Create Vinegar Conditioner

This Homemade Hair Rinse Offers Many Benefits

vinegar condition ingredients
Use Vinegar to Condition Your Hair. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Commercial conditioners are costly and chemical-laden. Make  your new conditioner, and leave all of that behind. You probably know that vinegar, an acidic, clear liquid substance derived from fermenting alcohol, can be used virtually anywhere in your home from cleaning wood floors to windows to wastebaskets. But you can also use it to condition your hair.  not only cleanses your scalp; it helps with dandruff problems, too.

Making Vinegar Conditioner

To create your own homemade vinegar hair rinse, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Mix one part of vinegar (apple or white) with three to four parts of water. (Experiment to see if you prefer apple or white vinegar as well as stronger or weaker hair rinse.)
  2. Apply the vinegar mixture to your shampooed hair  
  3. Let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then, rinse.

Reasons to Condition With Vinegar

Vinegar is free of silicone and all of the other chemicals that are typically found in commercial conditioners and contains a single, all-natural ingredient. Additionally, vinegar:

  • removes the buildup left behind by other conditioners and hair products
  • seals your hair cuticles, which locks in moisture and leaves your hair looking shiny and smooth
  • removes/minimizes tangles
  • doesn't weigh down your hair like cream conditioners (which translates into more body)
  • Helps your hair stay cleaner longer
    • balances the pH of your scalp and hair
    • is cheaper than any commercial conditioner

    Tips and Hints

    Your hair will smell like vinegar until it's dry but should be scent-free after that. If you hate the smell of vinegar, add a few drops of essential oil—such as lavender or rosemary—to your mixture. And, if you miss the scent that your old conditioner left in your hair, add a few drops of essential oil to your hairbrush.

    Doing this will lightly fragrance your hair.

    Stick to white vinegar if you have blond hair because apple cider vinegar may darken your hair. Proceed with caution if you have color-treated hair. Most people report that conditioning with vinegar actually extends the life of their color job, which makes sense since vinegar is often used to set clothing and egg dyes, but your results may vary. And, as with any conditioner, you should avoid getting vinegar in your eyes.

    If vinegar hair rinse is just not your thing, but you still want to save money and avoid store-bought varieties, . It also is inexpensive and easy to make, and it can help with dandruff problems just as well as vinegar.

    Have Patience

    It will take a few weeks for your hair to adjust to your new conditioning regimen. Commercially made products strip your hair of its natural oils, so your hair will be used to working extra hard to restore them. This could lead to greasier or drier hair as your body finds its new normal. Most vinegar conditioner users find that they only need to wash and condition their hair two or three times a week.

    If you're not ready to abandon your cream conditioner entirely, use vinegar once every couple weeks to eliminate product buildup.