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3 Ways that Apple Cider Vinegar Boosts Hair Health

Avatar • Sep 3, 2012

Via The Beauty Brains

HySpin says…I have started incorporated Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses in my hair care practices with great results. My hair is very, very kinky and I find if I do the apple cider vinegar rinse as the final cleaning step of washing my hair I find my hair feels smoother, reflects light more (shinier) and it is easier to detangle. But what is the apple cider vinegar really doing to my hair?

The Right Brain responds: 

In actual lab testing we’ve haven’t been able to demonstrate much of an effect from vinegar. But since vinegar is an acid, in theory, there are three things that the low pH could be doing for your hair.

 1. Tightening the cuticle.
If your hair is damaged and the cuticles are upraised, an acid rinse could be helping them to lay flatter and therefore improving shine and detangle-ability.

2. Boosting conditioner efficacy
Conditioners based on quaternary ammonium compounds work better at a lower pH because the stick to hair better. Maybe the vinegar is helping to “lock” your conditioner onto the hair.

3. Removing shampoo residue
If shampoo isn’t rinsed completely it can leave a dulling residue on hair. Vinegar may be helping to remove buildup and letting the natural hair shine through.

Ladies, do you use apple cider vinegar? What effect has it had on your hair?

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Netta
8 years ago

I love a good ACV rinse. Especially since I’m long term protective styling in genie locs right now. It helps with product buildup like no other clarifying shampoo I’ve found and it does leave my hair with a really nice shine.

merry
merry
8 years ago

i think any vinegar will do.

Daylia
Daylia
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

I was actually wondering about this, because I live in a country (China) where ACV is hard to find, while plain vinegar is in every store. Does anyone have any experience with using plain vinegar on their hair?

pbotts
pbotts
8 years ago
Reply to  Daylia

I am in China and I found it in a store in Beijing..if thats close to you.…

Joscelyn
Joscelyn
8 years ago

I love using apple cider vinegar to cleanse my hair. I have been using it for over a year now. I do not using shampoo to cleanse my hair. In addition to cleansing my hair, apple cider vinegar leaves my hair super soft and I can comb right through my hair without any difficulty. I also believe it has something to do with me retaining length. I have retained so much length, most people think I am wearing a piece on my head when I put my hair in a bun or when I wear my hair down/out, people swear… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  Joscelyn

I’m new to ACV. How do you cleanse? Do you use it straight or dilute? How do you condition afterwards? Thanks Joscelyn.

Joscelyn
Joscelyn
8 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

Hi Sarah! I saturate my hair with luke warm water and then apply ACV. I gently massage the ACV into my hair from roots to ends. I rinse thoroughly and then apply my conditioner mix which normally consists of Organix or Rusk brand conditioner mixed with aloe vera juice and glycerin (small amount of glycerin). I leave my conditioner mix in my hair and seal with coconut oil. About every 2 to 3 weeks I do a deep protein conditioning where I use an avocado, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 1 egg. I get this into a creamy mix and apply… Read more »

rachel
rachel
8 years ago
Reply to  Joscelyn

this is so helpful, thanks for the tips

Rose
Rose
8 years ago
Reply to  Joscelyn

Joscelyn, I’m just beginning my experiments with ACV on hair. I’ve been using it as an internal cleanser but have heard about it having other uses. I really appreciate your information and plan to try your mixes. I’m trying to get my natural curl pattern back and regain my length [from a regretful cut in the spring].
Thanks!

Va
Va
8 years ago
Reply to  Joscelyn

Wow! Thankyou so Much for these really HELPFUL Tips I am 13 yrs old TRYING to GROW My hair 1o inches longer !! Soo, i really hope this helps. Btw, does this work for type 4 hair? I Hope So!
‑Teenage struggle!

Va
Va
8 years ago
Reply to  Va

@ Jocelyn

CurlRoots
CurlRoots
8 years ago

It’s also good for dandruff… can be used as a treatment. It’s one of those natural products that is soooooo beneficial and is a MUST have!.. LOVE IT!

Seiichirou
8 years ago
Reply to  CurlRoots

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Love JAH
Love JAH
8 years ago

I have created a shampoo using apple cider vinegar as its main ingredient. It works well, not only cleanse my scalp and hair but it strengthens it and gives it bounce and shine, which no shampoo I have come across has helped me do…just think of the things apple cider vinegar does to your body’s insides, the outcomes are abundant, from weight loss, to cleansing your plasma, ACV has a world of usage.

Natalie
Natalie
8 years ago
Reply to  Love JAH

Hey Jah

May I have the recipe please I love ACV.

Natalie.

KaraJ
KaraJ
8 years ago

I am just curious on how much to use I have always been interested in using ACV but I never knew how much to use

LM
LM
8 years ago
Reply to  KaraJ

I am, by far, no expert but I always use one teaspoon to 8 oz. of water by recommendation from kimmaytube. This mixture tends to bring the pH of the mixture within the same range of pH for our hair. I have seen many others use more vinegar (1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water)and their hair seems to be healthy and thriving..I would be afraid to try this on my hair because I would think that the pH is too acidic. Maybe you should experiment and see what your hair responds better to. Good Luck 🙂

LM
LM
8 years ago
Reply to  LM

to clarify, the one teaspoon is in regards to the vinegar. I put one teaspoon of vinegar in 8oz. of water

The ALizTube
The ALizTube
8 years ago
Reply to  KaraJ

I mix my acv with my conditioner and it acts like a deep condition. I put two spoons of honey, two spoons of conditioner and two spoons of diluted acv into a small pot, mix it and apply it to each section on my hair.
I stopped doing it for two months now and I see a huge difference in terms of shine — its decreased. So its back to acv for me 🙂

I dilute my acv — one bottle of vinegar with three parts water.

Miz B
Miz B
8 years ago

I’m a little confused. How do you use ACV? With conditioner, shampoo or by itself?

Thanks 🙂

OHR
OHR
8 years ago
Reply to  Miz B

I think most folks use it as a final rinse with water. I’ve read about folks mixing it w/shampoo.…don’t know anything about that. Hopefully someone can chime in!

Love JAH
Love JAH
8 years ago
Reply to  OHR

I like to think of myself as a chemist so I came up with my own recipe for shampoo. Im that person that never cooks by recipe just by using my 6 senses. I use a little traveling bottle and fill it half way with the ACV, 5–8 drops of an essential oil (rosemary oil), 1 part fresh organic lemon juice and 1part water…I wash my hair with this section by section. I always use more vinegar than water(in the bottle) because the water you rinse with counts too and to be real the vinegar won’t hurt, it only helps,… Read more »

chrys
chrys
8 years ago
Reply to  Love JAH

Only 1 drop of an acidic can totally change the pH of a formula, so I know that filling the bottle half way with the ACV and PLUS add lemon juice, works for you, but saying to others to be careful it can be too drying for the scalp as the skin’s pH value is approx 5/5.5

Curly Queen
8 years ago
Reply to  chrys

I agree because too much vinegar has dried my hair out.

df
df
8 years ago

It always makes my hair frizzy, I’m not sure why!

OHR
OHR
8 years ago
Reply to  df

hmmm…what concentration of acv do you use, df?

df
df
8 years ago
Reply to  OHR

usually 1/4 cup acv to 1 cup of water. I haven’t done it in awhile because it does nothing but make my hair frizz up and feel weird.

Bree
Bree
8 years ago
Reply to  df

I think you’re using too much. I use only a tablespoon to 1 cup water and rinse it after I shampoo, then I condition like normal.

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago
Reply to  df

You may need to adjust it to your hair requirements or you might not need it. Honestly I am one of the rare few who can use it half and half or 1/3 ACV to 2/3 Water ( or 1:2) most do far less do to the smell or reaction of their hair.

df
df
8 years ago
Reply to  df

thanks for the tips ladies! I’ll definitely use a lot less ACV next time.

OHR
OHR
8 years ago

My mother used acv rinses when we were young girls…and I continue to use them almost 50 years later. I typically use 1T acv to 1 C. water. When my scalp is irritated from stress, I’ll up it to 1/2 acv to 1 C. water. I’ve never had dried out hair from these rinses. All that’s old is new again, I say.

Rose
Rose
8 years ago

I’m just afraid of getting it in my eyes!! Do most people on here use a spray bottle of some sort??

Bree
Bree
8 years ago
Reply to  Rose

I use an old shampoo bottle or an application bottle to apply it. I keep my eyes closed while doing it because it can still get on my face.

DeeCee
DeeCee
8 years ago

I use about 1/4 cup ACV to 1 liter of water. I saved one of those plastic liter bottles, like the flavored water or tonic water comes in. Also save a 16 ounce shampoo or conditioner bottle, fill it with the ACV water and rinse while you’re in the shower. It’s too strong if it makes your eyes or anything else burn. I also keep some in a spray bottle.

Carr
Carr
8 years ago

A little confused. DO you rinse with ACV after you shampoo and then proceed to conditioning? Is that how you rid your hair of the smell of ACV? Please help!

merry
merry
8 years ago
Reply to  Carr

depends…

if you use a leave-in, you might use it before. but you might want to use it in a spray bottle when you’re detangling and using your leave-in.

if you’re not using a leave-in, you might want to use it after rinsing your conditioner. that’s how i’d do it.

everybody’s different.

Shan
Shan
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

If you’re worried about the smell, it really does dissipate as the hair dries. As for when to use it, depends on you. I use it as a final rinse. Others use it right before conditioning. You’ll have to see what works for you.

Carr
Carr
8 years ago
Reply to  Shan

Thank you! Very helpful!:)

Likewaterforchocolat
Likewaterforchocolat
8 years ago
Reply to  Carr

The smell is only strong right after you use the rinse and does not linger. It goes away fairly quickly and once your hair dries, you won’t smell it at all.

Jai
Jai
8 years ago

I love ACV rinses. Sometimes I use it after I shampoo or I may use it after I condition as my final rinse.

1 part acv, 2 parts water.

Samar
Samar
8 years ago

I started using ACV but I found that the ends of my hair became very brittle and started breaking so I have stopped using it. Even after conditioning and oiling my hair I found that it was drying out very quickly when I was using ACV.

Toya
Toya
8 years ago

I love ACV rinses! They work great. I can gently run my finger nail along my scalp to find no gunk under my fingernails. I used to have so much build up left over even after shampooing. I rinse with it right after I rinse out my conditioner. Then I rinse again with fresh water(i think that helps the smell go away faster). I put my ACV rinse in an empty Suave Naturals bottle since I can easily take the top on and off, and i can just turn it upside-down and let it run down my head, gently rubbing… Read more »

Nirmal
8 years ago
Reply to  Toya

Great publish, very iontrmafive. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector do not understand this. You must proceed your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!|What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. Great job.

jasmine
jasmine
8 years ago

I love AVC. i dont shampoo so after my my deep conditioner i rinse eith ACV infused with rosemarie. my homemade leave in also contains ACV.

MzD
MzD
8 years ago

I use ACV after I deep condition with Mayo,eggs and honey…it helps get rid of the smell and also leaves my hair with a shine.

Honeypot
Honeypot
8 years ago

I wonder if any one can help me..I just recently started using the Acv rinse…I am a bit confused..Acv is a good clarifier so it can work as a shampoo..but if it also closes up the cuticles and I use it before I condition, does it mean that my conditioner wont be effective?

Leila
8 years ago

Hey Girl
I have a question. Can I use another vinegar? Or only Apple cider vinegar? Does the lemon doing the same thing?
Thanks

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago
Reply to  Leila

Good question Apple cider vinegar works well for me so I never question whether other vinegars do the same thing, I assume Lemon will do similar but it would NOT necessarily have the same residue clean qualities of vinegar (clean water deposits, of calcium).

LBell
LBell
8 years ago
Reply to  Leila

I’ve used white vinegar in a pinch and it worked just as well.

I think the benefits of vinegar speak more to its pH level (acidic) and how it can counteract the alkaline pH of some shampoos. (Hello, Jc or any other scientists?? lol) Lemon juice is also acidic but you might have to tweak the water-to-juice ratio to get good results. (I only use vinegar in water as a final rinse, and I always use 1 tablespoon per cup of water.)

merry
merry
8 years ago
Reply to  Leila

this is really about phd and using something with a phd low enough to close the cuticle.

i use white vinegar and it works fine. plus it’s cheaper.

theoretically, you could probably use citric acid powder in water. citric acid is often used to adjust the ph of products.

Jamzie
Jamzie
8 years ago

i’d LOVE to try an ACV rinse but the smell makes me gag!! :’( My mother drinks it every morning with water, and anytime i get a whiff i get upset! lol
What can i do to minimise the smell? bc after all the good reviews i’d like to try it…

Likewaterforchocolat
Likewaterforchocolat
8 years ago
Reply to  Jamzie

You can use less ACV and dilute with water. If it’s any consolation the smell does not linger in your hair. It fades shortly after rinsing and by the time your hair dries it will have disappeared.

e
e
8 years ago

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e
e
8 years ago

I don’t think that I would want to try that acv on my hair. You have to get the right mixture of it when you’re mixing with other products, and plus the smell can’t deal with it.

kanon
kanon
8 years ago

For me, the ACV smell doesn’t fade. Once, several days after a rinse, I was working in my yard in the sun. I caught a whiff of vinegar and was like, “what the freakazoid?” The first time I tried it, my stylist at the time could smell it as she prepared to wash my hair. No more for me!

Landry
Landry
8 years ago
Reply to  kanon

Ditto! Once I did an ACV rinse and I let my hair dry over night. The next day I traveled with 2 of my friends to a conference out of state and I could still smell the vinegar in my hair, and it permeated the whole car. Another time I did an ACV rinse and when the vinegar dried, the smell went away, but later in the week, my head started to sweat after a work out and the vinegar smell cam back…with a vengeance. lol So ACV is a no go for me, primarily because of the smell, plus my… Read more »

Laura
Laura
7 years ago
Reply to  Landry

I’m not sure what exactly an acv “rinse” is but I use acv as a conditioner daily and never smell it! The recipe I use is 1 tbs acv and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray a few times on the ends of your hair, leave on for 2 or 3 minutes and rinse as you would a normal conditioner. Works wonderfully! My hair has never felt better and I’ve never had a problem with the vinegar smell.

joy
joy
6 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I personally love it.…i use 1/8 cup to my spray bottle and fill the rest with water.…after i rinse out my conditioner
i spray in the vinegar spray leave in for 5 min And then rinse out with cool to warm water.…my hair has responded beautifully…shiny bouncy and feels great

nelle
nelle
8 years ago

i mix it w/bentonite clay for monthly facials.

LM
LM
8 years ago
Reply to  nelle

i plan to start using it as a toner, diluted with water. Heard some nice things about it

AfroGeisha
AfroGeisha
8 years ago

I use a 1:3 ratio (One part vinegar to 3 parts water) and my hair is fine with no smell. I spray it on my scalp and rub it in with my finger tips. On days that I am co-washing, I let it lightly dampen my hair and follow it up with coconut oil as a pre poo. Add a cap and sit for 30 min. or overnight. In the morning, co wash as usual. If it is a full wash day (‘shampoo’) I will do the same method but I use bentonite clay to shampoo it out (allowing the… Read more »

cocoberrie
cocoberrie
8 years ago

I mix ACV(1 tbsp) and baking soda (1 tsp) in a small spray bottle, then fill with water. You can adjust the ratio if you like. It’s great for removing product buildup. I usually apply it outside the shower so I don’t waste water. I do this before I co-wash. 🙂

Jo Somebody
Jo Somebody
8 years ago

ACV was a big NO (although I might try it again), but an aloe rinse was wonderful. Aloe is also low pH, however I doubt it has the cleaning power of ACV.

Maur
Maur
8 years ago

It does wonders for my sebhorreic dermatitis. I spray it on after wetting my hair and I don’t have dandruff problems for about a week.

Monica
Monica
8 years ago

I’ve been using ACV to cleanse my scalp. I use a 1:1 ratio of ACV and water. I place the solution in an applicator bottle you find at Sally’s and go over my entire scalp. I follow the scalp cleansing by parting my hair into sections and saturating each section with Herbal Essences hello hydration conditioner. I then detangle and twist each part. After this process is finished I rinse the twists in the shower. My scalp is clean and my hair clean and detangled. I’m good to go.

elka
8 years ago

I used ACV for the first time and i love how it left my hair shiny and my curls more defined…but the smell of the vinegar stil lingers especially when i sweat, what can I do different so the smell can disappear for good? any suggestions? anyone?

barb
barb
8 years ago

Does any one know if this.is safe for color treated hair??

pbotts
pbotts
8 years ago
Reply to  barb

I use it on mine every 2–3 weeks and my hair is actually healthier looking and the color gets extra pop and shine each time…hope this helps:)

Newlynatural
Newlynatural
8 years ago

Hi ladies!! I have a question?? ok soo ive tried the acv rinse and it worked wonders on my hair!! then i did a deep condtion! But ive been seen alot of ppl say to use it last to retain length??? Oan how often should I do a acv rinse?? Ive only used it once it it was month ago I know I am going to do it agin but I need to know how often should I use it??

naturalista
naturalista
7 years ago
Reply to  Newlynatural

its good to only do a acv once a month

Allers
Allers
7 years ago

I believe that for porous or highly porous hair that the ACV rinse should be done AFTER deep conditioning or conditioning to help CLOSE the cuticles and retain moisture. Im not really sure if it’s consider a SEALANT, could anyone clarify that doubt for me?

JinLing
JinLing
7 years ago

I know you’ve probably heard this a lot from other ACV users but is it possible to use ACV on a daily basis? I’m prone to dandruff and would like to use something to both help retain my length and keep a healthy scalp.

Right now, I’m using coconut oil as my water-based moisturizer and herbal oil as my oil based.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Laura
Laura
7 years ago
Reply to  JinLing

I use this recipe daily — 1tbs acv and 1 cup water in a spray bottle. Spray a little on the ends, leave on for a few minutes and rinse as usual. No smell and I’ve been using it daily for months with no problems.

In case you were wondering I use a similar recipe for shampoo except with 1 tbs baking soda in 1 cup water.

Hope this helps!

IndianHair&OverleyProcessed
IndianHair&OverleyProcessed
7 years ago

I just used tge rinse… it is excellent.. no smellaz at all!

IndianHair&OverleyProcessed
IndianHair&OverleyProcessed
7 years ago

Had bad ropey dry hair… Instant smoothness n shine… just used the rinse acv & warm filtered water (1tblspn:250ml)… it is excellent.. no smellaz at all!

Thanks for the tip!

nsj240
nsj240
7 years ago

I use Dr. Bronners liquid soaps as shampoo and then an ACV rinse DAILY. I don’t use any other shampoo, conditioners or soaps…Bronners completely takes care of soap/shampoo and ACV is my Conditioner. I LOVE the results! I naturally have really thin and oily hair and I also have hairloss from hypothyroidism/hormone problems and one thing I have noticed since I’ve started doing this is: My strands are stronger, their are no split ends, and my hair fall has went down tremendously!!! I still trim regularly just for health and I hope for more hair growth. Like some of you though… Read more »

Lu9
Lu9
7 years ago

The article is so speculative

Maybe, may, could…

rify
7 years ago

i love apple cider vinegar. i actually just started using it for my hair.The itches stop instantly.

Stephanie
Stephanie
6 years ago

I have been messing around with homemade hair masks, shampoo, and conditioner. I have found that adding just a few drops to my acv/water solution helps mask the smell a bit. The reason you smell it much later is because of the sun…for some reason the sun tends to ignite the smell again. Other than that it should fade, but remember everyones hair is different and there is a transition period if you use acv versus normal conditioner. Your hair was previously coated with silicones so it is going to produce oil on overtime to compensate for the lack of… Read more »

Shanita
Shanita
6 years ago

I mix my ACV with water & lemon grass oil. It works great!!

Jennifer
Jennifer
6 years ago

Great info! I’ll definitely incorporate it in my regimen

Niquisha Keys
Niquisha Keys
6 years ago

I use 1/4 cup ACV and 3/4 cups water to detangle my hair.

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