Apple Cider Vinegar, for Your Hair

Jul 29, 2018by Julie - F&F

What if there was a DIY haircare solution that creates healthy and shiny hair without any added chemical nasties? You may already have the product in your pantry without even knowing its superpowers in revitalising dull hair and soothing itchy scalps.

Yep, that’s right we’re talking about a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse that will cleanse and rejuvenate your tresses.

While it might sound a little odd at first, hang in there with us as this tried and tested method of using your favourite kale salad dressing as a haircare treatment is a simple and effective way to achieve softer, healthier looking hair. And as an added bonus, it is incredibly cost efficient, environmentally friendly and simple to add into your routine.



Raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurised apple cider vinegar (or ‘ACV’ for short) is one of the oldest and most useful remedies throughout history. Containing an abundance of beneficial bacteria and enzymes, ACV is a surefire way to support your body - it can be taken as a daily tonic to kickstart your day or added to a dish for some added nutrients, flavour and zing - however now we’re taking this much loved multi-use product from our kitchen shelves to our bathrooms.

When it comes to our hair, there’s no denying it gets put through its paces - from the styling tools and chemical treatments to our sun exposure, lifestyle and diet, our hair can become dry, brittle and full of residue leftover from our daily products. To counteract these unwanted conditions, many of us opt to reach for our mainstream shampoo and conditioner to cleanse and remove the grime and of course, add in some much needed moisture and shine. Unfortunately this isn’t always the “healthiest” solution as detailed in our recent blog post, as some commercial haircare products can be damaging long-term due to the chemicals (sulfates and parabens) used within their formulas.


This is where the ACV hair rinse comes in - touted as the go-to solution for a squeaky clean scalp that naturally nourishes and encourages hair growth, all while promoting that sought-after hair shine.


Why Apple Cider Vinegar?

To break it down, ACV is produced by fermenting apples (crushed apples, mixed with yeast and fermented with sugar.) Enzymes from the fermented apples work to close and smooth the hair cuticle as it is this protective layer that locks in vital lipids, proteins, and moisture. This protection also restores the condition and shine of the hair, preventing colour pigment loss.


Other Benefits of ACV Hair Rinse:

  • Revitalises hair with its cleansing and clarifying properties. The ACV cuts through and removes residue from hair product build up.
  • Balances the hair’s pH - ACV when diluted with water has a pH of approx.4 which is the same as the pH of healthy hair (between 4.5 and 5.5). Certain hair products can disrupt the hair’s pH which is why ACV is the perfect solution to bring the hair’s pH back to optimal levels naturally.
  • Reduces the frizz by encouraging the the ‘scales’ on our cuticles to lie flat - the hair dries out and become frizzy if the scales are lifted (usually due to the ‘stripping’ of aggressive shampoos).
  • Detangles the hair - as above, it smooths out the cuticles resulting in less knots and tangles in the hair. Some users swap out their conditioners for the ACV rinse.
  • ACV is anti-inflammatory and naturally reduces itchy scalps and dandruff.
  • Encourages hair growth - ACV unclogs hair follicles and stimulates better circulation on the head.

The Apple Cider Vinegar you choose to use should be in its most unprocessed form. In other words it should be raw, unfiltered and contain strands of ‘the mother’, a natural substance that is formed within the fermentation process. These strands are packed-full of nutrients, good bacteria and living enzymes which provide all the benefits in the vinegar!


Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse Recipe

This simple ACV rinse recipe can be used once to twice a week depending on your unique hair type. For normal hair, it is recommended to use once a week and up to three times a week for itchy or flaky scalps - we recommend experimenting with different quantities of ACV to find a dilution that works best for you. For those bonafide lather enthusiast, ACV won’t necessarily grant you that satisfaction, however even adding the ACV solution as a between washes rinse will greatly benefit your locks. And while we suggest using the rinse in the below form with two single ingredients (ACV + water). There are also countless ways to spice up and naturally fragrance your solution - you can add your favourite essential oils or herbs depending on your sensitivities. Lavender is always an ideal partner in *grime* to assist ACV to cleanse and debunk your hair as it’s one of the only few essential oils that can be used directly on the skin and doesn’t cause any irritation.



  • 2 Tbsp. Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar*
  • 1 Cup of Water


  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and transfer to a spray bottle if available. A cup or pouring device works just as well, however it is slightly more convenient in a spray form.
  2. Shampoo as normal. We do recommend using the ANSC Shampoo Bar for a deeper natural cleanse that is both nourishing and effective.
  3. Once your Shampoo has been rinsed out, spray, squirt or pour your ACV hair rinse all over your hair. Massage into the hair and scalp, paying special attention to the ends. Let sit for five minutes.
  4. We recommend rinsing your hair thoroughly after the five minutes just as a precaution if you’re going to be using hot tools, however many users recommend leaving the solution in your hair and allowing it to dry naturally. The smell should only linger for a few minutes if you don’t rinse.

* If you don’t have any ACV on hand, vitamin C rich lemon juice is a fabulous substitute (1 Tbsp.) as its pH acidity is very similar to ACV and so works brilliantly to cleanse and restore your hair’s health, naturally. Dr Bronner's Citrus Rinse is already made if you want something already prepared. 

We hope you love using your new hair rinse! Let us know your results and/or your favourite tips and tricks when it comes to DIY haircare.

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