DIY Apple cider vinegar hair rinse recipe, ingredients and benefits


woman in shower
Apple cider vinegar can be beneficial to your hair — it just isn’t a miracle worker.
George Rudy/Shutterstock

DIY beauty treatments are all the rage these days, but some definitely prove more effective than others. Luckily, one trendy hair product can be easily replicated in one low-budget supermarket run: the apple cider vinegar rinse.

While brands like dpHUE and Pureology charge upwards of $30 for their cider vinegar rinses, I made mine happen for just $5. And with a bit of know-how, you’ll never need to shell out for a clarifying treatment ever again.

The primary ingredient in a rinse is (unsurprisingly) apple cider vinegar, but you don’t need to seek out a hair-specific formulation — the regular supermarket stuff will do just fine. Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water, and you’re good to go.

The strong vinegar smell is even stronger in the shower.

Flickr/Mike Mozart

Once I mixed my rinse, I brought it into the shower and gave my hair a few warm-water rinses before massaging the vinegar mixture into my scalp. If you’re sensitive to the scent of vinegar, just be aware that the shower steam will amp up the fragrance. I worked the rinse through my hair down to the tips, then let it sit during the rest of my shower business. After about five minutes, I rinsed the remainder in warm-but-not-hot water, then allowed my hair to air-dry.

So how did my hair look? Not too different, to tell you the truth.

But I did notice improved distribution of the natural oils, less frizz than I usually see when I air-dry after shampooing, more defined waves, and a lighter feel overall.

Before the apple cider vinegar rinse.

Taylor Tobin

From a scientific perspective, regular apple cider vinegar rinses can really freshen up your locks. Dull hair tends to coincide with a high pH value, so adding a naturally-acidic substance like apple cider vinegar will lower your hair’s pH (more acid = a lower pH score), making it healthier and better-balanced. This boost to your hair’s general health can prevent breakage and prompt quicker growth.

After the apple cider vinegar rinse.

Taylor Tobin

If you plan to integrate apple cider vinegar into your regular hair routine, don’t expect any dramatic miracles. But for an easy and inexpensive rinse to clear out any product build-up and restore your hair and scalp, a bottle of ACV and some warm water are all you need.


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