This post was originally posted a couple years ago but it’s still one of my most popular posts of all time… AND it makes for a great quarantine activity! It’s incredible how effective a couple relatively inexpensive ingredients can be.
One thing I try to do at least a few times a month is a DIY apple cider vinegar hair rinse. It is such a wonderful hair care trick but it’s also incredibly inexpensive to make! Perfect for quarantine. This rinse has a lot of benefits but for me the two big ones are shiny hair and a cleaner scalp. It gets your scalp SO clean – the perfect way to cleanse and remove impurities without stripping your hair of its natural oils, and it’s great for all hair types… even oily hair and dry scalp. For a while I was using the one I featured in this post (which is GREAT, and I highly recommend buying it if you’re more of a buy vs. DIY person), but I quickly realized how easy it is to just make my own…!
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Benefits
Apple Cider is kind of just this wonder product. Is there anything it doesn’t do? I included it as an ingredient in my DIY turmeric face mask (it’s great for pimples as it’s a natural astringent and has anti inflammatory properties), it can help cure a cold… it’s magical! It has a lot of amazing benefits to help achieve healthy hair.
It’s packed with nutrients.
These include B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. Because it is slightly acidic, it also serves to restore the natural pH of the acid mantle. (Read more about the acid mantle here.)
Shiny, Frizz-free Hair that still has body.
Apple Cider Vinegar leaves your hair so shiny…. without weighing it down. So you get increased shine AND increased body which is a win-win as it actually will strengthen hair! The reason for this is that the ACV actually flattens the cuticle, resulting in hair that shines, “slides” easily, and is less prone to tangling or snagging. This means less frizzy hair, more shine, and if you have curls or waves they will be more defined. I swear by apple cider vinegar rinses and you will too, after making this!
A cleaner scalp
Dry shampoo addicts (hand raised), LISTEN UP! This is a great natural scalp detox. ACV contains natural AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) which gently exfoliate the scalp and hair. This helps to deep clean the scalp, removing excess product buildup, dead skin cells, etc.
Raw apple cider vinegar also contains natural alpha-hydroxy acid, which gently exfoliates the scalp and hair, allowing for removal of dead skin cells and build up that can occur from sweat and/or conventional hair products. This improves the appearance of the hair, reduces itchiness, and allows for better styling.
Anti-bacterial properties + helps with dandruff
ACV contains acetic acid which has antimicrobial properties which can kill bacteria + fungus (a common cause of dandruff and dry scalp). It’s great to help treat dandruff but also prevent it. You can read more about ACV for dandruff (and a special treatment for it) in this article!
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe For Color Treated Hair?
Yes! As long as you remember to dilute the ACV with water, your color-treated hair will maintain its vibrancy and shine.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse Recipe
Here is an easy recipe I like.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (use anywhere between half a tablespoon and 4 tablespoons) – I like to use 2 tablespoons.
- Aloe Vera Gel (a heaping tablespoon). This isn’t necessary; honestly water + ACV would be fine, but I think the aloe vera just feels really good on my scalp + adds a little extra shine.
- Water (8 oz)
- Squeeze Bottle (this is actually really important as the squeeze bottle acts as your applicator. You could always just pour it onto your head but this allows for more precise application, directly to the scalp.
Decide how much ACV you want to use.
As mentioned above, you can use anywhere between 1/2 – 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. If your hair is on the oily side, use more and if your hair is dry, use less. I have pretty dry hair and have found that two tablespoons is the magic number.
Combine all of the ingredients in a plastic squeeze bottle.
Shake the spray bottle vigorously (and each time you use it, shake it again – the aloe vera gel can settle at the bottom so you want to make sure it’s combined). You can even mix in a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a more neutral fragrance.
How To Use The ACV Hair Rinse
How often to do it
I like to do this at least twice a month. My ideal would be once a week. Sometimes I’ll get a really good blowout and make it last a whole week using dry shampoo. Doing an ACV rinse is mandatory after that, it deep cleans my scalp and gets off all that excess product.
How to apply the ACV hair rinse
I use my ACV rinse in place of shampoo but it can also be used after shampoo. Get in the shower and wet your hair like usual and then use the tip of the bottle to create mini parts within your hair (squeeze as you go to dispense the product. Continue this until you’ve applied the product to your whole scalp. Don’t forget to get the base of your head and behind your ears. Just be careful not to get it into your eyes as it will burn.
Leave it on for a while
It’s up to you how leave it on. This article suggests that 3 minutes is the time it takes for the ACV to break down product buildup. (I actually usually leave it on for 5 minutes to get my scalp good and clean). But I would say leave it on for at LEAST a minute, max 5-7 minutes. I also like to do a little scalp massage while it’s on. I think (hope) this helps remove additional product residue/buildup.
Rinse it out!
Rinsing your hair with cold water will lead to even more shine but that’s not mandatory. Skip conditioner. Rinse well.
As a reminder, of course you could always just buy the dpHUE apple cider vinegar rinse product (or this one from Pureology which I have not tried but love the brand), but this is so easy and inexpensive to make on your own that I don’t really see the point!