Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar: #2 Hair Care

by lydia on November 29, 2012

Apple cider vinegar, I find, should be considered as a super food/cure all – therefore something to keep in every home pantry and ‘medicine’ cabinet. It has long been known by folk medicine as one of nature’s greatest healing agents. Apple Cider Vinegar has a ton of beneficial uses as a home remedy and healing tonic. Today, I’d like to discuss it’s use in hair/scalp care. Read my first post on it’s use as a digestive support, here.

Got Dandruff, Scalp Itch, Limp Lifeless Hair, or Build Up? Try applying some ACV….

Several years ago, I gave up using store bought shampoo, to avoid the toxic ingredients used. I switched to using an apple cider vinegar rinse in my hair in place of shampoo or conditioner and it worked quite nicely for me. It took some getting used to, but it helped to deal with a lot of the build up from the shampoo use over the years. To make your own apple cider vinegar rinse, simply find a bottle with a lid that you can squeeze in a controlled manner and add a mixture of 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of warm water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Tilt your head back in the shower and gently squeeze out at the top of you head and beginning of your hairline, being very careful not to let it drip down into your eyes. Massage through your hair and scalp, leave on for several minutes. Again, be careful not to let it drip down your face. Rinse well. This rinse may help to brighten your hair and give it a little sparkle. It will also help to remove the build up from commercial shampoos and styling products. This vinegar rinse can also help to calm frizzy hair.

A vinegar rinse can also be effective at killing ‘bottle bacillus’ a microorganism that is common in scalp conditions like dandruff. Itchy scalp and dandruff are often caused by bacteria that clog hair follicles, forming dry crusts that itch and flake. (source) The acids and enzymes in apple cider vinegar kill the offending bacteria. Some dandruff can be caused by fungus, and apple cider vinegar will kill that too! Simply pour full strength vinegar on your head, being very careful not to get it in the eyes. Do not do this if you have any open cuts on your scalp. Work the vinegar into the roots of your hair and wrap it with a towel. Leave the treatment on for a full hour before washing your hair. Repeat this procedure as many times as necessary to do away with dandruff and itchy scalp for good.


Making Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar

I’ve never made my own apple cider vinegar, but my friend Melanie of Pickle Me Too has. She swears it’s super simple. I do hope to try it soon, since I can get fresh local apple cider currently.  Here is her recipe for Apple Cider Vinegar – give it a try sometime! (above photo by Melanie of Pickle Me Too).

We go through a lot of apple cider vinegar in my home. I like to buy it in bulk if I can – either a case of bottles (if I can swing it) or in the gallon sized jugs. I also love this book; ‘Dr. Earl Mindell’s AMAZING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR’.


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LydiaLydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone, Skype or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Contact Lydia today to get started as well as to learn more about what she has to offer you!



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Jeanette November 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Thank for starting this series on how to use ACV! I have a friend who has been having scalp issues (has cancer & is undergoing treatment) so I am hoping he will be willing to try this. I\’ll be sending him this info today.

lydia December 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Jeanette, I wish all the best to your friend!

Lynn December 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I tried the ACV rinse and I like it. Is this something that I can use with each shampoo or should be more of a weekly treatment?
Thank you!

lydia December 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Yes, you can use it daily if you like – try it for awhile and see how it goes. I did it solely for quite some time with good results.

Samantha December 3, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Hey, That looks pretty nice but what does \”Raw Apple Cider Vinegar\” exactly means am sorry am not so good at this things and you said we can use any Essential oil so can i use Coconut oil which we get from pure coconuts ?

lydia December 4, 2012 at 7:16 am


Raw apple cider vinegar means it’s got live enzymes and components that make it more health giving. Braggs is a good brand to look for. Essential oils like lavendar, orange, jasmine, rosemary are good options – coconut oil is not what I was referring to, you are looking for the essential oils to give your rinse a nice scent. Hope that helps.

sam December 4, 2012 at 3:11 am

I need to try this..thanks for the post

Susan December 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Since you say to add warm water to the ACV, is this a one use amount? Thank you for the info.

lydia December 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm


I used a small empty Dr. Bronner’s bottle and filled it every time I washed my hair. Since I have long thick hair I needed the whole bottle. Anyway, I used warm water cause it was a lot nicer than cold being dumped on my head. You can fill a bigger bottle and let it sit for some time, you don’t have to do my method. So warm water is not necessary since it will just be room temp. that way. Hope that helps.

Arytan January 22, 2013 at 1:43 am

Can I use regular vinegar?

Marjie March 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

thank you so much for this! I am a breast cancer survivor and have been trying to go more natural with all of my beauty products, including using coconut oil for my skin, etc. I HATE all the chemicals in shampoo, and I just got into drinking ACV, so now I want to use it in place of my shampoo! can’t wait to try this! thank you!

lydia March 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

That’s great Marjie! Glad this post helped you out!

Sarah A July 11, 2013 at 2:35 am

Hi! I found you via Pinterest and have a question on this idea. You noted that you should not use this if you have open scratches/sores on your scalp. In recent years I have been getting acne on my scalp that is really itchy, thus I have scabs to deal with too. The ACV rinse sounds like it could help me a lot. Do you think it would be okay to try it when most of the scabs are healed on my scalp? It seems to come in waves as most acne does. I haven’t found anything else helpful other than really mild shampoos like baby shampoos. Thanks, and God bless!

lydia July 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

The main reason you wouldn’t want to use ACV on a scalp with scabs or open sores is that it would likely really really sting. You could try some on one of the scabs to see if you tolerate it okay. I think it would be great for your scalp so long as you tolerate it.

Yuzana November 30, 2013 at 1:32 am

what is the difference bwtween organic ACV and ACV that includes water & 5% acidity? Can i use the second one? I am confusing about my hair with fungus and no medicine can help to reduce.. please advice me.Thanks

lydia November 30, 2013 at 8:27 am

I’m not 100% sure Yuzana – however, you will want to get RAW apple cider vinegar because it will have the properties that work to kill any fungus on your scalp.

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