A top view of apples and apple cider vinegar. A top view of apples and apple cider vinegar.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Your Hair: 9 Major Benefits

Apple cider vinegar is a common kitchen ingredient that has been making a steady buzz across the internet. It began as a perfect salad dressing base, then spread to the world of skincare and weight loss and now it has entered the realm of hair care as well. What do you think, Is apple cider vinegar good for your hair?

Apple cider vinegar or ACV might seem like one of your more unconventional hair products and the idea of applying it to your hair and undergoing a hair rinse might seem a bit odd at first. Of course, this trail of thought makes complete sense, but, stick with this article and you’ll be able to see why this simple fruit vinegar could make all the difference to your hair health.

1. What Exactly Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

To anyone who doesn’t exactly know what apple cider vinegar is, we have you covered. No, it isn’t simply vinegar with traces of apple in it. Apple cider vinegar is a unique ingredient. It is made by the fermentation of fresh apple juice. Here yeast helps to turn the apple juice into alcohol which further breaks down to form apple cider vinegar.

2. Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Your Hair?

woman with hands in her hair
By: Element5 Digital/Pexels Copyright 2023

Apple cider vinegar is easily available in grocery stores and along with its anti-inflammatory characteristics, possesses a wide range of benefits that can drastically improve hair and scalp health1. The top benefits are listed below.

2.1. It Can Cleanse Your Hair

Apple cider vinegar is an ideal tool to remove buildup. This makes it a perfect cleanser as it can aid in cleaning stubborn product buildup that a regular shampoo cannot remove. An ACV rinse can also help remove excess grease and clean your hair and scalp.

The solution to oily hair is just a simple ACV rinse. Moreover, common hair products like dry shampoo may seem useful to clean your hair and scalp however such products can stick to your hair shaft leading to a residue that must be cleaned.

2.2. A Secret to Healthy Scalp pH

Like everything in our bodies, our scalps also have a pH. Scalp pH is slightly acidic as it measures at around 5.5 and the pH of our hair strands is 3.67. The pH of a regular shampoo is always alkaline ph falling between 7.0 and 9.0. This clash between the original scalp pH and the alkaline pH leads to a problem with maintaining the pH balance of our scalp2. When we perform a simple apple cider vinegar rinse our scalp’s pH is restored to its natural pH level.

This occurs due to the presence of acetic acid in apple cider vinegar. With a balanced scalp, we need not worry about infections caused by bacterial growth and fungi.

2.3. It Can Help Treat Dandruff

Dandruff is an extremely common issue faced by people worldwide. Along with dandruff, other issues like a dry scalp, an itchy scalp, excess dead skin cells, and irritation are often caused by bacterial growth. For problems like this, a product with antimicrobial properties is required.

Apple cider vinegar has incredible antibacterial and antifungal properties that can reduce this problem and help improve your scalp’s health.

2.4. The Perfect Product for Color-Treated Hair

A woman with colored hair.
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

In today’s work, hair colors are extremely common however, many people are unable to care for their colored hair. A problem people with dyed hair face is, the almost instantaneous fading of color. An ACV hair rinse helps close hair cuticles thus locking in the colour.

So now with just this simple step, your hair colour can last for a longer duration keeping your hair looking fresh and bright. Furthermore, hair colors again tend to be alkaline, and thus using apple cider vinegar in hair can restore the natural pH.

2.5. It Can Help Tame Frizz

Out of all the many hair problems we face on a regular, frizzy unruly hair can be the most frustrating. Frizz is a condition often seen when strands of hair lack moisture. This leads to hair taking moisture from the environment causing it to become frizzy.

Apple cider vinegar can help make your hair smoother, reduce frizz, and enhance shine. It can also aid in detangling hair. Apple cider vinegar may just be the tool that can take dull dry hair and transform it into shiny hair that will effortlessly make heads turn.

2.6. It Can Lead to Stronger and Healthier Hair

Another common hair concern is hair loss. Apple cider vinegar has the potential to close a hair cuticle. This means that your hair becomes stronger. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is enriched with vitamins that help in the process of strengthening your hair and reducing hair loss3.

2.7. It Can Encourage Hair Growth

Regular apple cider vinegar rinses can also help in encouraging hair growth. This is because your hair follicles are cleansed thoroughly to remove excess oils, grease, and product buildup.

This allows for healthier hair to grow from the scalp. Moreover, during the process of an ACV rinse, we often massage the apple cider vinegar into our hair. This aids in blood circulation and can help your hair grow longer and at the same time healthier.

2.8. It Can Increase Curl Definition

A smiling woman with high-definition curly hair.
Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Apple cider vinegar is said to be an optimal product for curly girls as it aids in reaching the goal of juicy defined curls. As the frizz in the hair is reduced, every strand of hair can take on a more defined shape. This makes it a powerful arsenal for your curly hair care.

2.9. It’s Completely Natural

Apple cider vinegar is all the rage because unlike any other product hyped by the beauty industry, ACV is completely natural. This means it has no harmful chemicals that will damage your hair in the long run. There can however be issues caused by excessive use of apple cider vinegar. Read on to see how exactly to incorporate this powerful product into your hair care routine.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Versus Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are quite useful for clearing buildup and cleansing your scalp. However, apple cider vinegar is milder and therefore kinder to your hair and your scalp. Also, clarifying shampoos are not good for your scalp as they can ruin the natural pH balance of your scalp. This is why apple cider vinegar is a good tool to use to help your scalp stay clean and well cared for.

4. Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for All Hair?

Yes, all hair types can benefit from using apple cider vinegar! Whether your hair is dry or oily; curly or straight; apple cider vinegar is a great product for you. There are certain recommendations in terms of which hair type can use what particular ratios of apple cider vinegar and water. For people with dry hair, experts usually recommend the use of a higher water-to-apple cider vinegar ratio.

5. How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

To get the most out of apple cider vinegar, please take a look at the steps below. It is advised that everyone use diluted ACV rather than pure ACV as this can be harmful to your scalp.

It is advised that you perform an ACV hair rinse once a week to gain optimum results. Here are the steps to help you accurately carry out an ACV hair rinse. All you need for this home remedy is a spray bottle, apple cider vinegar, and water.

  1. In a spray bottle mix 240 ml of water with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
  2. On wet hair, spray this mixture.
  3. Gently massage the ACV rinse mixture around your scalp.
  4. Let the mixture sit for approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Rinse out the apple cider vinegar from your hair with cool water.
  6. Hair is dry as you always do.

Your scalp should feel clean and fresh. Also, your hair and scalp must be completely free of the acv rinses smell. If it is not free, please rinse your scalp once more. Here’s a video that you can follow along with.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for Curly Hair

6. Key Takeaways

Apple cider vinegar has numerous benefits for your hair and scalp. It can become one of your most essential hair care products with its ability to remove product buildup, clear dead skin, help close every hair cuticle, and cleanse your scalp. Furthermore, its ability to adapt and help every hair type, whether they are oily or dry scalps, makes it an interesting and versatile choice.

Of course, an apple cider vinegar hair rinse must be accompanied by a shampoo wash to provide the best result for hair and scalp health. Using apple cider vinegar as one of your hair care products just once a week can transform your hair. It can work to genuinely improve the quality of your hair.

While many products incorporate apple cider vinegar in them, using the original ingredient is a good decision as you are not putting in more harmful chemicals. Moreover, this simple pantry ingredient can be a cost-effective alternative to expensive treatments. You can experiment safely with this item to unlock your hair’s true potential.

7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1. What will apple cider vinegar do to your hair?

Apple cider vinegar provides your hair with many benefits for keeping the hair and scalp healthy.

7.2. How long should I leave apple cider vinegar on my hair?

Apply the Apple Cider Vinegar on the hair for 3-5 minutes and then wash it off with cold water.

7.3. Can apple cider remove dandruff?

Yes! Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can reduce the problem of dandruff.
  1. T Chiu, Chin-Hsien, Shu-Hung Huang, and Hui-Min D Wang. “A review: hair health, concerns of shampoo ingredients and scalp nourishing treatments.” Current pharmaceutical biotechnology 16.12 (2015): 1045-1052. ↩︎
  2. Westgren, M., et al. “Lactate compared with pH analysis at fetal scalp blood sampling: a prospective randomised study.” BJOG: an international journal of obstetrics & gynaecology 105.1 (1998): 29-33. ↩︎
  3. Shapiro, Jerry, Marni Wiseman, and Harvey Lui. “Practical management of hair loss.” Canadian Family Physician 46.7 (2000): 1469-1477. ↩︎


Vrinda Mathur

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