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Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse: 6 Amazing Benefits and How to Make It

apple cider vinegar

I live in London. The water is hard, and the skies are cloudy. Okay, the cloudy skies do not affect the hair, but the hard water does. If you too live in a hard water area, you know how the water leaves a residue on hair, causing it to look dull, tangly and limp.

Well, worry not, you can take help of apple cider vinegar rinse. It can swiftly rescue the hair by removing the gunk and build up. Yup, you have to leave it on for a couple of minutes, and like a pro, apple cider vinegar clarifies hair and leaves them smooth, shiny and bouncy.

There’s more to apple cider vinegar awesomeness, take a look.

Why Do an Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse: 6 Amazing Benefits

When you leave apple juice to ferment for a few weeks, it turns into apple cider vinegar. The liquid is orange-brown in colour and smells sour and sweet. Apple cider vinegar doesn’t have much in terms of vitamins and minerals, but what it does contain is acetic acid, enzymes, probiotics or live microbial culture, polyphenols and a low pH. And all of them together work miracles for hair. Here are the top 6 benefits…

1. It Balances the pH of Your Hair and Gives it Gorgeous Shine

Close hair cuticles make hair shiny

What is the big deal about pH balance?

Well, here’s a little hair chemistry. Although our hair is very thin, it consists of 3 layers. The outermost layer, known as the cuticle, looks like fish scales or shingles on the roof. Its job is to seal and protect the inner structure of the hair.

The normal pH of our hair is around 5, meaning it’s low or slightly acidic and cuticles like that. At the low pH, the cuticles lie flat and tightly sealed together. This gives hair a smooth surface, so the light reflects off it, making it look super shiny.

But if, for whatever reason — hard water, stress, pollutants, diet and hair products— the hair pH goes above 7 (or alkaline), the cuticles get wacky and open up. And when that happens, the hair becomes rough, lacklustre and tangled.

You can fix the pH balance with apple cider vinegar rinse. With acidic pH, apple cider vinegar can tighten the hair cuticle and increase the shine and smoothness of hair.

You may also like: Rosemary and Vinegar Rinse Concentrate for Hair Re-Growth

2. It Clears Out Hard Water and Product Build up

The organic acids in apple cider vinegar clarify the residues from hair products, hard water, sweat and dead skin cells. Since the residue coats the hair and causes it to look dull and weighed down, clarifying it will make your hair bouncy and vibrant.

Besides, vinegar also unclogs hair follicles and allows it to breathe so your hair can grow without any hindrance.

3. It Makes Hair Frizz-Free and Easy to Comb

As the apple vinegar helps hair cuticles lie flat, the hair becomes smooth and frizz-free, so it’s less prone to tangling and breaking. Also, the comb will slide through your hair easily.

4. It Adds Definition to Curly Hair

Again it’s to do with cuticles. When they are tightly closed, it locks moisture inside the hair, thus making hair defined and frizz-free. And, unlike conventional conditioner, apple cider vinegar doesn’t weigh your hair down with silicones and synthetic ingredients. It will leave your hair not only shiny and soft but also healthy-looking. Bye-bye to dull hair and welcome restored hair texture.

5. It Relieves Dandruff and Itchy Scalp

Apple cider vinegar, in combination with honey, was used by Hippocrates (an ancient Greek physician) to clean wounds and treat fungus and other topical infections.


Apple cider vinegar has amazing antimicrobial properties. It can keep unwanted bacteria, fungi and microbes at bay. For your scalp, vinegar can be beneficial in relieving dandruff, irritation and itchiness. Moreover, vinegar works to rebalance the scalp’s pH, improving the protective barrier, thus keeping the scalp calm and flake-free.

6. It Improves Hair Growth

Apple cider vinegar also contains flavonoids and polyphenols – the antioxidant bundle. It helps strengthen roots, improve hair growth and reduce hair loss.

Now that you know the benefits of apple cider vinegar, let’s see how to use it and beautify hair…

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Hair Rinse

apple cider vinegar hair rinse

Making an apple cider vinegar rinse is easy and fun. All you need is a couple of tablespoon of vinegar and some water, mix them, and that’s it. It’s ready in a few seconds. Adding the other ingredients like rosewater and coconut water is totally up to you.

You will need:

Optional add-in

Make it

  • Pour the apple cider vinegar and water into a mug/squeeze bottle. Mix well and your rinse is ready.
  • You can also add lavender essential oil for fragrance and to soothe the scalp, use coconut water for nourishment and shine, and rosewater to moisturise hair and promote growth. Shake well before use.
  • **And if you fancy, you can swap the plain water with herbal tea. I love marshmallow root, chamomile, sage, horsetail and fenugreek to add shine and condition hair. Feel free to use your favourite herbal teas. You can read here and here on instructions to make herbal teas.

How to use the rinse

You use apple cider vinegar rinse as a conditioner.

Wash your hair first. Then slowly pour the apple cider vinegar rinse onto your hair and scalp. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes to soak in, then rinse out with water.

How often to use: once or twice a week. Overdoing may have drying effect on hair.

Extra notes:

  • If your hair is on dry side, start with 1 tablespoon vinegar to 2 cups water. Since everyone’s hair is different, you will have to play with dilutions to find what works best for you. As a general rule, dry hair likes less vinegar and oily hair more.
  • The vinegar smell doesn’t stay long. Once the hair dries, it disappears. If you still feel it lingers, you can put a couple of drop of essential oil in the rinse.
  • I have read mixed review on whether you can use apple cider vinegar on coloured hair or not. I suggest you do a strand test to see how it works for you.

Buying Apple cider Vinegar

The important thing when buying apple cider vinegar is that it should be raw, unfiltered and with the ‘mother’ in it.I have tried few brands of vinegar – cheap and expensive – and I can’t say one is better than another.

Happy creating!

Do you use apple cider vinegar rinse? Share your experience in the comment box below.

More homemade conditioners for you:

apple cider vinegar hair rinse

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