Whether it’s used for cooking, laundry, household cleaning or weight loss, apple cider vinegar (or ACV for short) can be found in almost every pantry across America. It’s no wonder, since this kitchen staple is so versatile — and these days it’s getting a whole lot of buzz for being a miracle ingredient for hair care. Plenty of online beauty influencers say apple cider vinegar hair benefits help with hassles many of us in our 50s struggle with — everything from lackluster locks to thinning hair and more.
Best of all, ACV’s beautifying powers don’t stop at hair as it can be a real boon for aging skin too. Keep scrolling to learn all the ways to use the pantry staple to turn back the clock.
4 apple cider vinegar hair benefits
1. ACV prevents hair loss
“Having a healthy scalp and hair is essential in preventing hair loss and thinning,” says celebrity hairstylist Clyde Haygood. “Using ACV in your hair care routine helps exfoliate product buildup, dirt and oils and also removes mineral deposits from hard water, all of which can clog follicles and lead to hair loss and breakage.”
2. Apple cider vinegar banishes dandruff
Apple cider vinegar balances pH levels on the scalp and is also natural antimicrobial — so it combats dandruff-causing bacteria and fungus that can sit on the scalp. “Dandruff sufferers can benefit from using ACV as it clarifies the scalp to help achieve proper pH balance,” says Haygood. “A simple scalp treatment with ACV can help fight off flakes.”
3. ACV eliminates oily hair
Thanks to its astringent properties apple cider vinegar can give oily stands the boot, and lead to a fuller-looking mane. “It’s great for combating oily hair by eliminating the greasy buildup in the hair,” says Haygood. “Once this layer of buildup is removed, strands won’t be weighed down and will have so much more fullness and lift.” (Dealing with oily, greasy roots? Click through to learn about why does my hair great greasy so fast.)
4. Apple cider vinegar increases shine
Over time product build-up can make locks look lifeless and dull. “ACV adds shine in two ways,” says Haygood. “The first is by removing buildup and the second is by closing the cuticle so the hair’s smooth surface reflects more light.”
How to use apple cider vinegar for hair
1. Use apple cider vinegar in a hair mask
Mix 1 cup of plain yogurt (its protein strengthens brittle hair) and 1 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar. After shampooing hair, apply the mask to damp hair from roots to ends. Let sit for 15 minutes; rinse with cool water.
Watch the below video from @lavish_krish on TikTok to see an ACV hair mask in action.
2. Use apple cider vinegar as a natural hair rinse
Dilute 2 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar in 1½ cups of water. Shampoo and condition hair as usual then pour the ACV-water mixture all over hair and work into the scalp for one minute. Let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse with cool water. (Click through to discover more natural hair rinses.)
3. Use apple cider vinegar as a hair growth treatment
Mix 2 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar with a small pinch of cayenne pepper. Pour into a small spray bottle and mist onto sparse areas and let sit for an hour. Then wash hair as usual. Tip: Patch test the mist on the back of the neck to ensure you’re not sensitive to cayenne pepper before using this spray on the scalp. (Click through for more natural ways to outsmart thinning hair.)
TikToker @caiticray sings the praises of this hair growth-boosting DIY in the below video.
The best hair care products that are infused with apple cider vinegar
PURA D’OR Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set (Buy from PURA D’OR, $29.99)
The shampoo and conditioner in this set contain apple cider vinegar that cuts down on product or oil buildup on the scalp so hair feels clean and looks bouncy and shiny. What’s more, they both are also made with castor oil that deeply moisturizes and encourages healthy hair growth. (Click through to learn how to use castor oil for thinning hair.)
Pacifica Beauty Rosemary Apple Cider Scalp Detox Tonic (Buy from Amazon, $12)
This pre-shampoo scalp treatment uses ACV to cleanse the scalp, helping to rid it of oil, bacterial and other impurities. Its also made with niacinamide, glycolic acid and salicylic acid that all work to detox the scalp and whisk away follicle-clogging debris, creating a healthy environment that promotes new hair growth.
WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Mask (Buy from Amazon, $14.95)
In addition to apple cider vinegar, this deep conditioning hair mask is also formulated with coconut and avocado oils that replenish moisture to rehydrate dry hair. AVC and these oils also mend damage to prevent breakage and thwart shedding.
Hawaiian Silky Apple Cider Vinegar Bald Spot Recovery Serum (Buy from Walmart, $12.91)
This serum can be applied to the scalp along sparse spots like at the temples, hairline and crown once a day. Its ACV content nourishes hair follicles and stimulates new hair growth.
Bonus: How apple cider vinegar benefits skin
For many of the same reasons that ACV is such a hero for hair, it’s also great for treating aging skin concerns, like dryness, enlarged pores, wrinkles, age spots and more. Here, skin experts tout the anti-aging skin benefits of the pantry staple.
4 benefits of apple cider vinegar for skin
1. ACV improves the skin’s barrier function
Skin has a natural acidic pH that helps protect it from bacteria, fungus and environmental damage. “As we age, the skin’s pH can become more alkaline, which can weaken the skin barrier and make it more prone to dryness, irritation, and infections,” explains Anna Chacon, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Miami. “ACV can help restore the skin’s acidity to fight off these issues.”
2. Apple cider vinegar smooths and brightens skin
The alpha-hydroxy acids in apple cider vinegar can remove dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production in skin. “This can improve the skin’s texture, brightness, and elasticity,” says Dr. Chacon. “Which in turn, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.”
Additionally, the natural acids in apple cider vinegar like malic and acetic acids “whisk away dead skin cells, revealing a healthier, more vibrant complexion,” says Robin Davis, a board-certified Nurse Practitioner at The Fountain, a medical spa in West Palm Beach, Florida. “ACV improves skin texture and also helps reduce visible signs of aging such as age spots and fine lines.”
3. ACV shrinks enlarged pores
“The acetic and citric acids present in ACV can increase skin cell turnover, effectively clearing and tightening enlarged pores,” says Randall Higgins, a cosmetic chemist and co-founder of skin care website GoodGlow.co. “This results in a more refined skin texture, that’s smoother and more youthful.”
4. Apple cider vinegar calms irritated skin
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated and inflamed skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. “These properties are what makes it such a popular choice for treating acne and reducing inflammation,” says Dr. Chacon. “It’s also great to use on a sunburn to help heal skin.”
One caveat: Dr. Chacon notes that it is essential to do a patch test before using ACV on your face. Her advice is to apply a small amount of diluted ACV to your inner elbow or wrist and wait for 24 hours to see if you have any adverse reaction. If you experience any itching, burning, redness, or swelling, skip using ACV on your face altogether. “ACV can be a promising solution for mature skin woes,” adds Higgins. “But due to its acidic nature, it’s always wise to introduce it into your routine gradually.”
How to use apple cider vinegar for skin
1. Use apple cider vinegar in a face mask
In a bowl, combine 1 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar and 2 Tbs. of honey. Apply the mixture onto clean, dry skin on the face. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse off with water. Use this once a week as needed.
2. Use apple cider vinegar as a toner
Dilute 1 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar in 2 cups of water. Pour the mixture into a lidded jar and apply to the face with a cotton ball or pad after cleansing skin. Use three times a week.
For more DIY apple cider vinegar toner recipes, check out the below video from @iamvanessae on YouTube.
3. Use apple cider vinegar as a spot treatment for hormonal acne or discoloration
Saturate a cotton swab with undiluted apple cider vinegar and dab it onto a blemish or dark spot. Let sit 10-15 minutes or overnight and rinse off with water. Use once a day as needed.
The best skin care products that are infused with apple cider vinegar
Mamaearth Oil-Free Moisturizer For Face with Apple Cider Vinegar (Buy from Walmart, $12.55)
This natural, oil-free moisturizer is made with apple cider vinegar and a compound derived from beets that helps restore moisture to a parched complexion.
Pure Biology Apple Cider Vinegar Clay Beauty Mask (Buy from iHerb, $17.99)
This mask contains ACV, activated charcoal, kaolin clay and bentonite clay that all work together to deeply cleanse skin and unclog pores. Plus, it’s also made with collagen that plumps skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The INKEY List Apple Cider Vinegar Face Peel (Buy from The INKEY List, $14.99)
The mix of apple cider vinegar with glycolic acid and bilberry extract reduce discoloration on the face by gently exfoliating skin so it sheds dead, discolored skin cells to reveal a more even-toned, vibrant complexion.
Jason Body Wash Balancing Apple Cider Vinegar (Buy from Vitacost, $10.49)
Besides ACV this body wash contains vitamin E (it moisturizes dry, rough patches of skin) and purple prairie barley (its compounds firm skin) to leave skin on the body looking smooth and supple after stepping out of the shower.
Now that you’re up-to-date with the many beauty benefits of ACV, maybe it’s time for it to make a move from the kitchen pantry to take up permanent residence in your beauty cabinet.
Click through for more apple-cider vinegar shampoos.
For more tips of using natural ingredients for skin and hair, click through these stories:
6 Dermatologist-Approved Ways To Outsmart Thinning Hair. . . Naturally
End Facial Bloat and Redness With The Floral Water You Can Make At Home for Pennies
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