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How & How Often To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Your Hair

6 mins

Andela Patrnogic

If you're wondering often is apple cider vinegar good for your hair, here is an explanation of how to use ACV for your hair.

Our scalp has a slightly acidic pH level of 5. This acidity level is essential in keeping the cuticle flat and closed, which translates into shiny and soft hair, with less frizz. It also prevents dryness, breakage, tangling, helps retain moisture and makes the hair smooth.

A 2014 study found that high alkalinity in shampoos can contribute to breakage, hair friction, and dryness. Unfortunately, most shampoos are alkaline and have a pH level above 5. The alkaline nature of shampoos disrupts the acidity of the scalp and makes the cuticle layer more susceptible to breakage, tangling, and frizz. 

However, you can regulate the pH of your scalp by using apple cider vinegar. It has a pH level of 3. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH less than 7 is acidic. A pH greater than 7 is basic. So, diluting the apple cider vinegar with water will increase the pH and lead to less acidic treatment for your scalp.

Apple cider vinegar is a super-ingredient that has recently made a big name for itself outside of salad dressing, as a naturally healing and restoring agent. However, apple cider vinegar has actually been used for thousands of years since the time of ancient Greece!

Even though uses for apple cider vinegar may look a bit different than they did back then, one of the most modern discovered benefits of apple cider vinegar is for hair and scalp cleansing. 

It also brings up the question of “How often should I use apple cider vinegar rinse on my hair and scalp without causing damage?” Keep on reading to find the answer!

    Benefits of washing your hair with apple cider vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy that strengthens your hair, enhances shine, and improves scalp health. It can also help you to deal with an itchy scalp and hair breakage. Apple cider vinegar can also deeply cleanse your scalp and balance the pH to improve shine and reduce frizz. 

    apple cider vinegar for hair, benefits of washing hair with apple cider vinegar

    Balances ph

    We can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining the pH of your scalp. If your scalp becomes more alkaline, you’ll notice the difference in the way your hair looks and feels. Apple cider vinegar’s natural acidity helps bring your hair back into balance. 


     Even if you think your hair is squeaky clean, it probably isn’t. If you aren’t using a clarifying shampoo on a regular basis, then you might have a scalp build-up and residue in your hair from your hair styling products, leave-in conditioners, and dry shampoos. Apple cider vinegar’s detox properties can help to thoroughly clarify your scalp and remove stubborn build-up without completely stripping your hair of its natural oils!

    Reduces dandruff

    ACV helps reduce dandruff, due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties and it also gently exfoliates your scalp and helps remove flakes. The acidity of apple cider vinegar reduces fungal growth, which helps eliminate the root cause of dandruff. ACV also helps clean your scalp by ridding it of product buildup, which is another common cause of dandruff. 

    Protects hair color

    As ACV seals the cuticle, it helps boost shine and protects your hair color. 

    Relieves itchy scalp

    ACV also has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can prevent bacteria growth on the scalp. Suppose you have an itchy scalp due to dandruff or product buildup. ACV can effectively reduce inflammation, balance your scalp’s pH, and dissolve and remove buildup. This will minimize dandruff and reduce itchiness.


    Hair damage often occurs as a result of color treatments or excessive heat styling that can leave you with breakage, dullness, and dryness. While you can’t necessarily repair your hair overnight, combining the ACV along with other repairing agents like argan oil is a great regimen that will put your hair on a healing path.

    Encourages hair growth

    Although there is no research linking ACV to hair loss prevention, the acidity of ACV is a potential solution for hair thinning

    Again, it has to do with the ideal pH level of the hair & scalp, which is between four and five. Add ACV to your hair care routine to balance pH levels, unclog pores and stimulate healthy hair growth.

     Due to its nurturing nature, apple cider vinegar can provide your hair with all the nutrients needed for re-growing healthy and strong strands in areas that are currently experiencing hair loss. 

    The acids in apple cider vinegar are great exfoliants that can help stimulate hair growth on your scalp. It can also fight free radicals that weaken your hair in the first place!

      How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar On Hair?

      With all these benefits, you might be tempted to just pull out your apple cider vinegar, pour it onto your hair, and call it a day! 

      However, this really isn’t the best method. 

      Instead, you should look for hair care products that have been formulated with apple cider vinegar like shampoos, hair masks, and finishing sprays.

        Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

        If you find that ACV’s smell is too strong for you or preparing an ACV rinse seems too complicated, you can always use an apple cider vinegar shampoo.

        Another idea is apple cider vinegar infused shampoo used with nurturing conditioner. Check out the WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Coconut Avocado Oil conditioner pack - it is a great combo for reviving damaged hair and cleansing scalp.

        Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo will help you to remove buildup, scalp flakes and dandruff, but you will always need a product after that that will nourish your dry and damaged hair.

        When using apple cider vinegar shampoo, wet your hair and massage a generous amount onto your scalp with your fingertips.

        Let the shampoo sit in your hair for three to four minutes if you have normal hair, or five to six minutes if you have dandruff or really oily hair. 

        Rinse thoroughly until there are no suds left. Condition your hair with a nourishing conditioner. And if you’re wondering, yes, ACV shampoo is also safe for color treated hair.

        Apple cider vinegar mist tonic, this powerful natural product makes a great hair tonic that can help smooth out tangled or frizzy hair for a silky-smooth look. 

        Shampoo your hair as usual, then spray the solution all over your damp hair. You can also use this mist tonic on-the-go to boost shine and protect your hair from outside irritants. 

        Note: we do not recommend DIY ACV mist tonics or apple cider vinegar rinse for hair. You must know how to properly dilute apple cider vinegar to make it safe for your strands. 

        Also, if you use ACV infused shampoo, ACV mist after that might be too much for your hair. 

        Stick to one product at a time.

        Apple cider vinegar hair mask: When using an apple cider vinegar hair mask on your natural or color treated hair, start by washing your hair with products that have no ACV ingredients. 

        Then, leave it to dry for a bit. 

        You can press your hair in between a cotton or microfiber towel to get some of the extra water out.

         Apply a generous amount of hair mask all over your hair while avoiding your actual scalp. Leave the mask on for at least 20 minutes so that it can really soak into your hair strands and have the full effect. 

        Rinse the mask out of your hair thoroughly with mild water.

        Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

        If you have apple cider vinegar in your kitchen, you can use it to prepare an ACV hair rinse. 

        First, mix a few tablespoons (not more than 5) of ACV with water and pour the mixture over your hair after shampooing and conditioning. 

        Next, work the mixture into your scalp, leave it on for four to six minutes, and then rinse your hair with lukewarm water. 

        Use an apple cider vinegar rinse a couple of times a week.

        Side effects of apple cider vinegar on hair

        Apple cider vinegar is all about bringing balance to your hair and scalp. 

        You should be careful not to overdo it, though, and use a too concentrated ACV solution, as it can irritate the skin. Also, never use ACV on your skin undiluted!

        How Often Should I Use Apple Cider Vinegar on My Hair

        Apple cider vinegar infused hair products: due to the powerful cleansing properties, all ACV products should be once per week max, but never in combination with apple cider homemade rinse.

        How often can I use ACV Infused Hair Products?

        Shampoo: You only need to repeat the ACV shampoo detox process once or twice a week since apple cider vinegar, as an acid, can affect the natural scalp pH.

        DIY ACV rinse: Pure ACV is extremely acidic and will definitely start degrading your hair and drying out your scalp. So, we don't recommend using diluted ACV rinse more often than once a week at most. Also, make sure you properly dilute it.

        Hair mask: ACV infused hair mask should be used only once a week, and never as a leave-in product. It will be enough to make your hair smooth, shiny, and silky.

        Also, make sure you do not use ACV product in combination with the homme-made apple cider vinegar rinse.

        Guide For Purchasing Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Products

        Now you know why apple cider vinegar has been a staple in beauty routines from ancient times and would make a great staple for your beauty routine because it boosts hair health and scalp health as well. 

        How can you find ACV infused hair care products, and make sure they’ll do what they promise? 

        Well, the best way to purchase quality apple cider vinegar hair care products is the internet. There are so many vegan, sulfate-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free hair care products, with an affordable price range that will, however, give you the much-needed assurance that you’re making the right purchase. 

        Overall, you need to look for products made by a reputable company with great reviews and accessible customer support.

        For example, all of WOW’s products are specially formulated with natural actives like apple cider vinegar, Moroccan argan oil, almond oil, coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, and essential oils.

        This powerful combination of plant-powered hair care products can be used to detox your scalp and remove buildup, fight frizz, boost hair growth, and get silky and shiny hair. 

        But, be careful not to damage the natural pH values of your skin by using ACV products more than recommended.

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