4 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse And How To Use It

Reviewed by Tiffany Young, Certified Trichology Practitioner
Written by Swathi Handoo, MSc (Biotechnology), Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health

Keeping the scalp’s pH within a healthy range is vital to the hair and scalp health. An apple cider vinegar hair rinse is a great way to restore the pH imbalance. Most hair products have an alkaline pH, while the scalp has an acidic pH. This may cause a pH imbalance. If ignored, it can cause scalp and hair breakage issues.

Apple cider vinegar has (ACV) a slightly acidic pH that prevents cuticles from opening, allowing them to retain their natural texture and sheen. Find out the benefits of ACV hair rinses and how they work in this article. Scroll down.

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 dont 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.

Maintaining your scalp’s pH level is essential to improving your hair health, managing scalp issues, and preventing scalp infestations and infections. But most hair care products have high pH levels that compromise your scalp environment and health. The apple cider vinegar hair rinse is growing in popularity as it maintains your scalp pH. Additionally, ACV has antimicrobial properties that protect the scalp from infections. And it can remove the impurities and product buildup that clog the pores in the scalp. Scroll up to read the other ways you can use ACV to boost your hair and scalp health!

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.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple cider vinegar hair rinse helps balance the pH of your scalp.
  • It is a natural conditioner that prevents cuticles from opening and helps maintain their natural texture and sheen.
  • You can deep clean your scalp by adding apple cider vinegar to your shampoo.
  • Horsetail, nettle, and ACV hair rinse are suitable for people who have alopecia and telogen effluvium.


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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Tiffany Young

(Certified Trichology Practitioner)
Tiffany Young is the CEO and founder of ThinHairThick. She is also a recognized expert in the hair and beauty... more