Health & Wellness

How to Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse + Essential Oils

Here’s an odd question for you… Have you ever considered putting vinegar in your hair? Vinegar hair rinses used to be the answer to a host of hair and scalp problems, and this old-fashioned remedy is making a comeback. You might not have heard of a vinegar rinse, but your grandmother probably has! 

This summer we switched to solid shampoo bars. I’m glad we did, for many reasons, but I did notice that my hair felt a bit waxy at times as it adjusted to the transition from commercial shampoo to soap-based shampoo bars. An apple cider vinegar hair rinse took care of that with virtually no effort. Even after the adjustment period, my hair benefited from an occasional rinse to clarify and remove any residue on my hair and scalp.

But you don’t have to be using shampoo bars to benefit from an apple cider vinegar rinse. If you have lifeless, dull hair or an itchy, flaky scalp, consider a quick DIY apple cider vinegar rinse. Lots of people swear by this simple hair treatment, and I’m one of them! I’ve added an ACV rinse every week or two to my regular hair care routine, and my hair feels and looks fabulous!

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

An apple cider vinegar rinse helps:

  • clarify and remove residue
  • unclog hair follicles
  • restore and regulate hair’s natural pH
  • smooth and seal hair cuticles
  • detangle hair
  • increase body and shine
  • reduce itchiness and flaky scalp

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Yes, you can buy ready made vinegar hair rinse, but why would you when it’s so easy to make yourself? Look for raw or unpasteurized, unfiltered ACV with “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes, acetic acid, and friendly bacteria from fermentation that give it a characteristic cloudy or murky appearance. I keep a big bottle of apple cider vinegar from Costco in my pantry that I use for both cooking and rinsing.

The most basic recipe is to simply add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to 1 cup of warm water in a cup or a peri bottle. Dry hair may need a little less vinegar, oily hair a little more. Feel free to adjust the amount of ACV until you find a dilution that works for your scalp and hair, but DON’T use it full-strength. Undiluted ACV is too acidic and can irritate or even burn your scalp if used full-strength.

Add Essential Oils to Your Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

I’m not gonna lie, vinegar doesn’t smell that great, but this rinse really does work wonders. Fortunately, once your hair dries completely, the vinegar smell does disappear.

Even so, I like to add a couple of drops of essential oil to make it smell better and give my hair a very subtle fragrance when it dries. Start with 2-3 drops of essential oil per cup of ACV rinse and shake well to mix it in before using. Here are a few of my favourite oils to add:

  • Peppermint – does a great job covering the vinegar smell and adds a nice fresh, tingly feel (use sparingly or it might get too tingly)
  • Lemongrass – helps control oil and has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties for improved scalp health
  • Lavender – has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties for improved scalp health
  • Orange – a good choice for oily hair as it helps control sebum production

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

My preference is to use a peri bottle to apply my hair rinse. You know, the bottle they send home with you from the hospital. It’s got a ton of uses! A peri bottle is great for aiming the rinse exactly where I want without wasting any.

Whether you go with the basic ACV rinse or a slightly fancier rinse with essential oils, pour or squirt the ACV rinse onto your scalp and rub it in, being careful not to get any in your eyes. (Ouch!) Leave in for 5-10 minutes then rinse out. Get ready for a healthier scalp and smoother, shinier hair!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

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  • We love using Apple Cider Rinses as well!
    They really do work in clarifying the hair and it has so much shine and is healthier looking!

  • I’ve never heard of Apple Cider Vinegar Hair rinse, but I will be trying it. My scalp is always itchy and nothing seems to work for a long period. I have been using The Body Shop Ginger products and it worked for awhile, but my scalp is back to being itchy. Thank you for this article.