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Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Rinse


Apple cider vinegar for hair - Dr. Axe

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) continues all the rage these days, from body detoxification to skin care, but it has actually been around since about 400 B.C. when Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing natural detox cleansing, healing and energizing qualities. Hippocrates even prescribed apple cider vinegar mixed with honey for its health properties.

Some of you may remember Grandma smelling of vinegar. That’s because grandma knew just how great vinegar is for you. I have shared a lot of information about apple cider vinegar, including my secret detox drink, and I regularly recommend it to my patients. I take it personally for detoxification and improved digestion, but I also include apple cider vinegar in my personal care regimen, such as using apple cider vinegar for hair — in this case, a conditioning rinse.

Most of the products on the market today strip hair and skin of its natural oils. This causes dryness and can even cause dandruff! But the acidity found in apple cider vinegar can stop that process by balancing your scalp and hair’s natural pH levels. In fact, these acids and enzymes in ACV can kill bacteria, which can cause many scalp and hair conditions such as dandruff, itchy scalp from eczema, hair loss and even baldness.

One of the great things about ACV is that rinsing with apple cider vinegar can help balance the pH of your hair. Apple cider vinegar is great in that it can remove residue that may be in your hair from product buildup. Another benefit is that it works as a natural detangler and revitalizes your hair, leaving it soft and smooth. It can even make the hair luxurious and super shiny!

How to Make An Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Rinse

In your bottle, add the apple cider vinegar. It is important that you use organic apple cider vinegar with the mother so that your apple cider vinegar lemon and rosemary rinse does not contain toxins.

Okay, now that you have the apple cider vinegar in the bottle, add the purified water. Purified water can be achieved by simply boiling the water for one minute on the stove. Make sure to let it cool before adding it to your apple cider vinegar rinse. Once added, shake well.

Having a nice scent to your mixture is an added bonus which comes from the essentials oils. Lemon essential oil not only provides a refreshing scent, but it’s best known for its ability to cleanse toxins from the body. It can rejuvenate and provide energy, purify the skin and even act as a bug repellant! Rosemary is an amazing addition as it can help with baldness as well as act as serve as a hair thickener. Add the essential oils, tightly screw on the cap and shake well.

To use, after using my baking soda shampoo, pour apple cider vinegar rinse into your hair making sure to cover all of the hair and scalp. A spray bottle is an easy way to get it evenly dispersed throughout the hair and scalp. Allow the apple cider vinegar rinse to sit in your hair for a 3–5 minutes before rinsing. While this rinse will condition your hair, if you feel you need more conditioning, try my homemade conditioner recipe.

For best results, use cold water to rinse as it will help seal the ends and openings of the cuticle, locking in shine and moisture that can keep your hair from getting frizzy.

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Apple cider vinegar hair rinse - Dr. Axe

Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Rinse

  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: 8 ounces 1x


I use apple cider vinegar personally for detoxification and improved digestion, but I also include it in my personal care regimen, such as using apple cider vinegar for hair — in this case, a conditioning rinse.


  • 1/8 cup organic apple cider vinegar with the mother (Bragg’s)
  • 3/4 cup purified water
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • clean glass bottle


  1. In your glass bottle, add the apple cider vinegar.
  2. Then, add the purified water. Replace the cap and shake well.
  3. Now, include the essential oils. Shake again until well blended.
  4. Apply to hair and scalp after shampooing.
  5. Rinse with cool water for best results.


For best results, use cold water to rinse as it will help seal the ends and openings of the cuticle, locking in shine and moisture that can keep your hair from getting frizzy.

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  1. Amy J Vestal on

    Oh my gosh. The minute this hit my scalp it was intant relief! I have seborrheic keratosis and this rinse is amazing. Thanks Dr. Axe

  2. Rohan on

    It would be great if you could give metric equivalents in your recipes.
    Cup measurements differ around the world – metric is much more precise!

  3. Tatijanna on

    I LOVE the rinse! I have super curly 3a hair and I am very surprised at how lovely my hair feels after. How often can it be used safely without causing damage? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Thanks!

  4. Karen on

    Can we make it enough for 1 month supply and keep it so that we don’t have to make it each time we use them?

    Many thanks

  5. Ida Nixon on

    What is the PH level for both the Lavender Shampoo and Apple Cider Rinse? Also what is the PH level of the Citrus Shampoo and can I use them together?

  6. Angel on

    This is good. Pls I just want to ask if I can use this acv on children hair and also the baking soda shampoos pls I need a reply thanks.

  7. on

    This is likely helpful to prevent kids from getting lice. When I was a child, my mother rinced all of our hair (7 kids) with water with a pour of white vinegar in it. She never measured. We lived on a farm, and kids at school were always getting lice, but not one of us ever got lice. I’m sure ACV has the same properties.

  8. Angela Rotola on

    I know that ACV is good for you but I hate the taste and smell of vinegar and usually exchange lemon juice for vinegar when cooking. Any ideas how I can get past the smell in your ACV rinse.

  9. Kim on

    ……and for those of you who brew Kombucha, let it go to vinegar and it will be just like ACV. I have used Kombucha Vinegar for years the same way Dr. Axe suggests for ACV. After it has brewed and too far along in drinking, take your snobs out and let it sit with a lid on for a few weeks and presto, FANTASTIC vinegar for drinking, dressings, hair rinses, cleaning or whatever else you would use ACV in.

  10. oliveen owen on

    Whenever I drink applecider I break out like when I used to have dairy. On my face and arms and the bumps itch. I drink the Braggs with lemon and honey in water. Please I need help. Also vegetarian who eat fish but don’t think I am getting enough protein. Can you please help. I also bought energy greens drink mix front another person online and that cause me the same issue.please help if you can. Thank you

    • Erika on

      I’m not a doctor but I’ve seen in articles that if you break out in a rash it could mean liver toxicity. Try to find a holistic doctor that can determine why you are breaking out.

    • Sandra on

      Hi Oliveen Owen, I have worked for a Whole Health Nutritional company for about 3 1/2 years and they have some wonderful products that I would love to share with you. Please reach out to me at to chat privately. Thank you.

  11. yvonne szot on

    What’s the sodium content of your bone broth powder

    I’m on a really low-sodium diet. Is this going to prevent me from following the protocol for overcoming leaky gut?

    • Erika on

      Generally essential oils can break down the plastic over time and who knows what can leak into your rinse from the chemicals of the container. Best to use a glass bottle for longevity of the container and chemical safety of your rinse.

  12. Landa on

    hi , just remembered when i was @ school back in early 70`when mum made us rinse our hair in rain water or a sip or drops of propper vinegar in water and the hair was so soft and silky ==> very good reminder , thank you !

  13. anu tripathi on

    I have been using it for quite some time..and have been a big fan of ACV. However I leave it for almost an hour before washing my hair and it has worked for me..

    • Amy on

      Interesting considering I use vinegar to lock in intense colors because it shuts the cuticle down and prevents color bleed. I’ve been a hairdresser for over 20 years.

    • Rindy on

      Maybe because it’s a temporary hair color I use, but the vinegar rinse does remove the color faster than conventional hair rinse. Either way, I’m sticking to my vinegar rinse which I’ve been using for several years. My favorite EOs to add are orange and patchouli.

    • AJ on

      I’m a cosmetologist and it won’t melt the color. It all has to do with ph balance. If you use professional color it shouldn’t contain metalic salts so it’s safe. If you use peroxide that’s different, that will change the color. Never heard of melting hair color. Heard of hair breaking off on over processed hair though

    • Lovellia Tomlin on

      My sister is 62 years old went to cosmetology school 40 years ago and is CONSTANTLY changing the colors of her hair with many different products. She has the most beautiful luxurious hair.. her secret? Always uses ACV rinse since childhood. Just acv w water I’d try it for yourself before blindly listening to any hairdresser Just my opinion and I don’t trust easily but I’ve seen proof

  14. Mirta on

    Can one use this rinse if one has coloured hair? i don’t use typical salon or pharmacy colouring kits, i use one called herbatint which is natural and no chemicals in it. please let me know thanks

    • Lynn on

      I have used a recipe similar to this one on my colored hair for about 2 years and I wouldn’t go back to store bought conditioners. I used Herbatint Permanent hair color for several years and now I’m in the process of letting my gray grow in. But still using my vinegar hair rinse! My favorite essential oils to add to my rinse are rosemary and peppermint! Love it!

      • Kate on

        Thanks cause i don’t have lemon oil and was wondering if i can use something else.
        Can i use this concoction on salt and pepper hair? Growing out my gray also but still lots of dark.

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