Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for your hair

What is ACV?

ACV is all the rage now, but it has been used in households for centuries. But what does this stand for?

ACV is short for apple cider vinegar.  It’s one of many types of vinegar, and is made from apple juice (but don’t put juice in your hair).  The juice (or crushed apples) is mixed with yeast which ferments the natural fruit sugar.  The apple juice turns into alcohol, which then turns into acid when bacteria is added.  Acetic acid is the main active ingredient in vinegar – and gives it it’s vinegary smell and sour taste.

What is the disgusting floaty thing in vinegar? If you’ve ever seen something weird floating about in your bottle of vinegar, don’t panic. This is called the vinegar ‘mother’ and it just protein strands and friendly bacteria.  It can be used to make more vinegar!

Our favourite brand of ACV is Braggs.  You can get it with the ‘mother’ still in the bottle. Other brands work fine, and organic options are always a good idea when you are using it on your body. If you are trying it out for the first time, just use whatever you have in the pantry already.

Benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar in your Hair

There are a few reasons for using apple cider vinegar in your hair:

  • It is good for your scalp.  For years, people have taken advantage of the antibacterial and antifungal properties of vinegar to treat fungus, lice, scalp problems and more. 
  • ACV  is cleansing – after rinsing your hair with ACV your scalp will feel clean.  People used vinegar more than 2,000 years ago to clean wounds and reduce the chance of infection.
  • Apple cider vinger can help dandruff and itchiness – a clean scalp means less likelihood of dry, flaky skin.  Your skin is naturally slightly acidic, and may common soaps and shampoos aren’t, meaning they can upset the pH balance of your skin causing eczema and dryness.  Vinegar is acidic and can theoretically help restore the balance.
  • It reduces frizz which always a good thing, especially for curly hair people.
  • Your hair becomes softer – immediatly after rinsing with vinegar, your hair feels soft and silky.

How to use apple cider vinegar on your hair

Using vinegar in your hair couldn’t be easier.  You can replace shampoo, conditioner, or both with ACV, or just use it as a conditioning rinse every now and then.

DO NOT GET VINEGAR IN YOUR EYES! It can really hurt, so please be careful, especially if you are using a vinegar rinse in a child’s hair. Click here for a handy hair washing cap that will protect a child’s face and eyes when washing their hair.


  1. Wet your hair (wash it if you like, although that is optional as vinegar has cleansing properties)
  2. Measure out about quarter of a cup of vinegar, and fill the rest of the cup up with water (tip: use warm water !).
  3. Pour it over your hair from the roots to the end.
  4. Run your fingers or a wide toothed comb through your hair to spread the vinegar rinse through to the very tips.
  5. Rinse the vinegar out with water. Use cold or warm rather than really hot water.

How often should I use vinegar in my hair?

This varies, but once a week should be plenty. The acidity of vinegar is good for your hair and scalp, but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing and overuse can start to degrade your hair.

If you are using apple cider vinegar on a child’s hair, use it even less often. Once a month is plenty. Children have less-greasy hair and it doesn’t need washing nearly as much as an adult’s hair (if at all, when they are very little).

Which vinegar is best for hair?

The most common type of vinegar that is used for hair is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) because It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, and is considered the best choice.

If you don’t have any – white vinegar is also ok to use for hair.

I wouldn’t try the others, you might end up smelling like salad 😉



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