apple cider vinegar as shampoo

Apple Cider Vinegar As Shampoo: Does It Work?

Last modified on May 24th, 2023

Can you use apple cider vinegar as shampoo? It is possible, and according to some who have tried it and beauty gurus alike, it works well. We will go into everything you should know about using apple cider vinegar as your shampoo and some general benefits of this miracle ingredient. If you’re a little wary about using just apple cider vinegar on its own, we’ll also provide you with a few good hair care products that incorporate it as an ingredient.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar or ACV, is a home remedy for many conditions. ACV has been used for centuries to cook and medicinally. Some of the many health properties and benefits include:

  • Helps with weight loss
  • Improves diabetes symptoms
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Antimicrobial properties
  • Antifungal properties
  • Antioxidant effects

Making apple cider vinegar requires a two-step process. First, you expose crushed apples to yeast. The yeast ferments the sugars, turning them into alcohol. Then, with the addition of bacteria, the alcohol is further fermented. That turns the substance into something called acetic acid. Acetic acid is the primary active compound in vinegar.

The acetic vinegar gives it a strong flavor and smell, and this acid is also likely why apple cider vinegar has health benefits.

When you choose an apple cider vinegar that’s unfiltered and organic, it contains something called mother. Mother is powerful, with proteins, enzymes ad healthy bacteria. The mother looks murky and cloudy. Many believe the mother is ACV’s most potent medicinal element, but we don’t know that for sure. More research is needed.

Along with the benefits above, ACV has some potential beauty benefits.

Apple Cider Vinegar Beauty Benefits

ACV is inexpensive and multipurpose in terms of its beauty applications. Some of its many beauty-related benefits include:

  • ACV can act as a natural astringent, balancing sebum levels according to skin science. Combining it with something like bentonite clay can be great for oily or acne-prone skin. The clay draws out the impurities, while the ACV can alleviate some of the oiliness you might experience.
  • ACV can help alleviate clogged hair follicles.
  • Many people use apple cider vinegar as a skin toner, thanks to the antibacterial elements, which naturally cleanse the skin. ACV also naturally contains alpha-hydroxy acids, stimulating circulation and dissolving dead skin. The result of consistent ACV use as a toner is often brighter, tighter skin. All you have to do is wash your face as you usually would and then soak a cotton ball in the vinegar. Wipe your face gently to see the brightening effects.
  • Apple cider vinegar benefits oral health and can help whiten teeth and remove stains. You do need to dilute it because it’s acidic and can otherwise damage your enamel. Add one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water, and gargle for around a minute. Rinse thoroughly with water, and wait a minimum of 30 minutes before you brush your teeth.
  • ACV is great for your skin because it has B vitamins and vitamin C. You can add some apple cider vinegar to your bath to soften your skin and help it glow.
  • When you have a sunburn, apple cider vinegar works as an anti-inflammatory and has potassium, which may speed up your recovery. You can combine half a cup of vinegar and four cups of water. Soak a washcloth in your mixture and then add it to the burned spots. You can also take a bath with vinegar if you’re sunburned on most of your body.
  • Soaking your nails weekly in a combination of vinegar and oil can help strengthen them, remove stains and potentially protect against fungal nail infections.
  • For chronic skin conditions caused by inflammation like eczema and psoriasis, spraying a combination of ACV and distilled water twice a day may help with itching and irritation, according to skin experts.
  • Clean your makeup brushes and sponges with ACV. The vinegar has natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Soak them in an even ratio of water and ACV once a week, which will also help your skin stay healthy.

What Happens If You Use Apple Cider Vinegar as Shampoo?

Back to our original question—can you use apple cider vinegar as shampoo? The answer is yes; ACV has fantastic hair benefits and helps promote a healthy scalp environment. When you use ACV, it can improve the health of your scalp, giving you a healthy shine.

General benefits of using apple cider vinegar as shampoo include:

  • Using ACV as shampoo can help with dandruff. If you have flakes, using ACV at least once or twice a week can help with itchiness and provide soothing relief. These effects are likely due to the combination of the antimicrobial benefits and its acidity.
  • Your hair will look shinier, including if you have dry hair. There’s a unique balance of acidity in ACV that helps balance the pH of your hair and scalp, but it doesn’t strip it so that it’s dry. Using ACV on your hair takes minerals away from your shower water and buildup of products, both of which would otherwise cause your hair to appear dull.
  • Many people find using vinegar on their hair helps smooth the cuticle and fill hair shaft gaps, making the result smoother, silkier, and more manageable strands. You may also notice less hair loss and hair fall.
  • Apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins that are good for the hair, and it also has alpha-hydroxy acid, which exfoliates your scalp, leaving it fresh.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar As Shampoo

You can incorporate ACV into your haircare routine in a few different ways.

These include:

  • You can mix apple cider vinegar with your shampoo and use it on wet hair. You can experiment to find the best combination for you, but most people will mix equal parts of shampoo with vinegar. It’s best to start slow when adding the vinegar to find what gives you the best results. If you add apple cider vinegar with your shampoo, you shouldn’t need to use a conditioner. Many people find their hair looks better when they regularly use the ACV in their shampoo and skip the conditioner.
  • Another way to use apple cider vinegar for hair is to do it as a rinse. You can combine a few tablespoons of vinegar with a cup of water. Then, after you’re finished shampooing and conditioning, you can pour the apple cider vinegar hair rinse directly on. Make sure it gets to your scalp, and then leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing. You can do this several times a week. If you dislike the smell, add a few drops of essential oil, but the odor goes away once you rinse.
  • If you have dandruff, and that’s why you want to use ACV, you can go with either option above, but you might want to make sure that you’re first diluting it well and then really getting it onto your scalp and damp hair.
  • If possible, include the mother when using apple cider vinegar as shampoo. The mother is packed with good bacteria and probiotics that are so beneficial to promote fuller hair that’s healthier.

Are There Any Risks of Using Apple Cider Vinegar As Shampoo?

Overall, using apple cider vinegar as shampoo and as part of your hair care routine is considered very safe, but acetic acids can be caustic.

Caustic means they can burn the skin or cause irritation. You don’t want to worsen hair or scalp issues, so to avoid this, you should always dilute your ACV before you directly apply it to your skin. If you do overdo it, the irritation should clear up pretty quickly.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Products

If you don’t want to mix your own, the following are some hair care products that use ACV that is top-rated and could improve the appearance and health of your hair and scalp.

Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Sulfate-Free Shampoo

  • Clarifying and soothing for the scalp
  • Improves an oily scalp or dull hair
  • Helps create high shine and balance
  • No sulfates or parabens
  • Dye-free
  • Promotes volume
  • Highly rated with users saying it helps their hair feel soft and shiny
  • Seems to work well for a variety of scalp issues, according to reviews

Majestic Pure Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Sulfate-free
  • Helps with dandruff
  • Reduces itchy scalp or scalp psoriasis
  • Removes buildup while hydrating hair and scalp
  • It also contains coconut oil and avocado oil
  • Can be used on color-treated hair
  • Cruelty-free
  • Helps create beautiful hair


dpHue Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

  • Removes impurities and buildup without stripping natural oils
  • You can shampoo less when you add this to your routine
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial
  • Infused with the key ingredient lavender and aloe vera for soothing softness and to help a dry scalp
  • Seals the hair’s cuticle with color-locking technology and is safe on colored hair
  • Helps brittle or frizzy hair, so there’s less hair breakage
  • It contains proteins to triple the strength of hair
  • Includes fatty acids
  • Works for braids and extensions

OUAI Detox Shampoo

  • Clarifying, cleansing shampoo for dirt, oil, products, and hard water buildup
  • Treatment for use once or twice a week
  • Concentrated apple cider vinegar
  • Color-safe
  • Paraben and sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Cleanses without stripping
  • Includes chelating agents to remove impurities
  • Also has hydrolyzed keratin to soften and smooth hair and add shine
  • The fragrance includes notes of rose, lychee, white musk, and cedarwood


Final Thoughts—Apple Cider Vinegar As Shampoo

When it comes to apple cider vinegar as shampoo, it’s an excellent option for natural beauty. ACV has tremendous benefits for the health and appearance of your hair and scalp. Relieve irritation, remove buildup, and enjoy smooth, soft, healthy hair with this simple natural remedy. Get truly clean hair and avoid bad hair days when you integrate ACV into your routine.

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