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Following the DIY craze into the realm of beauty supplies can be a lot of fun, but it’s not necessarily practical or economical. Depending on the ingredients you use to make a conditioner, you can end up saving dollars per bottle or heading into the red, especially if your base is a pricey component like avocado. Fortunately, there are cheaper and simpler ways to get sleek, shiny tresses that radiate all day long.
A number of old wives’ tales claim that apple-cider vinegar works like a charm for calming reflux or boosting the immune system, but it might also be able to nurture your locks. Apple-cider vinegar and other acidic substances, like citrus juice, can help bring out the shine in dull or oily hair without leaving the unpleasant, lingering scent of white vinegar. Try diluting 2 tablespoons of apple-cider vinegar in a cup of water, slowly pouring the mixture over your hair and massaging it in with your fingers before rinsing.
Slick, Not Oily
You might think that rubbing olive oil into your hair leaves it greasy and grungy, but since the ingredient is completely natural, it actually encourages long-term hair health. According to “Juicy" magazine beauty writer Jasmine A. Grant, drugstore shampoos and conditioners “are so highly concentrated with sulfates that [they] strip hair of its essential oils and moisture.” Combating that effect by using olive oil as a conditioner can help ensure that your tresses stay shiny and smooth.
Working a generous glop of mayo through your hair may seem bizarre the first few times you do it, but it’s a great way to get similar results to an avocado conditioner at a fraction of the cost. Mayo has the same silky, thick texture of mashed avocado, and its fat and oil content work in the same way as olive oil to preserve essential oils in your mane.
There’s a reason so many commercial conditioners contain herbal extracts and oils. According to “Thrifty & Green” magazine, herbs such as rosemary and lavender have antiseptic properties and contribute to keeping hair soft, silky and lustrous. "The Herb Companion" writer Janice Cox suggests combining 1 tablespoon each of fresh rosemary and thyme with 2 cups of boiling water, steeping the mixture and using it as a conditioner. An alternative is to combine fresh lavender and mint with apple-cider vinegar and water, strain and condition as normal.