Apple Cider Vinegar Rinses For Healthy, Shiny Hair!

I must confess the first time I heard about using vinegar in hair I thought: surely, it aint that serious?! But as with everything else, I was intrigued, tried it out and (on this occasion) was sold!

To explain why Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is so beneficial to our hair, we first need to understand the pH balance in our hair, in the products we use and how they interact with one another.

Think of those 12 inch rulers we used in primary/secondary school and imagine it to be a scale (but make it 14 inch) - with the first half of the scale being acidic and the last half of the scale being alkaline while the middle is neutral. Healthy hair (and skin) has a low acidic pH of 4.5 - 5 meaning ideally, products that we use in our hair should fall into this range. The lower the acid pH range of the product we use (but not the extreme end of the acidic spectrum), the more tightly closed the cuticles become - protecting the inner cortex of the hair strand, preventing damage and giving the hair a sheen as the tightly closed cuticles reflect light.

Now when we use products with a high pH (where they now fall into the alkaline range) they cause the scales on the hair's cuticle to lift, swell and open - leaving the inner cortex unprotected and vulnerable to damage. Relaxers and permanent color fall in the very high 10 - 13 range and this is why a 'neutralizing' shampoo is used after relaxer application to get the hair back to it's normal 4.5 - 5 pH range.

When the cuticles of the hair shaft are raised and the hair is handled and/or combed in this state, the cuticles chip leading to rough, damaged strands. It is important to also note here that deep conditioning with heat will raise the cuticles to allow the treatment penetrate deep into the hair shaft which is why it is always advisable to rinse out  your deep conditioners with cool water to seal the cuticles back.

Hair Shaft on left has closed cuticles while that on the right has raised cuticles.

Not all shampoos and conditioners have an ideal 4.5 - 5 pH range and not everyone is that dedicated to use pH strips to check their shampoos and conditioners before use which is where Apple Cider Vinegar comes in.
My stash of pH strips
ACV falls within the 3 - 4 acidic pH range which means it will tighten the cuticle (protecting the inner hair cortex)  impart shine, smoothness and easier movement of our hair strands. In addition, ACV has anti fungal, anti viral, and anti bacterial properties making it beneficial in the treatment of dandruff, psoriasis and other dry scalp issues.

To get the most out of it , I believe it's best to use as a final rinse after rinsing out your deep conditioner - dilute 1 part ACV to about 4 parts cold water (you don't want to make your mix too strong as it can end up drying out your hair) pour over your hair and leave for about 2 minutes then rinse with cool water and proceed to styling. Most people are normally put off by the smell but after rinsing the smell usually goes away.

I have found that the Bragg's ACV is best as it is all organic, raw, unpasteurized and contains 'The Mother' (the brown strands  you find at the bottom which contain raw beneficial enzymes). 

As with most things natural, this ACV has multiple uses and has traditionally been used as a healing tonic ingested daily to regulate candida issues, stabilize blood sugar levels, aid weight loss and a host of other good things. ( My first drink every morning is a tablespoon full of ACV in a glass of water and I also use it as a salad dressing in conjunction with olive oil and a bit of salt, pepper and garlic)

You truly can't go wrong with this, both externally and internally; so what are you waiting for?! :)


  1. hi, nice article. wondering though, if you stock ph strips in the KLS store. woould be interested in buying. or could you tell me where to buy them from?

    1. Hi! Thanks for the compliment - we don't stock ph strips but I've asked around and the best place would be good pharmacies or companies that supply lab equipment. If you live in Lagos, you could check Healthplus. Hope that helps!

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  3. Good sharing, yes, apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps to boost metabolism, blocks the body’s storage of dietary fat plus breaks down and dissolves existing body fat. A study at Australia’s University of Sydney in which subjects who consumed two tablespoon of ACV daily experienced fewer surges and crashes in blood sugar levels. Read more at:

  4. hi, nice article. wondering though, if you stock ph strips in the KLS store.
    how to use apple cider vinegar for hair