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Does Apple Cider Vinegar Clean Hair Follicles?

Apple cider vinegar is an all-natural product used as a kitchen staple and also for beauty purposes.

But, does apple cider vinegar clean hair follicles? Can you use apple cider vinegar to give your hair a detox?

I’ll explain if apple cider vinegar helps to detox and clarify hair, the benefits of using it on your hair, and if there’s any potential risks associated with using too much apple cider vinegar.

Keep on reading to find out more…

A tray with apple cider vinegar next to a green apple

How Can Apple Cider Vinegar Benefit Your Hair and Scalp?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been a popular natural remedy for many health concerns and beauty purposes, including hair care. Its use for hair and scalp offers several benefits:

Enhancing Hair Growth and Preventing Hair Loss

The vinegar also helps break down and dissolve skin and scalp oils that can block hair follicles as well.

This helps enhance circulation to the roots while delivering essential nutrients needed for healthy hair growth, whilst getting rid of buildup, to make the hair healthier.

Apple cider vinegar’s acidic properties help balance the pH level of your scalp, providing an environment where healthy bacteria can thrive and flourish.

This can help reduce irritation and itching, ultimately promoting better hair health.

ACV is rich in alpha hydroxy acid which aids in the exfoliation of dead skin cells from the scalp and hair, promoting shinier healthier looking hair by removing build up from styling products like gels and waxes, allowing more room for new growth to take place.

Not only does it cleanse the scalp, but ACV’s natural antifungal properties also prevent microbial infections on your scalp that can lead to balding spots or patches.

Warding Off Dandruff and Scalp Infections

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a natural, inexpensive remedy for dandruff and scalp infections.

It contains acetic acid, which acts as an antibacterial and antifungal agent that helps reduce inflammation on the skin.

The anti-fungal properties in ACV help ward off bacteria and yeast, further reducing potential scalp irritations that can lead to dandruff, like fungus causing an itchy scalp.

It helps regulate the pH balance of your scalp, moisturizing it and eliminating flakes.

Research shows ACV may be even more effective if combined with other natural ingredients such as tea tree oil or aloe vera juice.

Washing hair with diluted apple cider vinegar mixture once or twice a week, you can restore health of your hair and scalp while preventing flaking and itching associated with dandruff.

This makes ACV an attractive alternative to harsh chemicals found in most over-the-counter shampoos that dry out the hair or lubricants that clog pores, leading to further irritation of the scalp.

A bottle of apple cider vinegar next to a sliced green apple

Restoring Hair’s Natural pH Balance and Shine

Hair and scalp have a slightly acidic pH that helps maintain the integrity of hair cuticles.

Most hair care products are alkaline, which can disrupt the hair’s natural acidity, leading to dullness and brittleness.

ACV can help restore the hair’s natural pH balance, promoting smooth, shiny, and healthy hair strands.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Clean Hair Follicles?

Using ACV for hair detox is simple and effective:

Preparing an Effective ACV Hair Rinse

To prepare an apple cider vinegar hair rinse, mix equal parts of ACV and water.

For an average hair length, use one tablespoon of ACV and one tablespoon of water.

You can adjust the ratio depending on hair type and sensitivity.

Diluting ACV is essential, as using undiluted ACV can cause scalp irritation and hair damage.

Applying the Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse on Your Hair

After shampooing, pour the diluted ACV mixture over your hair and massage it gently into the scalp.

Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the acetic acid to exfoliate, detoxify, and balance the scalp’s pH.

Rinse thoroughly with water. There is no need to follow up with a conditioner, as ACV helps detangle and soften hair strands.

Three red apples next to a bowl of apple cider vinegar

How Often Should You Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Detox?

For best results, use ACV hair rinse once or twice a week.

Overuse can cause scalp dryness and hair damage. Monitor your hair’s response and adjust the frequency accordingly.

Potential Risks and Side Effects of Using Apple Cider Vinegar on Hair

Although ACV offers numerous benefits for hair care, it also comes with certain risks and side effects:

Recognizing the Signs of Apple Cider Vinegar Sensitivity

Some individuals might be sensitive to ACV and may experience scalp irritation, itching, or redness.

If you notice any discomfort, discontinue use or increase the dilution ratio.

Precautions to Take when Using Apple Cider Vinegar on Hair

Always dilute ACV before using it on your hair and scalp. Avoid using undiluted ACV, as it can cause chemical burns, damage hair cuticles, and disrupt the scalp’s natural oil production.

Be cautious when using ACV on color-treated hair, as it may strip the color or cause fading.

Addressing Concerns Regarding Hair Color and Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV may affect hair color, especially on color-treated hair or natural hair with high porosity.

It is advisable to conduct a patch test on a small section of hair before using ACV on the entire head.

Consult your hairstylist for personalized advice on using ACV on color-treated hair.

Woman with wet hair after using an apple cider vinegar rinse on her hair

Choosing the Right Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Products for Your Hair Type

Explore various ACV-based hair products and treatments tailored to different hair needs:

Top Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoos and Conditioners

When it comes to using apple cider vinegar for your hair, there are multiple Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoos and Conditioners to choose from.

With several top products on the market that provide the best benefits of apple cider vinegar, and many health benefits and a clean scalp all-in-one.

For those looking for an affordable shampoo and conditioner set, one of the most recommended brands is WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and WOW Conditioner Set.

This pair contains active ingredients like Aloe Vera, Apple Extracts, Vitamin B5 and Pro-Vitamin B5 that help to reduce frizz while hydrating your hair from root to tip, leaving it feeling soft and smooth after every wash.

If you’re looking for something more luxurious, we recommend OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Extra Strength Miracle Inclusion Shampoo & Conditioner Set with Apple Cider Vinegar.

This popular pair not only helps restore shine but also deeply nourishes dry or damaged fine hair, with its blend of natural ingredients such as coconut oil and argan oil to truly revive your dull tresses back into life in no time.

Another top brand for those seeking an intense relief for their problem scalps is Shea Moisture Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Shampoo & Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner Duo Pack.

The combination of apple cider vinegar in the shampoo helps balance pH levels while promoting scalp health, while the conditioner works wonders on curly hair by infusing moisture into each strand, giving smoother curls with increased flexibility.

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Treatments and Masks

DIY apple cider vinegar (ACV) hair masks and treatments are an effective and natural way to promote healthy hair.

The acidity of the ACV helps to balance the pH levels of your scalp, reducing dandruff and itchiness.

To make a DIY ACV hair mask, start with a mixture of two tablespoons of ACV and two tablespoons of water.

Apply the mixture to clean, wet hair from root to tip. Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes before rinsing with cold water.

If you have longer or thicker hair, use more ACV, so it covers all your strands completely – remember that too much ACV can cause dryness or breakage in your hair, so go easy.

After thoroughly rinsing out the mixtures, be sure to condition your tresses as normal – this will help maintain their health and restore any moisture lost during treatment.

You can also create other variations on the traditional treatment by adding ingredients like honey or coconut oil for added hydration benefits.

Just be sure not to use too much as this could lead to product buildup on your scalp which is difficult to remove.

Finally, if you’re looking for a quick fix for dull hair, try adding essential oils like rosemary or sage into the mix for an extra boost.


When considering apple cider vinegar benefits for hair, it can help with detoxifying, clarifying and exfoliating the scalp as well as helping with dandruff and restoring hair’s natural pH balance for shine.

However, it is important to use it responsibly. So, ensure you’re diluting it before use and conducting patch tests to avoid any potential risks or side effects from using too much of the product.