Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for Natural Hair

Apple Cider Vinegar  Rinse is a great treatment for natural hair.  Apple Cider Vinegar  (ACV) has many benefits for in and outside the body.  Some of those benefits for hair are: balancing hair and scalp pH, removing product buildup, treating dandruff and hair loss.

Why an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse works for hair.

Hair is on the mildly acidic side of the pH scale and has an ideal pH of 4.5 to 5.5, which is close to that of an apple cider vinegar rinse (pH 2.9).
Many products are strongly alkaline or have a pH of 8 or more. Rinsing with apple cider vinegar will help balance the pH of your hair and remove the buildup that can result from the use of these styling products and inexpensive shampoos. Rinsing closes the hair cuticle which cover and protect the surface of each hair shaft. Closed hair cuticles results in shinier, smoother and easier to manage hair.


HairCuticleARough hair shaft with open cuticles compared to smooth hair shaft with closed cuticles.

Don’t worry about the slight vinegar smell you will notice after rinsing. It will disappear completely as your hair dries.
Read How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar on next page
How Do You Use It?1 Part  Apple Cider Vinegar into 1 Part warm filtered tap water.
Apply the vinegar rinse after shampooing or a thorough cowash and then rinse it all out, or for extra conditioning, you can leave the rinse on your hair for a minute or two. This natural hair care product can be used once a week.Note: I recommend using organic ACV.

Courtesy of Curl Whisperer

One caution: you need to bear in mind that ACV is an acid–over 100 times more acidic than your hair–and it needs to be respected as such. Acids can and will start to degrade your hair shaft with overuse, so you must be cautious and pay strict attention to your hair’s reaction to frequent ACV rinse use. I personally believe a monthly to bi-monthly ACV rinse provides more than sufficient benefit for almost everyone.
Depending on your hair texture and porosity, you may be able to support a greater amount/frequency of usage than others can, but you must be careful to judge yours accordingly. If you are doing frequent ACV rinses and are seeing positive results, then your dilution ratio is most likely suited to your hair type.

If you begin to notice degradation in your hair shaft–breakage, frayed ends, dryness, brittleness, or more porous hair–then you need to revisit your proportions and make adjustments accordingly.

Have you tried a ACV Rinse?

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About Tamara Floyd

Tamara is the Founder and Editor of Natural Hair Rules!!! Natural Hair Rules (NHR) was originally created as a personal hair journal. Since its creation in 2008, it has grown to one of the top natural hair/beauty blogs online today.

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  1. Absolutely LOVE using ACV for removing product build up on my hair :)

  2. Shant'e Hawkins says:

    I have used it for years. It revives my hair so well….

  3. Do you apply straight acv or do you add water and acv together, then apply it to the hair?

  4. Help my locs at the root wont loc anymore i died my hair and now my hair is straight an thin not locking…..HELP

  5. My hair loves a good ACV rinse. Its easier to manage and feels so good

  6. Latosha says:

    just did a acv rinse today. Whenever my hair is feeling dry or just “blah” it brings it back to life.

  7. I tried it on my granddaughters hair. It decreased the dandruff and she was not constantly digging in her head for weeks because it was itching.

  8. I remember as a lil girl my great grandma would rinse my hair with regular white vinegar. Never knew why but I remember my hair being squeaky clean after ward. Now that I’ve gone natural I may have to try it again.

    • Vinegar is great for conditioning and clarifying hair. Please make sure to use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), though. ACV is less process and has more organic nutrient perfect for the hair.

  9. hi,advice on dandruff treatment

  10. What should the Ph level be for the ACV rinse?

  11. Can it be used on relaxed hair? (I know this is a natural hair site but I get a lot of tips here)

    • Hi Laurie,

      Yes! I’m glad you’re finding great tips here! Natural Hair Rules is healthy hair care tips for all hair types and textures. Thanks for reading.

  12. Hello,
    I’ve read that some people actually leave in the ACV rinse on the hair after shampooing as opposed to rinsing it out – some say they find great benefits using it as a leave-in treatment…
    What do you think about those using it that way? …Since it’s an acidic product as you mentioned above, wouldn’t that be “too harsh” to leave on hair and will damage the hair shaft… or do you think it’s still okay to use it both ways – as a rinse-out and/or as a leave-in?


    • It really depends on how acidity the rinse is. Meaning it would have to be highly diluted with water. I used it as a leave-in and clarifying treatment when I wore Marley Twist and it irritated my scalp when I didn’t rinse it out. I recommend rinsing it out for that very reason. The treatment isn’t meant to be a leave-in. Leave-in conditioners should be pH balanced.


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