Why You Should Wash Your Hair With Apple Cider Vinegar

Why You Should Wash Your Hair With Apple Cider Vinegar
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Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a well-known folk remedy to treat many health conditions. I’ve already written on how to use ACV to lose weight, reduce cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. You can also use it to remove skin tags and warts, as an effective cleansing face wash and in detox drinks.

Using ACV is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health

Many times harsh soaps and shampoos can strip hair and skin of their natural oils, leaving them dry. But rinsing your hair with ACV is a great treatment for your hair and scalp and has a long list of benefits:

Benefits of ACV for hair

Balancing hair and scalp pH – There are many commercial hair-care products that have a negative effect on the hair, leaving it dry and brittle. Our hair has an ideal pH of 4 to 5. The acidity of the ACV rinse means that it can help maintain the pH balance of your hair and remove buildup at the same time without stripping the hair of its natural oils.

Sealing the hair cuticle – As a result, light is reflected off the hair, making it smoother, softer and shinier. This also enables the hair maintain more moisture and helping prevent split ends.

Treating dandruff, itchy and dry scalp – ACV has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help treat itchy, dry scalp. You can get detailed information in my article on how to use ACV to get rid of dandruff and in my article about the best home remedies for dry, itchy scalp.

works as a natural detangler – so can replace conditioner. Your other option for a natural detangler is coconut oil and you can read about it in my post: 8 ingenious ways to use coconut oil on your hair.

Encouraging hair growth – ACV can treat clogged hair follicles due to bacterial infection that creates crusty flakes on the scalp (which can result in hair loss). Livestrong website also mentions an article published in 2002 stating that ACV stimulates better circulation to the hair follicles, which strengthens the hair roots and promotes a healthy hair growth.

How to use ACV for hair rinse

First of all, you need to use the right kind of ACV. Choose raw, organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized kind of ACV. Not the refined kind you find in most stores. Buy a good quality kind of ACV that contains the “mother” of vinegar, which is the cloudy stuff that sinks to the bottom of the bottle.

This substance contains the beneficial enzymes, bacteria, pectin and trace minerals that makes ACV so good for you. It’s also a good idea to shake the bottle each time before using ACV to distribute the elements. You can even easily make your own natural ACV.

Ingredients

1 cup water
2 tablespoons ACV

Preparation

In a spray bottle mix two tablespoons ACV with one cup water (use the same ratio if you prepare a larger quantity, something like 1/3 cup of ACV mixed with one liter of water).

Some references use higher concentration of ACV because oily hair likes more ACV than dry hair. Start from the lower dilution and experiment to find the dilution that works best for your hair type.

After shampooing apply the ACV rinse, massaging into your hair and scalp. Leave for a couple of minutes. Then rinse your hair thoroughly. You don’t need to use a conditioner.

Don’t get the rinse into your eyes as it will sting. As your hair is drying, you may smell vinegar, but once your hair dries, the smell is gone.

Do this treatment once or twice a week.

You can even include herbs in the rinse (previously infusing them in the water). Thus you can add lavender for a great scent or rosemary to encourage hair growth. You can also add a few drops of the best essential oils for healthy hair.

Also find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy which will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them).

Read my other related articles:
1. Why You Should Wash Your Face With Apple Cider Vinegar
2. The Best Home Remedies for a Dry, Itchy Scalp
3. How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drinks
4. How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) For Weight Loss

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72 Responses to Why You Should Wash Your Hair With Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Walter- Topp says:

    1 Question: where can one buy organic unfiltered VAC from?
    2.Question: fore a long time I have blood circulation problems in my lower legs the outer valves of the cardio system don’t function properly I should have an expensive operation Is there an natural remedy to iry to correct that?

    • Jenny says:

      1. Online (such as Amazon) or health shops.
      2. I am personally not familiar with natural way to correct faulty valve. Generally speaking you can improve your blood circulation as mentioned in my article about this subject – http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/improve-blood-circulation-naturally/ – but this is not to answer to your specific situation that should be evaluated by a professional medical practitioner.

    • Irma Hritz says:

      This vinegar can be bought in your local grocery store where the regular vinegar is. I find it in our
      Winn Dixie store near the olive oil etc. is

    • Christina says:

      Wal Mart now carries the Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, at least in my area.

    • Velma says:

      I buy mine at Kroger,in the Organic food department.

    • S says:

      I don’t know where you live, but in Australia we can buy unfiltered, organic ACV from any supermarket as well as health food stores.

    • caleb habsen says:

      Gotukola and ginko biloba is my best answer look it up on any site, its a all natural organic herb in capsule form or whole for injested in a tea. Gotu kola a ginko biloba are circulatory herbs that increases your circulation while strengthing your arteries, good stuff ive tried it myself and i havent stop taking it sense. And the’res other herbal choices too that are slightly similiar but are good for circulation such as cinnamon wich is good for a healthy circulartory system and healthy heart and rosmary wich is is good for circulation to the brain also if chewed makes your breath smell good. I hope these herbs i suggested help you in a tremendous way my obsession will someday hopefully be my profession abd i will be helping everyone. Good luck!!!

  2. Karen says:

    What do you recommend for shampoo?

    msred5 at gmail dot com

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Karen, you can make this natural shampoo – http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/home-made-coconut-shampoo/ – or if you are not DIY person, use mild baby shampoo, or Castile soap or natural shampoos which are sold online.

    • Anne Stanton says:

      For 5 years I have washed my hair with sodium bicarbonate and rinsed with Apple cider vinegar. My hair always feels soft and smooth and does not smell of vinegar
      To wash mix 1 tablespoon of carb soda with a cup of warm water.
      Pour slowly through hair massing in well . Rinse off with water.
      Then pour the rinse mixture of a cup of warm water with 2 tablespoons of ACV slowly through your hair. Rinse off with clear water.
      You can make a bigger mix if you have more hair , just double it.

      • Judy says:

        Are you saying you don’t use shampoo at all?

        • Linda Crumley says:

          This is exactly how I wash my hair too, and it works really well for me. Once in a while I try a pricy salon shampoo just to see what happens…but I always go right back to the baking soda and vinegar. My hair has never looked or felt better than these past couple years of washing it this way. Wish I’d known this a long time ago! It did take a couple weeks for my hair to adjust, but was worth the effort.

          • asia says:

            would this work for little girl with bad dandruff and itchy scalp. 5 years old and older

          • S says:

            Eventually, using bicarb to wash your hair WILL take its toll.

            Bicarb is highly alkaline.

            Sebum, which is in the hair’s natural oil, has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5, making it slightly acidic – a pH of 7 is neutral, with anything below pH 7 and anything with a pH value above 7, is 10 times more alkaline for each pH level above 7.

            Pretty damaging when you realize that simple fact.

            So anything alkaline put on the scalp and hair, will rip open the cuticle and cause colour loss, stripping the hair of health and causing major damage.

            Rinsing with cider vinegar after killing it with bicarb, only ‘glosses over’ the damage and gives the impression that hair is healthy; but it’s only a temporary illusion.

            Sooner or later, the damage from washing with bicarb will become obvious and – amongst other things – hair will begin to fall out.

      • Juan Luis Perez says:

        is it safe to use baking soda and ACV to wash hair everyday? If not what should be the recommended routine? Thank you.

  3. Geraldine Aguinaldo says:

    What shampoo I use because I have so many dandraff and so itchy

  4. Kate says:

    What do you use for conditioner the other days of the week? I generally was my hair every 2 days because I workout. Thank you!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Kate, I think you can do it the other days of the week and not just once or twice a week. I think that doing it 3-4 times a week will not do any harm. Try it and see how you go. You can always adapt the amount of ACV (for example putting only 1 tbsp instead of two).

    • ally says:

      I would not recommend using it 3-4 times as that will strip your oils and as a conditioner try using mayonnaise as it may sound disgusting but it gives protein to your hair and leaves it shiny with volume but do not use it to much because it could be to much protein

  5. Tanya says:

    Do I use the entire thing at once (1 cup + 2tbsp ACV)?

  6. EiLeen says:

    Is this safe for color processed hair?

  7. Irma Hritz says:

    This vinegar can be purchased in your local grocery store. I get mine at my Winn Dixie store where the regular vinegar is shelved. I use it for a rinse only and it does wonderful with my all gray hair. it can
    be used whenever you shampoo – 2 to 3 times wk.

  8. jyoti says:

    Hello

    my hair is falling and day by day it is increasing. ..
    Kindly provide me some effective way to control of it.

  9. Diana says:

    Does Mother ACV strip or damage my highlighted hair?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Diana, I don’t know the answer from a personal experience (I don’t have dyed hair), but searching the web this question repeats quite often. From what I’ve read, ACV can fade hair color if done too strongly or too often, but if it is diluted well and isn’t done daily or too often it should be fine. If any of the readers have tried it on dyed hair, I would be happy if they share their experience.

  10. Ankita says:

    Does this therapy is useful for gray hair also?

    • Jenny says:

      Washing hair with ACV is suitable for all hair types but it doesn’t restore it to the previous color before graying.

      • Willia says:

        I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar. I got my first 2 gray hairs at 22 years of age. Now almost XXX years later I still basically I have the same 2- 3 gray hairs. I also have some more but the roots are black. Because I have been taking apple cider vinegar tablets for years. The proof is that my hair is 24-30 inches long and I have another few gray hairs where the gray is at the end of the strand of hairs. From the roots to about 20 inches, the strands are black but the tips are about 4 inches of white hair. I have not colored my hairs since the 80’s and when I did I colored it honey blond not black. The Apple Cider vinegar works by removing rust(the gray) by acting as an antioxidant but it works from the inside and out. So it is suppose to work from the inside by growing out non oxidized hair(gray) which is your natural color.

        This is just my personal experience over the last 15 years, I wish I could include a picture of my strands of hairs, I can a test that with continual use it works. I happen to like the taste of apple cider vinegar tablets with pectin, like candy or mints, which is how I can keep up with it.

  11. Shelly says:

    ACV has a very strong scent to it. If I’m replacing it for a conditioner, is my hair gonna start smelling like vinegar?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Shelly, while your hair is drying, it may smell vinegary, but once your hair dries, the smell is gone.

  12. Nirah says:

    Hey such an informative post this is . I’m applying onion juice every alternative day and as I have dandruff with very oily scalp I use a anit dandruff shampoo. Could u pls tell me after applying the onion juice and washing with shampoo can I rinse my hair with ACV once a week ? Will it help me with my oily scalp ?

  13. michelle says:

    Hi All
    First of all I would like to say how informative the website is
    But its causing me some confusion
    im in my mid 50s overweight unhealthy and trying now to get my life back on track, I work in a hot climate and my skin looks old and wrinkled, my blood pressure is high so im on medication for this, I need to loose 20 kilos and although I have started with my diet. e.g. no bread pasta rice etc. etc. reducing my carbs, I would like to get my internal body into shape as well, but there are so many herbs, spices etc. to choose from. can anyone recommend on which ones I should start on first please

    • I got myself a Fit Bit from the sports centre at Walmart. I love it! You don’t have to buy special food for a diet. Register it on your computer and it automatically tracks your steps as long as you are wearing it. I hook mine on me pocket. You can get different types (all are waterproof) When you log in and type in what you comsume the Fit Bit will automatically how many calories that are in what you have consumed. The more you walk the more you can eat. I started my weight loss program July 1st and have lost 20 lbs. I started out walking 4000 to 5000 steps a day. Now I am up to 10,000 steps and I love it and if I don’t use all the calories during the week I can eat some special foods when I am out. Oh yes 8 glasses of water “should be” drank each day if possible. Just be careful how the food is prepared eg broil instead of fry and I am sure you know that. Instead of dessert I suck on diabetic candies up to 4 per day. I too have health issues as you do HBP/ High cholesterol/and laziness. I try not to eat bread/rice and others carbs and if I do I eat a protein with it and it sure helps to level out the carbs a bit. Eat wholegrain breads they have less calories. Just remember every lb lost is health gained. Just weigh in once a week so you don’t get discouraged at first you are turning fat into muscle and muscle weighs more that fat. But in a while you will be very pleased with your self. Oh yes every step you make around the house counts even getting up to the biffy during the night! Good Luck! And I hope it works for you and I know it will. Any questions Michellle please contact me and I will try to help you as good health is important to me, I will be 70 years old in November and I am doing great!

  14. Alyssa says:

    I’ve been doing the no-poo thing, which is washing hair with baking soda and conditioning with apple cider vinegar. My hair is no longer frizzy, and the split ends just stopped coming, I’m very pleased with the results. I also mix 2parts water 1part apple cider vinegar, dab in a cotton ball and smooth over the face, neck, and any acne or dark spots. That has also been very helpful in keeping my skin moisturizer and clear.
    I got my husband to try it out and it soothed his dandruff, although he’s too lazy to keep up with the regimen. 😛

    • Minaal says:

      Hi Alyssa,

      How often do you do this?
      I work out almost everyday so I need something that I can use daily to wash my hair.
      Also, I have really fine hair so I’m sceptical to try anything too harsh

      Thanks
      Minal

  15. Lecx says:

    Does ACV helps preventing hair fall/loss?

    • Jenny says:

      There are references that say that ACV stimulates better circulation to the hair follicles, which strengthens the hair roots and promotes a healthy hair growth. Some apply it topically and some consume it internally diluted with water. I guess it worth a try.

  16. Lecx says:

    I have too much hair fall that i dunno how to manage and what to use inorder to prevent and keep my hair healthy

  17. Toya Perry says:

    I have alot of dandruff and dry scalp. I just purchased biotin & collagen shampoo and conditioner, will that help my scalp.

  18. Mahwish says:

    I have very long hair but very frizzy and dry but my scalp gets oily very quickly could someone please tell me what quantity excatly I need to use of avc rinse for my hair? I would be very grateful.

    • San says:

      Same here. I suggest focusing more so on your shampoo.
      Once I changed my shampoo, the dryness and frizz decreased. Use an oil-based shampoo. You may lose a little of your natural curl, but your hair will be so much healthier.
      For ACV, I suggest starting with 1 tablespoon per 2 cups water for dry hair with oily scalp. Works for me!
      🙂

  19. Priyanka says:

    Is it necessary to wash hair with water after applying apple cider vibegar?

  20. Beckah says:

    Question~can I use expired apple cider vinegar on my hair? The bottle says five percent acidity and it expired in 2013 and it’s 2015 right now, would it still be safe to use?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Beckah, from what I’ve read due to the acidic nature of ACV it can last years without spoiling. The expiry date usually means that the ACV is of best quality for at least the mentioned period of time. In most cases you should be able to store ACV for at least 5 years (in proper conditions), but you should be able to use it after that time as well in most cases. If the color and taste seem to be fine, you can use it. If not, throw it away.

  21. natik says:

    I am 24 year younger , since last 2 years I have hair falling problem, my hair very thin, it falls very fast especially when I gonna for a sleep. In the morning time I have a much itching in my scalp , when I massage on my scalp it releases heating. Please suggest me remedies , is acv work on my problem, also tell me where can I find it acv.

    • Jenny says:

      First of all you need to find the cause for the hair loss: you’ve mentioned itchy scalp – perhaps you have some medical issue that causes hair loss, such as scalp psoriasis, folliculitis or seborrheic dermatitis. Thus you can target the root of the problem (your doctor can help you with that). No point treating only the symptom without treating the underlying reason for the hair loss. Using ACV can help you with balancing the pH of your scalp and treat itchy scalp or bacterial infection, so it worth trying it. You can find organic, raw, unprocessed and unfiltered ACV in health food stores or online (such as Amazon).

  22. Simi says:

    My hair is too dry it becomes too dry even after I use conditioner . Does ACV help dry hair too??

  23. RITA says:

    I usually used mixtures of oils(olive,castrol,amond,amala,mushard) on my hair weekly. but the problem is, the baking soda cannot remove the oils from the hair when i wash my hair with it. what can i do?

  24. Stela Sy says:

    Will it affect colored hair? I have grey hairs already & i color it every 2 weeks or so

  25. Carrie says:

    I’ve been washing with baking soda for several years. At this point I only use it once every couple of weeks (most of the time it’s when I’ve used some sort of product on my hair and need a boost to remove it) and the rest of the time I just use plain water. The oils in my hair have adjusted and everything is fine. I use ACV to rinse once a week. My hair is colored and I find this helps hold the color better than any other plan. Big bonus is that my itchy allergy eyes are almost entirely gone.

  26. Kristen says:

    May I suggest Dr. Bronners for a shampoo, works wonders ladies! All natural and mainly made with oils. Especially if the baking soda is not working.

  27. Indrani Dasgupta says:

    Jenny, please help. Since the beginning of winter, my otherwise smooth, mostly-never entangled straight hair has become limp and to add to my woes, the static just makes it worse. I don’t know what to do. When I shampoo my hair, it doesn’t look like I’ve shampooed it, and it doesn’t even look oily. It’s become unmanageable and there is just too much hair fall. I don’t know what to do.
    I live in New Delhi, India.
    Could it because of the winters?

    • Jenny says:

      Winter can take its toll on your hair in a number of ways. You can find more information and suggestions for hair care during the winter here.

  28. Tina says:

    I’m so grateful to have come across this! I have severe seborrheic dermatitis and have tried so many things to help it. Nizoral, T-Gel, Selsun Blue, olive oil, lemon juice etc. Nothing helped and I can’t afford a prescription shampoo/cream. Within a couple minutes of putting the acv rinse on my head started tingling. After rinsing it out and combing my hair my head feels great. No itching or burning. The inflammation is gone also. I also have color treated hair and no adverse effects. Thank you!

  29. JJ says:

    Occasionally I used ACV treatment and sometimes I switched off using Organic Tea Tree Oi adding a few drops to my shampoo that has anti bacterial, etc. I use 100% PURE Euacalyptus & Mint Shampoo w/Burdock Neem Conditioner it’s GlutenFree all Natural. I think our hair is like our skin we need to “Moisturize” as well. My scalp gets itchy from house clean, I exfoliate head to toe, deep treatment my hair once a week (i used Japanese product) but coconut oil+manuka honey works good for 20 min; i used san pellegrano for milia & moisture mask. Healthy diet=Healthy Hair/Skin
    When my hair is unhealthy I know my body is lacking Vitamin Bs & I forgot to take my Probiotics, etc (this is me only)

  30. Kam says:

    Can we have a list of scientific sources for the benefits of apple cider vinegar please?

    • Jenny says:

      Many claims of ACV are not backed scientifically and are traditional or folk remedy. Whenever there is a study I mention it in the article, for example see studies about ACV and blood pressure here, or ACV for diabetes here, or ACV for weight loss here. The problem with ACV is that there is very little interest to study it as the big pharma companies will not benefit from it, and many studies are limited and on a small scale (as with many other natural remedies).

  31. sarah says:

    where can i get this in india ?

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