Centuries ago, people discovered that vinegar makes hair look silky and shiny. A simple mixture of vinegar and water smooths the hair cuticle and cleanses buildup. Using white or apple cider vinegar after shampooing your hair is an excellent way to revitalize its texture.
Using a Simple Rinse
Mix one part vinegar and one part water. Plain vinegar is too strong to use on hair, so it’s important to dilute it with water first. One-fourth cup of vinegar and one-fourth cup of water should be enough for a single hair rinse.
Either distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar work well here. Many prefer using apple cider vinegar on the body because the smell is less intense.
If your hair is quite oily, you can add an extra tablespoon of vinegar. If your hair is dry or you tend to have dandruff, scale back the amount of vinegar by a tablespoon.
Shampoo your hair as normal. Go ahead and wash your hair with your normal shampoo. If possible, use lukewarm or cool water. Using hot water causes hair to look dull and frizzy. Cold water will help your hair shaft lie flat and contribute to the shiny, smooth look you’re after.
Skip the conditioner. Since you’re using a vinegar rinse, there’s no need to condition your hair after shampooing. The rinse will leave your hair soft and smooth.
Pour the rinse into your hair. Slowly pour it over your scalp and try to distribute it evenly over the top of your head. Use your fingers to massage it into your scalp and smooth it into your hair from the roots to the tips.
Wait five to ten minutes. This will allow the rinse to fully soak into your hair. Use the time to complete your shower routine.
Rinse your hair with cool water. Give it a quick rinse to remove the extra vinegar from your hair. There’s no need to go overboard, since the smell of the vinegar will be gone once your hair dries.
Dry your hair as usual. Either let it air dry or use a hair dryer to dry your hair. When you’re finished, it will be silky and soft. The vinegar smell should be gone.
Repeat once or twice a week. You may love the results of your rinse so much you’re tempted to repeat it every time you wash your hair. However, vinegar can dry out your hair if you use it too often. Use it just once or twice a week to remove buildup in your hair and restore shine.
Making a Custom Vinegar Rinse
Try adding a tablespoon of honey. Honey has both clarifying and moisturizing properties, making it a great addition to a hair rinse. This is especially helpful if your hair tends to be a little dry. Honey also smells fantastic and can combat the vinegar smell while you’re in the shower. If you want to try adding honey, here’s how to do it:
Make your vinegar rinse as normal. Pour it into a container with a lid.
Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey.
Put the lid on the container and shake well before use.
Use an egg white for extra shine. Egg whites, like vinegar, clarify hair and make it look beautifully shiny. Since you’ve already got the vinegar out, why not try adding an egg? You can also use an egg white in place of vinegar if you happen to be out when your hair needs a rinse. Here’s how to use an egg white in your rinse:
Mix up your vinegar rinse as normal. Place it in a container with a lid.
Separate one egg, letting the white drop into the container with the vinegar. You don’t need the yolk.
Place the lid on the container and shake well before use.
Consider adding a little oil to moisturize your hair. If your hair is quite dry, you might want to make up for not using conditioner by adding a bit of oil to your rinse. A little goes a very long way, so you don’t want to add too much. Just a bit of oil will help keep your hair conditioned until your next shampoo. Try stirring one of these oils into your vinegar rinse:
1/2 to 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon olive oil
Scent the vinegar with nourishing herbs. If you’re having trouble with this rinse because you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you might want to try scenting it with herbs. The herbs impart a gentle scent that helps to mask the vinegar and make it more pleasant to use. Here’s how to do it:
Mix your vinegar rinse as usual, and pour it into a small saucepan.
Add a tablespoon of your favorite dried herb, like lavender, rose hips, sage, or rosemary.
Bring the rinse to a simmer and let the herbs cook for 10 minutes.
Strain the herbs from the rinse and let it cool before use.
Try it with essential oils. Using essential oils is another easy way to mask the scent of the vinegar an make your rinse smell great. Some essential oils are even beneficial to hair in their own right. Mix up your rinse as usual and stir in 5 to 10 drops of one of these essential oils:
Lavender. It has a soothing effect and is often used in skin and hair products.
Tea tree oil. It can help combat dandruff and has a strong herbaceous scent.
Lemongrass. This energizing scent effectively masks the vinegar smell.
Keep a spray bottle of one of the mixtures in your shower. Use it for stripping the residue from your hair as well as to keep the soap build up off your shower walls.
Do not get the solution into your eyes as it will sting.
Make sure the vinegar is mixed with water.
Things You’ll Need
White or apple cider vinegar
Optional mix-ins, like honey, egg white, oil, herbs, and essential oils