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Apple cider vinegar has long been a favorite in the beauty space. Proponents say the all-natural ingredient can do everything from deep-clean your hair to balance the pH of your scalp, especially when used as a shampoo. “Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties,” Dr. Hadley King, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist, says, adding that these properties may be helpful if you’re dealing with acne or dandruff, respectively. Plus, since apple cider vinegar boasts an acidic pH, it may be able to gently exfoliate your scalp. (Just remember that because it’s acidic, it can also dry out your hair or irritate your scalp if overused, Dr. King says.)
Even though apple cider vinegar is probably sitting in your pantry right now, rest assured knowing you don’t have to DIY shampoo with what you have on hand. You can—or you can buy one of the many widely beloved apple cider vinegar shampoos on offer right now. When choosing an apple cider vinegar shampoo, you'll want to look for one that has nourishing or soothing ingredients, is the right size for the frequency you'll be using it, and is available in your preferred format, whether liquid, bar, or dry.
What to Look For in an ACV Shampoo
Apple cider vinegar can be intensely clarifying. So if you have sensitive skin—or even if you don’t—it may make sense to look for a shampoo with some soothing ingredients in it, too. Look for emollients, like argan oil, almond oil, shea butter, and avocado. These can help soothe your scalp, while giving your hair a little glossy shine, too.
Classic shampoo isn’t the only hair option that contains the ingredient. You can get apple cider vinegar shampoo as a dry shampoo or as a shampoo bar. And if you’re looking for a shampoo alternative, you can get an apple cider vinegar rinse or scalp scrub.
When it comes to buying shampoo, it can be tempting to stock up on the biggest—and budget-friendliest—bottle possible. But remember that you’ll probably use your apple cider vinegar shampoo a lot less frequently than a more classic shampoo. Keep this in mind as you shop, and opt for a bottle sized to fit your routine.
Read on to see our favorites—and to find your new go-to apple cider vinegar shampoo.
Best Overall: WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
WOW’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is a fan favorite, and it’s not hard to see why. The shampoo draws on apple cider vinegar to clarify your scalp and cut down on buildup. And since it’s equipped with emollients—like almond oil and argan oil—you can expect that deep clean to come with a side of glossy moisture. This dynamic combination makes the shampoo a fit for all kinds of different hair types. So whether you’re dealing with dry hair, an oily scalp, or dandruff, you can rest assured knowing this shampoo should get the job done.
What Our Testers Say
"I was a fan of the results I got from the WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo. I did pair it with the recommended conditioner, which includes coconut oil and avocado oil, and I found that my hair was shinier, smoother, and healthier-feeling the next day." — Leigh Weingus, Product Tester
Best Budget: Renpure Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
If you’re looking to score a solid apple cider vinegar shampoo on a budget, Renpure’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is a no-fail option. The primarily plant-based shampoo uses apple cider vinegar to cleanse the scalp. And it’s packed with soothing ingredients, like argan oil, manuka honey, and mint. Where other apple cider vinegar shampoos tend to be pretty intense, this one promises to be gentle. In fact, Renpure says you can get away with using the shampoo daily if you want to.
Best Drugstore: Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo
Aveeno’s Scalp Soothing Shampoo is designed to cleanse and soothe your scalp at the same time. The drugstore must-have uses apple cider vinegar to clarify the scalp, helping you cut down on buildup from dirt, sweat, and hair products. But since the shampoo’s key ingredient is a soothing oatmeal extract, you can expect a cleanse that feels nourishing—rather than overly intense. This careful balance makes this shampoo a great pick for a variety of different hair types—and an excellent budget-friendly go-to.
Best for Natural Hair: SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo
SheaMoisture is a Black-owned beauty brand that specializes in creating products for people of color. And its Strengthen and Restore Shampoo was crafted with natural, chemically processed, and heat-styled hair in mind. The shampoo draws on apple cider vinegar to cleanse, peppermint oil to refresh, and shea butter to soothe. And its key ingredient, Jamaican castor oil, promises to moisturize and strengthen your hair in equal measure.
Best for Brittle Hair: dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
Over-shampooing can dry out your hair. But you shouldn’t have to let your scalp get greasy or dirty just to maintain some of your hair’s natural moisture. So instead of skipping shampoos, try swapping a few of your weekly washes with a hair rinse. dpHUE’s Hair Rinse draws on apple cider vinegar to gently clean your scalp without stripping natural oils from your hair. And since the shampoo is loaded with soothing ingredients—like argan oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera—you shouldn’t have to worry about it leaving your scalp feeling itchy or irritated.
If you’re worried about apple cider vinegar shampoo drying out your hair, consider using a couple of moisturizing products after you’ve washed it out. “I would use apple cider vinegar shampoo when your hair needs a detox,” Crystle Jones-Bond, a Tennessee-based cosmetologist, tells Byrdie. “Then go in with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner after to restore moisture if needed.”
Best for Oily Hair: Luseta Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
Persistently oily hair can be frustrating to deal with. But Luseta’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo promises to make it a little easier. It uses apple cider vinegar to clarify your scalp, keeping you feeling clean and refreshed. And since apple cider vinegar promises not to strip the natural oils from your hair, you shouldn’t have to worry about your hair drying out every time you use the product. The careful balance should help you escape the constant cycle of too oily or too dry, helping you get to hair harmony faster.
If you have oily hair, you might be tempted to use your apple cider vinegar a lot. But there is such a thing as overdoing it. “You will know if you are overusing the shampoo when your hair feels dry and brittle,” Jones-Bond says.
Best for Thinning Hair: Vita A to Zee Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner
Vita A to Zee’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo pairs the cleansing power of apple cider vinegar with the strengthening power of Biotin, a B vitamin that’s commonly used to treat hair loss. The apple cider vinegar in the shampoo will cleanse your scalp, helping you cut down on buildup. And the biotin may help strengthen your hair and revitalize your scalp. The shampoo is also loaded with other helpful ingredients—like aloe vera, argan oil, and avocado—which will work together to soothe your scalp and promote hair shine.
Best for Color-Treated Hair: Majestic Pure Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner
Majestic Pure’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is one of the most popular options on offer. The shampoo promises to be gentle enough to use daily and suitable enough for a range of hair types, including—you guessed it—color-treated hair. The shampoo draws on apple cider vinegar to cleanse. And it’s packed with emollients—like coconut oil and avocado oil—which will soothe and nourish the scalp while the apple cider vinegar does its thing.
Best for Itchy Scalp: New York Biology Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner
New York Biology’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is designed to clean your scalp while cutting down on dryness and irritation—making it a great pick for anyone worried about itchiness. The shampoo is free of common irritants, like alcohol, sulfates, and parabens. And even better: It’s packed with soothing ingredients, like argan oil, almond oil, and shea butter. While the shampoo was originally crafted with dandruff in mind, it promises to be suitable for a range of different hair types. So if you’re looking for a gentle, soothing cleanse, rest assured knowing it’s a great go-to.
Best for Dandruff: Royal Oils Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner
Dealing with dandruff? Head and Shoulders is a best-in-class option. And the brand’s Royal Oils Dandruff Shampoo makes it easy to enjoy the gentle cleanse of apple cider vinegar—without disrupting your scalp. Like other Head and Shoulders products, the shampoo comes loaded with soothing ingredients, like coconut oil. And it’s free of the common irritants—like dyes and parabens—that might leave your scalp feeling dry or itchy. What’s nice? The shampoo is suitable for a range of hair types. So you should be able to use it, whether your hair is dry, oily, color-treated, or natural.
Best Vegan: ACURE Hemp & Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
ACURE’s Hemp & Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is completely vegan. And it’s also free of common irritants, like parabens, sulfates, and formaldehyde. The shampoo draws on a combination of apple cider vinegar and hemp to naturally clarify and balance the hair. And it turns to natural soothers, like chamomile and aloe extract, to nourish the scalp. The all-natural formula makes this shampoo a great pick for those looking for a gentle cleanse. And since the shampoo is fragrance-free, it should be sensitive-skin-friendly, too.
Best Shampoo Bar: Beauty and the Bees Tasmanian Shampoo Bar
If you’d prefer an apple cider vinegar shampoo you can easily take on-the-go, Beauty and the Bees’ Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Bar should get the job done. The shampoo bar may look small, but it’s actually equivalent to 27 fluid ounces—that’s about the size of two liquid shampoo bottles. The shampoo draws on apple cider vinegar to gently cleanse, while coconut oil, lavender oil, and beeswax soothe. The shampoo is free of sulfates, silicones, and parabens. And since it comes in recycled packaging, you can cut down on waste, too.
Best Dry Shampoo: dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo
Yes, apple cider vinegar shampoo is available in dry shampoo form—thanks to dpHUE’s Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo. The dry shampoo promises to gently cleanse your hair, giving you the lift you need in a pinch. And unlike other dry shampoos—which tend to feel opaque and chalky—this dry shampoo promises to be totally translucent. Sprinkle some onto your scalp any time you need a quick refresh, or take dpHUE’s advice and apply it before bedtime to get an even cleaner feel.
Best Scalp Scrub: dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub
dpHUE’s Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub isn’t shampoo, but it works a lot like one. The scalp scrub is crafted from a blend of clarifying apple cider vinegar and exfoliating Himalayan salt—a combination sure to cleanse. And it’s equipped with soothing ingredients, like aloe vera and avocado oil. Massage the scrub into your scalp any time you need a deep clean, then post-game with a little shampoo and conditioner.
Apple cider vinegar shampoo can be a great way to gently deep-clean your hair, and there are tons of excellent options on offer. If you’re looking for a new go-to, you can’t go wrong with WOW’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo. The fan-favorite is suitable for a range of different hair types. And since it comes loaded with emollients, like almond oil and argan oil, you can expect it to soothe and cleanse. SheaMoisture’s Strengthen and Restore Shampoo is another incredible pick. Made by people of color for people of color, the shampoo promises to be great for natural, chemically processed, and heat-styled hair.
Is apple cider vinegar in shampoo good for hair?
Apple cider vinegar is used in shampoo for clarifying purposes and can, in turn, help unclog any clogged pores in your scalp. Because pure apple cider vinegar shouldn't be used at on hair, shampoo is an easy way to add it to your routine.
How often can I use apple cider vinegar on my hair?
How often you wash your hair depends on your hair texture. Since apple cider vinegar is meant for occasional clarifying, you'll only want to use it less than your typical shampoo. Depending on your wash frequency, that could mean every couple weeks or once a month.
Does apple cider vinegar help with hair growth?
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Lindsey Lanquist has years of experience in the health and beauty space. And as an avid shopper, she knows what a bummer a bad product can be. That’s why she makes sure to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and widely beloved by those who’ve tried them.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough ACV shampoo from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.