Review: Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse

Reveiw: Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse
Root Rinse is new bae.
I'm a total sucka for new products.

There, I said it.

About a week or so ago, I was perusing Sally's and Cantu's new Refresh line of products caught my eye. After looking over the options, I decided it was my solemn duty as a blogger and product junkie to take one for the team and purchase a bottle of the Cantu Refresh Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse.

It looked interesting, the ingredients were (shockingly) amazing, and the price was just right. Plus, you know Sally's will let you return your left sock if you ask nicely. 

So what exactly is this stuff, and how does it work? Keep scrolling for the 411!

$5.19 for 12oz ($4.99 online)

Where to Buy
In stores at Sally Beauty, and online at Target

Active Ingredients
  • Water
  • Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar is believed to have a ton of internal and external benefits, including being able to kill lice, serve as an antimicrobial agent (warding off infection), and helping to  ease the itching and flakiness associated with scalp conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Apple Cider Vinegar is also touted for its ability to improve the shininess of hair and increase moisture retention by causing cuticles to lay flat via pH balancing the hair. Through this same mechanism, it is also believe that Apple Cider Vinegar can correct hair porosity issues.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Essential oil with known antibacterial and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil assists in naturally cleansing the scalp, fighting itchiness and flakes that are common with dandruff, psoriasis, and sebhorreic dermatitis
  • Shea Butter: Emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.
  • Hydrolyzed Baobab Protein: Water-soluble protein extract derived from the baobab fruit that provides anti-aging and UV protection benefits to the hair, along with damage recovery, damage protection, strength, and conditioning. 
  • Panthenol: Form of vitamin B that can penetrate the hair, and is known to moisturize and soften.
  • Oat Beta-Glucan: Solution of soluble oat bran fibre that has been shown to soothe skin, reduce redness, and provide relief for skin conditions that cause redness or discomfort (like dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, and sebhorreic dermatitis). It improves the tensile strength of hair, while moisturizing dry and flaky scalp. 
  • Bilberry Extract: Relative of the blueberry, and equally rich in antioxidant properties. Research has shown that bilberry extract improves scalp circulation and strengthens collagen production, leading to healthy hair re-growth.
Protein Free?

Curly Girl Friendly?
Methinkso - no cones, no sulfates. 

The Good
I'm not gonna lie to you, I went into this purchase with the side eye of all side eyes. First of all, I've been doing my own DIY ACV Rinses on wash day for about a month now (with fantabulous results, might I add). I've known for some time that my hair loves and responds favorably to Apple Cider Vinegar. But did I need a super fancy concoction, or would my simple solution work?

More: My DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Spritz for Natural and Transitioning Hair

Reveiw: Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse
My hair, with Root Rinse on
I'm bout to throw all my ACV away. Okay, I'm not gonna trash it, I'm gonna drink it. But still. 

My lil bootsie DIY operation is NOTHING in comparison to the Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse. 


On mamas.

Like, I was all set to make a blog post sharing my simple ACV rinse recipe and stuff, but I don't even want to now. Cantu done stole my shine.

Reveiw: Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse
Not quite water, not quite serum.
The consistency of the root rinse is thicker than water, but not by much. It reminds me of a really thin serum. it glides right over the hair, coating it without running directly off. Here's the kicker though - it has a slight foaming action. Not full-on shampoo, but a slight sudsiness that makes you feel like some actual cleaning is happening. Beyond that, I'm quite floored with the ingredient list. Although I stopped deep-diving into ingredients years ago (because the first 5-7 ingredients after water comprise the bulk of the product and have the most impact on hair), I'll just say this - from beginning to end, Root Rinse has a stellar ingredient list. 

But that's not even the real magic.

The real magic is this - somehow, some has SLIP. As in, I detangled with Root Rinse.

Don't ask Sway how, he ain't got the answers.

And it it gets BETTER! Straight up, no lie.

My curls AFTER rinsing off the Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse? EPIC.

Look at 'em:

Reveiw: Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse
Product-free curls. Not even dripping wet, but still poppin'.
What you see here is the reason why I love ACV on my hair - shine, softness, smoothness, supple curls, and mad shrinkage. My curls become the healthiest versions of themselves and pop to extreme levels when apple cider vinegar is in the mix. 

And as you can see, Cantu's Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse lived up to and surpassed my expectations. Even though it's marketed for women rocking braids, wigs, weaves, and other protective styles, it beyond blessed my regular ol' curls.

The Bad
The only downside is, I can see myself going through this stuff fairly quickly. Although 5 bucks is more than affordable for 12oz of product, I'd love to see a 33.8 salon back bar size. But then again, I'm just being greedy. 

The Bottom Line
Cantu's Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse has earned a spot in my regimen. I can't decide if I'm using it to replace co-washing, or regular shampooing. But it's in there like swimwear, for sure.

Would I Buy it Again?
At the time of publication, I've already purchased 2 more in addition to the 1 I initially had. Sooooo yeah. There's that.

Have you tried any of Cantu's new products? Admittedly, this was my first foray into Cantu. Let me know in the comments below if you'll be checking out the Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse!


  1. ooohhhh I cant wait to get my hands on it !!

    1. Found it at Family Dollar, bought it on a whim, THEN I read your post! Cool, I wasn't sure if it was for natural hair or for weaves and extensions based on the bottle description, now I know! I have my hair in two strand twist at the moment, wash day this week end, cant wait. One question: if it flattens the hair cuticle, seems like I should add moisturizer before adding the ACV rinse, so when it flattens the moisture is captured inside before it flattens? Am I correct?

  2. I've been wanting to try ACV for my hair but I couldn't get with the smell of the pure product. I'm also too lazy to do a DIY concoction every time so I'm glad there's something I can use straight out the bottle. I know exactly what I'm getting with my next Sally's coupon lol

    1. BOOM! This is right up your alley then! Let me know how you like it!

  3. Well looks like I am buying this next week to try it out.

  4. So how do you use it? Before shampoo? During? Instead?

    1. You use it in place of shampoo - it has a mild sudsing effect to it, but doesn't strip or dry the hair. Just leaves it super clean and shiny!

  5. Ooh I'm ready to snatch this up!

  6. Christina, thanks for always sharing your experiences. When there is a product I am considering I always check to see what your thoughts are. xo

  7. Christina,
    Thank You so much for sharing your experience and the breakdown of the ingredients. My 4yo daughter recently was diagnosed for seborrhic dermatitis. Her 4B/4c hair was growing fabulous before this started and I started beating myself up when the scalp irritation started and wanting to know where did I go wrong :(
    I stopped going to the dermatologist and started doing my own DIY for her hair until today. I went to the beauty supply store and came across CANTU ACV Root Rinse and immediately said I have to buy it bc this might help her scalp. I'm going to try it on my hair as well and let you know how it came out.
    Truly appreciate you sharing your hair experience.

  8. I just purchased this product from target. Im now wearing corn rows but to be completely sure can I just use it on my scalp without rinsing it out?

    1. It's definitely a rinse out. They have two other products in their line that can be used to refresh the scalp and not rinsed out - one is a dry co-wash (I think), and the other comes in a pointed tube.

  9. I ran across your blog while looking for reviews on this product. First let me say I love your honesty and sense of humor. I absolutely love this product, I have 4c hair, all the tangles slid right out and I got the best scalp cleansing of my life!!!

  10. Just came across this blog in search of a few more reviews. I'm not a huge cantu fan but, wanted a clarifying product. Looks like I made the right purchase tonight. Thx for the honest review.

  11. I have very itchy flakey scalp. Will this product help with that.

  12. I have fungi on my scalp, would this work?

  13. I had fantastic results with this for my daughter and I. I have super thick, coarse 4c hair. I have a very defined z pattern that coils tightly. It looks great in a twist out but this is the only product that delivered those same results with the least amount of effort. Cantu ACV Root Rinse is all that ManeObjective illustrated in her blog and more! I got the same defined curls, shine, and detangling experience. To wear a twist out, I only needed to apply a little Cantu leave in and some oil to very big loose twists. (I usually invest time in about 16 - 25 smaller twists if I want maximum definition / longer coil retention). With the Root Rinse I only needed 6 - 8 twists and could partially dry under the hood then use a diffuser. SERIOUSLY!!! A DIFFUSER! My hair would typically laugh at that feeble attempt and shrivel on up to the scalp :D :D :D

  14. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while! Never done an ACV rinse but after reading this I’m definitely about to buy it and get my braids then curls poppin!

  15. The Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse is a revolutionary hair care product with natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals. It refreshes the scalp and revitalizes hair, with a subtle apple scent, making it a staple for healthier, more manageable hair.
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