Why You Should Be Using Chemical Free Nail Polish

I started using chemical free nail polish about a year ago in the hopes of saving the health of my incredibly damaged nails. The chemical free polishes cost more on average than basic drug store polishes, so I was hesitant at first, but this was honestly the best decision I’ve ever made for the health of my nails.

Whenever the clerk behind the counter at CVS Pharmacy would hand me their mile long receipt filled with coupons, I’d instantly scan it to see if they were offering any discounts on Essie nail polish. Essie had always been my favorite, and luckily with those coupons a $9-12 nail polish would turn into a $3 nail polish. I got a new color every single time I went. Who could pass up a discount that huge?

Problem was, the Essie company has not gone chemical free. While they are 3-free, their nail polish contained enough harmful ingredients to strip my nails, cause tearing, and discolor my finger tips. This isn’t the case for everyone who uses their products, they still do have a good product for some people. However, I have brittle nails due to hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and nail polishes from companies like Essie, OPI, and Sally’s decimated the health of my nails.

Christmas of 2019 I received my first bottle of 8-free nail polish from tenoverten as a gift. It was a brand I never could have afforded on my student budget, but had been looking at for a while. I tried it the same day I got it and I have never been so instantly impressed with a nail polish brand before. It went on smooth, dried incredibly quick, and lasted almost an entire week without chipping. I was blown away! No wonder these polishes cost so much.

I have since also tried ORLY Breathable and Pacifica 7-free polish, and both have been incredibly pleasant as well. Personally my favorite continues to be tenoverten.

Since these products worked so wonderfully, I wanted to know, what exactly is it about removing those chemicals that allows for such a great experience? And what in the common chemical nail polishes was wreaking so much havoc on my nails?

According to the tenoverten website, the 8 harmful ingredients they leave out of their nail polishes are “dibutyl phthalate (dbp), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, triphenyl phosphate (tphp).” Out of these, other common 3-free polish brands typically only exclude dibutyl phthalate (dbp), toluene, and formaldehyde. While these big three are often what do the most damage to a persons nails, they are not the only ones by far. If you don’t intend to dive into the world of more-than-3-free nail polishes, at least make sure what you are buying is 3-free. Luckily 3-free isn’t uncommon or terribly expensive, so don’t do your nails the incredible disservice of coating them in more harmful chemicals than needed.

Aside from those big three though, that still leaves us with five chemical ingredients that we don’t need. These five were contributing to my deteriorating nails, and needed to be ditched. But, why?

Formaldehyde Resin is an ingredient in most nail polishes that helps the polish to form a strong and shiny coat on the nail. This is what you get when you mix a phenol (an acidic organic compound that can cause chemical burns) and formaldehyde (an organic gas used in many things we use each day from wood products to fabrics- however, you most likely remember it for it’s famous use in murders and kidnappings). Now, I’m not about fear mongering, and in so many products it’s a fine substance to use, but when you start talking about its uses on the body it’s good to err on the side of caution.

Camphor is a natural oil taken from the camphor tree. It is not directly harmful, and can even have a number of health benefits when used externally. It can be found in small amounts in lotions and ointments meant to ease joint pain and reduce itch from rashes and bug bites. However, this product is considered a turpentine, which is not to be used on the skin in many cases and definitely not to be ingested. Mainly this is a cause for concern because if applied on broken skin or ingested it can cause severe health issues.

Ethyl Tosylamide is toluene mixed with ethanesulfonamide, and as you can see in the list above, even the big three exclude toluene as a single ingredient. If it won’t be included as a single ingredient, it probably shouldn’t also be included as a mixture. This ingredient is used in nail polish to help the polish adhere to your nail and form a strong coat. However, it’s not necessary.

Xylene is similar to toluene in that it is commonly found in products like paint thinners and is flammable. It can cause dizziness, headaches, loss of muscle coordination, and can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, skin, and throat. Often it is most dangerous in its gaseous state when it can be inhaled, however it can still cause harm when pores and other absorptive parts of the body are in contact with its solid form.

Triphenyl Phosphate (tphp) is a compound primarily found in flame retardants and nail polish (two things that shouldn’t have a lot in common). While it has often been used in nail polishes that are meant to be eco-friendly, it isn’t all that friendly. It has been found, in animal studies, to be an endocrine inhibitor which simply means it can disrupt the natural production of your body’s hormones among other issues. As concerns grew over the use of this ingredient, many chemical free and eco-friendly brands have begun to move away from using it. 

All of these chemicals are found in most common nail polishes, and aside from being unnecessary they can be straight up harmful to you and the environment. If you’ve been using a 3-free polish, I encourage you to check out tenoverten, Pacifica, and ORLY. All of these brands have restored the health of my nails and I will never be going back.

P.S. A number of chemical free nail polish brands are, or started as, small businesses. Tenoverten is a female owned business that started as a health conscious nail salon in New York and grew into a health conscious nail polish brand. After closures due to the pandemic they were forced to shut down their salons, and have been working to support their staff through it. They’re a brand I’m happy to stand behind for sure.

P.P.S. Often when a brand is chemical free and focused on the health of their consumers, they are also cruelty free by practice and product and aim to support other causes as well. When you look into a brand for your next nail polish purchase, take a look at their FAQs and About pages to learn more about their products and their mission.

Let me know: What chemical free nail polish brands are you a fan of? What made you switch to chemical free?

Cosmetic Oils Aren’t For Everyone

So many beauty guru YouTubers and DIY non-professional cosmetologists have been stepping out to support the use of cosmetic oils recently. They claim using oils for the face is basically like using a miracle drug you see in TV infomercials. And while using cosmetic oils does work wonders for some, it is absolutely not a universal cure all for the skin issues faced by every individual.

Personally, I do not use cosmetic oils. I have combination oily and dry skin, so finding an oil that suits my whole face is difficult. I also have very sensitive skin that’s prone to rosacea and deep rooted blemishes. All of this adds up to cosmetic oils being my worst enemy. I’ve tried vitamin E oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil (yikes), grapeseed oil, and more, and every single one has brought with it incredible oil imbalance and a fresh crop of blemishes that last.

The frustrating part is that just about every Pinterest cosmetologist and YouTuber seems to be endorsing that everyone should and can use them. Without understanding the reasons these products simply don’t work for everyone, marketing these products as a cure all can potentially lead unwitting and trusting followers to causing real damage to their skin. Yes, it is a great sustainable option for some, but it is, by no means, the best or only sustainable option.

Most recently I’ve seen influencers replacing their cream or herbal based moisturizing routine for oil based ones, fully cutting out the moisturizing effects of their former products. This quick transition and heavy pore saturating switch can wreak havoc on skin and cause damage that can take a while to reverse.

I can appreciate wanting to use an oil cleansing method over all. Using a natural oil to cleanse your skin provides you with a single ingredient skincare product that in turn will help create less waste and will simplify what you use on your body. If you are considering switching to a cosmetic oil for your daily routine, please read this first. We’ll discuss some of the oils that may work for your individual skin type, as well as what to watch out for when trying this trend. I’ll also provide a few links below to YouTubers I trust for cosmetic advice, and who’s knowledge of cosmetic oils has greatly informed my own.


Dry Skin:

If you have dry skin, you’ll need to be careful how you use oil based products. You do want to add oils back into the skin to replenish it after long periods of dryness, but adding too much can be detrimental. You’ll want to use a thicker oil product with a high omega fatty acid content so that it can really penetrate your pores and provide moisture to your skin. It will also help to massage the oil into the skin for 60 seconds or longer to really give your skin a chance to soak up all it needs. However, when you go to remove this oil be thorough in your removal. Use a damp cloth and warm water to really pull the oils back off the skin and follow with a secondary cleanse to further remove any excess you couldn’t get with the towel. Leaving too much oil on the skin can easily cause breakouts, especially for skin that isn’t used to oil. Some good oils for you to try: Avocado Oil, Apricot Oil, Argan Oil, or Sweet Almond Oil.

Oily Skin:

If you have oily skin, the oil cleansing method might actually be your best friend. It sounds counterintuitive to add oil to an already oily surface, but this is actually one of the best and most natural methods of removal. Since the oils in your skin will more readily bond to an oil based cleanser than a water based one, you are more likely to get a good, deep clean. With a water based cleanser, ingredients called surfactants need to be added to the product to really cleanse the natural oils off your skin, but with an oil cleanser nothing needs to be added to the oil to make it effective. Some good oils for you to try are: Sunflower Oil, Rosehip Oil, Safflower Oil, or Hemp Seed Oil.

Combination Skin:

If you have combination skin like me, and especially if your skin is sensitive, oil cleansing might not be for you. However, you still have options if this method is what you want to try. When you do use oil cleansers or serums/moisturizers be careful about where you are placing these products on your skin, as well as how much you use in these areas. The oil will be most beneficial as a cleanser on the parts of your skin that are more naturally oily, so you’ll want to target those areas and follow with a simple water based cleanser for the full face including the areas with more dry skin. Some good oils for you to try: Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, or Grapeseed Oil.


When cleansing the face with natural oils, be sure you are picking up one that is specifically designed for the skin and not just for cooking. While these oils are very similar, they’re not exactly the same. You’ll also want to make sure you transition your skin slowly into this oil based routine. Transitioning too quickly from water based to oil based products can cause inflammation of the skin, and can leave pores clogged with the oils it isn’t used to absorbing. Be sure to use a warm, damp towel to remove the oils and follow with a secondary cleanse to really get every bit of left over oil out of your pores and off your face.

For additional information here are some YouTubers I trust for well researched skincare advice. They don’t all fully practice sustainability, but the information and knowledge provided is often applicable to sustainable skincare ideals and practices.

The Golden Rx on Youtube is a really great source for information on all your skincare needs. While she does not focus solely on sustainable products, the science and expert advice she offers is invaluable to a sustainable or DIY skincare user.
Dr. Dray on YouTube is a dermatologist and skincare enthusiast. Also not every product used in her videos is sustainable, but she does provide great information and sometimes does use simple and sustainable products.

Thanks for reading! Let me know: will you be trying the oil cleansing method? What are your favorite cosmetic oils?

5 Ways to Find Peace in Hard Seasons

It’s not easy to step back and find peace when you’re in the thick of what’s driving you crazy or upsetting you, and that’s okay. But, when the thing that’s upsetting you lasts for days, it’s time to start turning your attention elsewhere to find peace.

Nobody, and I mean not a single person, can last very long when they’re upset. The longer you stay upset the harder it is to get out of it, and the harder it is to get out of it the more brash and volatile you’ll get. What started off as an upsetting event, has now turned into a chaotic nightmare of a week, month, year, however long it might have been. This is not a sustainable mindset.

Every single chaotic nightmare I’ve found myself in was of my own creation. Rather than finding a way to sustain my sanity and turn my attention to life giving things, I always chose to stare right at what was upsetting me and watch it fester into an entirely new beast.

Luckily, after some of the hardest seasons of my life, I found a couple ways in which I could break my gaze and turn my attention to better things. Through therapy and just walking through those seasons thinking, “I’d give anything not to feel this way right now,” I finally got sick of of feeling that way and set my sights on successful coping.

I’d like to share with you some of those coping mechanisms, and hopefully encourage you to look beyond your hard season too.

  1. Get Moving

This one is possibly the most universal tip because it works for any emotion. Exercise is the best way to renew the energy inside of you, or just expel it entirely.

I found that exercise is almost a cure all for any mental state I’m in. When I’m losing my mind in rage and anger, picking up a weight and busting out a couple hundred reps of squats, sit-ups and just about any other move allows me to release those emotions. When I’m upset, getting moving with some yoga or cardio turns my mood around. And when anxiety kicks in, turning on a fast paced workout video and following along takes my mind off of what had originally been occupying it.

It can be hard to get up initially and start moving, but in the middle and once it’s over you’ll feel so much better. Ask yourself, are you more willing to continue feeling the way you do than you are willing to try something new?

2. Get Out

I mean it, just go outside. Step your feet onto the pavement, the grass, the whatever surface is just outside your house. Fresh air is a game changer.

I feel like this tip might sound as mundane as the “drink water” tip you always see on those self care instagram pages, but honestly it has to be said. In my lowest moments, like when depression kicks in, the kind that makes you want to give up on showering for a few days and not get out of bed, willing myself to get outside is just beyond me. But I step just one foot outside, and all of a sudden I got the other one coming right along with it.

Getting that breathe of clean, fresh air in my lungs convicts my body to keep going. I mentally may not want to move or try anything to get out of my funk, but my lungs want the air, so outside we go. And if this seems like too much for you, just open the closest window and take a deep breath. A step can be small and still help, as long as it’s a step in the right direction.

3. Be Present

This can either be an addition to all of the other mechanisms listed here, or a step all on it’s own. I find that when anxiety sets in, usually because I’m already angry, upset, or depressed, grounding myself in the here and now is just about all I can do mentally to put my head back on my shoulders and move on.

In therapy when I was younger, I was taught to reign in my anxiety by using this fairly easy grounding technique, and I swear by it.

  • Start by closing your eyes and placing both feet on the floor. (this usually works best if you’re sitting)
  • Take three deep breaths
  • Notice how your feet feel on the floor. Ask yourself: Where am I applying pressure on the soles of my feet? How does the material of the floor or my shoes/socks feel against my skin? And don’t judge yourself for any of your answers.
  • Move on to other parts of your body: How does your butt feel in the chair? Is your posture slouched? Is the chair soft or rough? How does the room smell? Can you hear anything from where you’re sitting?
  • Continue breathing through this until you feel calm enough to go back to the task at hand.

This technique has been a God send for me. When your heart or your mind races with things you’d rather not be focused on, focusing intently on the physical world around you can help you return to what is actually happening right in front of you. More or less, if your mental space is in the clouds, focusing on your physical space can pull you back to earth.

4. Be Quiet

If you need to scream or talk something out, that’s okay. Take your time and do those things (without hurting anyone if you can). But if you find yourself in a chaotic nightmare of your own creation and there’s not really anyone around to listen at the moment, start listening yourself.

Go sit outside, in your bedroom, in the kitchen, or at the park. Sit and listen to everything going on around you.

More or less, I’m suggesting that you meditate, but in a not super meditative kind of way. All I’m suggesting is that you allow the sounds you’re hearing to become the thoughts you’re having. Rather than letting your inner dialogue run rampant, let the sound of the fan in your room absorb your focus. Let the hum of the refrigerator working, the whoosh of the air conditioner blowing, or the chirp of a bird singing be your focus. Get lost in it.

This is similar to the grounding technique, but with a heavier focus on auditory stimulation.

5. Give Back

This is my favorite one. It’s a bit more challenging, and is more so a follow up to the aforementioned coping mechanisms.

Once you’ve gotten yourself up, gotten moving, and gotten outside, you can move on to putting some energy into making the world a better place. This tip makes me think of that one episode of Friends where Joey tells Phoebe that there’s no such thing as a selfless good deed. To a degree I think he’s right, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If people didn’t get a good feeling from helping others and helping the planet, then it’d be a lot harder to find someone willing to help with anything at all.

If you have taken your first simple steps to find peace, then your next step is to find joy, and the best way to find joy is by bringing joy to others and healing to the planet. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or donation center, you can go through your closet and donate gently used clothes (particularly clothes that no longer make you happy), or use the pain you’ve been through to help others out of their own pain by relating to them on your shared experiences. You can also start a garden and enjoy watching the bees come buzzing around for nourishment, cook yourself and your friends a healthy meal, or take a walk and pick up litter along the way.

All of these activities are sure you boost your mood by boosting the moods of others. Shared joy is the best joy.


All of these coping mechanisms require action, and sometimes even the beginning actions can feel impossible. Beyond these tips, it is also always a good idea to contact professional help. I myself have been in therapy for years, and I couldn’t possibly recommend it more. If you find yourself in a rut or in a place where you just need more help than you could get from the above ideas, contacting a therapist is a great next step. A couple resources you can use to find a therapist are Psychology Today (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists) or BetterHelp (https://www.betterhelp.com).

Regardless of what you’re going through, you’ve got this. It might not feel like it, but you do, and I hope some of these tips have helped you. I was taught a while ago, “it’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way.”

Let me know: Have you tried any of these coping mechanisms in your own life? What helps you the most when you’re feeling low?

Beginning the Sustainability Journey in the Pandemic

We’re all taking on this season as best we can. Some of us are working from home, some have lost their jobs, some have family to take care of, and some are spending more time with themselves than they ever wanted to. One thing, though, that I’ve seen a lot of people learning in the pandemic is how to love the planet in better ways, and therefor love each other better.

Before any of this, so many people would be out each day purchasing food to-go in toss away containers, driving everywhere all the time, and pretty much just barely acknowledging their role in contributing to pollution. But now, the pandemic has forced people all over the world to step back and pause. To breathe and notice the low air quality. To open their eyes and notice the lack of wildlife. To consume with greater consciousness of what and how we are using the resources at our disposal that we often take for granted.

The biggest excuse I have heard for the roots of sustainability not to take hold in people’s lives, and one I’ve even used myself in the past, is that it’s just not accessible to be sustainable. It’s hard to see where you can make lasting changes in your daily habits when you’re constantly busy, running from class to class, or are barely home due to long, hectic hours at work. I used to feel like there was just no way I could do more to avoid all of the single use plastic I was using. That I couldn’t swap driving my car for riding my bike to get to nearby places because I just didn’t have time. Or, that I couldn’t cut down on water usage because I was too active to maintain a short and sweet shower routine. 

I would pack my lunch in reusable bags, drink from a reusable water bottle, use dry shampoo to cut down on shower time, and bring reusable bags with me when I went to the store. All of this was fine and good, and I still do all of them today, but it wasn’t enough. I used to think, “I’m doing enough. Even a small amount is something,” and, yes, doing whatever you can to create a more sustainable life it fine and good as well. However, it’s important to really ask yourself, “is this actually enough?” 

Actionable Steps for Everyday Sustainability:

  • In the shower switch to all natural shampoos and cut down on the number of days per week you wash your hair.
    • I used to wash my hair every day, and that was non-negotiable. But out of necessity for time and having heard about how much water I could save simply be skipping that step a few times a week, I decided to try it. It took about 3 weeks of greasy roots for my hair to adjust, but now I can go 3-4 days between hair washings without my hair looking unkept. 
    • Tips: 
      • When you shower use a natural shampoo without sulphates, parabens, and phalates. These ingredients can strip your hair of natural oils causing your scalp to over produce oils to compensate, leaving hair greasier quicker. They also will not cause chemicals and other harmful ingredients to go down your shower drain and out into the world. My favorite natural haircare products are from Calia Natural.
      • You can help your hair maintain volume between washes by putting it in a high ponytail over night to lift the roots. And there are plenty of hairstyles that will help hide greasy roots or use them to your advantage during the day like a slicked back ponytail or simple french braid. 
Calia shampoo and conditioner- I use their purifying set for dry hair.
  • In the kitchen
    • Meal Prep
      • Cook a weeks worth of meals on Sunday to save.
        • This can be a weeks worth of fresh cut fruit for breakfast, or a big pot of soup with rice for dinner. Whatever you can grab an go when your busy.
        • This will help you cut down on food waste if too much is made for a single meal, as well as encourage you not to use excess electricity or gas to cook every single day.
        • I am hoping to post some of these extended recipes soon!
    • Use reusable cooking accessories
      • Instead of using plastic wrap, try beeswax paper or reusable rubber and metal containers.
        • This will cut down on the day to day waste of products simply used to store things in the fridge.
      • Trade parchment paper and aluminum foil for reusable cook mats.
        • My roommate and I switched to these a year ago, and have been using the same ones ever since. They last forever and are really easy to clean.
          • These are the one’s we purchased!
  • If you have to leave the house (wear your mask, please stay home if you can and refer to the other sustainable practices to learn from in the mean time.)
    • Keep a recycling bag in your car
      • When you’re out during your day and find yourself snacking in your car or grabbing a to-go meal, keep a recycling bag handy along side your regular trash bag. This will give you the opportunity to be a conscious consumer, and recycle what you can when you get home.
    • Cut down on the use of your car when you can
      • It’s not always possible if your destination is far away or you need to get there fast. But if you can plan for a little extra time to get where you need to go, or you live close to your destination, consider riding your bike to get there. This will give you exercise and help reduce carbon emissions that are harmful to the planet. Being stuck inside so much, our minds and bodies could both use a little more movement and fresh air.

This is a good time to take advantage of your time in quarantine. Use this time to take care of yourself, and when you’re ready learn to take better care of the planet and your fellow humans. There are so many little things we can do every day to shift and be more eco-friendly, and there’s no better time to start then now.

Let me know: What have you started doing during quarantine to be more eco-friendly? Are there any sustainable practices you’ve found difficult to maintain during the pandemic?

DIY Hair Growth and Anti-Dandruff Spray

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that my scalp health is the pits. My scalp is a notorious war-zone in which the skin just refuses to act natural. No matter how much I hydrate or attempt to balance my scalp, within only a day or so my scalp goes right back to it’s crazy business. I’ve used just about every dandruff shampoo and “itch relief” product at the drug store, and all of them have similar issues. They were either chock full of chemicals and ingredients I didn’t recognize, or they helped my scalp but made the lengths of my hair dry and waxy. Aside from the relief of rosemary rinse that lasts about a day and the ice packs I keep in the freezer that help sooth the burn from itching so much, I needed a long term solution. I only wash my hair every 2-3 days for the health of the lengths of my hair, but my scalp has been in dire need of extra love. I needed something that I could use more often than just in the shower.

After extensive Googling, and “Pinterest research” as well, I landed on a mixture that I could use as a hairspray. This hairspray is easy to make, all-natural, and can be used anytime, anywhere. That anytime, anywhere factor is the biggest plus because when that itch kicks in and you’re not intending to wash your hair within the next 30 minutes, you need that relief, and you NEED IT FAST!

What you’ll need:

  • a spray bottle
  • a bag of organic green tea
  • 1-2 medium sized sprigs of rosemary
  • tea tree oil

How it’s made:

  • Heat 1 cup of water and add a bag of green tea and 1-2 sprigs of rosemary.
    • Let sit until tea is fully brewed and cooled.
  • Once tea is cooled, fill your spray bottle with the tea until it’s about 3/4 full.
  • Add 20-30 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Screw the spray bottle top on and shake vigorously to mix the oil and tea.

How to use:

  • Separate hair into sections and spray directly onto the scalp.
  • Once you feel the scalp is sufficiently covered, use your fingers to massage the spray into your scalp.
    • You can follow this up by brushing out the hair to help spread the spray further, but this isn’t necessary.
  • That’s it, it’s that easy.

This simple mixture is made to last and can be stored in the cabinet or in your purse for on-the-go use. It doesn’t weigh the hair down and won’t leave your roots greasy. Since tea tree oil is a dry oil, you might even notice this spray refreshes limp hair on the days you don’t wash it. You will need to shake the bottle before each use to re-mix any separation of oil and tea; however, the longer you have the mixture the more it will blend naturally.

As much as I am raving about the delight of relief this hairspray is for a devastated scalp, it has so many other benefits as well particularly for cleansing of the hair follicles and removing impurities. Aside from dandruff and itch relief, this cleansing can help promote healthy hair growth and decrease excessive hair loss.

Green tea contains a natural antioxidant compound called a catechin which helps to reduce dihydrotestosterone (DTH), a hormone derivative of testosterone (which both men and women have), that can cause hair loss. By reducing DTH on the scalp hair is less likely to fall out, allowing hair to grow thicker and healthier over time. You can also reap these benefits by drinking green tea regularly.

Rosemary has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which can help to gently cleanse, condition, and remove impurities from the scalp that can cause that itch.

Finally, tea tree oil is a staple of both skincare and haircare that is well known for its ability to remove toxins from pores and hair follicles, as well as lift product residue off the skin along with dead skin (in this case, dandruff). You can also add a couple drops of tea tree oil to your normal shampoo for an added boost of dandruff and itch relief in the shower.

This combination not only brings sweet relief when scalp pain sets in, but also brings nutrients and over all restorative health to the scalp. And if you don’t suffer from scalp issues, this can still benefit you in your hair growth and chemical free living endeavors.

Once you’ve tried this DIY hairspray, let me know how it worked for you. It’s now a staple of my haircare routine, and I’d love to know if it becomes one of yours too.

Rosemary Hair Rinse

Rosemary hair rinses are the perfect DIY goody for anyone with a scalp in need of some love.

For months now due to fad hair product usage (Function of Beauty…), anxiety, stress and irregular washings, my scalp has been as irritated as the day is long. I have been desperate to try just about anything to soothe my burning, itchy scalp. My first shot was an apple cider vinegar rinse, which is great and all, it just wasn’t enough to last between washes. Each time I’d wash my hair, I had about two hours of relief before the itchy came back, and I was scratching so hard my hair was falling out. It HURT! I had red patches that felt like fire, dandruff everywhere, and, for some reason, oily roots (which was just adding insult to injury if you ask me).

Disgusting right? I’m sorry you had to read that, but also not sorry. I want you to understand just how bad my scalp health was, so you’ll know just how incredible this rosemary rinse is.

The recipe is incredibly simple, and it doesn’t take a lot of prep.

All you need is about 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and some water.

I start by cutting 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary from my garden and washing them. I often find that there’s a bit of dirt and sometimes little bugs hiding in-between the leaves, and I don’t want either of those things in my hair (bugs? No Thank You!).

Once they’ve been washed, I toss them in a pot and pour in around 32 ounces of water which is enough to make two bottles of the rinse. I often reuse old GT’s kombucha bottles which are 16 ounces a piece (I’m a kombucha addict, so I reuse those bottles for everything). You can use however much you want, or however much your pots can handle. Just make sure you have the proper containers to store the rinse in after.

Bring the water to a boil, then turn it down a bit and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. As the rosemary simmers the water will turn an olive green color. Once the color is dark and the leaves look a bit limp, it’s time to let the rinse cool.

Once it’s cool enough, you can pour your rinse into whatever bottles you have. I personally prefer to store these bottles in the fridge before using them even though that’s not entirely necessary. I find that using them is more effective for scalp relief when they are chilled before use.

When you’re ready to use one just take it out of the fridge, take a normal shower, and then pour the rinse over your head making sure to thoroughly coat the scalp. Let this stay in your hair for about 5-10 minutes (usually I’ll wash my body and face while I let it set in), and then rinse it out with nice cold water. While it sits in your hair and as you rinse it out, it’s also good to massage the scalp to really make sure you work this product in and purify the scalp. I use inversion here and flip my hair upside down while I massage my scalp to encourage hair growth and healthy blood flow to the scalp. It also doesn’t need to be rinsed out for long, you only really need to give it a quick once-over since you want to retain as many of the benefits as possible.

It’s really the simplest thing you can do to help your scalp maintain a healthy pH and remove impurities that cause irritation.

Bonus: I often add about a tbsp of apple cider vinegar once I take a bottle out of the fridge for a bit of added purification. Apple cider vinegar can increase hair’s natural shine, and can also be incredibly beneficial for maintaining a healthy pH, removing product build-up, and soothing an itchy scalp since it’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

Thanks for reading!

Once you try this Rosemary Hair Rinse let me know, how did it work for you?