Home Hair Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Growth, Rinse, Benefits & Side Effects

Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Growth, Rinse, Benefits & Side Effects

Using Apple cider vinegar for hair is one of the natural beauty hacks you really ought to give a try.  Although it is known to be an indispensable ingredient in the kitchen, usually used as a food preservative, it is a pocket-friendly and compact beauty product that you can include in your day to day hair care routine. Find out more benefits, how it can be used for hair washing/rinse, growth,  how long to leave it on hair, side effects and more.

Benefits Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Growth & Health

Apple cider vinegar contains some amino acids and antioxidants which has a lot of benefits to your general health. It is made by fermenting the sugars from apples. This turns them into acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar for hair growth rinse recipe, dandruff benefits and side effects
Apple Cider Vinegar

How is apple cider vinegar good for your hair? Using ACV as a hair wash or rinse offers numerous benefits for your mane. Below are some benefits.

Balances hair and sebum PH

Many commercial hair care products can have a negative effect once used on your hair leaving it weak and dry. The normal PH of your hair should be 4.5 to 5.5.When your hair PH is kept at this normal PH level, your scalp is protected against fungal and bacterial growth, promoting healthy hair and skin.

Other hair products can alter with this natural PH which in turn affects the cuticles of your hair and the normal condition of your scalp.

Due to the high levels of acetic acid which is naturally found in ACV and also contains a PH level close to that of human hair it can therefore help your scalp and hair to its optimal acidity for those with oil hair.

Antibacterial and Antifungal properties

Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial effects. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties which help in killing bacteria and fungus which are the main causes of dandruff and loss of hair.

Washing your hair with apple cider vinegar helps to maintain your scalp PH preventing the formation of these bacteria and fungus that can affect the normal growth of your hair. It also treats burning sensation and irritation on the skin of your head.

Bottom line, the main substance in vinegar acetic acid, can kill bacteria and/or prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels.

Cleansing and clarifying for your scalp

When using a variety of products on your hair like serums, gels, sprays and masks they lead to product build up which can leave your hair looking flat, dull and lifeless.

One of the cheapest ways to get rid of this accumulation of these products on your and restore back the life of your hair is by using apple cider vinegar because it contains alpha-hydroxy acid which gently removes all dead skin cells and commercial products from your hair leaving it healthier and shinier.

Prevents split ends and breakage

When you regularly use apple cider vinegar rinse on your hair it naturally removes tangles from your hair, closing the cuticles, improving porosity and encouraging strong hair strands which will eventually lead to a reduction in split ends and breakage.

Stimulates natural hair growth and prevents hair loss

Apple cider vinegar stimulates better blood circulation to hair follicles therefore promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss. The blood that circulates also carries essential nutrients to your hair follicle cells, strengthening the roots and promoting growth.

Benefits of apple cider vinegar-hair growth
ACV is good for hair growth

Reduces porosity of the hair

Normal hair allows necessary amounts of moisture to penetrate the outer cuticle, while hair which is porous absorbs liquids quickly but also loses it quickly. High porosity is the result of damage to the hair from chemical treatments you use and environmental exposure.

This irreversible damage creates gaps and holes in the surface of your hair shaft leaving your hair at risk of more damage. You can manage the porosity of your hair by using an apple cider vinegar rinse to flatten the cuticle and minimize gaps.

Adds shine to your hair

The position of the cuticle affects the light reflecting properties of the strands. It works by closing the hair cuticle enabling it to reflect light off from it. When the cuticle is down as it is after an apple cider vinegar rinse the hair is better able to reflect light, giving your hair a shiny, healthy appearance.

Reduces frizz

Frizzy hair is caused by lifted cuticles on the hair. Smooth down the cuticles with apple cider vinegar and your hair will be smooth and fizz-free giving it a healthy appearance.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural hair detangler

Apple cider vinegar is a natural detangler because of its effective natural acidity which helps to smoothen down the cuticle and thus encouraging knots and tangles to slip out and allowing a brush to move smoothly through more easily.

ACV detangles hair
ACV detangles hair

It is a natural conditioner

Apple cider vinegar is acidic, causing the hair cuticle to seal. This means that the surface of the hair is smooth rather than rough and moisture is locked in. Apple cider vinegar helps to prevent frizz, enhancing shine and resolving dryness of your hair.

Packed with nutrients

Apple cider vinegar contains nutrients beneficial to your hair including B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium which are all important to your hair in different ways.

Washing Hair with Apple Cider Vinegar -Hair Rinse Recipe

Apple cider vinegar gets rid of lumps residue and dirt in hair from chemicals and products that build up on your hair. It also works as a natural detangler as discussed above. When used so often as your natural hair care routine it can give new life for your hair leaving it soft smooth and shinier

Washing Hair with Apple Cider Vinegar-Recipe & Steps
Washing Hair with ACV

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse Recipe

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part of water


To recover your hair back to its smoothness, simply mix the apple cider vinegar and water together.

After shampooing pour the mixture into your hair or you can use a spray bottle and spray the liquid on your hair and massage it into your scalp.

Leave the mixture for about three minutes

Finally, rinse your hair fully with water without the need of using a conditioner because the apple cider vinegar will leave your hair smooth and soft.


  • Mix the apple cider vinegar and water together.
  • Wash your hair first.
  • Sprinkle the apple cider vinegar and water into the hair.
  • Stay for a few minutes before rinsing.

How long to leave Apple Cider Vinegar on Hair?

According to the second edition  of The Science of Hair Care, a comprehensive hair care book published in 2005 by CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, when applying apple cider vinegar makes sure you let it to sit in the hair for at least three minutes because this is the time the vinegar requires to break up the molecular structure of the residue, allowing it to be easily rinsed away.

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse before or after conditioner

If you want to use a conditioner you should use it before the hair rinse. This is because apple cider vinegar eliminates the remains of soap, shampoo, or conditioner.

When using apple cider vinegar hair rinse before or after conditioner you should make sure that you have apple cider vinegar and water in equal amounts to make it work effectively to improve the smoothness of your hair.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse for Colored & Black Hair

Due to the slightly acidic pH of ACV rinse, some experts argue that it can also extend the life of hair color when applied just after rinsing off the dye.  Most hair dyes are alkaline, which opens up the hair cuticle. When hair color is applied, it can then penetrate to the hair’s inner cortex, where it is thought to react with the hair’s pigment molecules to produce a color change

When used on black hair, it act as a good conditioner and cleaning agent as well as an effective germ killer.

DIY Apple cider vinegar conditioner.

If you want to make your own ACV conditioner at home, follow the following recipe.


Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 egg whites.


Apply the mixture to the hair, and keep your hair covered for thirty minutes with a shower cap. Then finally you wash and rinse your hair.

Various ways to use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Growth

Below are some various on how to use apple cider vinegar for hair growth.

Apple cider vinegar with water and sage oil

Apple cider vinegar works effectively to get rid of dandruffs whereas sage oil fights microorganisms due to its antimicrobial characteristics.


Add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of warm water. Stir the mixture to mix the ingredients properly. Then pour a few drops of sage oil to the mixture.


Spray it on your scalp evenly when you have shampooed your hair and wait for 30 minutes then you rinse it off properly. Do this once a week for better results.

Apple cider vinegar with avocado and coconut oil

Coconut oil is a great natural conditioner and moisturizer while avocados contain many nutrients. To use them on your scalp, take n equal amount of apple cider vinegar and water. Mix them properly and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Spray it on your scalp and hair evenly. Apply the mixture thoroughly by dividing your hair into parts and then covering them with the solution. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Prepare the mixture of tree oil and shampoo. Use it to rinse off the apple cider vinegar.

Allow the shampoo to stay on your scalp for 2-3 minutes. Then wash it off with water. After that make a puree of avocado mixed with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Stir well to mix the ingredients. Apply it to your hair and massage gently.

Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it for about half an hour then rinse it off with a mild shampoo and clean water. You should do this once a week to keep your scalp hydrated.

Apple cider vinegar with baking soda for hair

Baking soda has antibacterial properties which enhances hair growth by preventing hair breakages.


Make a solution of water and the required amount of baking soda which can cover your hair completely.


Apply this solution from the roots to tips of your hair. Massage your scalp in circular motions then finally wash your hair using warm water.

Apple cider vinegar with tea tree oil for hair

Both apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil have antibacterial properties which thus kills Bacillus bacteria that is responsible for various hair problems like hair loss, dandruff and flakiness.

Tea Tree Oil and ACV for hair loss
Tea Tree Oil


Add 5-6 drops of tea tree oil to half a cup of apple cider vinegar and mix them properly.


Apply it to your hair and rub the scalp gently and wait for five minutes. Rinse it off using a shampoo and water afterwards.

Recommended reading

Washing Hair with Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

Even if apple is important when using it to wash your hair, it can also be harmful when used in the following ways though the advantages outweigh the disadvantages

ACV may damage hair

It is said that acetic acid is good for your hair as it provides conditioning and shine. But if you use it in excess then your hair will be damaged extensively. Hence you should take extra care while using apple cider vinegar for various purposes because it can affect you either positively or negatively.

Depletes your hair of natural oils

One disadvantage of using apple cider vinegar alone on your hair is that it does not contain any oils that can be beneficial for your hair compared to other shampoos that replenish the natural shine to your hair which are washed away during the cleaning process.

Therefore, you will be drying your scalp and likely depleting oils only on the ends of your hair making your hair unhealthy and prone to breakage because the natural oils are depleted from the scalp and hair.

Other Health Benefit and uses of ACV

Apart from promoting hair growth apple cider vinegar plays other important roles in your body which include the following

Lowers blood sugar levels and fights diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes experiences elevated blood sugar levels either through insulin resistance or the inability to produce insulin. Apple cider vinegar has shown to have many benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels by:

  • Improving insulin sensitivity during a high-carbohydrate meal by 19-34% and significantly lowering blood glucose and insulin responses.
  • It also reduces blood sugar by 34% when eating 50 grams of white bread.
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugars by 4%.

Bottom line, apple cider vinegar has shown positive results in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after a meal.

Promotes weight loss

Consuming apple cider vinegar makes one feel full and unable to eat as much as normal it is also known to restrict fat build up therefore preventing weight gain and in turn promoting weight loss.

Lowers cholesterol and reduces risk of heart disease

Taking apple cider vinegar helps to reduce the bad cholesterol in your body. It contains an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which has been proven to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized which is a crucial step in the development of heart disease.

It has protective effects against cancer

Cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal growth of cells in your body. Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar contains anti-cancer effects that kill cancer cells and shrink the tumors.

Other uses include:

  • Used to preserve food
  • Used as a deodorizer
  • Used to make salads
  • Used as a cleaner
  • Soothes sore throat
  • Used as a skin remedy
  • Used to trap fruit flies
  • Used to wash fruits and vegetables
  • Used to clean dentures and in bath

ACV for Hair Video Tutorial

Sources & Citations

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/organic-authoritycom/apple-cider-vinegar-beauty_b_1924171.html
  3. http:www.stylishwalks.com/apple-cider-vinegar-side-effects-on-skin-hair-and-health
  4. homeremedyhacks.com/wonders-of-apple-cider-vinegar-for-hair-growth
  5. https://www.davidowolfe.com/apple-cider-vinegar
  6. https://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar
  7. https://www.futurederm.com/3-reasons-why-baking-soda-and-apple-cider-vinegar-destroy-your-hair-and-what-to-use-instead/



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