How To Prepare And Use Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Written by Swathi Handoo

Our scalp has an acidic pH, while most hair and scalp care products are alkaline. This mismatch may disturb the optimal scalp pH and cause scalp issues, hair fall, and breakage. This is where apple cider vinegar can help strike the perfect balance.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has a mildly acidic pH that keeps the cuticles closed and preserves your hair’s natural texture and shine. ACV hair rinses have numerous other benefits that we have explored in the article. Scroll down and learn why and how to use an ACV hair rinse.

Why Use ACV Hair Rinse: The Benefits

  1. Antimicrobial Activity: ACV has shown antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects against microbes like E.coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans (1). These microbes cause skin infections and inflammation, leading to scalp issues and hair fall.
  2. Low pH: ACV is a fruit vinegar and contains acetic acid. It is a weak acid responsible for the low pH (5.0) of ACV. This is close to our scalp pH, and therefore, is a better cleansing option.
  3. Heals Wounds: Fungal and bacterial activity and lice infestation may irritate the scalp, damage the hair cuticles, and form scabs and painful bleeding sores. Applying diluted ACV to the affected areas can accelerate wound healing (2).
  4. Clears Buildup: Adding ACV to shampoos is a good way to deep clean your scalp. It helps eliminate product buildup, excess oil, grime, and dead skin around the hair follicles. Healthy follicles anchor the hair shafts better, support quicker hair growth, and retain natural shine.

There are several ways of using ACV on the hair and skin. However, using it as a hair rinse gives quick and visible results. Scroll down to know how to whip up a quick hair rinse at home.

How To Make An ACV Hair Rinse

Always use a fresh rinse and prepare it just before taking a shower. You don’t need to condition your hair as ACV is a natural conditioner. Here’s how to make it:

You Will Need

  • 2-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) of water
  • A spray bottle


  1. Mix the ACV and water.
  2. Transfer the contents to a spray bottle.
  3. Keep it in your shower caddy or bath kit.

Use the ACV hair rinse depending on the hair and scalp condition. For oily hair, use it once every week, while for dry hair, use it once or twice a month. For normal hair type, use it once every two weeks. Here is how to use the hair rinse.

How To Use ACV Hair Rinse

As A Pre-shampoo Treatment

  1. Spray the ACV hair rinse on your hair and scalp.
  2. Massage the scalp and leave it on for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Rinse with cool water.
  4. Continue with your hair wash routine.

As A Natural Conditioner (Post-Wash Rinse)

  1. Saturate your shampooed and wet hair and scalp with the ACV rinse.
  2. Massage the scalp gently using your fingertips.
  3. Leave the solution on for about 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse it thoroughly with room temperature water.

You can also add natural and herbal extracts, juices, and ingredients to enrich your ACV hair rinse. Check out the recipes below.

Some More ACV Hair Rinse Recipes

1. ACV And Aloe Vera Hair Rinse

This hair rinse recipe is great for dry hair. Aloe vera gel has hydrating properties and acts as an emollient for dry skin (3). It may help restore dry and flaky scalp and keep the hair healthy. You don’t need to condition your hair after using this hair rinse.

You Will Need

  • 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • A squeeze bottle
  • A mixing bowl


  1. Blend the ACV and aloe vera in the mixing bowl. Adjust the quantities as per the desired consistency and hair length.
  2. Transfer the contents to the squeeze bottle.
  3. Apply the mixture to shampoo-washed hair and scalp and massage.
  4. Leave it on for about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Rinse with lukewarm water.

2. ACV And Essential Oil Hair Rinse

This one is for all aromatherapy lovers. Lavender, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils have shown hair growth-promoting effects in animal studies (4), (5), (6). This hair rinse is best for those who have hair fall issues.

You Will Need

  • ¾ cup filtered or purified water
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 drops of rosemary oil
  • 3 drops of lavender oil
  • 3 drops of peppermint oil
  • A clean spray bottle (200 ml capacity)


  1. Combine ACV and water in a clean spray bottle. Stir or shake well.
  2. Add the essential oils and shake to blend.
  3. Spritz the rinse onto clean and damp hair and scalp (before or after shampooing).
  4. Leave it on for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Rinse with lukewarm water and continue with your hair wash routine.

3. Horsetail, Nettle, And ACV Hair Rinse

This hair rinse is best for those with alopecia and telogen effluvium. When taken as food, horsetail extract may strengthen and thicken your hair by inhibiting the baldness-causing genes and respective proteins (7). Animal studies found that applying nettle extract could promote blood circulation and cell growth and induce anagen (growth) in hair follicles (8).

You Will Need

  • ¼ cup of dried horsetail
  • ¼ cup of dried nettle
  • 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil or ¼ cup of dried lavender
  • 4 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • A 1-quart mason jar
  • A 1-quart glass or spray bottle


  1. Put the herbs into the mason jar and fill it with apple cider vinegar.
  2. Close the lid and shake well. Leave it to mature for 2-4 weeks.
  3. Strain the herbs and store the concoction in a glass bottle or spray bottle.
  4. Spray or pour it on shampoo-washed damp hair.
  5. Massage your scalp and leave it on for 2-3 minutes.
  6. You may or may not rinse it off with lukewarm water, depending on how your hair likes it.

These three unique ACV hair rinse recipes will make you fall in love with your hair. Try them to get back the natural shine and texture of your locks. And while you are at it, keep these points in mind.

Tips To Remember When Using An ACV Hair Rinse

  • Adjust the quantity and dilution rate of ACV as per your hair length, scalp type, and dermatological concerns.
  • Do not use an ACV hair rinse on color-treated hair and sensitive scalp. ACV can fade the color, and the acetic acid in it can irritate a sensitive scalp.
  • Avoid getting ACV into your eyes.
  • Do not overuse this rinse. Use it every two weeks initially and see how your hair and scalp respond.
  • Use top-quality ACV with ‘vinegar mother’ or ‘100% pure’ tags. Adulterated and processed ACV may irritate your hair and skin.

The Bottom Line

Apple cider vinegar is known for its cosmeceutical applications and benefits. Using it as a hair rinse is the easiest and cost-effective way to condition all hair and scalp types. Try the recipes mentioned in this article to nourish, heal, and restore your hair health and manage scalp issues. So, wait no more and grab an ACV bottle, set up your DIY station, and get to work!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I deep condition my hair after an ACV rinse?

No, you don’t need to. ACV is a natural hair conditioner and helps tame frizz. Unless it is used as a pre-shampoo treatment, you can skip the conditioning step.

What happens if you leave apple cider vinegar in your hair overnight?

ACV is weakly acidic. It is something you should not have on your skin or hair for a long time. It may result in hair breakage and dullness after wash. You’ll be doing more harm than good to your scalp by doing so.

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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. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression
  2. Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect
  3. Ethnopharmacological survey of home remedies used for treatment of hair and scalp and their methods of preparation in the West Bank-Palestine
  4. Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice
  5. Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs
  6. Promotion of hair growth by Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract
  7. Inhibition of 5α-Reductase, IL-6 Secretion, and Oxidation Process of Equisetum debile Roxb. ex Vaucher Extract as Functional Food and Nutraceuticals Ingredients
  8. Study of Vasodilating and Regenerative Effect of the Gel with Nettle Juice intended for Telogen Effluvium Treatment
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Swathi holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and has worked in places where actual science and research happen. Blending her love for writing with science, Swathi writes for Health and Wellness and simplifies complex topics for readers from all walks of life.And on the days she doesn’t write, she learns and performs Kathak, sings Carnatic music compositions, makes plans to travel, and obsesses over cleanliness.