Horsetail Hair Rinse for Shiny, Healthy Hair

Horsetail is an invasive weed in the garden, but it can be put to good use! Packed with silica, horsetail can help you achieve strong, shiny, healthy hair. Make this super simple horsetail hair rinse with all-natural ingredients to start reaping the benefits of horsetail today!If you’ve ever dealt with horsetail in your garden, you know that it’s a nasty weed that’s super invasive and incredibly difficult to get rid of. 

Horsetail will literally grow just about anywhere, and once it’s in your soil, it takes nothing less than an excavator to get rid of it. At least, that’s been our experience anyway.

We first noticed it on our own property when we ordered our first shipment of soil last year: We had thick tarps laid out on the ground with the soil spread over top. The tarps were laid out on the ground for a couple months in the spring, and when we finally cleared all the soil, we noticed horsetail had grown right through the tarps!

We’ve battled this invasive weed ever since. It’s taken over our greenhouse, our front and back garden beds, our berry patch, our pumpkin patch… It’s even growing in our fire pit! If that ain’t a testament to the fact that it will grow just about anywhere, I don’t know what is.

In fact, I’ve even read that horsetail is one of the first weeds to grow back after a volcanic eruption decimates everything in its path. It literally grows out of the ashes!

The worst part is that when you pull this weed out by the root, it spreads even more. The best way to manage it is to cut it at the base of the stem with a pair of scissors or garden shears, but that can take ages considering the sheer volume of it that grows in any given area. Not to mention, it grows right back in a matter of days.

Needless to say, we have lost the battle with horsetail on our property, but I recently discovered a way to win the war…


How horsetail can benefit you

For starters, horsetail is actually not a horrible weed to have in the garden, as invasive as it may be. Since it requires very little nutrients to survive, it therefore doesn’t take many nutrients away from other plants growing nearby. So while it can be frustrating and unsightly, horsetail can coexist quite peacefully with most of our other plants as long as we don’t let it get too out of control.

Horsetail is also very high in silica, which is a chemical compound made up of silicon and oxygen that is beneficial to human health. Silica is especially beneficial for healthy skin, hair and nails, keeping these body parts strong helping to prevent brittleness.

You can actually benefit from making a tea out of horsetail, and when taken orally horsetail is said to aid everything from brittle bones to bladder and kidney problems. But horsetail can also be applied externally.

Horsetail is an invasive weed in the garden, but it can be put to good use! Packed with silica, horsetail can help you achieve strong, shiny, healthy hair. Make this super simple horsetail hair rinse with all-natural ingredients to start reaping the benefits of horsetail today!


Related: Rosemary Hair Pomade With Essential Oils


It’s been said that First Nations traditionally used horsetail’s abrasive stem as a sort of sandpaper-like file for smoothing carved items and even for filing their nails and brushing their teeth.

I wanted to find a way to put horsetail to work for me, because if you can’t beat it, embrace it, right? I decided to make a sort of extract out of it with apple cider vinegar, which also supports healthy, shiny, strong hair when used as a hair rinse.


How to make and use horsetail hair rinse

By combining both horsetail and apple cider vinegar together, you can create a powerful, all-natural hair rinse that is extremely beneficial for your hair while also putting horsetail to good use instead of just letting it take over your garden.

If you don’t have any horsetail in your garden, first consider yourself lucky. Next, go for a walk n the wild. Horsetail grows just about everywhere (with the exceptions of Australia and New Zealand by my research), so chances are you can find some growing wild somewhere near you. While it can grow just about anywhere, your best bet is to look near watery areas like rivers, ponds and marshes.

To make the hair rinse, simply stuff a Mason Jar about ⅔ of the way full with fresh horsetail and then cover with raw apple cider vinegar. Make sure that all the horsetail is submerged as any horsetail sticking up above the liquid could start to mold. I use a wide-mouth, quart-sized Mason jar to make my hair rinse in and I place a small jelly jar on top of the mixture to push the horsetail below the surface so it doesn’t float above the liquid line.Horsetail is an invasive weed in the garden, but it can be put to good use! Packed with silica, horsetail can help you achieve strong, shiny, healthy hair. Make this super simple horsetail hair rinse with all-natural ingredients to start reaping the benefits of horsetail today!

Store your infusion in a cool dark place for about 4-6 weeks for best results, shaking gently every few days to help it infuse. Strain out the horsetail and discard (I throw it in the garbage as I’m nervous to spread more horsetail in my garden by putting it in my compost). Continue to store infused apple-cider in a cool dark place when not using.

To use, rinse through your hair either after washing or between washes. I like to rinse and leave it in, combing it through my hair. But you can also comb the rinse through your hair and then rinse it outrightly with water. Do not follow with any conditioner or any other products.

Voilà! You’ve got yourself an all-natural hair rinse, beautiful, healthy hair and you’ve put some of that horse tail to good use. 

Have you ever used horsetail before? Have you found a way to get rid of it in your garden? Please share any tips you have for dealing with horsetail in the comments section below!





  1. Danaya

    Can this be put In A spray bottle to spray on after a shower?

    • Anna Sakawsky

      You could put it in a spray bottle, but I do find it’s best to rinse it out rather than leave it in after a shower due to the vinegar smell.

  2. Lin

    Can I use pure liquid horsetail extract instead, and what amount would I use? Thanks so much.

    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Lin,

      I don’t suppose you could use a liquid extract, however the vinegar in this recipe acts as the solvent so you’re essentially making a homemade extract. I wouldn’t know how much to use if using a liquid extract as I’ve never used this myself, but a premade extract would be stronger than using fresh horsetail so I would err on the side of less.

  3. Natasha

    Is the vinegar rinse poured on to your hair straight or is it to be diluted in water first?

    • Anna Sakawsky

      You can do either or. I usually pour it on straight and then work it in in the shower and rinse it out.

  4. Amanda soler

    May i just soak in water hours and rinse 3 times a week

    • Tish Painter

      Hi Amanda,
      You can certainly make a tea with it and save it to rinse your hair. Just pour hot water over the horsetail and allow it to steep for a few hours.
      The reason Anna infuses it in raw apple cider vinegar is to combine the benefits of both the horsetail and the ACV.

  5. Ana

    Can I use dried horsetail

    • Tish Painter

      Hi Ana,
      For most vinegar infusions you can use either fresh or dried. However, use only 1/3 to half of the amount of dried herbs (horsetail, in this case) as it will rehydrate absorbing the liquid and expanding. And then check within the first few days to see if you need to add more vinegar because of the absorption. Otherwise, that should be fine.

  6. Kathy Zablotzky

    I recently started simply making a tea with horsetail by pouring over boiling water and leaving it for 2 to 3 hours then using that to rinse my hair. I leave it on. I noticed my hair was softer by the second use. Now, each day I make a pot of horsetail tea, drink a small cup of it and leave the rest to infuse so it’s ready when I take my shower

    • Anna Sakawsky

      I love the idea of a horsetail tea. It is definitely a very useful plant, but when it’s invading your garden it’s a nightmare! May as well put it to good use. Maybe I’ll try drinking some of it too!

    • Rebecca Pipe

      Doesn’t it make your hair smell like vinegar afterwards?

      • Anna Sakawsky

        Not once you rinse it out.


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Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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