What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Really Do For Your Hair?

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Apple cider vinegar, or ACV for short, has been a well-entrusted home remedy for centuries. It's derived from fermented apples, which then give it live cultures, acids, and minerals. It can help with weight loss, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, digestion issues, and symptoms of diabetes, just to name a few. Although more research has yet to be done on ACV, the results speak for themselves. It is especially great at killing bacteria, which can be done as a cleaning product or even on a wound. Because of its bacteria-killing properties, it acts as the perfect preservative as well. Additionally, its acetic acid is usually at the center of most of its benefits, such as pH balance on skin and hair (via Healthline).


Added to the list of its many benefits also includes improving the health of your hair. It's something you can find implemented into certain hair care products, or you can use it as a D.I.Y. ingredient at home. It's an easy way to combat some of those pesky hair issues you may be dealing with or have dealt with for a while.

What does apple cider vinegar do for hair?

When it comes to using ACV for hair care, it is especially great for treating scalp issues like flaking, dandruff, or psoriasis. "The antibacterial and antifungal properties of ACV help to keep the pH level of the scalp balanced," certified trichologist Gretchen Friese tells Byrdie. "Dandruff is a buildup on the scalp that happens when too much yeast is present on oily areas of the skin. Using a mix with ACV can help avoid that build-up." A study published in the International Journal of Trichology also found that many shampoos contain high alkalinity that disrupts your hair's natural pH balance, leading to breakage or dry hair. On the contrary, ACV can help balance it again while improving its texture, shine, and strength. Its anti-microbial properties can also decrease the yeast, itching, or flaking on the scalp.


"Apple cider vinegar contains amino acids and pectin that contribute to strengthening and conditioning your hair," cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson tells Allure. "Malic and acetic acids help the hair cuticle contract, increasing its shine and reducing frizz." As it coats the cuticle, the outermost protective layer of a hair strand, it helps soften the hair as it helps it close and strengthens it. This then helps reduce frizz and tangles as well. The rich vitamins and minerals found in ACV have also shown to be beneficial to hair, including vitamins B and C. Even better, ACV can also help create volume and define curls on textured hair (via Medical News Today).

How to use apple cider vinegar for your hair

You can find apple cider vinegar (ACV) at just about any grocery store. To make your own mix at home, dilute between 2 and 4 ounces of ACV with about 16 ounces of water, or 5 parts to 1 part ACV. Using it is actually really simple. After rinsing your shampoo off your hair, tilt your head back and pour your mix onto your hair and scalp. Make sure that you are getting as much of it as you can, rubbing it in with your fingers. You can also apply the mix by spraying it on. Spray it on your whole scalp and hair as much as possible. Once it's all in, let it sit anywhere from two to five minutes, and then rinse it out. This can be done on wash days or a couple of times a week (via Medical News Today).


If you're not in the mood for creating your own mix, you can use hair care products that contain ACV. You can find it in hair cleansers, detoxes, exfoliating scalp scrubs, hair serums, and more. For healthier, stronger, and shinier hair, it is definitely worth a try. For example, the Revolve Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse and Renpure Plant-Based Apple Cider Vinegar Clarify & Shine Scalp Serum have great reviews that back up their hair care claims.