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This is the best apple cider vinegar shampoo of 2021

Winter isn’t kind to my hair, but this shampoo and conditioner set brings it back to life.
Katie Jackson showing her hair after using vinegar shampoo and conditioner
Courtesy Katie Jackson
/ Source: TODAY

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As a kid, all I cared about when it came to shampoo was that it was tear-free and smelled good. As an adult, my list of musts is almost as long as my long hair. For starters, I want one made with natural ingredients and is sulfate-, silicone- and paraben-free. Next, I need something that brings my dull, dry hair back to life and makes it so soft people can't resist wanting to touch it, even during a global pandemic. Fortunately, I found an apple cider vinegar shampoo that meets all of my needs — and more.

I'm wowed by the 48,000 reviews

Pantene-Who? My new shampoo comes from Wow Skin Science. If you've never heard of the brand, that's OK. I hadn't either. Still, there are thousands of people using it and clearly loving it.

From more than 48,000 reviews, Wow's Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Hair Conditioner Set has a four-star average rating. It's the third bestselling set on Amazon's list of Best Shampoo and Conditioner Sets. It doesn't seem cheap with its $30 price tag. However, it comes with a 16.9-ounce bottle of shampoo and a 16.9-ounce bottle of conditioner, which can last six weeks or longer if you use it twice a week. Both the shampoo and conditioner are also suitable for all hair types.

I'm wowed by the formula

Katie Jackson / TODAY

To say this shampoo is an outlier in an industry where chemicals are king would be an understatement. Wow's biggest point of differentiation is the fact it doesn't contain typical shampoo ingredients like parabens, silicones or sulfates. Instead, the formula for this shampoo includes raw apple cider vinegar, spring water from the Himalayas and vitamin B.

If apple cider vinegar sounds too harsh for hair, just know that it doesn't strip your hair; it strips away the buildup of products and pollution in your hair. It's even helped with skin conditions like one reviewer's psoriasis. To me, the shampoo smells less acidic than apple cider vinegar, sort of like unsweetened apple juice. It's not exactly pleasant, but it's not unpleasant either.

Katie Jackson / TODAY

The conditioner's key ingredients are virgin coconut oil, avocado oil, almond oil and argan oil, the oil I swear by for fixing frizz and flyaways. The conditioner smells divine, almost reminding me of the Warm Vanilla Sugar products from Bath & Body Works.

Finally, I'm wowed by the results

Katie Jackson / TODAY

My biggest hair problem is dryness. I live in Montana, which is an extremely dry state, and my hair becomes so dry it approaches brittle during the winter. The apple cider vinegar shampoo isn't creamy, but it lathers more than other shampoos I've used.

The directions say to it's best to leave it on for five minutes so the apple cider has time to "detox" your hair. The directions for the conditioner say to leave it on for about three minutes. For an "enhanced effect" leave it on your hair for 10-15 minutes. However, my showers are usually a few minutes total because I'm always on the go. (That's why I love this 10-second blowout in a bottle.)

Katie Jackson / TODAY

Even with an abbreviated shower, my hair feels and looks healthier than ever before. I'm using less dry shampoo because my roots aren't as oily. And I'm noticing less breakage, especially where I tie my hair back.

Don't get me wrong: I'm still in need of a trim for my split ends. But for now, I'm more than happy with my Wow.

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