apple cider vinegar hair rinse recipe for natural hair rinse nutrition store madison wi the healthy place
Naturally Healthy Living, Women's Health

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse for Beautiful Hair

Disclaimer: The following information has not been approved by the FDA. This information should not be interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for a visit with a medical care professional. Always speak to your doctor about any health concerns. 

As a child, my mother always used an apple cider vinegar hair rinse after shampooing. That was before the days of shelves laden with hair care products. Unfortunately, these products are often a significant source of toxin exposure.

Check out four of the common chemical toxins found in hair conditions (including other hair care products) and health concerns related to their use:

  • Formaldehyde: Classified as a carcinogenic when its fumes are inhaled, it is also a potent skin sensitizer and allergen. [1]
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate:  A known carcinogen, this chemical has been linked to kidney and liver damage and skin conditions. It acts as a neurotoxin, disrupting the human nervous system. [2]
  • Phthalates:  A known carcinogen, linked to causing birth defects, human reproductive damage, and lowered sperm count in males. It has also been found to contribute to lung, kidney, and liver cancer. [3]
  • Parabens:  Classified as a hormone disruptor, it stops human hormones from behaving the way they should. It mimics human estrogen and has been linked to breast cancer and other reproductive cancers in men and women. [4]

That list is sure to give you some serious doubts about the safety of your hair care products. Consider using apple cider vinegar in place of a conditioner. Not only does it make an amazing rinse, but it is also inexpensive, AND you can infuse herbs that support healthy hair and scalp for added benefits! A win, win, win!!

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse Benefits

Have you ever wondered what women’s hair looked like before we had aisles and aisles of hair care products to choose from? Make up this apple cider vinegar hair rinse and you’ll discover that their hair may have been richer, fuller, and shinier than hair today.

Here are some benefits of an apple cider vinegar hair rinse:

  • Balance pH:  Hair care products can alter the natural pH of hair and scalp. Apple cider vinegar can help maintain a healthy pH level.
  • Prevents Dandruff and Reduces Hair Loss:  Both of these conditions can be caused by bacterial or fungal infections on the scalp. Apple cider vinegar is naturally antibacterial and antifungal and may help to prevent this common conditions.
  • Reduces Tangles and Frizz:  The natural acidity of apple cider vinegar smooths the cuticle, reducing tangles and frizziness. Your comb will easily glide through your hair!
  • Stimulates Growth:  By stimulating circulation to the scalp, apple cider vinegar works to promote healthy growth.
  • Prevents Split Ends and Breakage:  Apple cider vinegar promotes healthy hair. That means you will have less split ends and hair breakage.
  • Protects Color:  You may not know that a hot shower opens the hair cuticle, allowing dye molecules to escape. Because apple cider vinegar works to seal the cuticle, it can help prevent fading color. (Remember that hot water is particularly damaging to color treated hair.)
  • Shine:  Apple cider vinegar smooths and seals the cuticle of the hair – resulting in hair that reflects light. What does that mean to you? Hair that has a shiny, healthy appearance.

I know that it sounds too good to be true! This is an example of the power of truly natural products to improve the health of your hair while reducing toxin exposure.

How to Infuse Herbs Into Your Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

I have been making infused apple cider vinegar rinses for my hair since I was a teenager. I love combining different herbs to promote the health of my hair. I also love that I can naturally add highlights. In fact, people often comment about the red highlights in my hair, and I smile with satisfaction knowing that my “secret” rinse ingredient helps to keep those colors bright, even as I age.


  1. Use high-quality organic apple cider vinegar that is unfiltered, raw, and still has the mother. I use Braggs brand.
  2. Choose herbs from the list below that you want to include. I typically use dry herbs, but you can include fresh herbs. Make sure the herbs are completely covered by the vinegar to prevent mold growth.
  3. I purchase vinegar in glass quart bottles. You can add your herbs directly to this bottle, but it is necessary to pour off some of the vinegar to make room for the herbs. Don’t discard the “extra” vinegar you pour off! It can be placed in a smaller glass bottle and used to make more rinse.
  4. Cap your bottles and gently rotate end-over-end to incorporate the herbs into the vinegar.
  5. Place bottles in a sunny window. Make sure you don’t fill the bottles to the top. The warmth of the sun can cause bottles that are too full to leak! I always place an old kitchen towel under my bottles.
  6. For the first week try to remember to gently shake or rotate the bottles daily. After that, you can do it once a week.
  7. I like to steep my apple cider vinegar hair rinse about a month. You can adjust this time to suit your own needs.
  8. Use a fine strainer to remove the herbs from the vinegar. You use the original bottles to store the vinegar BUT never take a glass bottle into the shower! That is very dangerous!!


The scent of vinegar and herbs doesn’t remain after your hair is dry, so don’t worry that you are going to smell like a pickle!

Here are some examples of herbs you can include in your custom blends.

  • Calendula: Conditions hair.
  • Cloves: Imparts red highlights to hair. Ticks don’t like cloves, so I always make sure to thoroughly massage into the areas of my scalp that ticks like to attach (nape of neck, sides of the head just above and behind the ears and crown). 
  • Chamomile: Highlights for blonde or light brown hair.
  • Horsetail: Not many people have heard of horsetail. This herb is rich in silica and works to strengthen hair strands.
  • Lavender: Reduces inflammation.
  • Marigold: Highlights for blonde or light brown hair.
  • Nettle: Nourishes the health of the scalp, which results in healthy hair. Also useful for preventing dandruff.
  • Rosemary: Stimulates hair growth.
  • Sage: Darken graying hair.
  • Thyme: Reduces oil.


Nothing complicated about it – follow these simple instructions for an easy hair rinse that will leave your friends wondering what you have done to achieve such beautiful hair!

  1. Premixing Your Hair Rinse: Use a shower safe (unbreakable) bottle to dilute your vinegar. I use a 50/50 ratio (half water, half vinegar). Don’t dilute all of your vinegar at this point. I use a large plastic water bottle to mix enough to keep in the shower. When you are running low just mix up another batch.
  2. Applying Your Hair Rinse:  After shampooing and rinsing, slowly pour the mixture over your scalp, allowing it to run down your hair to the ends. You don’t need to use a lot, but obviously, people with long hair will require more and short hair far less of the mixture.
  3. Wait to rinse! Gently massage mixture into your scalp to stimulate circulation, and leave in hair two to three minutes before your final rinse. Using a cool water rinse really increases the shine of your hair!

There you go – an easy alternative to commercial conditioners. I love admiring bottles of apple cider vinegar and herbs steeping on the windowsill. I find it very satisfying to use a generations-old secret for beautiful hair.

Interested in natural hair care solutions? The Healthy Place team has chosen products that are safe for your hair and health. Stop in and check them out!
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*Disclaimer: All information and recommendations given on this site, in email correspondence, newsletters or other materials provided by The Healthy Place is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice nor be viewed as a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting the use of any medications, health programs, diets, and/or supplements, as well as regarding any health concerns you may have. Our statements and information have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As with any health-related program, product, or service, your risks and results may vary. We expressly disclaim responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information provided to you here.”

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