An apple cider vinegar hair rinse helps remove built-up products in your hair while also helping combat your specific problems, and makes your hair so soft and shiny! If you look at your conditioner ingredients, you'll almost always see some kind of acid right at the top of the list. This is following the same principle, but with no plastic, petroleum byproducts, or added perfumes.

Let's just admit it—apple cider vinegar is the cure all for basically anything that ails you. It helps balance your hair's PH level which can be altered by shampoo, it removes product build up which allows your hair to get its curls back, and brings back natural body. Best of all, it makes hair shiny and soft, acting as a natural conditioner.

How often you use an apple cider as a hair rinse will depend on your hair, but I like to use it once every week to two weeks. You can either use plain apple cider vinegar or herbal infused vinegar (see below for recommendations). My method is to do a weekly deep condition with herbal oil, then shampoo and rinse with apple cider vinegar.

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Ingredients

Cider vinegar hair wash ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Vinegar: apple cider can't be replaced with white vinegar as it will be too harsh.
  • Add-ins: herbs of course can be left out. If you don't have all the herbs listed, a few can be left out just use what you have.

Method

Infused vinegar steps 1 and 2, herbs in a jar and then topped with vinegar.

Step 1: add the herbs to a clean glass jar.

Step 2: top with the vinegar and set aside to infuse for several weeks before using.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair

You use a vinegar rinse almost exactly the same way as conditioner, except that the focus is more on the scalp than on the ends of the hair. Shampoo, rinse it out, then pour about a quarter cup of the vinegar rinse over your scalp and let it run down the hair. Use your hands to gently massage the roots of the hair and let it sit for a couple of minutes. That's it!

Your hair will feel a little different than it does if using conditioner, especially typical conditioners that coat the hair to make it feel smoother. It does dry soft and shiny, but the hair can feel a little tangled while it's still wet, so be careful not to pull.

  • Squeeze out the moisture first: after you shampoo and rinse, use your hands to gently squeeze the water out before rinsing with the vinegar. This helps prevent it from washing away immediately as the water runs out of your hair.
  • Let it rest: just like normal conditioner, it helps to let the vinegar rinse sit in your hair for a couple of minutes before rinsing out. It's helpful for a flaky scalp, too, especially when combined with oiling before washing.
  • Rinse, or don't: it's up to you whether you rinse out the vinegar or not. It doesn't have a strong smell once your hair is dry, but it's there a little bit (if someone puts their nose in your hair). You can try both and see what works best for you.

Top Tips

  • Start right away: you don't have to wait for the herbs to infuse before starting to use apple cider vinegar for hair. During those few weeks, simply use plain and then start using the infused version once it's ready.
  • Water it down: you can use 100% vinegar if you'd like, but it's also possible to stretch it a bit by mixing with up to 50% water. Add the water only to the amount you're using at any given time, as it can cause spoilage if added to the mix and left to sit.

Herbs to Use

Apple cider hair wash calms frizz and makes your hair super soft and shiny. Choose from the herb combinations below to help cater to your specific hair needs. While you can use plain apple cider vinegar, the medicinal herbs add extra benefits.

  • Normal Hair: Chamomile, Calendula, Lavender, Nettle, and Rosemary
  • Oily Hair: Burdock Root,  Calendula, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Nettle Rosemary
  • Dry Hair: Burdock Root, Calendula, Lavender, Marshmallow, Nettle, Camomile
  • Thinning Hair and Hair Loss: Basil, Ginger Root, Lavender, Nettle, Rosemary
  • Dark Hair: Nettle, Rosemary
  • Blonde Hair: Calendula, Dried Lemon peel, Chamomile
  • Red Hair: Red Clover Flowers, Calendula
  • Flakes: Calendula, Horsetail, Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint

If you make this Apple Cider Hair Rinse or any other vegan DIY recipes on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.

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5 from 1 vote

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse helps remove built-up products in your hair while also helping combat your specific problems, and makes your hair so soft and shiny!
Prep Time5 minutes
Infusing Time21 days
Total Time21 days 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Sophie

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Clean jar

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup dried herbs see notes
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar unfiltered is best

Instructions

  • Add ¼ cup of any mixture of the dried herbs listed below to a clean jar. Top with the vinegar and cover.
    ¼ cup dried herbs, 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Set in a dark, cool place to infuse for 3-6 weeks (no need to shake). Drain and discard the herbs before using the vinegar.
  • To use apple cider vinegar for your hair, shampoo as usual. Pour ¼ cup of the infused vinegar over your scalp and let it run down into the hair, then gently massage the roots of the hair with your fingers. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing and drying the hair as usual.

Notes

Choose from any of these herb mixes:
  • Normal Hair: Chamomile, Calendula, Lavender, Nettle, and Rosemary
  • Oily Hair: Burdock Root,  Calendula, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Nettle, Rosemary
  • Dry Hair: Burdock Root, Calendula, Lavender, Marshmallow, Nettle, Camomile
  • Thinning Hair and Hair Loss: Basil, Ginger Root, Lavender, Nettle, Rosemary
  • Dark Hair: Nettle, Rosemary
  • Blonde Hair: Calendula, Dried Lemon peel, Chamomile
  • Red Hair: Red Clover Flowers, Calendula
  • Dandruff: Calendula, Horsetail, Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint

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