Tuesday, February 18

Frugal Beauty: apple cider vinegar for shiny hair

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Pantry beauty secret: apple cider vinegar is awesome for shiny hair! Right next to my tupperware of coffee grounds in my shower, I keep a spray bottle that contains a mixture of apple cider and vinegar. I’ll spray this on my hair after I shampoo and condition. I use it about once every week or two weeks. I use dry shampoo on a regular basis, and I find this apple cider vinegar mix is the best way to wash out buildup that shampoo misses.

If you have 1hr+ to spare, you might want to combine this with my olive oil & honey hair mask.

You’ll get good results without it, the vinegar rinse is the perfect follow-up to ensure your wash all the honey out of your hair!

Apple Cider Vinegar For Shiny Hair


my hair post apple cider vinegar rinse


Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle.

Wash and condition hair has normal, then spray damp hair with apple cider vinegar rinse.

It’s not necessary to massage into your scalp, since this mix is only for your hair, but you can work it through you locks as needed. I have very thick long hair so it definitely takes some serious finger-combing to get every strand.

Let sit ~5 minutes. Hair will feel sort of weird: like it’s being dried out rather than being moisturized, but I assure you it is. Be aware that this mixture will NOT feel like a hot oil or deep conditioning treatment that makes your hair feel slippery and silky when wet. Hair will feel just like wet hair, maybe even a little dry, like damp straw. This is OK!

Rinse with water for 1-2 minutes. Hair will still feel kind of like damp straw and smell like vinegar. Still OK!

Towel dry damp hair, then blow dry as normal. Hair will continue to smell like vinegar until it is 100% dry. Once you hair is dry, it means the vinegar has evaporated and you shouldn’t smell it anymore. If you think you smell it, it’s because you’ve been breathing it in for the past 30 minutes and are confused, but if you’re still self-conscious, go ahead and spray your hair gently and sparingly with a scented hair product or perfume.

Once dry, hair will look ridiculously shiny to the point that people should wear sunglasses and not look at you directly when outside because your locks will reflect the sun like a mirror of the Gods. You’re welcome. Apple cider vinegar for shiny hair is an awesome low budget beauty trick that you can use over and over again without breaking your grocery bill.1


About Author

Student debt killer, super saver, and stock market addict. BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Alberta, MBA in Finance from the University of Calgary. CEO x 2 and MOM x 1. Currently residing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but hooked on travelling.


  1. Also, if you ever wash your hair with shampoo bars, it can sometimes leave your hair with a weird feeling – acv rinses tend to help with this too (I think I read it’s something about the ph balance)!

    • That is such a good idea actually because the main reason I DON’T use shampoo bars is because they leave such a weird residue in my hair. I’ve tried them, because I think they’re awesome environmentally but I just couldn’t deal with the waxy feel post-shower.

      • Ditto, the only one I have found that does leave that waxy feeling is from Lush, but their stuff is so full of fragrance and stuff that I don’t like to use it too often… so I just buy their shampoo bars for travelling (one less carry-on liquid to worry about!).

  2. I just now realized what bugs me so much about your over the top rah rah feminism thing.

    You eschew gender roles passionately when it comes to money and careers, or children’s toys, or people calling women “chicks”, (yes, I saw that on Twitter) yet embrace them fully when it comes to your appearance. Kinda seems to me like you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    And then you throw jabs at me for being sexist when I appreciate women for their beauty? (All while missing the obvious irony that my schtick is just as over the top as yours is, except mine isn’t supposed to be serious.)

    Anyway, just my two cents. If you all need me, I’ll be at a middle school somewhere explaining why girls are no good at math.

    • I don’t understand — I’m less of a feminist because I want shiny hair?

      I keep forgetting that in order to rally against sex stereotypes, I have to adhere to the stereotype of the type people that rally against sex stereotypes.

  3. Hmm interesting with the ACV rinse. I don’t do it because my hair is shiny enough as is, but if you use a lot of hair products (gel, mousse, etc), I think it works well.

    Do you wash your hair with honey? I do it with soap nut liquid these days.

  4. I recently started rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar to get rid of residue due to hard water. I wish I had discovered it sooner! It’s such a cheap fix. You can also add some baking soda to your shampoo and do the vinegar rinse after.

  5. always nice knowing some cheap tricks to get my hair so shiny people are getting mesmerized just by looking at it!;-) Definitely have to get some apple cider vinegar on my next trip to the grocery store!! thanks for the tip:-)

  6. Just wanted to say thanks so much for sharing this. I’ve taken this on board as my one and only conditioning technique and it works AMAZING! I really appreciate the info.

  7. Hi,
    I have been using diluted Dr. Bronner’s shampoo with 1/2 water 1/2 apple cider vinegar as conditioner for months now. I noticed that although my hair once dried is not tangly and healthy looking, they never look silky & shiny. Recently I used my sister’s conditioner & my hair was VERY shiny & silky-looking once dried; I’m sure it’s all chemicals, but it looked good. I want to go natural, but how can I achieve the commercial look? I don’t know how others hair can look shiny & I can’t. Any suggestion?

    Thanks for reading.

  8. Wow! I never knew Apple Cider vinegar can make hair shiny.. LOL
    I’ve used it before to help keep my scalp free from dandruff and also to prevent product buildup.. and now this! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. ACV in that concentration will destroy your hair in the longterm, because it has a pH below 4. To get a pH of 4, you can use not more than a teaspoon ACV in one cup (150 ml).