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apple cider vinegar hair rinse

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse recipe & benefits

23 Nov 2022 • 3 min read


Longing for a natural way to boost the health of your hair? An apple cider vinegar hair rinse could be just what your locks need!

Apple cider vinegar is a bit of an all-round trending ingredient. The days of thinking all it’s pretty much useful for is sprinkling on your salad to zing it up a bit are long gone! Because now it’s the norm to use ACV to treat your tresses and scalp to provide a hit of natural goodness.

What is a hair rinse?

Ah, yes, it may be something we should all be doing, but not all of us know what it is. Hair rinses are just as they sound, rinsing your hair through with something wonderful that will help keep your hair in great condition.

Now what you put on your hair and scalp can vary, depending on what it needs, e.g. nourishment, moisture or to remove product buildup that’s been lingering around for far too long and is making your hair look all lifeless and dull.

Just as you can look in the mirror and see certain signs on your face that indicate how it’s doing health-wise (e.g. dry patches or oiliness), the same can be done with your hair.

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Can you use any vinegar as a hair rinse?

Is it perfectly acceptable to put white wine vinegar or sprinkle the Sarson’s brown vinegar you put on your chips over your hair? Hold that thought…because not all vinegars are created equal, which means you shouldn’t be putting any old vinegar on our hair (not if you want it to look as healthy as poss).

It’s possible to use distilled white wine vinegar for hair rinses. But if you do, be mindful of the fact that it has quite a high pH level so you do need to dilute it down with quite a bit of water. Or you could use apple cider vinegar instead, which also needs to be diluted with water too.

Apple cider vinegar tends to be the first choice for hair rinse converts because it's been known to have natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, which actually make it good at helping in the fight against dandruff.

It also has soothing qualities too, so can kick itchy scalps and general sensitivity to touch. For more on the benefits on using apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse, keep reading, we’ve listed 9 benefits a bit further down.


  • Hair rinses are used to help keep hair in good condition
  • Don’t use any old vinegar for hair rinses
  • Apple cider vinegar or distilled white wine vinegar are best for making a hair rinse

What does apple cider vinegar do to your hair?

Don’t be put off by the thought of putting fermented apples on your hair because ACV does a whole lot of good for hair! This one ingredient can single-handedly transform hair from being lank and dull, to glossy and full of volume.

Even better, you only have to mix it with water – and some drops of tea tree oil if you fancy it – to whip up your very own ACV rinse. Once you’ve done it once, you’ll never look back.

9 benefits of using apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse

  1. Shine saviour

When applied to hair, apple cider vinegar smooths and seals hair cuticles, which helps leave them looking nice and glossy. It’s the enzymes that are present in the fermented apple that are responsible for giving off this shine boost.1

And having smooth hair cuticles essentially boosts the protective layer of your hair that contains those all-important nutrients and moisture.

  1. Colour booster

Believe it or not, apple cider vinegar’s ability to give hair some of its shine back can help prevent colour pigment loss because all of your condition and shine is being restored, courtesy of ACV.

  1. Va-va-voom volume

Yes, that’s right. Treating your hair to an apple cider vinegar hair rinse, can actually give it some more life.

Why? One of the main culprits of flat hair is grease, which can weigh hair down and just make it look, well, downright limp (and greasy, depending on when you last washed your hair).

An apple cider vinegar hair rinse helps shift any excess oil deep down, giving hair some of its bounce and volume back. Check out more tips on how to add volume to fine hair

  1. Itchiness and flakes

We’re all prone to getting dandruff, especially in the winter when we’re all sat indoors for so many more hours, keeping ourselves warm with rads and other heating that can dry out the hair around us, as well as our scalps.

ACV is a soother, which means it can actually help prevent dirt from growing and accumulating on the scalp.

It can also reduce sensitivity, balance your hair’s pH levels and exfoliate your scalp, freeing it of any itchy product buildup and dead skin. All of this can really help minimise dandruff.

  1. Growth potion

Ok, so, apple cider vinegar isn’t actually some magical hair growth potion, but it does deserve to have that title. It’s believed that because of its acidic nature, it helps restore hair’s pH levels, unblocks pores and potentially encourages hair regrowth.

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  1. Deep clean

You know how we’ve just mentioned about ACV’s acidic nature? Well, it can work wonders for shifting grease, dirt and products that just haven’t been washed out of your hair and scalp properly for months on end. It strips your hair of all of these unnecessary ‘extras’ without stripping your hair.

  1. Balancing act

We’re guessing by now that you’re aware of the fact our scalps have a pH level? Well, if this level is off balance, then it can really start to show in our hair – itchiness, dry, limp, generally unhealthy looking etc.

Your scalp has an acid mantle, in the same way that all skin does, and it needs to be taken care of.

Now, this is where it gets interesting because not all hair products are made with your pH balance in mind, which means that product buildup can really upset the acid mantle, leading to unwanted frizz and breakage.

  1. Less washing

After doing one or two apple cider vinegar hair rinses, it’s safe to say your hair and scalp should be rid of any age-old buildup. And if you’ve hardly got any, or minimal, buildup in your hair, then in theory, this means you should be able to leave your hair for longer before washing it!

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  1. Easy peasy

Apple cider vinegar rinses aren’t a complex thing to do. They don’t involve a million and one ingredients and they literally take a matter of minutes to apply to your hair and then wash out. And if you don’t believe us, check out the instructions on how to make your own apple cider vinegar hair rinse below…


  • Apple cider vinegar can deliver all sorts of hair and scalp goodness
  • Benefits include boosting volume and scalp detoxification….
  • ….As well as more glossy and balanced pH levels

How do you rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar?

Now that you’ve read about the benefits, does the idea of doing an ACV hair rinse sound like something you’d like to try? Excellent, we’ve listed what you have to do right here:3

  1. Mix five parts water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle – or around 100ml of ACV with 500ml of water.
  2. Spray your scalp well, enough so that it’s evenly coated with ACV.
  3. Gently work the vinegar into your hair with your fingers. It should be diluted enough that it shouldn't burn your scalp.
  4. Let the vinegar mixture sit for three to five minutes.
  5. Rinse your hair and scalp with cool water.
  6. Follow this rinse with a light conditioner, but make sure it’s nothing too thick that will wind up weighing your hair down.
  7. Rinse your hair well, until you're sure all product (and vinegar) has 100% gone.

How often should I use apple cider vinegar on my hair?

Ah, yes, important question, because you’ve probably figured out by now that ACV isn’t something you should be applying to your hair on a daily basis, no matter how much you love what it’s doing to it.

So, if you’ve got really dry hair, then it’s probably best that you don’t put ACV on it. And if your hair’s coloured, then you can use an apple cider vinegar rinse, but make sure it’s only once a week at the most, as it could start to affect your colour.4

If your hair and scalp is on the oily side of the spectrum, then once or twice a week should be ok, but just keep a close eye on them to see how they’re responding to the ACV and adjust accordingly.


  • Apple cider vinegar hair rinses are really easy to make
  • You just need two ingredients – water and ACV!
  • Don’t use them all of the time though, especially if you have dyed hair


Unless you’ve got exceptionally dry hair, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give an apple cider vinegar hair rinse a whirl. And the beauty of them is, you don’t have to use them all of the time, but when you do, you can pretty much start to see and feel the difference right away.

If you’ve already got a bottle of ACV in your cupboard, all you need is a spray bottle, and you’re ready to go.

Fancy the idea of giving her hair and scalp some more TLC? Check out the practical advice in this article, ‘Hair detox: 15 ways to do scalp cleansing & look after your hair.’

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 1 June 2021



Author: Manisha TaggarSenior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019

BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science

Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.

After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.

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