Tutorial: How to do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Tutorial: How to do an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

What's an ACV rinse, and why should I do one?

Synthetic hair extensions sometimes have a coating on the outside of the strands that can cause irritation, specifically itching.

Some folks don't react to to the coating at all, or don't notice it beyond the normal slight discomfort that goes along with a fresh install. Some styles are less prone to causing a reaction as well; most synthetic dreads are sealed with boiling water or steam before being installed, and sometimes that's enough to take care of it.

If you do react to the coating, it can range anywhere from mild irritation to downright maddening. Rinsing the extensions in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water before wearing helps to remove the coating and prevent itching.

Just to be on the safe side, we recommend doing an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse before installing any kind of synthetic extensions. Better to spend a little extra time prepping than to find out out you're allergic after spending all day braiding, after all! :)


  • Synthetic hair extensions
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • A large bowl or plastic tub


  1. Fill your bowl with warm water and pour one cup of ACV into the bowl.

    Image: A bowl of warm water and a cup of ACV

  2. Place the hair in the bowl.  
    Image: Hair soaking in the ACV rinse
  3. Leave the hair in the bowl for around 20 minutes, until a white film appears on the surface of the water.

    Image: Hair soaking in the ACV rinse

  4. Gently squeeze out the excess water, and let the hair dry completely before use.

    Image: Rinsed hair drying on a towel

But wait, my extensions are already installed!

No problem! If you've already installed your extensions and think you may be having a reaction to the coating, mix about a tablespoon of ACV into a spray bottle of warm water. Spray it onto your extensions, focusing on/near the scalp, and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Then rinse your hair with warm water.

Make sure to rinse thoroughly; although occasional ACV rinses are fine for your real hair, prolonged and repeated use can lead to dryness and breakage.

Jan 24th 2018 I Kick Shins

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