7 Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for Natural Hair!


A while ago on the NaturAll Club blog, we discussed the truth about shampoo and the potential harms and benefits shampoo can have for your hair. (If you missed that article, you can read it here.)

In that article, we mentioned apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a beneficial treatment for curly, kinky, or natural hair. This concept might be new to you, or you might just be hesitant to wash your hair with vinegar (understandable!) so let’s explore the science of apple cider vinegar rinses, and how to do them!


apple cider vinegar and scalp pH

First: what makes a healthy, balanced scalp?

Your scalp has a natural pH level of about 5, which is slightly acidic. This acidity level is important in keeping the cuticle layer of your hair flat and closed. A flat cuticle layer corresponds to shiny, smooth, soft hair, with less frizz. It prevents tangling, breakage, dryness, and hair loss, by helping each individual hair strand retain moisture and making them smooth and less likely to catch on each other.

However, many shampoos and other hair products have a more alkaline pH (above 7), which disrupts the acidity level of the scalp. The cuticle layer responds by opening up, becoming susceptible to dryness, breakage, frizz, tangling, etc.

You can regulate the pH of your scalp and prevent many of the negative effects of alkaline hair products by doing ACV rinses! ACV has a pH of about 3, but diluted with water it will be close to the normal acidity of your scalp.

benefits of apple cider vinegar rinse

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Apple cider vinegar balances hair and scalp pH. By lowering the pH of your scalp, ACV flattens and closes the hair cuticle. This makes your hair smoother and easier to detangle, shinier, less frizzy, less prone to breakage and more moisturized. While ACV cannot lower the natural porosity of your hair or repair holes in the cuticle layer caused by heat or chemical damage, it flattens the hair cuticle to mitigate the effects of high porosity hair.
  2. Apple cider vinegar helps prevent fungal and bacteria growth and keeps the hair and scalp healthy. It is anti-inflammatory and can help with dandruff and hair loss, since the underlying cause is often bacteria.
  3. Apple cider vinegar also contains nutrients (vitamins B, C, and potassium), which are beneficial for your hair.
  4. Apple cider vinegar clarifies and exfoliates your scalp, removing dead skin as well as product buildup that blocks the pores on your scalp.
  5. Apple cider vinegar can also help with volume and curl definition, since it doesn’t weigh down strands like silicone-based conditioners.
  6. Apple cider vinegar stimulates hair growth by increasing blood circulation to hair follicles.
  7. Apple cider vinegar is cost-effective and does not contain any preservatives or added chemicals that might damage your hair!

common misconceptions about acv for natural hair

Common misconceptions about Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. “You can use ACV as a substitute for shampoo.” This is not completely true. While ACV is an effective clarifier and exfoliant, it does not do the full job of cleansing your hair. Alternate ACV rinses with shampoo, or do an ACV rinse directly after shampooing your hair. If you're worried about shampoo stripping your hair, opt for a mild, sulfate-free, cleansing shampoo like this one.
  2. “ACV is too acidic and will damage your hair.” This is technically true- if ACV is undiluted. Pure ACV is extremely acidic and will definitely start degrading your hair, and we don’t recommend using diluted ACV more often than once a week. However, diluted with water and used occasionally, ACV is very beneficial for your hair!
  3. “ACV treatments will leave your hair smelling like vinegar.” This one is false: as long as you rinse the treatment out, your hair will smell normal.

how to do an apple cider vinegar rinse

How To Do An Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

  1. Choose an organic, raw, unfiltered brand of ACV. The vinegar should be slightly cloudy rather than clear, and contain a small amount of sediment (called ‘the mother.’) This is where all the nutrients live! Give the bottle a shake before you begin.
  2. You can do the ACV rinse right after shampooing your hair, or on unwashed hair (just remember, your hair does need to be cleansed from time to time!) If you aren’t cleansing your hair first, dampen your hair before you begin. cleansing avocado shampoo
  3. Mix raw ACV with water, using a 1-3 ratio (ex: 1 tbsp ACV and 3 tbsps water, or 1 and 3 cups respectively if you’d like to make a larger volume.)
  4. The mixture is easiest to apply using a spray bottle or a bottle with a very small opening. Apply throughout damp or wet hair, from roots to ends. Massage your scalp to stimulate blood circulation and to help with exfoliation.
  5. Let the mixture sit in your hair for about 5 minutes, and rinse out thoroughly.
  6. Pay attention to how the treatment affects your hair! You can do it as often as once a week, or just once every several months. We recommend starting out by doing the treatment every two weeks or so, and adjusting the frequency to what feels best for your hair.

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63 comments


  • Folashade Dare

    Hair tips


  • William Wells
    No More Colds Treatment – Just Imagine a world without colds Problem is that it knocks out a 12 Billion Dollar Cold Remedy Industry, not going to happen. Also, this treatment may work on Covid-19 as per British Studies about how a 6% acetic acid solution kills coronaviruses. What is your reaction to this Pandemic? My first thoughts when I saw no one driving on the streets was it was like being in the Twilight Zone and Rod Serling might appear. I always loved his voice. I always wanted to be able to talk like that but couldn’t come close. I remembered the episode with the guy in the phone booth trying to make a phone call and looking around and there was nobody to be seen, and then he started walking the empty streets. I thought that’s where I was. That feeling of being in the Twilight zone did not last long. What set in was utter disbelief. It’s still DISBELIEF. Reports from Britain indicate that a 6% acetic acid solution kills TB and coronaviruses. Apple Cider Vinegar is 5% Acetic Acid which may kill the coronaviruses on contact. Seems the medical world wants to go thru all kinds of testing. My No More Colds treatment has worked for me. With all these people dying you would think that doctors would be willing to test this out. It is apple cider vinegar at the grocery store. All the titration I had done indicated that the 5% acidity content listed on the label has a 2.5 pH from the acetic acid. That is the key to lowering the pH in the nose stopping the viruses from multiplying and probably even killing them off. Somebody just needs to do it. At least do the nasal treatment and see what the results are. A little over four years ago I figured out a treatment for colds that has worked for me. It involves using apple cider vinegar, and the whole deal is that it changes the pH in the nasal passages to acidic so that viruses and colds can’t breed. Viruses thrive in a 5.0 pH to 7.0 pH. I think it would work on coronaviruses as it is based on the same principal. A couple years later, I started working on cavities and reversed the pH process which needs to be alkaline, 7.0 and above. No More Cavities by Brian Cusp, my pseudonym. I think that for people who have contracted coronavirus that it would help knock it down, and the recovery process shortened. For those with coronavirus symptoms, I think for most people it would prevent them from coming down with it, and if it was a cold would stave it off. So either way people are not sickened or become less sick. With this application resulting in a lower pH under 5.0 in the nares and nasal passages this should inhibit the coronaviruses from multiplying in the nares and nasal passages. The CDC needs to test this to see if it would work. By inhaling these vapors once applied in the nares, I have no idea how it might work on coronaviruses multiplying in the lungs. Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is used by many who claim it works for them to prevent colds, most drinking it every day. Inhaling the Apple Cider Vinegar vapors which contain acetic acid which has a 2.5 pH as titrated could change the pH in the lungs so that the coronaviruses could not multiply and would die off and in not multiplying not letting the illness become more full blown. In the last month, several times I have had a stuffy nose in the middle of the night and had difficulty breathing through my nostrils. A dab of apple cider vinegar sprayed onto the tip of my left index finger and dabbed into both nostrils from a small Dollar Store spray bottle and the congestion was gone in five minutes, no telling if it killed off any cold germs or coronaviruses. No More Colds by William Wells. Consult with your doctor before trying. https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Colds-Search-Cure/dp/1534941738 My idea to market this never got off the ground because it was homeopathic. Chester County Industrial Development would not work with me to market this. The proof was that it worked for me. Being homeopathic anyone could knock it off. It was simply a matter of putting a small spray bottle of apple cider vinegar in a box and putting it alongside all the cold medicines on the pharmacy shelves and being the first to market it and get acceptance and get market share. Zicam is one of these products that is supposed to knock colds in a weeks time, never worked for me, the Rush Limbaugh miracle cold fixer, claimed it worked for him if I recall. All the Zicam reports I read said it may work for you in about seven days. I talked with a pharmacist at Rite Aid, and he knew about putting apple cider vinegar in your nose to relieve congestion, the only pharmacist I ever talked to who had any idea how this worked. As for its effect on coronaviruses in the nose and nasal passages, the lower pH should keep them from multiplying, and the viruses would die off. By not multiplying that would inhibit I would think the virus from becoming more full blown in the body. But that all needs to be validated to go forward with government approval.

    It seems after all my endeavoring I finally came up with a why and how that this might actually knock off the coronaviruses in the lungs. It was so simple. You inhale it, stupid.

    I just could not imagine it. I could only imagine it when it was incubating in the nose.

    So this would explain how Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar works that in swallowing it the acetic acid vapors go into the lungs and nasal passages.

    It should be easy to find out if this will work on coronaviruses.

    I just thought of the idea of making an inhaler to dispense apple cider vinegar vapors or something conquerable into the lungs to lower the pH in the lungs which is said to be 7.4, my research years ago found out that the blood pH is 7.3 and 7.0 is thrown around as well, but 7.3 seems to be the blood pH so if this would lower the lung pH environment in any amount this might destroy or stop the coronaviruses from multiplying which is causing the congestion and ultimate death of the afflicted.

    Seems recent studies in Britain indicate that a 6% acetic acid solution kills TB and also kills coronaviruses by breaking down their cell structure. Since this Coronavirus pandemic, recently I have come to believe that acetic acid kills the colds and viruses upon contact. I was of the opinion that changing the pH in the nasal cavities was the key to controlling colds and viruses, but both things could be factors and even the way Apple Cider Vinegar is processed may have something to do with controlling colds and viruses. When Apple Cider Vinegar is produced, the first stage process is finished when a chemical reaction known as “the Mother” is produced – a filmy coagulation that is skimmed off.

  • Susina Yatapya

    Any reciepes you could recommend for my 4c hair..your own personal recipe??


  • Debra Lewis

    I need help with my hair falling out sugar bear vitiams don’t help. And I am heathly with my vitiams level


  • dellahs

    This post is very good, interesting and informative. Because this post contains all the tips for hair care and hair trends.


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