8 All Natural Clarifying Treatments

ACV, is the acronym used for Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s a natural procedure often used on hair to help clarify the hair and rid it of build up caused by the use of hair products, and just natural elements we encounter on a daily basis.

But the Apple Cider Vinegar movement doesn’t always work for everyone. If you can attest to it being a total fail, here are eight alternatives that you can use, also natural, that can help you do, what the ACV didn’t.


Baking Soda, mixed with warm water (a teaspoon to one pint of water) or added to the lather of your shampoo. Or simply, sprinkle the baking soda on top of the lather of your shampoo and wait for the bubbles to happen, which will help clear your hair of all the unneccessary build up. This is a great option for naturals with extremely oily hair.


Try using honey and warm water during the final rinse of your shampoo and conditioner. You see, sometimes, we already have everything we need for great hair, it just so happens to be in our kitchen cabinet.


Dilute 100 % pure apple juice (not sweetened) with warm water. Add that to your final rinse and it should clear you up pretty good.


For my vegetarians out there, instead of using honey, try using Agave and warm water to your final rinse.


Good ‘ol coconut water just does the body good, all the time. Fresh 100 percent coconut water contains a whole slew of vitamins such as C, B1, B2. B3, B5, B6 and amino acids, and antioxidants, which are nothing more than pure gems when it comes to clarifying your hair. Try using that, along with warm water to your hair, and it should be pretty clean.


Add half part grape fruit juice (with the pitts) to two parts water to your final rinse. The acid in the grapefruit should definitely help keep your hair clean.


Fresh Rosemary boiled in water for 10 minutes. Use the twigs and everybody. Let it cool. Once cooled, use in hair for your final rinse.


Try using an organic white willow bark herbal rinse.

So there you have it ladies. It’s just that simple. If you’re using the ACV method and its not working, try these alternatives. I promise you, one of them has to work.


About Jenell B Stewart

Jenell Stewart MS, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise.com, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.
  • Doc

    this may seem so irrelevant, but what is a good moisturizer that you would recommend? Vit E does not work well with MAC makeup lol. Leaves me greasey. 

  • Monique Bennefield

    OMG!!!,, this is a great article. I am going to share this with my aunt who’s a die hard natural. This is very informative,, I will try one of these treatments other than the ACV. Thanks so much! 

  • Natalie B

    Loving these recommendations. I’m from the UK and haven’t come across Apple Cider Vinegar (will keep a look out for it). In the meantime these alternatives will definitely be tried out on mine and my daughters hair.

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      I’d love to hear your feedback.

  • Jip

    Distilled water with citric acid.  Closes the cuticle and you don’t smell like a salad bar ;^)

  • queenbee9

    Loved them all EXCEPT–baking soda which is a buffer and is very alkaline, the antithesis of preserving hair’s acid mantle, Alkaline products are exceptionally harsh to hair’s natural acidity. I also am leery of those made with sugar (agave nectar or honey) as conditioners or humectants, I have no problem but would not want them to be a part of any rinse left in the head due to the potential for parasitical , bacterial or mycotic pathogen growth associated with the sugars. Willow bark? Aspirin? isn’t that an astringent and as such would be drying to the point of stripping?
    ACV should always be diluted before use and by their nature, clarifiers are oil and moisture strippers–but some are harsher than others.

    • Junie

      Clarifying is usually followed by a Good leave-in conditioner and Natural oils to lock-in moisture. Then a moisturizing styling product. There should be no problem stripping of hair’s moisture/oil.

      I use clarifying rinse after I rinse out deep conditioner (hood dryer/plastic cap method) as a final rinse. Then I follow with a Good leave-in and Natural oil mix [retain moisture] and Style as Usual.

    • Lioness

      If you wash with baking soda, then rinse with ACV which is a pH balancer the acidity in Baking Soda will neutralize and leave your hair clean but nourished and shiny. I also add a little coconut oil to my ACV rinse.

  • Kenya Moore

    Is it good to clarify while transitioning or is this mainly for those who are fully natural?

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Because all hair gets dirty clarifying can be done on all hair types. The main issue will be with product usage. Not everyone will reap the same benefits from clarifying with the same ingredient. For instance, someone may love using ACV, while someone else’s hair will hate it!

  • Gfierce

    Honey is a natural antimicrobial! !!!!

  • CurveApeal

    Thank you!…… I’ve decided to do an all natural regimen for 3-6months and I was looking for natural cleansers. So thank you.