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apple cider vinegar hair rinse

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has recently gained popularity beyond the kitchen, making its way into hair care routines due to its numerous benefits. While it may seem unconventional to use a condiment for hair care, ACV has proven effective in improving scalp health, strengthening hair, and enhancing shine. This natural remedy can address issues like itchy scalp and hair breakage, backed by scientific evidence. 

In this article, we'll dive into the benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair, guide you in making a homemade apple cider vinegar hair rinse for various hair types, and discover the best ACV hair products. So, let's get started on your journey to healthier hair!

8 Impressive Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair

Apple cider vinegar is a powerhouse of benefits(1) for your hair and scalp. While both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar can be used as hair rinses, ACV is generally preferred due to its milder scent and additional nutrients. With its antimicrobial properties, vitamins B and C, and acidic nature, ACV can do wonders for your hair. Let's dive into the amazing benefits of using ACV for hair care:

Balances pH

The pH of hair and scalp can often lean towards the alkaline side, which can lead to hair issues such as dullness, brittleness, frizz, and damage(2). ACV, being an acidic substance, helps balance the pH levels, restoring hair health and promoting a healthy scalp. When the pH levels are balanced, your hair becomes more manageable, vibrant, and less prone to breakage.

Promotes a Healthy Scalp

healthy scalp is essential for beautiful hair, and ACV's antimicrobial properties(3) can work wonders in this regard. By controlling bacteria and fungi growth, ACV prevents scalp problems like minor infections and itchiness. You can use apple cider vinegar hair rinse for dandruff prevention too.

As a result, using ACV for hair rinse is a great way to keep your scalp clean and healthy, creating the perfect environment for hair growth and preventing hair fall.

Closes Hair Cuticles

The hair cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft and plays a crucial role in protecting the hair. ACV's acidic nature helps close the hair cuticles, reducing color fading, hair porosity, frizz, and hair loss. When the cuticles are closed, your hair retains moisture better, resulting in smoother, shinier, and healthier hair.

apple cider vinegar hair rinse benefits

Removes Buildup

Product buildup on the scalp can make your hair look dull and lifeless, and even impede the effectiveness of hair care products. You can effectively use apple cider vinegar hair rinse for buildup removal, allowing your hair care products to work their magic. ACV can be gentler than most clarifying shampoos, making it a great alternative for those who want a gentle cleanse without stripping their hair color or drying out their hair.

Detangles and Strengthens

Detangling hair can be a tedious and painful process, often leading to hair breakage. ACV makes this task easier by smoothing hair strands and reducing friction. This, in turn, minimizes breakage and hair loss. Furthermore, the vitamins and minerals in ACV nourish and strengthen hair strands, resulting in more resilient and less prone to breakage hair.

Enhances Shine

Dull, lifeless hair can be a concern for many, but ACV can come to the rescue! By closing the hair cuticles and balancing the scalp's pH, ACV imparts a natural shine and vibrancy to your hair. You can also use apple cider vinegar hair rinse for hard water’s adverse effects, which can cause dull and lifeless hair. The result? Hair that looks healthy, lustrous, and full of life.

Prevents Bacterial Growth

Excess bacterial growth on the scalp can lead to issues like itchiness, dryness, irritation, dandruff, and even infections. ACV's antimicrobial properties help combat these bacteria, keeping your scalp clean and healthy. By using ACV regularly in your hair care routine, you can maintain a healthy scalp and prevent hair-related issues caused by bacteria.

Protects Hair Color

Frequent hair color treatments can leave your hair cuticles open and vulnerable, leading to faster color fading. ACV helps close these cuticles, locking in the color and preventing premature fading. Applying a diluted ACV solution (1:8 ratio with water) after rinsing off hair color can extend the life and vibrancy of your hair color, giving you more time between salon visits.

6 Best Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Products in 2023

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse


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  • Gentle on scalp and hair.
  • Preserves hair color.
  • Reduces hair shedding.
  • Seal the hair cuticle, boosts shine.
  • Maintains pH-balanced scalp and hair. 
  • Nourishing ingredients.
  • Color-safe, paraben-free, SLS & SLES sulfate-free.


  • Strong smell.
  • Pricey.

If you're looking for a hair product that prioritizes scalp health, color preservation, and works well with medium to coarse hair types, then dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse is a fantastic option. This shampoo doesn't strip your hair of its natural oils, instead, it's a gentle yet effective cleansing alternative that keeps your hair and scalp balanced.

A standout feature of this rinse is its formula. The apple cider vinegar helps maintain the scalp's pH balance, seal the hair cuticles for extra shine, and gently exfoliates the scalp. Other key ingredients include argan oil(7), which moisturizes and protects from damage, and lavender extract, which helps this apple cider vinegar hair rinse calm itchy scalps. Aloe vera(8) soothes irritation, while fire tulip adds an extra layer of comfort.

You can use this rinse as often as needed without worrying about harsh chemicals, as it's free of parabens, SLS, SLES, sulfates, and is Leaping Bunny Certified. To use, simply wet your scalp and hair, squeeze out excess water, and apply the product directly onto your scalp using the bottle tip. Massage it in from roots to tips, leave it for 1-3 minutes, and rinse thoroughly.

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set


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  • No parabens, sulfates, and gluten.
  • Vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Nourishing ingredients.
  • Balances scalp's pH levels.
  • Promotes healthy hair growth.
  • Replenishes damaged hair.


  • May dry out scalp.

Want a dynamic solution to revive your hair and scalp? The WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Coconut Avocado Conditioner Set might be just what you need! This power duo is packed with ultra-rich natural ingredients, perfect for bringing life back to your locks. But what makes it so special?

First off, the Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo gently clears build-up and dandruff while nourishing your hair with vitamin B5, almond oil(9), and argan oil. With ingredients like Himalayan apple cider vinegar, it also balances your scalp's pH levels and promotes healthy hair growth. Can you say "goodbye" to flakes?

As for the Coconut Avocado Conditioner, it's a lifesaver for dry or stressed hair. Infused with virgin coconut(10) and avocado oils(11), it replenishes damaged tresses and leaves your hair feeling smoother, stronger, and glossier than ever. 

What's more, this set is 100% vegan and free of parabens, sulfates, and gluten. Plus, it's cruelty-free! Just remember to follow the instructions for the best results.

R+Co Lost Treasure Apple Cider Vinegar Cleansing Rinse

R+Co Lost Treasure Apple Cider Vinegar Cleansing Rinse


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  • Softens hair and adds shine.
  • Hair strengthening effect.
  • Gluten-free, cruelty-free and fully vegan.
  • Cleanses buildup effectively.
  • Retains hair color.
  • Helps dry and flakey scalp.


  • Strong smell.
  • Pricey.

Ever felt like your hair needs a fresh start? Let me introduce you to R+Co Lost Treasure Apple Cider Vinegar Cleansing Rinse! This amazing product is designed to cleanse without stripping away natural oils or color. 

So, what's the makeup of this magical potion? It's packed with apple fruit extract, which not only protects your hair and scalp from damage but also acts as a natural exfoliant. Aloe vera leaf juice adds strength and luster, while helping your hair retain moisture. And let's not forget tamanu seed oil(12), full of essential fatty acids and nutrients, which promotes an optimal scalp environment, strengthens hair, and seals moisture.

This cleansing rinse is vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and paraben-free, and the bottle and cap are made from 55% PCR.

Using it is a breeze: wet your hair, squeeze the rinse directly onto your scalp, massage, leave it for 1-3 minutes, and rinse thoroughly. Voilà! It can even replace your shampoo or conditioner for co-wash enthusiasts.

Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend In-Shower Hair Rinse

Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend In-Shower Hair Rinse


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  • Pleasant scent.
  • Softens hair.
  • Helps dry hair.
  • Clarifies and adds high shine.
  • Rebalancing pH.
  • No sulfates, parabens, or dyes.


  • Contains alcohol.

Aveeno's Apple Cider Vinegar Blend In-Shower Hair Rinse is a game changer for those seeking shiny, healthy locks. You know how apple cider vinegar has been a go-to natural remedy for clarifying hair? Well, Aveeno blended it with oats to create this amazing hair rinse. It's like a spa day for your scalp!

The formula is designed to rebalance your hair's pH(2), promote a healthy scalp, and enhance your mane's natural beauty. And get this – it's free from sulfates, dyes, and parabens! It's like your hair just got a wholesome, farm-fresh treat.

The rich cream texture makes it a breeze to apply, too. Just shake well, pour it over your hair after shampooing, massage it into a lather, and rinse. Don't forget to follow up with Aveeno's Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Conditioner for the ultimate hair care experience. But hey, let's be careful with our eyes, alright? If it gets in there, rinse it out right away. 

Renpure Apple Cider Vinegar Clarify and Shine Scalp Serum

renpure apple cider vinegar clarify and shine scalp serum


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  • Plant-based ingredients.
  • Softens hair.
  • Refreshing sensation.
  • pH Balanced.
  • Biodegradable Formula
  • No sulfates, parabens, dyes, gluten, phthalates, propylene glycol.


  • Unpleasant scent.

Healthy hair starts with a nourished scalp, right? Renpure's Apple Cider Vinegar Clarify and Shine Scalp Serum is designed to give your hair that much-needed TLC. Infused with plant-based conditioning ingredients, this serum works its magic to make your hair look softer, shinier, and smoother. It even adds hydration to your hair and scalp, leaving you feeling refreshed.

This serum is formulated without sulfates, parabens, dyes, gluten, phthalates, or propylene glycol. Plus, it's pH balanced and has a biodegradable formula. The packaging? Made from 100% recycled plastic. And yes, animal lovers, this product is PETA-approved and not tested on animals!

To use, simply apply a small amount of the serum directly to your scalp after shampooing. Massage it through your hair from root to tip, then rinse thoroughly. With ingredients like ginger root extract(13), peppermint leaf extract(14), and hydrolyzed pea protein, your hair will surely thank you. Give it a try and see if it's the perfect match for your hair care routine!

Fekkai Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Rinse

Fekkai Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Rinse


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  • Refreshing scent.
  • Softens, detangles hair.
  • Seals cuticle and adds shine.
  • Scalp-friendly pH levels of 3.5-4.0
  • Safe for all hair types.
  • Free of sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, and gluten.
  • Vegan and cruelty-free.


  • Watery consistency.

Fekkai Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Rinse is a rejuvenating hair treatment that leaves your locks soft, shiny, and tangle-free! But wait, there's more! The secret behind this detox rinse lies in its sustainably sourced apple cider vinegar, which purifies and soothes, balancing both scalp and hair pH. And let's not forget about eco-certified ginger extract(15) and Amla fruit extract that work together to strengthen and replenish your hair.

Simply apply a squeeze of the product from roots to ends after shampooing, leave it for 1-2 minutes, and rinse. Pair it with Apple Cider Detox Scrub and Shampoo for the ultimate cleansing experience.

This rinse is perfect for all hair types, including color-treated hair, and is free from sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, and gluten. Plus, it's vegan, cruelty-free, and smells like a refreshing mix of green apple, citrus, spearmint, and creamy woods. What's not to love?

How to Choose The Best Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Products

how to choose the best apple cider vinegar hair products

We pick the apple cider vinegar hair products above based on multiple criteria to always bring you the best selections on the market. But if you want to choose for yourself, we can help with that too! Here are the factors to consider when selecting the right ACV hair product:

Real Apple Cider Vinegar

Make sure the shampoo contains genuine ACV and not just an apple fragrance. Authenticity is crucial for reaping the benefits. Check the ingredients list for "vinegar" or "acetic acid" to ensure it's the real deal. Beware of misleading product names or descriptions that may only contain apple extracts or scent.

pH Level

Aim for a pH level of around 3.5 to 5(2), as this is the optimal pH level for healthy hair. Too high or too low, and your hair could become dry, brittle, or oily. The right pH level can help maintain your hair's natural moisture balance and protect the hair cuticle, resulting in smoother and shinier hair. Some brands may list the pH level on the product label or in the product description.

Soothing Ingredients

Look for emollients such as argan oil, almond oil, shea butter, and avocado to soothe your scalp and add shine. Products like WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Maple Holistics Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo are great examples.

Safety & Precautions

apple cider vinegar

While apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be beneficial for hair care, it's crucial to use it cautiously to avoid any adverse effects. Here are some safety measures and precautions to keep in mind when incorporating ACV into your hair care routine:

Dilution and Application

Always dilute ACV with water before applying it directly to your skin, as its acetic acid content can irritate or burn the skin. If irritation occurs, it usually clears up within a couple of days.

Dilute the solution further if the rinses are too strong and avoid contact with your eyes. If contact happens, wash out with water immediately.

Frequency of Use

How often one should use apple cider vinegar depends on the individual and their hair type. Overuse can lead to brassiness and damage. Most people can safely use an ACV rinse a few times a week, while those with sensitive skin should use it less frequently.

Daily use of homemade ACV rinses is not recommended due to the acidity of the vinegar. Limit ACV rinses to once per week and always dilute the rinse with water, especially if you have fine or damaged hair.

Avoiding Exfoliants

Refrain from using ACV in combination with scalp scrubs or other chemical or physical exfoliants to avoid irritation.

Adjusting the Treatment

If your hair or scalp issues worsen, discontinue use or try reducing the amount of ACV used in a rinse or the frequency of application.

Hair Type Considerations

hair type considerations when using apple cider vinegar fo hair

Although apple cider vinegar hair rinse is generally safe for all hair types, there are still important considerations to be had regarding your specific hair type when using ACV:

Product Buildup

ACV is particularly beneficial for those dealing with product buildup from hairsprays, dry shampoo, braids, or excess grease. It can add shine, smooth frizz, and relieve itchiness by removing the heavy layers of product buildup and closing hair cuticles.

Oily Hair

If you have oily hair, you can use a higher concentration of ACV in your rinse. However, make sure to monitor your hair's reaction to avoid over-drying.

Dry Hair

For those with dry hair, it's important to use a higher water-to-ACV ratio. Using ACV on dry hair shouldn't be more than once a week. If your hair feels worse after using ACV (e.g., straw-like or porous), discontinue the rinse and consider a hydrating hair mask instead.

Sensitive Skin

ACV might not be suitable for those with sensitive or easily irritated skin due to its acetic acid content. If you decide to try an ACV hair rinse despite having sensitive skin, ensure that you use a very small amount that is highly diluted.

Curly Hair

For curly hair, apple cider vinegar hair rinse can help define curls by reducing frizz and tangles. When using apple cider vinegar hair rinse for locs, it helps cleanse the scalp and remove product buildup without causing unraveling.

Natural Hair

For natural hair, an apple cider vinegar hair rinse can help improve manageability, moisture retention, and overall hair health.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

how to make apple cider vinegar hair rinse

Creating your own DIY apple cider vinegar hair rinse at home is not only easy but also a cost-effective way to improve your hair's health. Follow these simple steps to whip up a rinse that suits your needs using our apple cider vinegar hair rinse recipe:

  1. How much apple cider vinegar for hair rinse varies depending on your hair type and needs, but for a standard apple cider vinegar hair rinse ratio, start by mixing 2 to 4 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) with 16 ounces of water in a container or spray bottle. 
  2. If you have oily hair or suffer from dandruff, you may want to use up to 5 tablespoons of ACV to increase its effectiveness.
  3. To customize your rinse, consider adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender(4) or rosemary(5), which can help mask the acidic smell of the vinegar and provide additional benefits for your hair and scalp.
  4. If you suffer from dandruff, consider adding a few drops of tea tree oil(6) to the ACV rinse for an effective apple cider vinegar hair rinse recipe for dandruff.
  5. For an added boost, you can also mix equal parts of flat beer and ACV for a beer and apple cider vinegar hair rinse. This combination can help improve hair strength, volume, and shine.
  6. If you have recently colored your hair, you can make a color-protecting rinse by mixing 100 ml of ACV with 500 ml of water in a spray bottle. Applying this solution to your scalp and hair after shampooing can help prolong the vibrancy of your hair color, as the mild acidity of ACV seals the hair cuticle, locking in the color.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar on Hair & Scalp

how to use apple cider vinegar on hair scalp

Applying the ACV rinse to your hair and scalp effectively can maximize its benefits. Follow these steps:

  1. After shampooing and conditioning, pour the ACV solution evenly over your hair, making sure to work it into your scalp. Remember to use apple cider vinegar hair rinse not before but after shampooing to maximize its benefits
  2. Allow the mixture to sit on your hair and scalp for 2 to 5 minutes. Be cautious, don't let the mixture touch your eyes. If the solution burns, rinse it out immediately.
  3. Rinse your hair and scalp thoroughly with cool water to help seal the hair cuticle.
  4. If needed, apply a lightweight conditioner, focusing on the ends of your hair. Rinse your hair well, ensuring all product and vinegar residue is washed away.
  5. Incorporate the ACV hair rinse into your hair care routine once or twice a week. Adjust the amount of ACV and the dilution ratio according to your hair type and needs.

Optionally, you can instead follow the baking soda and apple cider vinegar hair wash recipe: 

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with 3 tablespoons of water to form a paste. 
  2. Apply the paste to wet hair and massage to the scalp. 
  3. Rinse thoroughly, then follow with an apple cider vinegar hair rinse to balance the pH.

Final Thought

So now you know! Apple cider vinegar hair rinses can be a game-changer for your hair care routine, offering numerous benefits from clarifying your scalp to bringing life back to dull locks. Remember, it's all about finding the right balance for your hair type, and always keeping safety and precautions in mind. Give it a try, and who knows? You might just discover your new secret weapon for gorgeous, healthy hair!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does apple cider vinegar rinse do to hair?

ACV rinse removes product buildup, balances pH, and smoothens hair cuticles. It works by dissolving excess oils and residues, leading to healthier, shinier hair.

Is apple cider vinegar actually good for hair?

Yes, ACV is good for hair when used properly, as its acidic nature helps restore hair's pH balance, contributing to better hair health.

Can I use ACV for color-treated hair?

Yes, ACV is safe for color-treated hair. It helps close hair cuticles, preserving color and preventing it from fading quickly.

Can you apply apple cider vinegar directly to scalp?

You can, but always dilute it with water first, as undiluted ACV can cause irritation or burning due to its acidity.

Do you have to rinse apple cider vinegar out of your hair?

Yes, rinsing ACV out is necessary to ensure all residues are removed and hair cuticles are sealed, promoting smooth, shiny hair.

Can I spray apple cider vinegar on my scalp and leave it?

It's not recommended, as leaving ACV on too long may irritate the scalp. 

How often should I use apple cider vinegar on my scalp?

Use ACV rinse once or twice a week, adjusting frequency based on hair type and needs to avoid over-drying or irritation.

How long should you leave apple cider vinegar on your scalp?

Leave ACV on for 2-5 minutes to allow it to work effectively before rinsing out to avoid potential irritation.

Do I use apple cider vinegar hair rinse before or after conditioner?

Use ACV rinse after shampooing but before conditioning, as it helps remove buildup, allowing the conditioner to penetrate better.

Does apple cider vinegar shampoo really work?

ACV shampoo works by combining the benefits of ACV with cleansing agents, offering hair clarifying and pH balancing effects.


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