I would like to find a life hack that would enable me to simply and easily moisturize my hair while bypassing the retail market and therefore not spending a fortune on conditioner.

Does anyone know what is in hair conditioner or else what can be used to moisturize hair or what can be done to moisturize hair?

My hair always looks dry and my scalp always itches.

Lotions and hair conditioners can be very expensive. I can't afford the huge number of lotions and conditioners I need, so I'm trying to figure out how to get by without them, and I was successful at making a good, simple, excellent skin moisturizer of my own. Some members of my family, including I, myself, have an annoying health problem that causes our skin and hair to be so dry that each of us suffers with skin lesions, severe itching, and various other problems if we don't moisturize very, very frequently. Most of us, including me, have prescriptions for skin lotions and hair conditioners - just very non-irritating, effective products - but the cost of these is prohibitive and they aren't covered by our respective health insurances.

To top it off, non-prescription products are irritating, much less effective, and sometimes more expensive in the long run. I might end up using more, for example.

Anyway, my homemade skin moisturizer is working so well that I've been using it for two years, my father has started started deeply appreciating it, and other family members are starting to make it themselves. Let me know if you want the simple recipe. But now I'm trying to make a sort of hair conditioner or psuedo hair conditioner.

Does anyone know what is in hair conditioner or else what can be used to moisturize hair or what can be done to moisturize hair? Here are some things I've tried, though none has worked:

  1. I've read that Castor oil is effective, but it's so ... dense, thick, and intensely moisturizing, I guess is the way to say it, that when I try to use it, no matter what I do, I end up with one oily patch in my hair.

  2. I've put Castor oil on my hair, let it stand, and shampooed afterward. It still ends up flat until it's dried out. I am not sure why.

  3. I've tried other oils, including Rose hip oil and almond oil, but then my hair seems dry.

  4. I've mixed these oils in expensive conditioners to make the conditioners last, but the effect has consistently been that of the oils - dry hair if I used Rose hip or Almond oil, flat hair if I used Castor oil.

  5. I mixed all three oils, but the effects haven't been predictable.

  6. I've tried going longer between hair washes, just brushing it in various ways instead, but my hair flattens and my scalp gets flaky and feels extremely dry and itchy if I go more than about 36 hours without washing it.

  • Hi Jamie, Welcome to Lifehacks.
    – Stan
    Mar 3, 2020 at 14:16

4 Answers 4


You can't completely bypass the retail market for a hair-conditioner Lifehack.

You'll still have to go to the grocery store for Vinegar (white or cider).

It's pretty simple. After you shampoo your hair, use a rinse made with one part vinegar and three or four parts water. Let it sit in your hair for a couple of minutes. Various kinds will give you different results. You may prefer apple cider vinegar over white, or vice-versa

The vinegar will help to remove the shampoo and clarify and moisturize your hair. It's about as natural as you can get.

Surf the Web to satisfy yourself that the Lifehack is safe and effective.
Good luck.

  • What a great idea. Another great thing to try. I think I'll try this first because it's so easy. Thanks. Mar 5, 2020 at 11:12

You probably won't like my answer. The most common reason for dry scalp (not dandruff) is too much shampooing according to my doctor that deals with allergies and other skin conditions.

Don't wash your hair more than once or twice a week. Soap dries your skin out. Even water can do that if your skin is really sensitive. And be careful not to use too much shampoo. Bend your fingers upwards and fill the deepest middle part of your palm only.

Your scalp releases oil. This will help condition your hair. Every time you add shampoo, you wash away the very thing that gives it moisture. Also, wash your scalp only. The rest of your hair, no matter the length, will get enough shampoo when you rinse.

Note, I'm not saying skin conditions can't occur for other reasons. Just try it for atleast a month before you decide it's not for you. Water will rinse your hair well enough without shampoo whenever you feel like having a shower. It will feel strange at first, but when your natural oils settles, it will change.

Maybe you want to add more moisture. Bad news, most home remedies don't work or cost just as much, if not more, than a cheap conditioner. Even some oils will only add to the problem. Believe it or not, they can actually dry out your scalp. Since oil locks moisture in your hair by creating a barrier, it can lock moisture from entering too. Oils are not moisturizers. Water based liquids are.

I hope you find a solution.

  • Wonderful! Exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. A non chemical way to moisturize my hair. I have noticed that my hair gets oily with less washing. My only concern is itching - I can't go long without washing of my hair before it gets itchy, but now I'm beginning to think there's a little possibility that it's due to too much washing or shampoo. I'm going to try cutting back. Anyway, thanks. Mar 5, 2020 at 11:09

1) Don't be enticed by marketing. The cheapest conditioner you can buy will have virtually the same effect as the most expensive you can buy.

2) Some years ago I heard that one of the tricks of the modelling trade was to use mayonnaise as hair conditioner. Might be worth a try - but I expect it will be no cheaper than the cheapest conditioner you can buy. If you do decide that this is the way to go, you can probably buy bulk catering-sized mayonnaise a lot cheaper than conditioner.

Good luck!


Apple cider vinegar rinsing can help with itchy scalp. I used to use it for dermatitis but now I just use coconut oil on my scalp after I wash and dry my hair. So you can try coconut oil on the scalp as well. I don't think you need to do both; I don't know. As far as dry hair wet the hair with a little water a few days after washing and then adding an oil or hair butter.

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