Does apple cider vinegar affect hair color? Only if you used this type of hair dye

woman thinking about her hair

  • Apple cider vinegar doesn’t affect your hair color, whether your hair is your natural color or you’ve dyed it with permanent dye.
  • But if you dyed your hair with semi-permanent dye, it will make the color will fade completely.


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Now you know  whether apple cider vinegar can affect your hair color .


But I should admit that my curiosity has been piqued. And when that happens, my anxious mind demands answers. And so, I’m sorry to get into your business, but I have to ask:

Why do you want to use apple cider vinegar in your hair?


Even though apple cider vinegar might help you get those results, as a stylist, I prefer to recommend natural oils, like coconut oil, argan oil or flax oil.

Because you’ll get the same results, but without drying out your hair.  You shouldn’t forget that vinegar is a fermented product that contains acetic acid. 

That means that when you use in on your hair, it will dry it out.


With that said, I want to get into the relationship between your hair color and using apple cider vinegar.

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If your hair is your natural color or you’ve dyed it with permanent dye, you can use apple cider vinegar

apple cider vinegar affect hair color

That means your hair color will be the same as before you used the apple cider vinegar.

Because permanent hair dye deposits the color in the innermost layer of your hair.

And  apple cider vinegar won’t reach that layer. That’s why it can’t affect your color. 


And if your hair color is natural, meaning you’ve never dyed your hair before, the apple cider vinegar also won’t affect your color because it won’t be able to penetrate into the inner part of your hair, which is where the color pigments are located.


So,  if you’re looking to lighten your hair, it doesn’t make sense to use vinegar . Because apple cider vinegar doesn’t contain any lightening agents.


A lot of people use a mix of vinegar and baking soda to lighten their hair. But, as a professional hair colorist, I don’t recommend using this mixture in your hair.

  • First, because you’re only going to lighten your hair a tiny bit.
  • Second, because it’s a very aggressive mixture for your hair, and it will cause it to lose moisture and essential nutrients, which will make your hair drier and more prone to breaking.


If you dyed your hair with semi-permanent dye, the apple cider vinegar will fade your color

blonde hair faded from using apple cider vinegar

Because semi-permanent dye doesn’t penetrate inside your hair to change your hair color. It can’t do that because it doesn’t contain ammonia and you don’t use developer when you apply it.

The only thing that semi-permanent coloring does is deposit color pigments into the external layer of your hair, like a film of color.

That’s why semi-permanent color fades gradually as you wash it.

And that’s the same reason for why  when you use an apple cider vinegar rinse in your hair, it will fade your color .


If you’ve dyed your hair with semi-permanent dye, I imagine that you’re probably very careful about what hair products you use. And you definitely don’t use shampoos that contain sulfates, parabens or silicon.


Because you know that these kinds of ingredients fade semi-permanent color even faster.

So,  if you use hair products that don’t contain either sulfates or parabens to protect your color, what makes you think that vinegar, which is an acid, won’t affect your color? 


You get apple cider vinegar by several processes of fermenting apples. So, it has an acidic composition.

And even though it’s a weak acidic composition, it will be corrosive for hair that’s been colored with semi-permanent dye.


If you dyed your hair using this technique, you should use natural products like flax oil, coconut oil, argan oil or karite butter.

And of these natural oils will get you the same benefits as apple cider vinegar, but without changing your hair color.

  •  If you want to use the vinegar to make your hair shiner , opt for argan oil.
  •  If you wanted to use the oil to repair split ends , I recommend coconut oil, which strengthens the outer structure of your hair.
  •  If you wanted to use apple cider vinegar for dandruff , I’d suggest replacing it with flax oil that will moisturize your scalp and reduce the dandruff.
  •  If you want to make your hair softer and easier to manage , instead of using apple cider vinegar, use karite oil, which includes a lot of elastin.



Apple cider vinegar doesn’t change the color of natural hair or hair that’s been colored with permanent dye.

But, if you dyed your hair with semi-permanent dye, you should avoid using apple cider vinegar because it will fade your color from the very first time you use it. In this case, use a natural oil, like the ones I’ve recommend, based on what you’re trying to do to your hair.

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