I remember my Grandma smelling of vinegar. That’s because she knew just how great vinegar is for us. I use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) in my personal care regimen as a hair conditioning rinse. It’s an ideal addition to any hair care regime. Raw ACV contains many hair friendly nutrients. So ACV hair rinse helps to detangle hair, manage frizzy hair, restore shine, remove residue & clarify, rejuvenate scalp, treat dandruff & unclog hair follicles. All of these put together may also help with excess shedding or hair loss.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Benefits
Not convinced yet? Here are 10 reasons why an apple cider vinegar hair rinse is good for your hair:
1. Balance Hair & Sebum pH: The natural oil that secretes from your scalp, called as sebum, has a pH level varying between 4.5 and 5.5. When maintained at this acidity level, the scalp is protected from fungal and bacterial infection, providing healthy hair and skin.
Many shampoos and other hair products contain chemicals. So they can mess up this natural pH balance, which in turn distress the cuticles of hair and affect condition of scalp adversely.
ACV is naturally high in acetic acid and has a pH level, which is close to that of human hair. Rinsing your hair with ACV on a regular basis can help adjust your scalp and hair to its ideal acidity, particularly if you have oily hair.
2. Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: The apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which has powerful antimicrobial properties. So it has ability to exterminate bacteria and fungus, which are the most common underlying causes of dandruff and hair loss.
In addition an ACV rinse acts as a good preventative measure. It maintains the natural pH of your scalp, thereby forming a hostile environment for the fungus and bacteria that can otherwise cause such issues.
I have seen rinsing even once a week with an apple cider vinegar mixture has brought relief to many of my clients who were suffering from dandruff and moreover prevented occurrence of further flaking on their scalps.
3. Cleansing and Clarifying: Applying a horde of products on your hair such as serums, gels, sprays, and masks results in to build-up of products’ residues. All of these sticky leftovers can make your hair look flat, dull and lifeless.
One of the simplest methods to eliminate this accumulation and bring back life to your tresses is by using acv hair rinse.
When you apply ACV rinse, make sure you allow it to stay in the hair for at least 3-4 minutes. This is important as the experts say this is the time the vinegar needs to dismantle the molecular structure of the residues so that they can be easily rinsed away.
4. Adds Natural Body & Define Curls: The hair styling experts claim that an apple cider hair rinse can buoy up your curls ‘pop’, by restoring their springy bounce!
Moreover as opposed to typical shampoo and conditioners, the vinegar won’t weigh down the individual strands. So you can have more hair movement and natural body to your hairstyle. In addition it may so happen that you don’t even need to use heating and styling products after a vinegar rinse, protecting your hair from further damage.
5. Detangles: You can use ACV as a natural no poo method to detangle your hair. When used as an alternative to hair conditioner, it’s natural acidity helps to smoothen down the cuticle – prompting knots and tangles to open up so that a brush glide through more easily.
6. Diminish Frizz: Frizzy hair occur because of lifted cuticles on the hair. ACV helps to smoothen the cuticles leading to overall smooth, frizz-free locks.
Read here about How To Get Rid Of Frizzy Hair
7. Adds Shine: The reflecting abilities of hair strands depend on their cuticles positions. When the cuticles are down the hair can reflect light better, which provides a glossy appearance to your hair. And an ACV rinse helps keep your hair cuticles in down position.
8. Cut Down Porosity Of Hair: Whereas normal hair require lesser amounts of moisture to penetrate the outer cuticle, the porous hair absorb liquid quickly…but then also lose it just as quickly.
High hair porosity occurs because of damage to the hair due to chemical treatments and environmental exposure. This irreversible obliteration forms gaps and holes in the surface of the hair shaft exposing hair more to further damage.
Whereas we can’t reverse the porosity of our hair, but we can manage it with acv rinse to flatten the cuticle and reduce gaps.
Not sure if you have porous hair? Use this simple test to find out. Drop a strand of clean hair into a cup of water. If it quickly sinks, your hair is of high porosity. In case it floats midway, it’s of normal porosity. But if the strand floats towards the top and it takes a while to sink, your strands are of low porosity.
9. Prevent Hair Losses And Boost Hair Growth: Apple cider vinegar improves blood circulation to the hair follicles, something that is essential for promoting hair growth and averting hair loss. Moreover, blood carries necessary nutrients to hair follicle cells, strengthening roots and boosting growth.
10. Prevent Split Ends & Breakage: Using apple cider vinegar rinse for hair regularly helps to remove tangles from hair, close cuticles, manage porosity and promote stronger strands. All these together result into to reduction in split ends and hair breakage.
Useful related post: How To Stop Hair Breakage?
Which Kind Of Apple Cider Vinegar To Use?
There are available a large variety of apple cider vinegar brands in market and health stores. But not every one of them provides health and beauty benefits like those listed above.
When choosing an ACV brand, don’t get drawn to the more attractive, clear vinegars over the cloudy ones. As these clear vinegars have been pasteurized, losing many of their beauty and health benefits.
In order select a good stuff, look for only those vinegars that are labeled organic, raw and unfiltered. These tend to be cloudy, and have sediment in the bottom, called as ‘The Mother’ – which has all the bacteria and enzymes that make this product so potent.
How To Make Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse At Home?
You will need:
(i) Apple cider vinegar: 2-4 tablespoon, organic, unfiltered and raw
(ii) Cool water: 16 oz, purified (Purified water can be achieved by simply boiling the water for one minute on the stove. Make sure to let it cool before adding it to your apple cider vinegar rinse).
(iii) Lavender essential oil: 1-2 drops
1. Mix the apple cider vinegar, cool water, and essential oil (optional) into a plastic bottle. Shake well.
2. After you have shampooed and thoroughly rinsed your hair with plain water, lean your head back and slowly pour the ACV rinse over your entire scalp. Let the ACV mixture run down through your hair. Make sure to cover all of the hair and scalp.
3. Take care to avoid the mixture coming into contact with your eyes.
4. How Long To Leave Apple Cider Vinegar On Hair: Allow the mixture to stay in hair for 3-4 minutes. Massage the mixture gently into your scalp, which will help to stimulate circulation and hair growth.
5. Although this rinse will condition your hair, if you feel you need more conditioning try my homemade conditioner recipe. Rinse thoroughly with plain cool water.
Natural Beauty Tips:
(i)The exact amount of apple cider vinegar you need depends on condition of your hair. Generally I recommend that one should start with using 2 tablespoon, and work one’s way up to 4 tablespoon if you find the results are not materializing with the lower ratio.
(ii) A general thumb rule is: Dry hair gives better results with less apple cider vinegar, say 2 tablespoons. For those who have oily hair or suffering from scalp issues like dandruff need more apple cider vinegar, say 3 to 4 tablespoons. You can adjust the ACV blend over time to see what works best for your hair.
(iii) How often to use ACV rinse depends on the hair and scalp condition. Generally you can apply this rinse twice a week. In case your hair is dry or thin, you need to rinse your hair only 1-2 times a month. Experiment and see what works best for you.
(iv) Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse Before Or After Conditioner: It’s suggested that you make Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse beforehand just before getting into the shower in a plastic squeeze bottle. Take the bottle with you in the shower, and apply evenly over your head after you shampoo and rinse your hair with plain water.
(v) If you’re concerned that you’ll smell like a pickle after using this rinse, don’t be! Once your hair dries, the vinegar smell will disappear.
(vi) As a vinegar rinse naturally condition your hair, so you don’t need to use a conventional conditioner after rinsing your hair with ACV mix. But if you feel that by not using conditioner your hair appear to be not good, you can apply conditioner to the ends of your hair after the rinse.
Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
Though apple cider vinegar alone is a potent natural hair treatment, mixing certain herbs or flowers can help to enrich color, or address specific hair and scalp issues.
(i) First you need to make a batch of herb infused vinegar. To do this, simply mix up two cups of apple cider vinegar and one cup of chopped herbs in a glass jar. Cover and let the mixture steep in a dark place for 2 weeks. Strain and transfer the infused vinegar into a clean bottle. You can keep this concoction for six months to a year, if stored properly in a cool and dry area.
(ii) To use just take out the desired quantity, say 2 to 4 tablespoons of the herbal vinegar and dilute it with one cup of purified water. Rinse using the method suggested above.
You can add the following fresh herbs or flowers to your apple cider vinegar rinse to enjoy richer tones:
(i) Rosemary or parsley – enrich dark hair.
(ii) Sage – cover up grey hairs.
(iii) Chamomile – add natural highlights to blonde or light brown hair.
(iv) Rosehips – enhance red hair.
These herbs can help you address particular hair problems you may be suffering:
(v) Calendula – condition dry hair.
(vi) Nettle – reduce dandruff.
(vii) Lavender – add fragrance.
Adding Essential Oils To ACV Rinse For Hair
Having a nice scent to your mixture is an added bonus, which comes from the essentials oils. Essential oils can do the same job as the herbs they come from, but they don’t need the 2-week infusion time. Mix 2 cups of cider vinegar with 5 to 10 drops of essential oil. Tightly screw on the cap and shake well. Store in a cool, dark place for up to twelve months. To use, dilute two to four tablespoons of the mix with one cup of purified water.
Read here for Best Essential Oils For Hair Growth And Thickness
Not all essential oils are safe for hair, but the following can be used:
(i) Lemon essential oil not only provides a refreshing scent, but it’s best known for its ability to cleanse toxins from the body. It can rejuvenate providing energy; purify the skin and even act as a bug repellant! Buy Genuine Quality Here
(ii) Rosemary is an amazing addition as it can help with baldness and serve as a hair thickener as well. Buy Genuine Quality Here
(iii) Cedarwood or Clary sage – stimulates the scalp, promotes hair growth. Buy Genuibe Quality Here
(iv) Chamomile – adds shine and softness to hair, soothes the scalp. Buy Here
(v) Geranium – strengthens hair. Buy Genuine Quality Here
(vi) Lavender – deep conditions, adds shine and fragrance, helps control dandruff. Buy Genuine Quality Here
(vii) Sandalwood – helps with dry ends, adds fragrance. Buy Genuine Quality Here
(viii) Tea tree oil – controls oily hair. Buy Genuine Quality Here
(i) Essential oils are very powerful and most of them can irritate your skin if not used properly. Lavender is one of a very few essential oils that can be used directly on skin, others will irritate skin if used full strength.
(ii) Some essential oils are stronger than others. You must be familiar about the quantity of essential oil to use in your dilution.
(iii) Essential oils are expensive. But avoid using the cheaper fragrance oils or “nature identical” oils. These versions are synthetic, can irritate your skin. Moreover they provide none of the benefits of natural botanical essential oils.