Nourishing Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

This super refreshing apple cider vinegar hair rinse is easy to make and guaranteed to give you healthier, cleaner hair, and a healthier scalp too!

Do you want healthier, shinier hair?

Look no need this hair rinse.

homemade apple cider vinegar hair rinse in a glass bottle with lavender

I started using a homemade apple cider vinegar rinse quite awhile ago to remove build up from hair products.

But I've learned that there are more reasons to use them.

Read on to find out how a good hair rinse nourishes your hair and how you can make your own hair rinse easily.

Did you know that your hair has shingles?

Well, sort of.

Your hair is made of a hair shaft that is covered by cuticle.

The cuticle is overlapping layers that cover your hair, kind of like shingles on a roof.

When the cuticle is in good shape, the layers lie flat and your hair looks shiny and healthy. And this rinse is one way to get your cuticle in much better shape.

Benefits of This Rinse

The layers open when you shampoo your hair, so a good ACV rinse will:

- remove build up of hair products and other toxins so your cuticles are healthier
- close cuticles so your hair slides more easily and you get fewer tangles
- improve circulation to your scalp
- retain a good pH balance
- help with hair conditions like hair loss, dry scalp, dandruff, and more  

How to Use

An apple cider vinegar is so simple to use. Try it and see the benefits for yourself.

  1. Wash: Shampoo your hair as usual--then rinse.
  2. Apply: Lean your head forward or back and pour the rinse over your head and hair, working it into your scalp. Avoid contact with your eyes. Let the rinse sit on your hair for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Rinse: Rinse the hair rinse thoroughly.
  4. Condition: Apply conditioner following manufacturer directions.

Customizing Options

You can adjust this apple cider vinegar hair rinse according to your personal needs.

Following are some essential oils to consider for use.

Oily Hair - Rosemary, Lemon, Lemongrass, Basil, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Tea Tree
Dry Hair - Peppermint
Hair Growth - Rosemary, Basil, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood
Dandruff - Clary Sage, Lemon, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Myrrh, Patchouli, Tea Tree

Where to Buy Equipment & Ingredients

1.  Aloe Vera: You can purchase aloe vera in a health food store or at Trader Joe's, or on Amazon.

2.  Essential Oils: For essential oils, it's really important to really make sure that the oils that you purchase are pure and that you're not getting taken by some marketing ploy  Read my Best Essential Oils series to find out more.

3.  Plastic Bottle: I reused an old plastic bottle (the most environmental way to go :)), but you can purchase plastic bottles with flip tops on Amazon.  Just look under "Plastic bottles"  (I'm pretty smart, huh?).

4.  Guar Gum: I use NOW Brand.  I love that company for so many things.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar: Two things to keep in mind--1) You should strain out or somehow not use the mother if you are using unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 2) Watch out for the strength of the one you are using. Most on the market are 5%, but if you happen to buy one that's 6% or more (not that common), you'll need to dilute it more. Learn more about this (and other fun stuff) in my post about Katy Perry and Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar.


1.  You could just use more apple cider vinegar and water instead of the aloe vera juice, but aloe vera has many healing properties that I prefer using it.

2.  You can either leave this rinse in your hair or rinse it out.  Leaving it in for awhile, especially for the first use, will likely help remove more buildup, residue and toxins.

3.  Use at least once per week to several times per week.

4.  I keep a plastic cup in my shower.  When I am ready to use my ACV rinse in my hair, I pour about 1 capful of the rinse into my cup.  Then I add shower water to make up about 1 cup of water plus rinse.  I dump all of that on my head after shampooing.

More DIY Personal Care Items You'll Love

- The BEST Homemade Eye Makeup Remover - really
- Simple Nourishing Hand and Body Cream
- Nourishing Lip Scrub - your lips will truly thank you!
- Hand and Body Sugar Scrub
- Jojoba Oil Face Wash
- Rose Water Spray
- Homemade Tooth Powder - gets great results!

homemade apple cider vinegar hair rinse in a glass bottle

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

5 from 1 vote
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  • Combine all ingredients in a container and mix well.
  • Store in a plastic container in the shower.
  • To use, mix 1 T with approximately 1 cup water and pour over freshly shampooed hair.
  • Massage in and rinse out if you desire.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!


Have you ever used an apple cider vinegar hair rinse?
How did it work? Let me know in the comments.

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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    I do this.. makes hair soft and does not smell once dried.. important to note ..
    Make sure you are not wearing pearl earrings when rinsing with vinegar water..

    1. So great to hear and I agree 100% that hair doesn't smell once it's dried. Great tip! Do you feel that is the case even if it's diluted pretty well as it is for this rinse?

  2. If I make a large bottle in advance, would I keep it in the fridge and only take it out when I need it?

    1. Anytime you use something w/ water or aloe as a base you need to be careful about shelf life. I have used things stored in the fridge for a long time but I can't make claims that they didn't grow bacteria and neither should anyone else unless there is a full spectrum preservative in them. Some of the ingredients will help preserve it but I would have to do some intensive studying to find out how long. Hope you like it either way.

    1. Thanks! I'm not sure about how long since the water and aloe parts are prone to bacterial contamination but the essential oils, etc. would prevent it. One idea is to not add the water and aloe as needed to the acv and eos in smaller amounts and store in the fridge. Hope it works well for you!

    1. Hi there. Typically for a homemade DIY recipe that has water as a base (or aloe) you should only plan for about 4 days but some of the things in this formula would help preserve it. I can't know that for sure so just take care to not let it sit too long. Hope you like it!

  3. Hello. I have grey hair - ranges from silver-white to steel grey. Texture is very fine, very straight, not oily or dry. I've just started washing it with baking soda, which does a fine job. If I use this rinse, will it turn it yellow, like so many shampoos tend to do? I used to use Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo/conditioner, but I like the feel my hair using the baking soda.

    1. Many of your shampoos turn your grey hair yellow? Or is that because of the baking soda shampoo? Thanks! I do think that the baking soda can make your hair brittle over time so be careful.

  4. I've had ACV recommended before as a hair rinse. Since I only use a temporary color on my hair I'm afraid it will strip the color off sooner than the 8-10 weeks. What do you think?

    1. I'm sorry but I don't know. I would contact your hair stylist? or did you end up trying it and if so, what happened?

  5. I can't wait to try this! I love that you provide recommended essential oils for different hair problems. Thank you so much Adrienne for this recipe! 😀

  6. I see a lot of natural products add vinegar...what is the alternative? No matter how many or what flavor of EO I add the vinegar smell does not disappear for me in household or beauty products, not even when dry; my hair either...I just can't do it and my husband can't stand it, either. I read that vodka or lemon juice is a good alternative-what have you found?

    1. Yes, I think those are good options - of course the lemon juice might cause lightening depending on your hair color.

  7. I'd like to try making this for my daughter, but she's allergic to Aloe Vera. Is there something I could use in its place?

  8. Any recommendations on a rinse for those who live in deserts and can't use humectants like aloe? Just moved here, and it's seeping all the moisture out of my hair instead of retaining it.

      1. No, glycerin is also a humectant. Right now I'm trying a tea rinse with a bit of acv to see how that does.

        1. I personally think that using a rinse w/ acv too often can be drying - perhaps limit how often you do that?

  9. Thanks Adrienne for your prompt response. .will definitely look out for ingredients. .can't wait to try it out

  10. Couple of questions - do you have any recommendation on which brand apple cider vinegar to be used if not making it ourselves? in one of the ocmments you made you made apple cider vinegar yourself but not able to find ur link for it. also for aloe vera juice the one which is there on vita cost site from ALO i bought the same from costco but they have either honey or the mango one. is it ok to use the flavored one for this rinse or maybe not?

    1. Hi there. I just put a link in the post so I hope that helps. I would think the flavored would work but it depends on the ingredients. If there's a lot of other stuff you might not want that. :)/

    1. It shouldn't affect your hair from the research that I have done - it's diluted as well. I can't promise but that is what I have found. Thanks!

  11. I have blonde fine hair and get foils put in it. I find apple cider vinegar makes the colour go funny. Has anyone else have this problem?

  12. Just tried this for the first time except I mixed soda and vinegar together with water, before pouring it onto my scalp. My scalp feels less oily, itchy and cleaner now. My hair is soft and shiny. However, it is flaking even more and my hair loss has increased. =(

    I also need to confess to having been allergic to Chinese vinegar internally. Any idea what went wrong?

    1. If you are allergic to vinegar then that could be your problem. I personally would stop using it. Do you have a problem with other vinegars internally? Are you rinsing it out completely? Perhaps something else is going on? Of course, I am not a doctor and can't medically advise.

  13. Hi, I tried using just apple cider vinegar thru my hair after shampooing it - did not help to smooth it- was no good. I do have colour in my hair - can you recommend something else I can use?

    kind regards

    1. You will get a slightly different product b/c the gel is thicker and it has different properties, but since it's an external use I don't know that it will be a big problem.