The 21st Century Herbalist

Apple Cider Vinegar for Shiny Hair and pH Balanced Skin

It’s the start of “One Ingredient…One Great Fix” month and I’m starting with one of my favorites, apple cider vinegar. You probably know it best as a culinary ingredient, but it’s so much more than that!  I initially intended to give you “one great fix” but apple cider vinegar is so versatile that I couldn’t help myself and I had to give you two great fixes.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
Remove Product-Buildup, Add Shine, Soothe Itchy Scalp

You know all those crazy hair styles you’ve been sporting lately?  Your shampoo can only do so much to remove all of the product that you use on your hair and the product that it leaves behind will build up and lead to dull hair.  You can also experience lack luster locks because your conditioner may contain glycerin*, which coats your hair making it soft and shiny.  It also attracts dust and dirt, which then sticks to your hair and creates buildup.

You can combat buildup and add shine with a simple apple cider vinegar rinse.  There are all sorts of additional herbs and essential oils that you can add to this rinse, but the two most essential ingredients are distilled water and the apple cider vinegar and you can use them together with excellent results.

For oily to normal hair, mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 4 parts distilled water.  For dry hair, use a mix of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 6 parts distilled water.

After shampooing pour the rinse over your hair and massage it into your scalp.  Rinse with warm water, then cool water. The smell may be strong at first, but it will fade and you won’t spend the day smelling like salad dressing. Use this rinse once a week to maintain shiny, healthy hair.  This rinse also has the added benefit of restoring your hair’s natural pH balance and soothing itchy scalp and dandruff.

*In general, glycerin is a great all-natural product and you shouldn’t avoid it because it can create buildup, just use the vinegar rinse to reduce its effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar pH Balancing Facial Toner
restore skin’s pH balance, reduce acne, prepare skin to absorb moisturizer

Apple cider vinegar makes a great pH balancing facial toner that can help combat acne and open your pores, allowing them to better absorb your moisturizer, which ultimately leads to smaller, less noticeable pores.

To make a toner, mix together 1/2 c. of apple cider vinegar with 2 c. distilled water.  After cleansing your face, apply the toner using a cotton pad and allow the skin to dry.  Then follow with your favorite skin moisturizer like the HelloGiggles inspired Rose, Apple and Honey Face Creme, from last week.  You may find the scent of the apple cider vinegar to be strong at first, but it is only temporary and is worth all of the benefits you get.

Just like the hair rinse, you can add herbs and essential oils to this recipe.  In fact you can swap the distilled water with an herbal floral water made from a variety of herbs that compliment your skin type, like this Easy, All-Natural, pH Balancing Facial Toner recipe.  I don’t recommend using this toner on very sensitive skin or sunburned skin.  When in doubt, test a small area first.

Apple cider vinegar does so much more than just this, but it’s a great place to start.  So why not give it a try this weekend and see how a $3 bottle of vinegar can give you healthy hair and skin.

Next Week: One Ingredient…One Great Fix – Hydrogen Peroxide

image via: istockphoto

  • Kathryn Bulman


    Is it safe to use this on color treated hair?


    • Katie Glenn

      Oops, sorry for not including this…
      You probably don’t want to use this on color treated hair because it can strip the color. I used to color my hair pretty often and found that using it once a week at the 1 to 6 ratio didn’t damage my color, but you may not want to take the chance if you paid a lot for your color!
      Thanks for asking Kathryn!

  • Alyssa Bacon-Liu

    This is one of my personal favorite natural beauty secrets. I’ve only used it as a hair rinse, so I’m excited to try it as a toner! I also love using olive oil as eye make up remover. Can’t wait to see what else you write about. :)

    • Katie Glenn

      I love olive oil too! And the apple cider vinegar toner has done wonders for my poor skin, I’d never go back to the products that I used before. I hope you like it. :)

  • Anonymous

    love this.

  • Sarah North Youle

    Tried both of these recipes, they both seem to work really well (though, maybe I have super-absorbant hair, but it still smells a bit vinegary even after a few hours!). Thanks! Now I just need some pretty bottles to keep it all in…it does have a rather unfortunate colour for standing around in clear bottes in your bathroom! :S

    • Katie Glenn

      Haha, I often think the same thing, the brown liquid just doesn’t say “spa” does it? I was finally able to find some pretty blue glass bottles, that helps. :)

  • Alyssa Pitingoro

    Apple Cider Vinegar is AMAZING for sunburns. Apply it with a cotton ball and it totally takes the sting out like no other products can do. I will never use anything else on a sunburn!

    • Katie Glenn

      Never tried that before, thanks for sharing!

  • Linda Edwards

    I just tried white vinegar on my hair which I just had colored but it was very ash and the highlights were dull, i just left it in for 10-15 min and WOW it actually lessened the ash and bought out the highlights, my hair feels softer as its very dry….so i will do rest of her tomorrow…. very impressed, thanks guys :)

  • Rebecca Toney

    Do I not use conditioner after the vinegar?

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