Final-Rinsing the Hair - An Introduction

So, you're done washing your hair and ready to leave the shower. You've rinsed out the shampoo/hair cleansing product you are using, but did you rinse?

I mean, final rinse?

You: what the heck is final rinse?

Me: I'm so pleased you asked!

Not All That New - Except Maybe the Name 

In days of yore, ladies with a longing for lovely locks finished their hair washing routine with a rinse of rainwater, rosewater (if they were rich) or water with an added dash of vinegar.  The purpose – 'to remove dullness from the hair'.

Back then, hair cleansers were quite a bit harsher than the advanced hair cleansing formulas we have available on the market today. And perhaps this is part of the reason it was most common to wash the hair only once every 4-6 weeks.

Even though it's not quite fair to compare a final rinse to a commercial hair conditioner, we are looking at some similarities. Both are designed to leave the hair silky soft and manageable.

But contrary to using commercial hair conditioner, the process of using a proper final rinse leaves the scalp rebalanced.

When Did My Scalp Loose Balance? 

Washing the hair - even just wetting the hair - raises the pH of the scalp.

Average pH of skin and scalp: 4.5 - 5.0
pH of water: 7.0
pH of soaps, shampoos: from 8.0 - 12.0

It is impossible to not upset the pH balance of the skin and hair when washing it.

Enter the Final Rinse.

A good final rinse helps restore the skin and scalp to its natural pH state. This not only leaves the hair with a healthy glow, but helps battle dryness and itchiness.

Now That We Know - How Do We Do?

In upcoming posts, we're going to be making our own final rinses. Not only are there a multitude of possibilities for personalisation, but final rinses are pretty budget-friendly as well. You may even find your hair no longer needs your regular conditioner after you've made your own final rinse creation.

Do Tell

Do you use a final rinse in your hair? What is your favourite kind?

More About Hair and Beauty Fashion in the Past

How to shampoo the hair: from New York Times 1908
A variety of beauty tips from the early 1900's


Signe said…
Because I wash my hair with shampoo bar (read: with soap), I always use final rinse as well. I use apple cider vinegar+ water most of the time, but sometimes I rinse with citric acid (in herbal infusion + essential oil). Lavender is my favorite, but rosemary-nettle is also wonderful.
María said…
Yes, a hydrosol out infusion with a little vinegar is amazing. And if you rinse the vinegar afterwards is even better. You can feel how hair between your fingers is smooooooooth as silk...
María said…
Yes, a hydrosol out infusion with a little vinegar is amazing. And if you rinse the vinegar afterwards is even better. You can feel how hair between your fingers is smooooooooth as silk...
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
Mahalo nui loa for all that you do, as always, great info! I make a leave in rinse of Rosemary Tea & some raw ACV & add in ess. oils of Rosemary/Lavender & when needed Tea Tree. I have used Hibiscus Tea, Bamboo Tea (for it's high silica content) & Mamaki Tea. Māmaki (Pipturus spp.) are members of the Nettle Family (Urticaceae). But unlike its mainland relatives, the majority of the gentle native genera have no painful stinging hairs. Aloha nui!
Anonymous said…
The majority of the time I use a citric acid infusion. Once in awhile I us apple cider vinegar. 😀 JNC
Jordan said…
Very interesting! I think I'd heard a little bit about this before, but I'm interested in seeing what sort of recipes of final rinses you come up with. Would be fun to give it a try and see if it makes a difference!
LisaLise said…
Hi Jordan - I hope you'll have success with it! after I started using final rinse, I've completely dropped using conditioner
LisaLise said…
I've heard sll kinds of good about ACV as a hair rinse. I really have to give it a try!
LisaLise said…
Hey there Mapuana- I'm a huge fan of rosemary and lavender as well - truly classic! I love your tea ideas! Thanks for sharing :)
LisaLise said…
That has got to be an all time winning combo: hydrosol and vinegar. And the extra rinse at yhe end - great tip!!
LisaLise said…
Ooh I love the idea of tosemary and nettle - 2 hair-loving ingredients to be sure! Thanks for sharing :)
Fiza said…
Hello! I also clean my hair with a shampoo bar(cp soap) and after that I rinse with Acv and water and The. I rinse that out also, so I gather that final rinse is actually the ‘Final rinse’? Lol I mean there’s no need for me to rinse my acv water out??
LisaLise said…
HI Fiza - depending on how concentrated your ACV rinse is, you shouldn't need to rinse out after using your final rinse :)