Kombucha: Does It Work As A Hair Rinse?

xoVain: A place for putting weird stuff in your hair.
Publish date:
January 7, 2014
natural, DIY, kombucha, rinses

Weird is in the eye of the beholder, but kombucha is something that still exists outside of the radar for some. I've been drinking it for about six months as a boost to my liver while I continue to wind down the habits of my early twenties and slip into a more graceful adulthood.

These days, kombucha is used mainly to regulate the intestinal flora, something I grow more interested in every day that I report a tummy ache, which is often. Thinking about all of the supposed good things about it, I wondered if these things would help the external body with their beneficial bacteria.

The answer in short is yes!

B vitamins, enzymes, and glutamic acid all occur in a batch of well-made ‘booch, and all of these things benefit the body both inside and out. Glutamine is considered the internal fountain of youth, with self-reported effects of firmer skin and fewer food and alcohol cravings.

So why aren’t we chugging it and pouring this stuff all over ourselves? Usually because obtaining kombucha requires two things: money and/or time.

A bottle of store-bought kombucha can cost up to $6! Kombucha made at home This requires time, patience and following instructions; though it is cheap, at $1 per serving. If you live near somewhere even remotely crunchy, do a little investigating: Whole Foods (aka whole paycheck) actually has kombucha at a great value. A gallon-sized growler for $12 is much more cost-effective than a 12-ounce cup full for $5.

I like to get a big ol' growler-full, because it lasts four to five days, saving $12 to $18 on buying it a la carte at the pharmacy. And the other bonus: taking the last bit and using it for a beauty treatment once in a while.

When researching making my own kombucha, I realized two things. First, I don’t know anyone that has a baby SCOBY for me in the area. My xoJane buddy and fellow hair witch Kristen does, but she lives in New Jersey and didn’t bring it on her visit to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Guys, I’m really pissed that she didn’t carry a mushroom culture on mass transit and around the streets for me--what a bad friend. Second, I discovered I could use this stuff in a face mask. I haven’t taken the plunge into making my own brew yet, but I think soon enough I will invest in a kit.

And if you could use kombucha in a face mask, why not in a hair rinse?!

And thus I poured approximately nine ounces of strawberry ginger flavored Kombucha Brooklyn brew on my hair. I applied it to clean, damp hair, left it for five minutes, and then rinsed slightly with cool water.

My hair felt softer and a dried bit shinier! The smell--slightly vinegar-ish--wears off after a few minutes, and the flavor did not leave a scent behind either.

It curled a bit easier when I dampened it the second day, the waves seemed to "remember" where they were before I squished them, so that was pretty cool.

All in all, it seemed like a better-smelling ACV rinse; since it is an acid, it closes the cuticle, imparting shine. I think that the added curl came from the glutamic acid, which is an amino acid; it probably acted as a temporary filler to sparse areas of the cuticle, helping the bonds to remain in place.

It was a pretty simple treatment, definitely leaning to the crunchy side, but we all know I’m OK with that.

Some things to note: If you can stand to drink the unflavored and unsweetened stuff, I would wager its effects would be a bit more pronounced. Store-bought bottled drinks are probably not best in this case. The more ingredients are in there, the more variable the effects will be.

Do you drink or brew kombucha? Have you also noticed positive effects on your health?