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Highlighting Hair Rinses

Natural hair rinses have been used for years to cleanse, condition and highlight your hair. They are simple to create much like making a cup of tea or a strong herbal infusion. We have all heard of using baking soda, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to cleanse your hair and scalp. These ingredients work really well at getting your hair really clean and removing any residue left on your hair from well water, swimming pools, or styling products. But besides getting your hair super clean, hair rinses can also add subtle highlights to your hair. Keep in mind these are all natural rinses so the results will not be as dramatic as a chemical dye but over time they can alter the appearance and color of your hair. Chamomile tea makes a wonderful lightening rinse. Rosemary, sage, and thyme can all be used to bring out highlights in darker shades and cover gray. Here are some simple yet effective hair rinses you can do at home. Make sure you use them on clean hair. If this is a new treatment or ingredient you will also want to try a “patch test” at the base of your neck, or under your hair where you can see the results and decide if you like the color or effect.

Rhubarb Hair Lightener

People have used rhubarb to lighten their hair for years. It is a vegetable, not a fruit, which belongs to the smartweed family and originally came from Mongolia. The stalks grow to be two feet tall, and are a thick and reddish green, each topped by a single large, umbrella-like leaf. Use only the stalks in this recipe; the leaves should not be used, as they are poisonous.


3 fresh rhubarb stalks, chopped

1 Tablespoon honey

2 cups water


Mix together all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool completely then strain. Pour the liquid into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. To use: Massage about 1 /2 cup of the liquid through clean hair; cover with a warm towel or plastic wrap and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse your hair well and dry or style as usual.

Note: The longer you leave the rhubarb mixture on your hair, the greater the lightening effects will be. You may also need to repeat this treatment weekly for significant color change.

Yield: 16 ounces

Chamomile Blond Cocktail

This recipe combines three popular and powerful natural hair-highlighting ingredients into one super solution. Chamomile tea brewed fresh from the garden flowers is an old folk recipe for keeping your hair light and blond. In Sweden, pure vodka is the ingredient of choice. Lemon juice hair lightener and brightener and is probably the most widely used of the three. So, whether you choose to use them individually or combined after a few weeks of applying any number of these ingredients you will have beautiful, naturally highlighted hair.


1 cup strong chamomile tea

1 Tablespoon vodka

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Mix together all the ingredients and stir well. Pour into a clean bottle with a tight fitting lid. To use: Spray or comb through damp hair before going outside. The sun’s rays will react with the ingredients and lighten your hair over time. Note: This treatment can be drying to your hair so you will want to use a hair conditioner or hair oil if needed.

Yield: 8 ounces

Darkening Hair Rinse

Both rosemary and thyme have been used for centuries to darken the hair and keep it soft and silky. They are also herbs with natural antiseptic properties, which give this rinse the added bonus of keeping your scalp healthy and free of dandruff. After several uses, you will notice the results. Herbal rinses need to build up over time, but the added advantage is that your hair will darken quite subtly and naturally.


1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 cups boiling water


Place the herb leaves in a ceramic or glass bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Allow the leaves to steep until cool. Strain the liquid and pour into a clean container. To use: After shampooing and conditioning your hair, pour this rinse over it. Leave the rinse on your hair for at least 20 to 30 minutes (longer if you like). Use a final rinse of two cups cool water, with one tablespoon apple cider vinegar added.

Yield: 16 ounces

More recipes and ideas can be found in "Natural Beauty from the Garden" Have a beautiful day!

xoxo Janice


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