apple cider vinegar
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
November 14, 2023 ·  4 min read

5 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Can Be Beneficial to Your Hair

We’ve probably all heard of the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar at this point. It can help with stomach problems and digestion, among other things. However, apple cider vinegar can also be a useful part of your beauty routine as long as you use it correctly. This is especially important when it comes to your hair.

Read: Dye your hair naturally: these recipes will make your hair perfect!

5 Reasons Why Apple Cider Vinegar is Good For Your Hair

Apple cider vinegar in glass bottle and wooden tray with red apples
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Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has gained popularity not only as a kitchen staple but also as a hair care remedy. ACV is known for its numerous health benefits, and one of them is its potential to improve scalp health, strengthen hair, and enhance shine. While it’s important to note that the benefits of ACV for hair are not extensively researched, let’s explore a few reasons why keeping a spray bottle of ACV on hand can be beneficial for your hair. (1)

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1. Restoring pH Balance

Upset sad young woman distressed by damaged hair frustrated about split ends girl worried about loss brittle dry hair hormone problem vitamin deficiency reflecting in mirror haircare treatment concept
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ACV is an acidic substance containing acetic acid, and this acidity can help bring your hair’s pH back into balance. Hair that appears dull, brittle, or frizzy is often more alkaline, and using an acid substance like ACV can help lower the pH, improving hair health and bringing back shine.

2. Antimicrobial Properties

Woman with dandruff in her dark hair, closeup view
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ACV is known for its antimicrobial properties, which can help control bacteria and fungi that may contribute to scalp and hair problems such as minor infections or itchiness. However, it’s important to note that ACV should not be solely relied upon to treat conditions like dandruff or dry scalp. If you have these problems, speak to your doctor or dermatologist.

Read: Myth Vs. Fact: The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

3. Potential Vitamin and Mineral Content

Waist up portrait of the woman reflected in mirror doing daily routine while holding hairbrush tidy her hair. Female looking and tangled hair. Beauty treatment concept

Some claim that ACV is rich in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for hair, such as vitamin C and B. However, it is important to note that the vitamin content in ACV is not significant enough to have a noticeable impact on hair health. Nevertheless, ACV does contain minerals like manganese, calcium, potassium, and iron, which can contribute to overall hair health. (2)

4. Potential Antioxidant Content

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Another reason why people use ACV for hair is because it contains antioxidants. Antioxidants can help protect your hair from the damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause premature aging.

5. Potential Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Salicylic acid: A keratolytic agent used to treat various skin conditions, including certain ear disorders.
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The anti-inflammatory properties of ACV may also help reduce the inflammation of scalp conditions like dandruff. This is because ACV contains salicylic acid, which is a type of acid known as beta-hydroxy acid. This compound can help prevent the flaking and itching associated with dandruff by decreasing inflammation.

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Simple Application

Hair conditioner with apple cider vinegar and honey
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Using ACV for hair care is quite simple. You can create an ACV hair rinse by mixing 2 to 4 tablespoons of ACV with 16 ounces of water. After shampooing and conditioning, pour the mixture over your hair, ensuring even distribution onto the scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it out. You can incorporate this rinse into your hair care routine a couple of times a week, adjusting the amount of ACV based on your hair’s needs.

Cautionary Notes

unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar with mother - a small glass bowl with fresh red apples
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While ACV can offer potential benefits for hair, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid overuse or misuse. Here are a few cautions to keep in mind:

Skin Irritation:

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ACV contains acetic acid, which can be caustic and may cause skin irritation or burns. It is crucial to dilute ACV with water before applying it directly to the skin. If you experience any irritation, reduce the concentration or frequency of ACV use.

Read: How To Clean A Toilet Tank With Vinegar

Eye Contact:

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ACV should not come into contact with the eyes. In case of accidental contact, quickly rinse out with water.

Individual Variations:

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It’s essential to understand that everyone’s hair is different. While ACV rinses may work for some, they may not be suitable for others. It’s best to incorporate ACV into your hair care routine and observe its effects on your hair personally.

Read: Changes in Your Hair May Indicate a Thyroid Issue

Limited Scientific Research:

Medical Science Laboratory: Portrait of Beautiful Black Scientist Looking Under Microscope Does Analysis of Test Sample. Ambitious Young Biotechnology Specialist, working with Advanced Equipment
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While there is no direct research specifically testing ACV’s benefits for hair care, certain aspects of ACV’s potential effects on hair have scientific support. For example, studies have suggested that ACV’s acidic nature could help lower hair and scalp pH, promoting smoother, stronger, and shinier hair. However, more research is needed to verify other claims surrounding ACV’s benefits for hair.

The Bottom Line

apple cider vinegar
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Apple cider vinegar can be a beneficial addition to your hair care routine due to its potential to restore pH balance, its antimicrobial properties, and its mineral content. However, it is important to approach ACV usage with caution, being mindful of potential skin irritation and individual variations in hair response. While the benefits of ACV for hair are not extensively researched, incorporating it into your routine can provide a natural alternative for maintaining scalp health and enhancing hair shine.

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  1. Can Apple Cider Vinegar Benefit Your Hair?Healthline.  Adrian White. March 13, 2023.
  2. Vinegar, cider.” FDC