Can Apple Cider Vinegar Close Hair Cuticles? [Answered]

When your hair cuticles are closed, your hair takes on a healthy, shiny, and smooth appearance. One home remedy that can help you achieve this look is apple cider vinegar. So keep reading to find out if it’s possible for apple cider vinegar to close hair cuticles.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Close Hair Cuticle

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for closing hair cuticles. When your cuticles stick out, your hair will look frizzled and dry, but apple cider vinegar helps restore that healthy shine. Regular ACV rinses will also balance your hair and scalp pH while bringing you anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial benefits.

Why Should Hair Cuticles Be Closed?

Before we look at whether apple cider vinegar can close hair cuticles, let’s explain why hair cuticles should be closed in the first place.

The hair shaft on your head is made of three layers. The medulla is the inner layer usually present in thick hair, while the cortex is the middle layer that gives hair its strength, color, and texture.

Finally, the cuticle is the outer layer made of dead cells that overlap like scales or shingles and point towards the end of the hair.

When the cuticles are closed, it means the inner layers are protected from damage and moisture loss. Therefore, the integrity of the hair is easily maintained.

However, certain practices like using alkaline hair products can open hair cuticles.

When this happens, your hair will not only be vulnerable to damage from outside elements but will also be frizzy, dull, brittle, and difficult to manage.

If you’re experiencing similar issues with your hair, apple cider vinegar can be a great solution.

Also Read: Can Olive Oil Penetrate The Hair? (Question solved)

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Close Hair Cuticles?

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Close Hair Cuticles

The reason why apple cider vinegar helps to close hair cuticles is its acidity.

Generally, hair has a natural pH value of between 4.5 and 5.5 (acidic). Keep in mind that on the pH scale, 7 is neutral. Anything above that is alkaline, while anything below is acidic.

This explains why scientific research has shown that low pH shampoos help prevent cuticle damage and fiber breakage.

When the hair’s natural pH balance is maintained, the cuticles will contract, flatten, and seal and the hair will become smooth and shiny. This is what happens after an ACV rinse. 

The ACV has a pH of between 2 and 3, which is considered mildly acidic.

It coats the cuticles, restoring that pH balance. The other thing is, apple cider vinegar helps to remove the build-up that accumulates from hair products.

This build-up prevents cuticles from sealing properly, but using apple cider vinegar as part of your hair care routine will help clarify your hair.

Signs Your Hair Cuticles Are Open

If you’re dealing with the following issues, apple cider vinegar can help by keeping your cuticles closed:

Frizzy Hair

When cuticles are open, it’s easy for your hair to get damaged. Although some people naturally have frizzy hair, hair damage is a common culprit.

With your cuticles sticking out, moisture from your surroundings will penetrate the hair shaft. This causes it to swell and stand up or curl out of alignment with other hairs.

Brittle Hair

Brittle hair is quick to tangle and results in split ends and hair breakage. When the hair’s cuticles are open, it’s easy for the little shingles to catch and stick onto other hair fibers.

This makes combing difficult, and trying to remove the snags increases the likelihood of hair breaking.

Dull Hair

Lackluster hair can be caused by a build-up that stops the hair cuticles from closing, so it’s difficult for your hair to retain the oils it needs to achieve a healthy shine.

Open cuticles also don’t reflect light properly, so the hair will look less shiny.

Dry Hair

Open cuticles allow beneficial moisture inside the hair shaft to evaporate into the air. This leaves your hair feeling and looking super-dry.

Rough-textured Hair

Healthy hair is soft, but your hair will have a rougher texture with the cuticles out of alignment.

This is very noticeable if you run your fingers through your hair. You’ll feel the ends sticking out and rough. It signals hair damage.

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair

Apple cider vinegar is associated with the following benefits in haircare circles:

Balances hair pH. A low pH creates the perfect environment for closed hair cuticles, which results in shinier, smoother hair that contains more moisture.

Improves color vibrancy. Using ACV as part of color treatment helps to reduce color fading because the cuticles will be closed.

Detangles hair. ACV closes the hair cuticles, making your hair smoother and easier to detangle.

Eliminates frizz. If you have curly and textured hair that’s prone to frizzing, AC can help you control frizz better.

Fights dandruff. ACV has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that fight dandruff caused by bacteria and fungi.

Stimulates hair growth. Apple cider vinegar can stimulate hair growth by improving the health of hair follicles through increased blood circulation.

Removes build-up. ACV clarifies your hair and scalp and removes dead skin cells and product build-up. This helps to keep hair cuticles closed and unblocks the pores on your scalp. 

Gives your hair a more defined appearance. Silicone-based conditioners tend to weigh your hair down, but you can achieve better volume and curl definition with ACV. 

What Makes ACV Different From A Clarifying Shampoo?

A clarifying shampoo is designed to strip your hair of build-up that results from using various products, such as hairspray, gels, moisturizer, and conditioner.

This is essential to keeping hair clean over time and as the first step to some hair treatments.

On the other hand, apple cider vinegar mainly works to close your hair cuticles and restore shine. However, apple cider vinegar may not be as effective as some clarifying shampoos.

Still, it provides a gentler way of removing build-up from hair without stripping beneficial stuff from your hair. Apple cider vinegar also comes with additional natural hair benefits.

Also Read: How To Use Black Pepper Oil for Hair Growth

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair

Here are some ways you can incorporate apple cider vinegar into your hair care routine.

Keep in mind that most hair enthusiasts recommend using organic, raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother to get the most benefits.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

This is a simple two-mix recipe:

You’ll Need

  • Good quality apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle or any usable, squeezable container


  1. Create your apple cider mix by diluting up to four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 250 ml or 8 ounces of water.
  2. Add this mixture into your spray bottle or squeezable container.
  3. After shampooing and conditioning, apply the apple cider vinegar, starting at the scalp.
  4. Use your hands to make sure each hair strand is coated with apple cider vinegar.
  5. Let the apple cider vinegar sit for about 2-5minutes.
  6. Rinse your hair with cold water and let it dry.

Apple Cider Vinegar Leave-In

Please note that leaving in apple cider vinegar might not work for all types of hair. But some people claim it keeps their hair from tangling.

You’ll Need

  • Good quality apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Essential oil


  1. Make the apple cider vinegar mix by adding a maximum of four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for every 250ml/8 ounces.
  2. Add a few drops of essential oil to help mask the smell.
  3. Spritz your hair with apple cider vinegar AFTER the final rinse.
  4. Let your hair dry with the apple cider vinegar still in it.

How Often Should You Use Apple Cider Vinegar On Your Hair?

Although apple cider vinegar is suitable for all hair types, the frequency depends on your hair and other factors.

If your hair is oily, you will need to add more apple cider vinegar when making your mix and less if you have dry hair. 

That’s because apple cider vinegar can leave you with dry hair if overused, so it’s important to strike a balance.

Generally, you can use apple cider vinegar on your hair once a week.

However, if you want to minimize build-up, you can use apple cider vinegar in your hair twice a week in place of shampoo and conditioner. 

You might have to use trial and error to find the regularity that works for you when using apple cider vinegar as part of your hair care routine.

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.