow oil to sit a minute or so, and rinse well.  If rinsed well it will hydrate your hair without leaving it oily.

Happy conditioning… and share this recipe with everyone you know!


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Comments

  1. Samantha says

    Is this conditioner an effective detangler? I have really thick hair that gets really tangled.

    • says

      I have short hair but Betsy has long hair that is very thick and said it worked great as a detangler. Give it a shot, it’s very easy to make so what do you have to lose? :)

  2. Carolyn says

    $0.13/oz really isn’t that great of a price. I can buy Suave Naturals for $0.05/oz or even TRESemme for $0.11/oz. They aren’t all natural or organic, but if you’re just looking for cost savings, you’ll need to find some really inexpensive vinegar.

  3. Susie says

    Interesting, I use vinegar as a rinse once in awhile because I like how it makes my hair feel. I was diluting by half, I will dilute more for cost saving. I too use white vinegar. It’s super cheap.

  4. says

    Wow – you guys rock! I have been searching for a natural shampoo and conditioner that was easy to make and here it is!! I cannot wait to try them out! Thanks a lot ;)

  5. says

    @Heather and Susie – good advice ladies, we’ll have to give white vinegar a go, it’s definitely a lot cheaper!

    @Jenni – you rock! :)

  6. Lauren says

    Does anyone know if this conditioner help with frizzy hair? I live near the KY/TN border so it is hot and humid ALL summer and a good part of spring & fall!

    • Stephanie W says

      I have natural curly hair that would get frizzy. I put @ 1tbs baking soda in my regular shampoo. Then use the ACV conditioner and now I get so many compliments on how good my hair looks. No frizz.

      • Nicole Shryock says

        I do as well. I found that the vinegar helps that tremendously, but if I need a little extra something (especially in the winter) for the frizzies, I put a tiny dab of coconut oil on my hands, rub them together then use as a leave in on my hair (I do it when it’s dry). Took care of the frizz and hands just got moisturized too! :)

  7. says

    it’s always cheaper to buy in bulk. there are places like whole foods or chucks produce in vancouver, wa where you can do so. things like olive oil, honey and apple cider vinegar are much much much cheaper in bulk :]

  8. Melissa says

    What is the best way to apply the ACV conditioner? I have really thick hair, and with the watery solution i end up just having to pour it on my head. I feel like I’m wasting a lot, but maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be done. Any suggestions?

    • says

      We suggest grinding some oatmeal into flour and adding until you have a desirable consistency. The oat flour thickens the mixture and is great for your hair.

      • D Smith says

        Not 100% sure since I haven’t tried it, but having somewhat thick hair, it would seem to me that oat flour (or any flour) might get caught in thick hair or at the very least be somewhat difficult to rinse completely out since it doesn’t dissolve like the baking soda. I put the ACV mixture in a spray bottle and spray into my hair until it feels somewhat wet, but not dripping wet, let it sit for at least a minute or so (some people I know who use it let it sit for at least 5 minutes and I have also on occasion it feels good in your hair once you use it awhile) and then rinse well careful not to get into my eyes…though I’ve read comments on that being possibly beneficial also, lol. Just remember dilute is your friend, always better to err on the weak side and strengthen the mix later if you need to.

        • D Smith says

          Sorry for my run-on sentences, I am tired, lol…hope that I still make sense and that it’s useful. :)

        • says

          People should try the oat flour to see if it works for them, I suggest grinding the flour very fine – another great reason to own a Vitamix. Thanks for the spraying tip D… that is a great idea.

        • Stephanie W says

          I had an empty spray bottle so I tried and it works great. Saved a lot from running down the drain. Thanks for the tip…I’m also going to try the oat flour.

          • Jackie says

            Hi! I’ve been doing baking soda and acv for almost 3 months. I followed the directions here and I added about half teaspoon of xanthan gum to each bottle. Shake it to mix. It turns the liquid into gel. You can get xanthan gum at most health food stores and its relatively cheap!

  9. longtall says

    How much does it cost?
    It costs more than the shampoo but is still inexpensive compared to store bought conditioner, especially if you have been buying organic brands.

    •Cost = approximately $0.13/ounce depending on how much you pay for your vinegar.

    Anyone can buy a gallon of apple cider vinegar at Walmart for 3.83. There are 128 oz. in a gallon. That would be $0.03 per oz for the vinegar.. A tablespoon is a 1/2 oz, so a cup of mixture would be $0.015 per cup. Figure the cost after adding the ingredients. You are not putting 100% ACV in your hair. I use a palm-full of vinegar mixture in my hair daily, that is 9 palms-full per 1/4 cup and a cost of $0.0004166 or less than .042 cents per use.
    A 16 oz bottle at $2.00 would yeild 32 cups of mixture would be $0.0625 per cup of mixture. You shouldn’t say that’s how much the product cost, because the water you add to the vinegar brings the cost per oz way down. I doubt the water used would add to your water bill.

  10. Amber S. says

    I’m in the kitchen right now concocting both the un-shampoo :) and the conditioner! As a wife and mother of four, I am so tired of buying these products and feeling as if I’m literally dumping my money down the drain!! I can’t wait to see how they work!! Thank you so much!!

  11. Sarah A says

    I am a hair stylist and single mother in need of cheaper way of providing for me n my daughter. I am very interested in how this will make my hair feel. Super excited to try and see the results!! *all about the savings*

  12. Jan says

    Any suggestions for how to scent the shampoo? I love the way my shampoo smells and would love to make something at home that was as pleasing!

  13. Amanda says

    Thank you! I can’t wait to try this and the shampoo recipe. I too hate buying the store bought stuff, it seems like 30% of my grocery budget now goes towards non-food items and lots of chemicals getting dumped down my drain and into our groundwater. I’m also very frugal and this just sounds wonderful cost wise!

    I’ve even been saving shampoo and conditioner bottles, hoping to find some recipes just like these. I’m going to plan a trip to costco to pick up some the ingredients in bulk.

  14. Nance says

    I tried the ACV conditioner, and the prob I have is my daughter’s hair isn’t smooth and shiny with this. She has flyaway hair, and I don’t like all the stuff in store-bought conditioner. how can I make conditioner that leaves hair shiny and smooth?? HELP!

    • Becca says

      Nance~ I use regular white vinegar on both of my girls hair. I just use a spray bottle and spray until saturated let it sit for 15mins and rinse out I do this about twice a week. This just for a rinse I do not use shampoo before or after. It makes their hair very shiny and smooth. Hope this helps :)

  15. Maria says

    Is there anything else to mix into the vinegar and water rinse to make like a creamy consistency besides grinded oat flour? I tried the grinded oat flour and I had little lumps of it stuck in my hair even after rinsing it out a very long time.

    • Sarah says

      Hi Maria,

      My comment posted below was meant to be a reply to you – it’s my first time, so I’m still learning the ropes. Anyway, if you’ve had any luck with other alternatives, I’d love to hear them!

  16. Sarah says

    I’ve spent many hours researching different recipes for shampoos, conditioners and face wash. In one of the recipes I’ve come across (for a shampoo) it was suggested that xanthan gum could be used as a thickener. I’m on my way to the store right now to buy the ingredients. I’ll try adding the xanthan gum to the ACV conditioning rinse and report back.

  17. Maria says

    Thanks for the information Sarah, I will try adding the xanthan gum, because the ACV conditioning rinse does not seem to soften my hair which is on the frizzy coarse side and maybe it’s because I need it to stay on the hair and not run off.

    • Sarah G says

      Hi, Maria. My sister and I both have curly hair…hers tends to frizz more than mine does. Our hair stylist also suggests using a product like coconut oil as conditioner in your hair about once a week. One of the main reasons for frizz is dry hair, so if you utilize some sort of deep conditioning once a week, it should help cut down on the frizz as well.

  18. Vera says

    Regarding the cost of this recipe, Matt, I think your original calculations must be off: Even if you use Bragg’s ACV, buying a single 32-oz bottle at $5.00, that’s 15.6 cents per oz for the vinegar. With your recipe, you use 1 oz vinegar for 16 oz of conditioner, which makes the final cost only 1 cent per oz. If you buy Bragg’s in bulk, it can come out to much less. Nowhere near the 13 cents per oz you mentioned.

  19. Christine says

    You can make your own apple cider vinegar – for free, using scraps and cores from apples that you would be throwing away otherwise, and water. I’m doing it right now, because I’m tired of paying a fortune for Braggs (and cheap brands just aren’t as good). Takes several weeks to make, but I think it’ll be worth it. I use ACV in my hair and it’s amazing. My hair hasn’t looked this good in years.

  20. Jonna says

    I purchased Bragg organic apple cider vinegar (approx 1 1/2 liter) for under $3 I can make several bottles of shampoo with that. You don’t shampoo your hair everyday so it lasts a long time so you are saving $$!

  21. Tamika C says

    I was wondering if anyone tried mixing coconut/ olive oil with the acv mixture. I thought that maybe the acv would do the conditioning while the oil made the hair hydrated and shiny. Just wondering.

  22. Carol says

    I have natural white/gray hair and was wondering if the ACV conditioner will discolor my hair. Would white vinegar work just as well? I know I have to be careful what I put on my hair. My stylist told me not to put any thing with color in it, clear or white products only. What are your thoughts?

    • says

      Does your current conditioner have any color? I have not heard one report of discoloration from using ACV as a conditioner. God bless.

      • Carol says

        My current conditioner is white. I did try using the white vinegar and water. It made my hair soft, didn’t do anything for the small area of frizz I have on the sides of my hair, but it seemed to remove the shine from my hair. Thank you for any suggestions you have.

  23. ShellDar says

    I’ve been using homemade baking soda shampoo for years. Works great for dandruff too when you massage your scalp with it and leave it sit a bit before rinsing. I also use the ACV conditioner – but I have naturally curly, fly-away hair and need extra help with the frizzies. I use a homemade leave-in conditioner that is applied while my hair is still wet. I alternate between extra virgin olive oil – experiment with small amounts so that your hair isn’t oily when it dries … homemade handlotion mixed with a few drops of lavendar oil or tea tree oil that leaves your hair smelling wonderful – also experiment with small amounts to find how much works best for your hair type … and I also keep a bottle of pure aloe vera gel mixed with tea tree oil in the shower that I apply but don’t rinse … awesome for itchy, dry scalp. These “leave-in” conditioners are easy to keep in small travel-size bottles I can keep in my car and/or purse for when I need a touch-up during humid or windy days. Thanks for the fantastic recipes and tips!

  24. Alexander says

    Hello all! How often do you use this mixture? Is this a use-whenever-you-wash-your-hair thing or is this a use-every-two-weeks sort of thing?

    Thanks!

  25. Lacey George says

    I’ve been using this conditioner/rinse for about 6 months. It’s wonderful! At first I used it everyday, in the winter I noticed my hair was getting a little dry/frizzy so I went to every 3rd day, now I find that every other day works best. You just have to listen to your hair. Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      Awesome Lacey, thanks for sharing your testimony of how you tweaked and tested until you found what works for you – that’s the foundation of DIY!

  26. Donna says

    So if this shampoo strips color out of hair, is there a way to make the shampoo so that it won’t? Will the vinegar rinse do the same thing?

  27. says

    Has anyone tried using rosemary and acv as a leave in? The recipe involves mixing two tablespoons of rosemary in one cup of boiling water–let it steep for 15 minutes, then add to one cup of water combined with 1 tablespoon of acv. Pour over hair and do not rinse out. I have coarse hair and it leaves my hair soft, and frizz free–with no vinegar smell

  28. Laura says

    Wow this looks interesting! I have to give this a go, although I admit to never actually using a home made recipe for my hair. Let’s give this vinegar one a try then!

  29. Erica Haverty says

    Is this safe for colored hair? I would love to use it but don’t want to strip my color.

  30. Justin says

    Im a boy.My hair is smooth and almost straight ONLY when i dry my hair after shower.It looks good.But at the end of the day it gets all curly and stiff i dont know why.That sucks me!.the next day when i have to get up and go for the gym it seems all out of order..its really frustrating.
    So is there any solution to keep it smooth??.if there is any, ill be very very much thankful.

    • Nikki says

      Try the tiniest amount of coconut oil. I mean as in the lightest film of it on your finger from the rim of the bottle. A tiny film goes a long way!

  31. Cristine says

    Have you ever tried Baking Soda and water?? i did 1 c Water and 1/2 c Baking Soda for the first time today, and already today I have had compliments on how soft and healthy my hair looks! I have been told if you follow up every couple days with the ACV treatments it helps so that your hair doesnt get too dried out! :)

  32. Jaime in Medellin, Colombia says

    Concerning the olive or coconut oil, do you add it to the vinegar and water or totally separate?

    Thanks

  33. Jaime in Medellin, Colombia says

    Can oats and/or corn starch be used to thicken the solution without affecting the quality of the conditioner?

    Thanks

    • Sarah G says

      Way earlier in the comments, Matt suggested using oat flour to thicken the conditioner if needed…so it should be all right. I have plans to see what cornstarch will do to it, since I think it’s cheaper than buying oat flour.

      • Chan says

        I don’t recommend using cornstarch. I’m going to try oat flour because it didn’t seem to matter how much corn starch i put in it still came out like water

      • chan says

        I got some oat bran at the store (in the bulk foods section) it worked really well, and it cost the same as corn starch (92¢ a pound)

  34. Nikki says

    I use coconut oil (teeniest bit!!!) by rubbing in my hands and spreading through my hair after it is dry. Keeps it smooth (not greasy – if greasy you used too much) and controls frizz like a charm.

    I have used oats and cornstarch together to thicken. The oats no matter how much I ground them first when dry (and alone) were not fine enough so I looked like i had a bad case of lice lol – couldn’t get it out of my hair. So much for that plan!

  35. kevin says

    Just to add: Our human hair is a protein base as is silk fabric. the best thing to do for both is follow the washing with a vinegar and water rinse. My fibers college class instructor taught this and I have been using it on silks and my hair and now my kids hair since 1988 with good results.

  36. PATRICIA BELL says

    Has anyone used olive oil? I tried it yesterday and although my hair was silky soft, there was residual oil on my bangs. Does anyone one know how to use this effectively on a daily basis without having oily hair?

    • Chan says

      yeah, i had the same issue, i put just a little in the mixture of vinegar and rince my hair out s much as possible and now its ok, i herd about putting olive oil in your diy shampoo and i imagine that would turn out better

  37. kellen says

    You must alkalize! If you can’t get Sodium Chlorite or Hypochlorite ( it is nearly illegal due to FDA and its effectiveness ) then use baking soda ( Sodium Bicarbonate ) The gases that are released into the water are what do the real alkalizing action, and penetrate cell membranes ( this is what you want ). When the cell is penetrated the immune system can finally see and smell what is inside and go after pathogens, removing them from the body. Alkalizing also oxidizes which removes heavy metals and other heavy molecules from your hair / body.

    Alkalizing is the most important thing you can do and learn about.

    Since this is about hair here is what I do;

    I take very mildly Chlorine Dioxide treated water ( known as MMS using Sodium Chlorite or Hypochlorite ) using vinegar to activate the solution, then I add my squeezed Aloe Vera to make it look like a juice but with consistency of a shampoo or conditioner, then I touch it up with dash of honey and olive oil. The MMS makes it very powerful and I do not even need to use it all the time I wash my hair / skin. Other times I can simply take a shower.

    Another really good thing to do is to either build or buy a filter for your shower head. Tap has tons of garbage in it, depending on where you live. I use Aquasanas water 4 life program as its cheap yearly price for all replacement filters I need ( reverse osmosis and shower head filters in my case )

  38. Chandra says

    This worked great!!!! It only took one dollar to buy the vinegar and i didnt even use half the bottle!!! I added some Green tea and Rosemary that i ran through the espresso machine so it wouldnt smell as bad but its still really watery. Does any one know how to thicken it up?? I tried cornstarch but it didn’t work as well as i had hoped.

  39. melissa says

    I was wondering how long are the shampoo and conditioner good for?

    how often can you use them?

    Im looking for a homade condtioner I can use every other day….permently.

  40. Robin says

    Hi. I just came across this site. I am glad to read all of the tips, but I’m unsure how to move forward right now. I’m hoping someone can help that is or has been in my shoes. I found out in April that I have multiple allergies: strawberries, oranges, tomato, pineapples, pears, grapes, dairy, peanuts, coconut, cocoa bean, coffee bean, I suspect lavender, gluten/wheat, fish, chicken, and I’m sure I left out many more. My hair has been falling out lately. Like crazy! Not breaking but falling out. I use to have really thick hair but now my hair is so thin. I notice it, of course but my doctor thinks it’s nothing to be alarmed about. For a long time my scalp itched like crazy because I couldn’t find anything that didn’t have one of these items. I finally found a shampoo called Free and Clear and they have a Conditioner as well. Even though I don’t itch now, I don’t like the results. I end up with frizzy/dry hair. I have long, curly hair but all I can do is pull it into a pony tail or a low bun. The gel they have dries my hair out even more and I end up not being able to style or wear my hair down. I have thought about olive oil (because it’s safe), apple cider should be okay. Has anyone ever used flax seed (ground)? Does it do anything for the hair? My main concern is about my hair falling out. I don’t know how to stop it! Thanks for any help you can offer.

      • Robin says

        My diet is to avoid all of my allergens. I didn’t mention but I also have Oral Allergy Syndrome. So seasonally I have to avoid different foods. I eat turkey for my meat (it’s the only meat my whole family can eat because my girls have many allergies as well). I eat apples because they don’t seem to bother me. I eat salads (spinach and dark greens), Brussel sprouts, carrots, cucumbers (at different seasons), celery. I eat eggs on occasion, turkey bacon on occasion and gluten free/dairy free/egg free/corn free pancakes when I make them for my kids on occasion. I have lost 42 pounds since April but I have been overweight since I started having children 8 years ago. I have struggled with weight loss and always knew something was wrong. Now I know that if I avoid my allergies, eat healthy, my weight takes care of itself. I do take supplements because I am B12, folic acid and D3 deprived. Mainly because of the medicine I take (Metformin). I take high doses of Magnesium 400 mg daily and B2 (200 mg X 2 daily) for chronic migraines, which by the way has worked!! I have had 3 migraine since January 2012. It was greatly reduced from 5 a month to 3 in almost a year. I imagine removing my allergens in April contributed to the decrease as well. I will try the shampoo/conditioner. I was thinking that maybe I should cut my hair to a medium length as well to give it time to heal. Do you think that would help?

  41. Chandra says

    Ive been using the DIY shampoo and conditioner for a few months now and if your still having trouble with frizzy hair after a couple of weeks then you should try rubbing a few drops of castor oil on your palms then gently massaging it into your hair from the root down. (don’t use a lot or it can make your hair look oily) Castor oil is really good for frizzy hair, itchy scalps, and I’ve herd people use it as a treatment for hair loss as well.

    • Robin says

      Thank you for that tip. Do you do it when your hair is wet still or is better dry? I do have Castor oil. I haven’t tried this yet, but I was just told that if I rub Castor Oil all over my stomach, apply warm water/castor oil rags, wrap with plastic wrap and apply a heating pad on medium setting that it helps to draw out toxins that leak out from your gut (leaky gut syndrome). I imagine it is the same concept with the hair, which in turn would make it healthier. Thanks for sharing!

  42. Georgia says

    I was wondering, will essential oils help smooth out my hair and keep frizz away? And is it okay to add to this conditioner? If it won’t would it be okay to just add coconut or olive oil to the mix if i shake it up good? Thank you!

  43. says

    I recently tried to start using natural products I can make at home. I have seen nothing but good comments about baking soda shampoo and vinegar conditioner. However when I tried this it made my hair extremely wirey feeling and it had a film type feel. It looked OK but felt horrible. I don’t know if I mixed it wrong or if there’s a trick. I did blow dry my hair, could this be the problem? Or my died hair? Any suggestions? I love the cheap and easy recipe and really want it to work.

  44. Robin says

    I too am experiencing the same problem. I will say that my hair looks healthier but feels grose. I have been using the shampoo and conditioner since right after Thanksgiving. I would love an answer. I find I have better results drying my hair with a diffuser but still feels wierd.