If you’re the kind of girl who likes to avoid hair wash days for as long as possible or wants to instantly replenish your scalp, apple cider vinegar is a great natural ingredient for combating product buildup. Apple cider vinegar is a multi-tasking product that can be used in the kitchen, on your skin and to restore your hair health.
The use of excessive hair care styling products can take a heavy toll on your hair. Heavy use of hairsprays, gels and creams can cause your hair to become stiff, flaky and greasy. Instead of shelling out the big bucks on a salon-quality clarifying shampoo, for a fraction of the cost you can whip your hair back into shape using our DIY apple cider vinegar hair rinse method. Not only will this ACV hair hack help you get rid of buildup such as dandruff, dirt and grime, but it will also help to encourage hair growth. And who doesn’t want that? But first let’s figure out if using ACV will work with your hair concerns before diving into a step by step apple cider vinegar hair recipe.
Here’s how to know if an apple cider vinegar vinegar hair rinse is suitable for your hair type:
Is my hair a good candidate for an apple cider vinegar rinse?
1. You have a significant amount of product buildup.
We’ve all had days and even weeks where we just don’t feel up to washing our hair. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, let’s face it, some wash days can be just straight up exhausting, especially if you have recently transitioned to natural hair.
So in an effort to make your hair still look somewhat under control, you start slathering on haircare products like dry shampoo, mousse and gels day after day. And while these products are great temporary solutions, prolonged use of them can wreak havoc on your hair. When you’re ready to hit reset and thoroughly wash out all of the excess product, this is where the apple cider vinegar rinse comes in handy.
Regular shampoos are just not going to be able to get rid of all the dirt and grime that is sitting on your oversaturated hair. The versatile chemical properties of apple cider vinegar make it the perfect product to rinse away stubborn product buildup.
2. You’re looking to restore your scalp’s pH balance to encourage hair growth.
Having a healthy pH balance in your scalp is the key to hair growth. Your scalp is composed of what’s known as an acid mantle. The acid mantle is what produces your hair’s natural oils known as sebum which helps to balance the moisture in your scalp. When your acid mantle is imbalanced, this leads to breakage and a lack of hair growth. Your scalp’s pH balance can be disrupted by a number of products including many hair products that aren’t built with your scalp’s health in mind, pollutants and certain foods you may eat.
Shampoos with sulfates are often the biggest perpetrators when it comes to imbalancing the pH in your scalp. Many shampoos contain sulfates which are filled with alkalines which are overly acidic and can dry out your hair cuticles. Apple cider vinegar helps to restore the balance in your pH because when diluted with water, it has a healthy amount of natural acidity and is not overly acidic like many drugstore shampoos. Apple cider vinegar is filled with alpha hydroxy acid, a mild naturally occuring acid that helps to gently exfoliate the dead skin cells sitting on top of your scalp, therefore balancing out your pH.
3. You want to prevent bacteria from forming on your hair.
We don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to prevent bacteria from formulating on their hair. While no one of course intentionally allows bacteria to grow on their scalp, it can sometimes sneakily grow on your scalp unbeknownst to you. In fact, it is actually quite common for your scalp to be a host of fungus and bacteria that are usually harmless, but can cause significant damage to your scalp if not treated. These fungal and bacterial growths can then develop into yeast.
“ACV can help balance a dry and itchy scalp by helping to control the bacteria or fungi that can lead to scalp and hair problems,” celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland told ipsy.
The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar help to combat the growth of yeast cells that can lead to a scalp infection on your hair. Bacterial scalp infections often lead to conditions like ringworm, folliculitis and piedra, which all cause your hair to fall out in droves. Luckily, apple cider vinegar is a foolproof preventative product to recover your hair. It also helps to get rid of any itching and/or flaking sensations that you may be experiencing in your scalp.
You’re not a good candidate for an apple cider vinegar rinse if:
1. Your hair is extremely dry.
Using apple cider vinegar on hair that is highly dry is not recommended as it can strip your of its natural oils due to its acidic properties. If you have drier hair, we recommend finding the best shampoo for your hair type such as a smoothing or moisturizing shampoo instead of opting for an apple cider vinegar hair rinse. We also recommend trying a moisturizing D.I.Y. hair mask.
2. You have color-treated hair.
While we don’t entirely discourage you from trying an apple cider vinegar rinse if your hair is color-treated, we do recommend that you tread lightly. Not only is color-treated hair more susceptible to dryness, but apple cider vinegar may start to alter the color of your hair if used too frequently. This is why it’s recommended that you only use apple cider vinegar once a week if your hair is colored.
How do I rinse my hair out with apple cider vinegar?
The very first thing you want to do before even permeating your hair with apple cider vinegar is you want to dilute it with water. This is the most important part when you create a DIY apple cider vinegar hair recipe. Without diluting apple cider vinegar with water, your scalp can become extremely irritated, so you want to be sure to take the acidity down a couple of notches by diluting it with about five parts water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle of your choice. After rinsing your hair in the shower, you can start using your ACV spray! You want to evenly saturate your entire scalp with your apple cider vinegar and water mix. Using your fingers, you’ll want to work the product into every inch of your hair and massage your scalp. Use a compact mirror for a closer view of your scalp so you don’t miss a spot. Once you’ve adequately worked the product into your hair, you’ll want to let it sit for three to five minutes. After letting the product sit in your hair for three to five minutes, you can now start rinsing it out of your hair using cool water.
After this rinse, apply a lightweight conditioner that won’t weigh your hair down too much. Finally, you’ll need to rinse that conditioner out of your hair until the water runs clear, making sure that you rinsed all of the product out.
Once you’ve gotten rid of all the product, simply style your hair as usual by blow drying and brushing and clipping in your favorite pair of hair extensions. And there you have it! After completing these steps, your hair should be as good as new and filled with a healthy amount of shine and overall cleanliness.
We are absolutely obsessed with this money-saving hair hack that restores and replenishes your mane in mere minutes. And the best part about it is that you can skip the trip to the salon and revitalize your hair in the comfort of your own home.
Have you tried the apple cider vinegar hair rinse before?
Looking for more hair advice and styling tips? Subscribe to our newsletter to step up your hair game!
Written by Ashley Inkumsah