Cleansing Nettle Hair Rinse: An herbal rinse for clarifying hair, made with nettles, soap nut, and shikakai.
Why try a hair rinse? When it comes to natural hair care, there is a huge movement toward the sentiment of “less is more”. While big box shampoos with zillions of synthetic ingredients promise cover curls and silicone shined tresses, those of us who have taken a more natural path know that these results are often fleeting at best.
Handmade and herbal hair care, on the other hand, puts the focus on nourishment and balance, expecting beauty to appear as the natural result of wellness. Ayurvedic hair care is an excellent source of inspiration for natural hair care formulators. With countless generations of herbal wisdom backing it up, Ayurveda knows a thing or two about keeping the hair and scalp happy and healthy. Today’s hair rinse recipe uses two classic Ayurvedic ingredients, aritha and shikakai, to bring balance to heads full of natural hair.
We combined these two Ayurvedic herbs with a tincture of stinging nettles and a blend of beneficial essential oils and co2 extracts. This rinse acts as both a cleanser and a conditioner, leaving hair balanced, soft, and shiny. It can be used in chorus with other natural hair products, such as shampoos and conditioners, or it can be used as a one-step solution for everyday hair care.
We opted not to add a preservative to this formula, but it would be prudent to include one in a formulation offered for sale. Commercially produced products that include water-based ingredients should always be tested for shelf life and stability. (Click here to read more about working with preservatives.)
About the Ingredients
Shikakai Powder is a classic Indian herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine, hair, and skin care. Like Aritha Powder, Shikakai Powder is often used as a natural shampoo. It has a mild pH that makes for gentle cleansing action that removes excess dirt and oil without leaving the hair or scalp overly dry.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a prized ingredient for natural hair care. When properly diluted, this gentle vinegar acts to cleanse, balance, and soothe the hair and scalp.
Aritha Powder is often called Soap Nut Powder due to its remarkable ability to create suds and lather when infused with water. Aritha Powder is the main ingredient in countless facial cleanser and shampoo recipes. In our hair rinse, Aritha Powder adds a boost of cleansing benefit to compliment the soothing and conditioning actions of the other ingredients.
Nature is surprising sometimes. While Stinging Nettles can be an irritating plant to brush into while hiking in the woods, the dried herb is actually well known for its soothing benefits. Stinging Nettles are the star ingredient in our hair rinse formula, boosting softness and shine while reducing itch and irritation on the scalp.
Liquid Castile Soap is a staple natural beauty ingredient that serves a huge variety of purposes. In our hair rinse, Liquid Castile Soap helps act as an emulsifier, allowing the essential oils and co2 extracts to disperse easily into the formulation.
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great choice for hair products. This classic beauty ingredient is also known for quenching dry hair and encouraging a happy scalp.
Hair loves hops! We included our amazing Hops Total CO2 Extract to our hair rinse to encourage softness and shine. This unique and potent ingredient would also be an excellent addition to shampoo bars or scalp serums.
Spearmint Essential Oil has a slightly sweeter and more mild aroma than peppermint, making it a great choice for complementing other oils in blends. We love how our Organic Spearmint Essential Oil adds a sweet green top note to our hair rinse along with a subtle cooling sensation.
The candy sweet floral aroma of Neroli Essential Oil instantly brightens almost any product. We especially love using Neroli Essential Oil in hair care formulations as it also believed to help balance oil production and sebum in the scalp.
Famously nutritious for both skin and hair, rose hips are perfect for adding deep benefits to hair care products. Our Rose Hip Total CO2 Extract is packed with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and fortifying vitamins that help promote scalp and hair health.
Cleansing Nettle Hair Rinse
Makes about 16 ounces (0.5 liter)
- 950 ml water
- 45 grams Shikakai Powder
- 30 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
- 35 grams Aritha (Soap Nut) Powder
- 20 grams Stinging Nettles
- 15 ml Liquid Castile Soap
- 5 grams Freeze Dried 200X Organic Aloe Vera Powder
- 5 ml Hops Total CO2 Extract
- 5 ml Spearmint Essential Oil
- 2.5 ml Neroli Essential Oil
- 2.5 ml Rose Hip Total CO2 Extract
- Combine water, shikakai powder, and aritha powder in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let steep until cooled to room temperature.
- Add aloe vera powder and stir until dissolved.
- Strain solids with fine mesh or cheese cloth. Discard solids or reserve for another purpose.
- In a second vessel, combine Castile soap with hops and rose hip co2 extracts and spearmint and neroli essential oils. Stir well to combine.
- Add soap mixture and apple cider vinegar to infused water. Stir, then transfer to bottle.
Usage & Packaging
- We packaged our hair rinse in our 16 Ounce PET Bottle with a Snap Cap.
- Mixture will separate over time. Shake well before use.
- Squirt a generous amount of rinse over dry or damp hair. Massage into scalp and let rest for 3-5 minutes before rinsing repeatedly with water.
Shelf Life & Stability: Please note that the formulations featured here on The Natural Beauty Workshop have not been challenge tested for stability or shelf life, and may not be suitable for commercial use as-is. For more information on shelf life, stability, and working with preservatives, check out the following article from our Information Library.