Apple Cider Vinegar For Natural Hair

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Is your regular shampoo not removing product build-up effectively? Or have you been using too many hair care products that your hair’s natural pH is disturbed? The best solution in both these cases is apple cider vinegar. ACV has been gaining popularity in beauty circles for its benefits. It could be the best beauty staple for your natural hair. It is known to balance hair pH, remove product build-up, treat dandruff, relieve scalp itchiness, and add shine to your natural hair. In this article, we have discussed the benefits of apple cider vinegar for natural hair, how you can prepare and use it, and any potential side effects it may cause. Take a look!

Benefits Of ACV For Natural Hair

1. Balances Hair pH

An alkaline hair pH can cause damage. The healthy hair pH lies between 4.5 and 5.5. But most hair care products are not pH-balanced and may disturb the natural pH of hair (1). Apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic and contains acetic acid, which has a low pH (2). Some believe it may balance the scalp pH, though more research is warranted in this regard.

2. Has Antibacterial And Anti-fungal Properties

Apple cider vinegar is said to possess antifungal and antibacterial properties. The acetic acid in ACV helps prevent fungal growth (3). It also helps prevent bacterial growth and keeps your scalp and hair healthy. The phenolic compounds in ACV exhibit antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and acts against fungal and bacterial growth (4). The antimicrobial activity of ACV acts against certain microbes like E. coli and S. aureus (5).

3. May Help Treat Dandruff

Apple cider vinegar was found to help treat scalp issues like dandruff and itchiness (6). The antifungal and antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar may help relieve an itchy scalp or dandruff (4). However, more research is needed in this regard.

4. May Help Remove Product Build-up

Anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar exfoliates your scalp and removes product build-up and dead skin cells. Excess scalp oil secretion and using different hair care products can block the scalp pores and cause irritation. ACV may help remove scalp build-up and boost hair health. However, limited research is available in this regard.

5. May Boost Hair Shine

While many ingredients in your hair care products open your hair cuticles, some believe apple cider vinegar closes them. This can smoothen your hair strands. Opened hair cuticles are prone to dryness, breakage, and frizz. But anecdotal evidence suggests that ACV makes your hair strands shinier and brighter.

You can use ACV on your natural hair in many different ways. But the most popular method is an ACV rinse. It adds a natural shine to your hair, conditions, removes product build-up, fights frizz, and also helps detangle your natural hair. But, how to prepare an apple cider vinegar rinse for natural hair? Keep reading.

How To Prepare ACV Rinse For Natural Hair

You can prepare an ACV rinse with two simple ingredients. Always prefer to use freshly prepared ACV rinse for your hair. Some people use coconut oil to moisturize and detangle their hair before applying ACV. But there is no need to condition your hair as ACV itself is a natural conditioner.

You Will Need

  • Water, 8 oz. (1 cup)
  • Raw apple cider vinegar, 2 to 4 tablespoons
  • A spray bottle


  1. Pour the raw apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle.
  2. Add water to ACV in the required quantity.
  3. Shake the mixture vigorously.

You can use this ACV rinse as per the requirement and condition of your hair and scalp. Scroll down to know how to use the ACV rinse for your natural hair.

How To Use ACV Rinse For Natural Hair

Always choose unfiltered, organic ACV for natural hair. This raw ACV has a cloudy appearance and contains all beneficial nutrients. But dilute it with water as it contains acetic acid and is acidic. Undiluted ACV may cause scalp irritation.

  • Dilute one part of apple cider vinegar with two parts of water and spray it over your hair with the spray bottle.
  • Give a gentle massage to your scalp and apply it to the hair shafts. This brings some shine to your natural hair.
  • Soak your hair wet in the diluted apple cider vinegar.
  • Cover your hair with a shower cap and wait for 5 minutes and wash it with lukewarm water.
  • Continue with your hair wash routine.

You can use this ACV rinse after your hair wash. Also, adding other herbal ingredients to the ACV can enhance the properties of your hair rinse.

That said, are you aware of ACV hair masks? They are easy to prepare and help cleanse the scalp and nourish your hair. Scroll down to find out more.

ACV Hair Mask For Natural Hair

The hair mask is made of ACV, honey, and olive oil. ACV removes the excess oil and dead skin cells from the scalp. The conditioning properties of honey moisturize your hair (7). Olive oil is said to possess emollient properties that help condition your hair (8). The combination of these three ingredients improves your hair health.

You Will Need

  • Apple cider vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoon
  • Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Honey, 2 tablespoons


  1. Mix all three ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your damp hair from the roots.
  3. Cover your hair with a shower cap.
  4. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse completely.

The aforementioned hair rinse and hair mask will make your hair look fresh and shiny. These recipes can help restore your hair’s natural shine and texture. But before you try them out, you must know if ACV has any side effects.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Though applying ACV to your natural hair has no adverse effects, some people claim that it dries their hair out. Limited research is available to prove this claim. ACV may dry hair out if the ACV to water ratio is right. Hence, be sure to dilute ACV properly before use.


Apple cider vinegar has been used for its properties in the cosmetic industry. It has many benefits for your natural hair, from balancing its pH to boosting its shine. The ACV rinse and hair mask will transform your natural hair into shiny, healthy tresses.

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Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Shampoo pH can Affect the Hair: Myth or Reality?
  2. Acetic Acid, the Active Component of Vinegar, Is an Effective Tuberculocidal Disinfectant
  3. Growth inhibition of a phytopathogenic fungus, Colletotrichum species by acetic acid
  4. Authenticating apple cider vinegar’s home remedy claims: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties and cytotoxicity aspect
  5. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression
  6. Ethnopharmacological survey of home remedies used for treatment of hair and scalp and their methods of preparation in the West Bank-Palestine
  7. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review
  8. Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know?
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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).