Easy, Natural Homemade Conditioner For Soft Hair

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Homemade Conditioner

Homemade conditioner is inexpensive and easy to make. You only need two ingredients and an empty bottle, so ditch store-bought and go DIY!

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 recipe.

How to Make 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 boatloads of money over the years?

Homemade Conditioner

Homemade Conditioner Recipe

Homemade conditioner is inexpensive and easy to make. You only need two ingredients and an empty bottle, so ditch store-bought and go DIY!

Prep Time
5 minutes
Total Time
5 minutes
Servings
8 ounces
Estimated Cost
$1

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Simply shake the bottle before each use and gently massage into the hair and scalp for a minute or two and rinse.

  2. After drying, your hair will not smell like vinegar. Trust me.

Notes

This homemade 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.

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How much does it cost?

It costs more than 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.[1] 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. (If you don’t want to make your own, we encourage you to check out this line of hair care products, made with exceptional ingredients.)

Homemade Conditioner 1

A few twists on homemade conditioner

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

For greasy or oily hair/scalp, add 6-8 drops of 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.)

Other Great Conditioning Alternatives

  • Don’t have the time to infuse your vinegar? Mix up this Homemade Conditioner in just seconds!
  • Don’t want to make your own? DIY Natural has used and recommends this natural line of conditioners.
  • Need super simple? Use straight olive or coconut oil as conditioners. Simply rub a small amount of your oil of choice between fingertips, and then apply to the hair, focusing on ends. Allow the oil to sit a minute or so, and rinse well.  If rinsed well it will hydrate your hair without leaving it oily.
  • Need a deep conditioning treatment? Check out several Homemade Hair Masks for Dry or Damaged Hair that are simple and natural.

Use and share this homemade conditioner recipe with everyone you know!

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Sources

  1. Dias MFRG, et al. (2014). The shampoo pH can affect the hair: Myth or reality? DOI:
    10.4103/0974-7753.139078

About Matt Jabs

Matt loves to inspire others to save money and live more sustainably. He is passionate about eating local, living simply, and doing more things himself. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.

Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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)

  3. Jaime in Medellin, Colombia says

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

    Thanks

  4. 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! 🙂

  5. 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!

  6. Erica Haverty says

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

  7. 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!

  8. Callie 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

  9. 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?

  10. 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!

    • Matt Jabs 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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?

    • Matt Jabs 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 $$!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.