Dr. Bronner’s: The Sequel

by Laura Pilati

Though Madeleine and I could talk nonstop about Dr. Bronner’s castille soap and many of you are seasoned (or at least experimental) users, you may be surprised to learn (as I was) that Dr. Bronner has a brother of sorts…a far more gentle and delicate chap, in fact:

I recently came across Dr. Bronner’s conditioning rinse at Ellwood’s while doing a bit of window shopping down the personal care aisles, and it was like love at first sight. After what felt like ages and ages of two-timing conditioners, lying labels, and solutions that just lost their initial appeal, here was Mr. Right. Just 12 ounces of super concentrated goodness for my hair. Brand new product. I was down.

This “hair conditioning rinse” is actually a pretty interesting product. Like other Dr. Bronner’s soaps, etc., it comes very concentrated, but this one actually must be diluted before you can use it. The cool thing about this is that it allows us, as the consumer, to decide how much water we want in our hair treatments. Here’s what we’re working with:

Unfortunately, the smell isn’t much better. Well, it’s not bad, but it’s not good either–just strong. As Crunchy Betty recently encouraged me to, though, I just decided to accept it for what it was. Here’s why:

  • Organic Lemon Juice
  • Organic Shikakai Powder*
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Organic Olive Oil
  • Organic Hemp Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Organic Lemon Oil
  • Organic Orange Oil

Those are the ingredients–that’s it. Is it hot in here, or is it just this awesome conditioner?

*Shikakai powder is made from shikakai, or Acacia concinna, which is a climbing shrub that grows in India and other tropical parts of Asia. The fruit pods, leaves, and bark are dried and ground into a powder and then typically made into a paste. It has a naturally low pH, which makes it a great plant for cleansing and conditioning (such as in this rinse!). However, it is mild and does not strip the hair of its natural oils when applied.

Okok…Time to get down to business. Because photos to illustrate this application process would have been too difficult to follow (well, maybe they would have just made me look insane), I decided to make you guys a video! Bear with me as I make the most ridiculous Get Clean Girls video to-date:


A couple of notes about the video:

  • This was taken at approximately 7:45 in the morning. So please forgive the huge bags under my eyes and the crazy things I say, like:
  • “Washing a toddler’s hair”? What? Sorry, that’s the babysitter talking.
  • I promise that I know the difference between the crown and the back of my head. Just switch the two for the sake of this video.
  • And thanks as always to Rob, who actually woke up at 7:45 on his only day off to help me make the video. I think Rob should be GCG’s mascot. Can I get an amen?

Now, I suppose that you all want to hear if this love is the real thing. Well, after the honeymoon phase wore off, I found that this conditioning rinse and I made a lovely pair. My tangles were gone, my hair was soft, and, yes, the smell wore off while my hair dried. I think that these ingredients make a lovely team particularly for anyone with dry hair–the acidic (citrus) constituents give a great clarifying rinse (similar to using apple cider vinegar, which is great for hard water and product build-up) while the trifecta of carrier oils provide a second course of moisturizing–and natural oils are minimally striped. Through and through, I like this product. And in all honesty–it’s really one that can be replicated at home (assuming you can get shikakai powder)!

Have you tried the new conditioning rinse? Got another mega-concentrated product that you love? Ever made anything similar to this at home? Or a ridiculous video of yourself?

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6 responses to “Dr. Bronner’s: The Sequel

  1. First of all, Amen to Rob being our mascot, duh.
    Second of all, do you do all this rinsing while you’re in the shower or do you actually rinse in the sink after you let it dry a little or something? Do you make up your rinse cup before you get in the shower?

    • I knew I left something out! I usually do all of this in the shower, including making my “rinse cup”. So it’s a lot less messy and goes a lot faster. But I figured demonstrating over the sink would be easier and less messy for the sake of a video 🙂

  2. Do you use a shampoo of any kind?? If so, what? And how many times a week do you condition with this stuff? (Sorry if you already mentioned all this…I’m tired and my comprehension is not great today!) Thanks for posting the video 🙂

  3. Thanks! I also want a post about the diva cup sometime soon! I’m considering getting one, because, let’s face it, tampons and pads suck.

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