3 Homemade Hair Tonics for Strong, Healthy & Shiny Hair

natural hair treatmentA healthy head of hair with a healthy, flake-free scalp is a wonderful thing. So wonderful and desired, in fact, that there is an enormous market that caters solely to it. Walk down any hair product aisle and you’ll be overwhelmed with then number of choices you have for shampoos, conditioners, rinses, sprays, and dyes (to name just a few things.) You could spend days, and lots of money, trying to figure out just what chemical concoction will work the wonders it promises. If you’d like to break up that routine, try making some of your own products at home. I have found them to be simple, pure, and more effective that many of the things I have bought in stores.

3 Homemade Hair Tonics- for strong, healthy & shiny hair.

1. Nettle Hair Tonic

Rich in iron, a rinse made with nettles can help combat hair loss/promote hair growth. Drinking nettle tea may also help battle hair loss, as iron can help with circulation to the scalp, in turn fueling hair growth. Nettles will also help with an imbalance of sebum (the oil that your pores produce) which can make a difference if you suffer from dandruff or dry scalp. For something that is such a pain to even brush up against, it’s a wonderful herb when fully utilized!

You will need…
-A large (gloved) handful of fresh nettle leaves or 5 tablespoons of dried nettle
-2 cups of fresh water
-A few drops of your favorite essential oil
-A bottle for storing

nettle hair tonic

If using fresh nettle, place in a pot and cover with 2 cups of water and bring to boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Cool, then strain the liquid, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil and store in the fridge for up to 6 months. If using dried nettle, bring water to a boil and then pour over the herb, letting it steep for 20 minutes before cooling, straining, and adding your essential oil. To use, pour over your hair in the shower and massage or comb in, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse.

2. Horsetail Hair Tonic

Horsetail naturally contains silica, which is actually more useful than just for filling those annoying little packets that come with so many products these days. As a natural substance, silica can help keep hair growing strong, and prevent it from falling out/thinning.

You will need…
-A handful of fresh horsetail
-Fresh water

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the horsetail. Steep for 20 minutes, and then strain the liquid. After shampooing pour the cooled liquid over your hair and wrap your head in a warm towel for 20 minutes, then rinse.

horsetail hair tonic

3. Parsley Seed & Rosemary Hair Tonic

Parsley and rosemary, the exact scientific reasons unknown, leave hair shiny and glossy (rosemary leaves a particularly dramatic shine on dark hair.) Parsley supposedly helps with lice as well, should you find yourself plagued.

You will need…
-2 tablespoons of crushed up parsley seeds
-1/2 cup of chopped up rosemary
-Fresh water

parsley seeds and rosemary

Crush up 2 tablespoons of parsley seeds, and chop up enough rosemary to fill ½ cup. Bring several cups of water to a boil and then add the herbs, steeping for 20 minutes. Cool and strain the liquid, and then pour the rinse over your head and wrap in a warm towel for an hour. Do not rinse off, and allow hair to dry naturally.

parsley seed and rosemary hair tonic

homemade hair rinses

When it comes down to it, a healthy scalp and healthy hair is what really looks good-there’s just no substituting, and no getting around it. Instead of using chemicals to try and force your hair into a certain look, try a natural tonic that will nourish deep down and make your hair look good-naturally.

We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:


  1. Shana says:

    These look great! Thanks for the informative post. 🙂

    Just a quick question…how often can you use these? Are they safe to be used on a daily or weekly basis?

  2. Jacqueline Brown says:

    Thank you

  3. Amanda Nelson says:

    Where in the world can I find Nettle? I’m in Florida and I don’t think it even grows wild here (at least not in the area I live in)

    • Zyhone says:

      If you have a Whole Foods store near you they should have Nettle in Tea form which would be easier to dunk in the water instead on in a loose form. Horsetail comes in vitamin capsules. Fresh parsley should be found in a good market along with Rosemary; if not use the dry seasonings; I would rather use fresh. I hope this helps.

    • Alisha says:

      Hello, Amanda! I was wondering the same exact thing, so I Google’d it (gotta love Google) and I read that you can (usually) find it at just about any health food store. That was for the Nettle Tea, though. If you’re looking for the actual Nettle plant, I’m afraid I don’t know… :-/

      I hope this helps!

    • ravanna says:

      100 carrot
      Or any organic health food supply with bulk herbs and spices

    • Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

      Hi Amanda,

      There are several different kinds of nettle, and I believe at least one of the species grows in Florida-Heartleaf nettle is its common name I think. Nettle is a rampant weed here in MN, but I couldn’t tell you exactly how prolific they are in FL. I order mine online, dried, in bulk during the ‘off-season’, and have had great success with both that and the fresh. As other folks have said, health stores often times carry it as well. Hope this helps!

    • Lily says:

      You can actually find it in a Hispanic grocery store. I actually stumbled across it along with chamomile and valerian root.

  4. Patti Tice says:

    thank you for all you do…God bless you

  5. Cindy C says:

    I did a Google search for “horsetail” and results showed weed, plant, grass and herb… can you tell me which is called for in your recipe? and where I can find the correct variety?

    Also, just a quick note to say I love your website! 🙂

    • Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

      Hi Cindy,

      I use the weed, and since it seems to want to take over my yard, I use it fresh as well. However what is called horsetail “grass” that is sold dried online will work as well (its also considered a weed sometimes, but it grows in the form of a grass, although they are all part of the same family.)

      • sandy says:

        i am so glad that i stumbled upon this!!!! i was gonna ask all the above questions but already saw the answers. i live in the country in tennessee. would u happen 2 have a photo of the “horsetail grass”? would like to see if it grows in my yard b4 i have 2 go out and buy it lol thanx so much!!!!!!!! does it help if ur hair is already very thin? ive noticed that my bangs r VERY thin and the hair at my temples is almost nonexistant 🙁 can only wear it certain ways to cover it up. thanx again

  6. Glenda says:

    I love you site too!! Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge 🙂 However, I’m old school, and when I see something I want to try – which is just about everything… I try to find the print button so I have it in hand to follow – I cannot find it!! 🙁 How do I print this??

  7. Alphia Mclean says:

    Thank you.

  8. Tina says:

    Have you ever heard of Rosemary and Sage brewed into a tea, used as a rinse, to help tone down grey hair?

  9. florence says:

    how long is the shelf life for the rinse?

  10. jodi blackmon says:

    I love all of these, but it doesn’t say how to store the last 2. Do they all go in the fridge and use when needed? Thank you!

  11. DOTTIE says:


  12. Debby says:

    Question: when you say whole food store are you talking about a health food store and or bulk store???
    Girls anything you can’t find in the regular grocery store you will find at the Health foods

    coconut oil you can find at the grocery store in the baking section where the cooking oils are located you have to look at the on the shelves good… my store here is now carrying Grapeseed oil…if you want them to carry a certain thing if they can get it in…they will at least my grocery store does this if we ask…
    you have to go to a manager and ask them to carry it with the name of the product and name of the company that makes it… I just asked my store to start carrying Almond oil he said he would get it in…they first order a small shipment to see how it sells…once they get it in !!!

    Like here’s an example: Wal-marts carries the Super washing soda and so does the other grocery store here called Public’s but Win-Dixie doesn’t so i asked the manager at Win-Dixie if he would he said sure just give me the name of it and the name of the company that makes it….I went a step futher i went to Amazon.com where you can buy it online and printed out the picture of the product with name of it and company name…now when i go to that store i’ll give it to the manager and he’s get it in…. 🙂 I hope this helps you girls !!!! Luv to help !!!

  13. Anna says:

    Do you use the whole jar full per one rinse?

    • Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

      Nope just enough to wet your hair-I have long hair though, so its close to a full jar sometimes. Putting it in an old shampoo or spray bottle can help control the amount that comes out if you find yourself spilling too much.

  14. uzma says:

    what is horsetail?

  15. Deb Makoff says:

    My question concerns the Nettle Hair Tonic. I have lots & lots of what we call ‘stinging nettle’ growing in my back yard. Is this the nettle you refer to in the recipe? Also, my intuition tells me the nettle needs to be harvested in the Springtime before it flowers & goes to seed. Is this true? More specific information. Please.

    • conniejo says:

      Stinging nettles is the best to use. Use thick plastic gloves and caution because it stings even with the slightest touch! Then clip off the top half and hang in a cool, dry place to dry. The nettles are better harvested during the blooming stage. This plant is well worth the trouble but make sure you identify it properly. After it dries use the same gloves to crumble into jars. Makes a good tea.

  16. sharon says:

    I have been drinking Nettle tea (I buy it loose at a local organic place) as it is supposed to help with allergies and as a side effect, My hair (which I started loosing from a medication and injury) started to grow back and lots of the new growth has my original dark hair so much so that my hair dresser asked me what I was using as she saw remarkable growth in it. I shall try these on the outside too.

  17. Jen says:

    I usually rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar. Do you think I could mix ACV with one of your rinses and store them together or should I store them separately and mix just before using them?


    • conniejo says:

      The ACV may even act as a preservative if stored together. But if you need to leave the herbs in longer than you’d like the ACV to be on your scalp. I would use them separately, and perhaps at separate times

  18. Camille says:

    For the horsetail and the parsley seed/rosemary tonics, do they have to be used right away or can they be stored? And for how long?

  19. alma says:

    it’s even better if you use deionized water (find it at whole food) instead of tap water

  20. pipersfun2 says:

    I can hardly wait to try this thank you.

  21. Niurka says:

    I love all those remedy thank tou

  22. Clara says:

    Love this recipe. I’m considering doing the same thing with marshmallow since I’ve heard it’s good for hair too. BTW, what size mason jar is that?

  23. Anfal says:


    I was wondering if I could use nettle leave capsules with the hair oil instead ?


  24. Laura says:

    Hi! I was wondering do I use these after I shampoo and condition or is this a replacement for shampooing ???

  25. Lentil says:

    Hello Claire, I was wondering if dried or fresh parsley could substitute for the parsley seed/ rosemary tonic? Also while it’s always preferable to air dry hair, would it take away the benefit to partially blow dry at the end? Thanks!

  26. Janelle Robinett says:

    Great Post. Thank you for the information. We have lots of nettle at ther ranch. Will one of these work on someone who has psoriasis? Thanks for reading.

  27. Kat says:

    Can you use all the herbs together in one tonic? Thanks.

  28. Kristi says:

    I was wondering the same thing as Kat. Could you combine these tonics into one?

  29. Carol says:

    I have been “brewing” my own nettle/rosemary/horsetail tea for some time. I usually leave it in the pot overnight, then put it in the refrigerator. I take out a small container of it, add the same amount of ACV, and take to the shower. I then mix 50% with warm water, put on my hair, rub gently into my scalp and let it sit while I shower (Be careful! It will fall onto your face, and the AC will sting, so rinse face periodically with water). when I’m done showering, rinse it out of your hair, then proceed as usual. ( I do not use heat on my hair: no irons/dryers, etc.) My hair has NEVER been so soft!
    As another poster mentioned, you can use these as teas for consumption as well…which I do every now and then.
    I also only use shampoo soap, usually a rosemary/nettle mix, from several vendors that make them up, using only organic, no chemicals, etc. Have done this for several years, and my hair has only a few grays in it (I’m 60).
    Happy Hair!!

  30. Denise says:

    I, also, am wondering, is this a replacement for shampoo, or an addition?

    • Claire Goodall says:

      This is an addition to shampoo (or, if you are “no-poo”, in addition to whatever your regular hair care regime is.)

  31. Michelle says:

    Hello everyone! 🙂 I’m all over natural products for hair and after using coconut oil, amla oil, olive oil and pretty much every popular kind of oil I started using ARGAN OIL and what a difference!!! Not greasy, smells really nice and subtle. I use if after my shower and my hair is completely soft and smooth for the rest of the day or until I wash my hair. I especially like Pro Naturals moroccan argan oil because it’s also a heat protectant so I can use it before my regular blow dry 🙂

  32. nidhi says:

    Hi Claire 🙂 The pictures put up by you here(of the final products you’ve made)are indeed so crystal clear and beauteous(unlike blurred images) And your profile image speaks volumes about how much of a “nature person” you are! Brownie points to you for writing this up and that too efficaciously 🙂 I have one query-I use my homemade “ROSEMARY HAIR RINSE”(prepared by boiling water and steeping dried rosemary leaves in it). I want to extract more benefits from it. So is it okay if add rice water to it(same quantity)? 🙂

  33. Debbie says:

    Hi. Just wondered if you have more natural recipes to help restore natural hair color and get rid of gray. Also to stimulate growth for thinning hair.

  34. Madhan says:

    Can i use indian nettle for nettle tonic..?
    Please give me ans..

  35. Deadra says:

    Can I do my own combination of these? or Do they have to be as stated to be effective?

  36. Katie says:

    Is a conditioner needed? I have a sensitive , healing scalp, thyroid issues and hashimotos. My hair is curly/ wavy and very delicate. I’m experiencing some hair loss . What would you recommend?

  37. kia says:

    Hi can all the rinses be put into one?

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