Can Apple Cider Vinegar Remove Black Hair Dye? The Facts

Removing dye from your hair can be a tricky process, but, thankfully, there are ways of doing so naturally, in a way that will cause the least damage. One of the best ways to do so is with apple cider vinegar.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Remove Black Hair Dye

Apple cider vinegar works to remove black hair dye – as long as it’s temporary. If your hair dye is permanent or even semi-permanent, you’ll likely need a stronger product in order to remove it.

Benefits Of Vinegar As A Hair Rinse

The fantastic news is that vinegar is one of the most effective natural ways to remove hair dye.

As well as working to remove hair dye, apple cider vinegar has many other benefits for your hair:

It’s Anti-Bacterial And Anti-Inflammatory

Apple cider vinegar is a well-known disinfectant, with anti-microbial and anti-bacterial qualities.

If you’re prone to scalp or skin problems – particularly of a fungal or bacterial nature – apple cider vinegar is a great at-home cure that can help to manage any itchiness, infections, or sensitivities.

It’s Acidic

You may think that using an acidic product in your hair is not ideal, but actually, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps to lower your hair’s pH levels and maintain the overall pH balance of your scalp and strands.

If your hair is prone to frizz or brittleness, it’s likely more alkaline in nature.

Using apple cider vinegar on your hair can therefore help to improve its acidity, which may result in your hair looking shinier and healthier, with less static.

The acid also works to close your hair’s cuticles, which will also improve its overall texture and look.

Plus, it’s the acid of the apple cider vinegar that makes it effective for removing hair dye.

It’s Cleansing

Apple cider vinegar is clarifying for your hair, helping to reduce product build-up, and naturally cleansing your scalp and strands.

In this way, it can help with curl definition and volume, as it supports your hair’s overall health, and won’t weigh it down or cause damage.

It’s Cost Effective

You won’t be splashing serious cash on apple cider vinegar – unlike other more pricey hair products.

Apple cider vinegar is an at-home product that will get the job done without causing a serious issue for your monthly budgeting.

Also Read: How To Remove Hair Dye With Laundry Detergent

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Remove Black Hair Dye?

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Remove Black Hair Dye

The good news is that yes, you can use apple cider vinegar to remove hair dye of any color.

Inevitably, however, it depends on what type of hair dye you’ve used.

There are many different types of hair dye. The three best-known are permanent, semi-permanent, and permanent hair dye.

The latter works to penetrate the hair’s cortex, which is why it lasts much longer and can be more damaging. Permanent hair dye is also therefore harder to remove.

Apple cider vinegar will work to remove temporary hair dye only. For more permanent colors, you’ll need to turn to professional advice.

Can You Use White Vinegar To Remove Black Hair Dye?

White vinegar will work as well as apple cider vinegar to remove black or other colored hair dye.

However, it does have a very acidic odor which you may notice lingering in your hair for a while, even after washing.

That’s why apple cider vinegar is a more appealing natural way to remove hair dye – it doesn’t smell in the same way as white vinegar.

However, both will work to remove hair dye, so you can try either substance.

What To Remember When You Use White Vinegar To Remove Black Hair Dye

Neither apple cider vinegar nor white vinegar will seriously damage your hair.

They are a natural substance that has been used as hair rinses for centuries.

However, as they contain no chemicals, you may need to repeat the hair rinsing process a few times before you notice any dye removal.

This is normal, so don’t panic if it doesn’t work the first time.

Remember, too, that both kinds of vinegar are acidic – they need to be diluted before use, otherwise, you may end up with irritation and inflammation.

The acetic acids in apple cider vinegar can be caustic and cause skin burns, so be sure not to use too much.

If any vinegar gets into your eyes, you need to be rinsing them as quickly as possible with lots of water.

You also should not be rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar more than once a week, as the rinse might cause your hair to dry out.

Bear this in mind if your hair dye is darker in color, as it may require repeat rinses.

How To Remove Hair Dye With Apple Cider Vinegar

How To Remove Hair Dye With Apple Cider Vinegar
  1. Your hair type and porosity will determine how much apple cider vinegar is ideal for use to remove hair dye. Typically, two cups of boiling water to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar should be fine.
  2. Mix the apple cider vinegar with the boiling water and allow to sit for around 15 minutes, so that it completely cools.
  3. After having shampooed your hair, use the rinse. You want to ensure that your hair is saturated. Grab a shower cap and leave the rinse to sit in your hair for at least 15 minutes, but up to 20. Then rinse it out – and ensure you do this thoroughly, so no apple cider vinegar is left on your strands. You can use a shampoo to ensure it all comes out.
  4. Repeat this maximum twice a week. You may want to follow with a deep conditioning treatment to boost your hair’s moisture levels.

You can always add essential oils to an apple cider vinegar rinse, too.

If your hair is prone to oiliness, use lavender, thyme, or witch hazel. Horsetail and marigold oils are good for dry hair, and light hair can be brightened by chamomile or marigold.

Oils such as rosemary, sage, and parsley are great for darker hair, too. These oils can help to condition your strands and may enhance your natural color.

How To Remove Hair Dye With White Vinegar

  1. You need to mix equal amounts of hot water with wine vinegar. Remember to allow it to cool before pouring on your hair.
  2. Shampoo your hair as normal, then use the rinse. Leave it on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes – if you can cover it with a shower cap, this would be idea.
  3. Rinse the white vinegar off your hair thoroughly – you can always use shampoo to help do this.
  4. Remember that white vinegar will make your hair smell more than if you use apple cider vinegar. Adding essential oils to the rinse can help to reduce this, but you may need to shampoo your strands several times following a white vinegar rinse. Remember to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to ensure that your hair’s hydration levels are restored.

Alternative At-Home Hair Dye Removal Methods

If using apple cider vinegar to remove hair dye doesn’t sound like your ideal at-home treatment for getting rid of temporary color, there are a number of other treatments that you can do:

Baking soda

Baking soda is great for cakes, and you may have used it to remove stains from your clothes before – but it is also a fantastic at-home strategy to remove temporary hair dye.

It’s a powerful cleansing agent and will work particularly well alongside dandruff shampoo thanks to the active ingredients in the shampoo.

  1. You want to use equal parts baking soda and anti-dandruff shampoo. Use this mix and lather it up in your hair.
  2. Leave it to sit for a few minutes – between five and seven is good – and then use warm water in order to rinse the shampoo out.
  3. You can repeat this as necessary over a few days, so that the baking soda and dandruff shampoo is greater exposed to your strands. It will tend to work best if you’ve recently dyed your hair – if your hair has been colored for a few months, it won’t be as effective.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a safe, non-abrasive, natural way of removing dye from your hair.

The vitamin C oxidizes, which works to loosen the hold of the color particles on your strands.

Either powder or tablet forms of vitamin C will work well – powder will better dissolve in water, but both work.

  1. Crush between 5 to 10 vitamin C tablets in a dish (how many you need depends on your hair length).
  2. Stir this powder into your shampoo – it will form a thick paste.
  3. Spread this paste over your hair – ensure it’s not too wet. Damp is best.
  4. Leave it on for up to an hour, and cover your hair with a shower cap or scarf.
  5. Rinse the paste off with clean, warm water.
  6. Shampoo and condition your hair as normal. This process can be repeated until the dye has disappeared from your hair. It will work best on hair that’s only recently been colored.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

Photo of author

Alice Carlill

Alice is an experienced writer and researcher with a background in the Creative Arts. She is a published poet and is currently completing her Ph.D., having worked in a variety of industries, including as a theatre dramaturg. Alice is passionate about the environment, so is always on the lookout for the best zero-waste products that are vegan and cruelty-free.